A Conversation About Being Latinx & Asian Leaders in West Michigan : Ace Marasigan - Founder, Grand Rapids Asian Festival & Salvador Lopez, President - KConnect; Moderated by Mercedes Barragan - Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Dematic.
Ace Marasigan is a Filipino American who has embraced West Michigan as his home since 1993. Community and culture are important to Ace and that inspired him to organize the Grand Rapids Asian Festival in 2017. His festivals have brought together the many local West Michigan Asian-Pacific groups to celebrate their unique heritages and share their rich cultures with Grand Rapids.
Ace is a connector who devotes his time to advocating for the Asian-Pacific community, volunteering for many local non-profit groups, and spending as much time as he can with his wife and son.
Salvador Lopez is the President of KConnect. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Latin American Studies and a Master of Science in Communications with an emphasis in inclusion and equity management from Grand Valley State University. He has over 13 years of professional experience in the healthcare, non-profit and higher education sectors.
Salvador is influenced by his experiences growing up in Salinas, California before moving to West Michigan during high school. He understands failure, motivation, and success. His message is simple: “Exposure can change a life.” Salvador has a passion for empowering others and his personal story of struggle, grit, and perseverance motivates him to make a positive impact in his community.