Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month
Learn more about inspirational stories of those Making Modern History at Taco Bell and beyond.
At Taco Bell, we believe that no matter where or who you are, you will always have a seat at the table to pursue your passions and drive a positive impact. We also believe that we have people within our Taco Bell family who are doing just that; Making Modern History and will one day be part of the stories we tell for many years to come.
The month of May celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. This month was specifically chosen to honor the first known Japanese immigrant to the U.S. (May 1843), as well as to acknowledge the tremendous contribution Chinese immigrants made in completing the transcontinental railroad (May 1869).
AAPI is a wide-ranging term used to describe all cultures across the continent of Asia and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia – representing approximately 50 ethnic groups and 100 languages. There is incredible depth and richness of diversity found within the AAPI community, and this month is devoted to recognizing and elevating their cultural influence.
To honor this month and lead with action-oriented allyship, we’re amplifying the voices of those in the AAPI community who are growing their careers at Taco Bell.
While we’re telling their stories today, throughout the year, we will continue sharing how our Taco Bell employees across all groups make Modern History; the sharing and celebrating doesn’t stop here.
Jeff C., Sr. Manager, Franchise Operations Taco Bell Corp.
Jeff has always been a part of the business world, beginning his journey by earning his master's degree in Business Administration and joining a leadership development program in the food service industry.
Working in this industry meant that he was lucky enough to travel a bit, and one place in particular became one of the most memorable moments in his career: Shanghai, China. “As an American-Born Chinese person, the immediate cultural differences were highly visible...having to learn so much on the fly while still being seen as an asset was extremely tough,” Jeff said. His experience in China made a deep impact on him that elevated his level of respect for immigrants in the workforce, which he brought with him to Taco Bell.
So, how did he make his way to Taco Bell? During his time in the leadership development program, Jeff worked as a business consultant, which helped him get to his current position at Taco Bell. And since then, he hasn’t stopped growing his career at The Bell.
Jeff has now been with Taco Bell for three years working as a Sr. Manager. During these several years, Jeff’s notes the main turning point in his career was while working in the restaurants. “I was able to truly understand how impactful my position can be for the business, but more importantly for the restaurant teams. I love watching them make it happen through all the various challenges. They fuel my excitement.”
Along with championing restaurant teams, Jeff actively speaks out about representation and respect, specifically in the AAPI Community. “When I’m out in public, I still hear derogatory comments towards East-AAPI people. I fear that this social stigma will continue onto the next generation,” he said.
But Jeff uses this fear and translates it into his passion for changemaking. He does this by encouraging aspiring leaders to learn from these uncomfortable moments, “... if you can experience something outside of your cultural circle, that means there will be learning opportunities for both sides of the interaction(s).”
Along with his encouraging leadership, Jeff is a part of the employee resource groups at Taco Bell and Yum! Brands: Live Más CREAsians and MOSAIC, two communities that work to advance the well-being of those in the AAPI community.
Throughout each path he’s taken to get where he is today, Jeff has used his experiences as learning tools to teach and uplift the AAPI community. And if you’re wondering about what’s next for Jeff, he plans to keep the momentum going, use his leadership role as a platform for empowering AAPI voices all while continuing to grow his career at The Bell.