MotivAsians has come of age. The organization is celebrating 21 years of promoting, attracting and retaining Asian-American professionals and cultivating a vibrant Asian community in Greater Cleveland.
“Our goal was share and showcase innovation and welcome professionals, says Cynthia Bellian, Vice President of Communications. “To get connected to each other.”
The group has grown and thrived since 2002, with several thousand people signing up for their newsletters and attending their events. These range from tours of unique Cleveland sites such as Playhouse Square to visits to major employers such as NASA and Lincoln Electric — to just going out to dinner at an Asian restaurant or celebrating the Chinese New Year together.
“We are not a strictly membership group. People come things that interest them — there are no dues or membership sign-ups. Do what you are interested in,” says Winnie Li, Vice President of Partnerships.
The goal of all events is to support Asian professionals, while making then aware of the appealing cultural and business offerings of Greater Cleveland.
COVID-19 slowed them down, but MotivAsians is returning to more in-person events.
“We’re going to be at the Cleveland Asian Festival, doing some fun things like painting and calligraphy. We encourage people to stop by to learn more,” says Cynthia. “We also always have a summer pot-luck picnic to connect us.”
In addition to current professionals, MotivAsians engages in outreach at colleges and universities.
“We invite students to events and tours and try to connect them with the folks that can help them in their goals,” says Winnie.
Retaining students remains a challenge, however.
“Getting sponsorship for employment can be difficult,” Winnie adds. “Students follow the market and that is often to other cities. But we are working with local companies to hopefully increase the possibility of more employment sponsorship here.”
Both leaders see the expansion of AsiaTown in the last two decades as inspiring when it comes to conveying a welcome message.
“There are a lot more establishments to showcase,” says Cynthia. “Some more modern places like new coffee and waffle shops are great way to bring the younger community together. Places like Mango Mango in AsiaTown and the new Filipino restaurant, Tita Flora’s, in Independence.
“We’re actually doing our next group dinner there, in fact. It’s all about getting people out and exploring. Asian culture is so diverse, and Cleveland has so much to offer.”
Interested in learning more about MotivAsians or getting their newsletters? See motivasians.org
Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: recognizing the valuable contributions to Cleveland — Greater Cleveland Partnership
Home — Cleveland Asian Festival
OCA Greater Cleveland Chapter — Embracing the hopes and aspirations of Asian Pacific Americans in Northeast Ohio (ocagc.org)
Additional Links — OCA Greater Cleveland Chapter (ocagc.org)
Welcome to Asiatown | Destination Cleveland | Cleveland, OH | This Is Cleveland
USPAACC | Largest, Most Established Asian American Business…
U.S. Census Bureau Releases Key Stats in Honor of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month | U.S. Department of Commerce
Spotlight on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States — New American Economy Research Fund
Greater Cleveland Partnership’s All In vision for a Great Region on a Great Lake has five key priorities: Dynamic Business, Abundant Talent, Inclusive Opportunity, Appealing Community and Business Confidence. All of our work ties back to these values. This story relates to Inclusive Opportunity and Appealing Community.