May 20, 2022Published by: Alex Grubbs

Battenhall celebrates Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American & Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month in the US – a celebration of these ethnic identities and communities.

Currently, only 7.4% of people in the advertising, public relations, and related fields are Asian, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As we celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month, join us in recognising our AAHNPI Battenhallers in the US.

Anton Perreau, President & Managing Director

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Background: Eurasian
  • Favourite food: Beef Rendang

What does AANHPI Heritage Month mean to you?

It’s a moment to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander heritage, artwork, food and culture – and most importantly to remember those who did not get to celebrate this freely.

What were your favourite moments of being AANHPI growing up?

Hot winters in Southeast Asia, and a big, loving family, where even friends are ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’.

What is the importance and significance to having AANHPI people in the communications field, especially in your job role?

Nothing beats lived experience. To be able to authentically work with Asian clients and represent topics with diverse voices, diversity is essential.

What advice do you have for other AANHPI people who want to start their journey or are coming up in the communications field?

Be bold and be you! Don’t let people correct how you identify: there’s only one you, and across America, Asian Americans have done incredible things. The best is yet to come.

Nivetha Kannan, Senior Designer

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Background: Indian
  • Favourite food: Chettinad Chicken

What does AANHPI Heritage Month mean to you?

It’s nice to have time to reflect on what my journey as AANHPI is. The fact it now has its own month makes me feel seen. The struggles I've faced as an Asian in a western country now seem valid, and I’m proud that I overcame them.

What were your favourite moments of being AANHPI growing up?

It's nice to have a culture you can participate and take part in. America can be a very solitary/individualistic country without too much of its own cultural identity, but I'm glad I have a background that goes back thousands of years. It's fun to wear Indian clothes and participate in Indian festivals. On a deeper level, being in between two cultures has taught me a lot about myself and my own values – especially on things like family, business, money, etc. I feel like I get the picture from multiple different viewpoints, which makes my decisions a marriage of the best aspects from both cultures.

What is the importance and significance to having AANHPI people in the communications field, especially in your job role?

Having voices from different backgrounds just makes the work better! When you're advertising to a population of a mixed demographic, you want a good mix of that demographic to be within your own ranks. I also think having more AANHPI in these fields will open the door for all different types of people to join - when an industry is homogenous it's hard for minorities to break into it.

What advice do you have for other AANHPI people who want to start their journey or are coming up in the communications field?

I can only speak from a design perspective, but my advice is: be nice and follow the people who support and believe in you. You will meet people who might not respect your ideas because of superficial reasons like race or sex. Find the people who support you - most likely a mentor or other minorities in the office - and focus on supporting each other to move higher. Things are easier and more fun as a group.

Alex Grubbs, Account Executive

  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Background: Filipino-American
  • Favourite food: Ube leche flan

What does AANHPI Heritage Month mean to you?

This month reminds me of the strong AANHPI women I grew up with – my mom Julie, my lola Agricola, and my grandmother Cecelia (she was half-Indian). I wouldn't be the Asian American, or Filipino American that I am, without them laying the foundation. I’d like to dedicate this to them.

What were your favourite moments of being AANHPI growing up?

There was never a dull moment! From singing karaoke to watching dramatic teleseryes (telenovelas), and Manny Pacquiao boxing nights to fiestas, there was always something to do! I loved going back to the Philippines to see my family when I was a kid. The 26-hour flight times may have been a lot, but experiencing my culture first-hand in the villages my mom and family are from was truly special. As an adult, this is still very much my life, and I love being in community with my kababayans (fellow people) and sharing our culture with others!

What is the importance and significance to having AANHPI people in the communications field, especially in your job role?

Many AANHPI people don't have the opportunities to break into the industry, and a lot of it starts at home. Many AANHPI parents don't believe communications to be a ‘real job’ or a ‘steady job’ to support yourself or your family. I disagree. We need more AANHPI people to be in this industry as it’s extremely important for us to be seen, for our voices to be heard, and for us to be represented in positions that will enable us to amplify each other’s stories.

What advice do you have for other AANHPI people who want to start their journey or are coming up in the communications field?

It's easy for us to have imposter syndrome from the influences in our lives. Don't feel shame in pursuing this career path. You matter, you're talented, and you deserve to be here. You being in this field is opening so many doors, not only for yourself but others who will follow after. Kaya mo yan! (You got this!)

Alowina Yap, Account Executive

  • Location: Long Beach, CA
  • Background: Filipino
  • Favourite food: Kare Kare

What does AANHPI Heritage Month mean to you?

Time to celebrate this region and their cultures.

What were your favourite moments of being AANHPI growing up?

Food and basketball.

What is the importance and significance to having AANHPI people in the communications field, especially in your job role?

Most of my clients are based in Asia, which shows the need to have more people with a similar background and can relate to these clients on that level.

What advice do you have for other AANHPI people who want to start their journey or are coming up in the communications field?

Be you before anything else. Your opinion of yourself is all that matters.

We are actively recruiting for a number of account roles and specialist positions in the US. Find out more or email join@battenhall.com.

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