To celebrate Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’re spotlighting four business leaders and entrepreneurs from our “Pay It Forward” program whose accomplishments and contributions have made a positive impact on their communities.
Read more about these inspiring leaders below.
Define Orthodontics, located in Irving, Texas, specializes in personalized orthodontic services with a focus on high-quality care and long-term sustainable outcomes. Owner Dr. Kirat Sodhi believes orthodontic care goes beyond creating beautiful smiles and involves educating and empowering patients to develop healthy lifestyles. "Empowering patients on this educational journey brings me personal satisfaction,” says Sodhi,” and a beautiful, perfect smile is an added benefit."
In addition to providing the Irving area with exceptional orthodontic services, Dr. Sodhi actively supports local schools and the community through sponsorships and events. She participates in the Donated Orthodontic Services (DOS) program, offering orthodontic treatments to children from low-income families. Dr. Sodhi also contributes regularly to food banks and local charities.
Dr. Sodhi's journey to owning her own practice was challenging, and she advises new business owners to work hard and be authentic. "Owning a business is not for the faint of heart," she warns. "Stay focused on doing good work, be authentic, and never be afraid to hustle your way up."
Paradise Poke is a thriving Hawaiian restaurant in Honolulu dedicated to serving fresh, locally sourced fish to the broader Honolulu community. Co-owner Chancelor Kim credits his success to his unwavering commitment to personal and professional values, such as honesty, integrity, and empathy. "Professionally, we are committed to delivering high-quality services that exceed our client’s expectations, while also fostering a positive and inclusive work environment for our team” says Kim. Paradise Poke supports the local community by sourcing sustainable seafood directly from local fishermen and by contributing to various local non-profit organizations that assist families and children facing challenging situations.
Through gifts of food and cash, Kim and his team also continue to donate to Family Promise, Kids Hurt Too, and the Make Lemonade Project, which supports cancer patients. "We are proud to make a positive impact in our community, and we are committed to continuing our efforts to give back in meaningful ways.”
Alaska Reel Adventures
Richard Yamada turned his passion for the outdoors and fishing into a full-time business after moving to Alaska. He founded Alaska Reel Adventures which offers full-service fishing experiences and accommodations on Shelter Island, one of Alaska's top fishing destinations. Yamada’s advice for first-time business owners looking to follow in his footsteps is simple. “Know your market and find a niche that no one is servicing. That increases your chances of success,” he says. “As always, a positive attitude and hard work usually pay off.” Yamada takes an active role in the local fishing community and is committed to promoting good stewardship of the land and sea as the USA International Pacific Halibut Commissioner. “I have always focused on the intrinsic values of outdoor recreational fishing,” he says. “The ability to be involved in harvesting, preparing, sharing, and consuming a fish that you caught yourself is an opportunity that should be cherished.”
In addition to his commitment to sustainable fishing practices, Yamada and his business have made significant contributions to various charities and community programs including the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Japanese American Cultural Center, the Go For Broke Foundation, and the Kauai Community College culinary arts program.
Caire Beauty, a skin care brand headquartered in New York City, was founded to address the skin care needs of women in mid-life. The brand’s scientists and formulators developed new approaches to skin care and beauty “especially for “grown-ups”- their founders Lorrie King and Celeste Lee state.
Co-founder Celeste Lee lives by Caire Beauty's mission statement, which encourages women to feel self-assured in their skin. Lee draws from her first-generation Chinese-American background and her mother's words. “She said, ‘a woman is worth her weight in gold’ meaning that I should be treated with value by everyone and everything around me, whether friends, family, or bosses,” says Lee. “My mother also meant I must treat myself with value. --This idea is core to everything I create, design, believe in."
Lee and co-founder Lorrie King are dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity in their business. They also mentor other BIPOC founders of any age and strive to provide job opportunities to women in mid-life.
About Pay It Forward
Since launching “Pay It Forward” in 2021, Spectrum Reach has invested more than $45 million in advertising and resources to help multicultural businesses, and by the end of this year’s initiative will have helped over 2,000 multicultural business owners prosper in 36 states across our footprint.
Through Pay it Forward, local businesses receive critical support to help their business thrive, including free advertising and creative services, mentoring and educational resources.