from the editor

People of color in the Pacific Northwest are doing great things: building wealth for their communities and creating better paths for future generations. Immigrants of color have a long history of planting solid roots on U.S. soil, bringing with them a wealth of talent, ambition and resourcefulness.

By sharing success stories and highlighting the contributions of people of color in business and civic life, Colors of Influence online magazine creates a forum for communities of color to share their knowledge and accomplishments with business and community partners.

As I heard inspiring stories of success and accomplishment despite intimidating odds, there is a strong and singular current that runs through all the stories. The most admired leaders of color define their success by the way their work impacts communities of color. They tirelessly give back, reach out, lend a hand, their names and reputations to worthy causes. The most hardworking people I have met are the leaders in our midst: People of iinfluence who determined and steadfast to making a difference, to leaving this world better than they found it.

People of color who are business owners, leaders and entrepreneurs are a hard-working, intelligent, innovative and tenacious breed. We've proven that we can succeed despite myriad obstacles, limited resources and fierce competition. Often, we have to prove that we are twice as smart, nimble, resourceful and enterprising to break through and become effective at serving our communities and excelling at our target markets. Colors of Influence is focused on cultivating relationships and fostering strong networks and knowledge-sharing among diverse business and civic communities throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

I am working on reviving the online magazine with fresh interviews and new offerings. In the meantime, please feel free to read past interviews, and visit the CoI companion blog for posts on community events and happenings.

I am always looking for local events to highlight on the CoI blog, so drop me a line if you'd like coverage of your event. If you have suggestions for people of color to be profiled on CoI, email me with your ideas.

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Developing Colors of Influence magazine merges my two passions: journalism and business. Journalism has always been an important part of my life, even as a young girl growing up in Manila. When my family immigrated to Houston, Texas in 1992, I decided to study journalism in college and pursue writing as a career.I've served in a wide array of marketing communications capacities in various industries, including higher education, health care, high tech, petroleum, among others. I hold an MBA from the University of Portland.

There's a lot that needs to be done, to ensure that we get our stories heard. We need more visibility, a larger presence, and heightened recognition among business partners, community and civic leaders, prospective customers and collaborators. Through increasing awareness about the contributions of leaders and entrepreneurs of color, I hope to make an impact in efforts to raise the visibility of our vibrant and diverse business communities.

Maileen Hamto
editor, producer & founder

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