HOME / Community
Published on:

Ilitch Sports + Entertainment, in partnership with Comerica Bank, recently recognized four exceptional individuals as Game Changers for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month this May. The honorees were celebrated during a pregame reception at Comerica Park, where their remarkable contributions to their communities and respective fields were highlighted.

The Game Changers program, sponsored by Comerica Bank, seeks to acknowledge and support individuals who have made a significant impact on local families, businesses, and communities. Each honoree receives a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice, allowing them to further their philanthropic efforts and continue making a difference. Each honoree is highlighted with an editorial, published weekly throughout May and shared on Tigers.com/Equality.

Brian Gao, President, Detroit Chinese Business Association (DCBA): Gao has been widely recognized for his work in fostering bilateral business relationships between U.S. and Chinese companies. Additionally, his support for the Michigan Asian Youth Enrichment Foundation (MAYE) has helped students from diverse backgrounds engage in cultural exchanges and internships.

Rebeka Islam, Executive Director, Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote Michigan: A community leader focusing on APIA issues such as language access and immigrant rights, Islam’s efforts have been instrumental in promoting civic engagement and advocacy among AAPI communities. Her leadership roles in organizations like the Michigan Asian American Affairs Commission and APIA VOTE-MI reflect her commitment to driving positive change.

Katherine Lee, Vice Chair, Council of Asian Pacific Americans Advisory Board: As an entrepreneur and advocate for cultural diversity, Lee’s contributions to promoting awareness of cultural diversity and empowering women have earned her accolades and recognition. Her dedication to improving community health and supporting Asian Pacific American businesses underscores her commitment to creating a more inclusive society.

Wilmar Suan, Great Lakes Regional Chair, National Federation of Filipino American Associations: Suan’s leadership roles in organizations such as the National Federation of Filipino American Associations and Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce highlight his commitment to empowering Filipino Americans and promoting civic engagement. His work in fostering community unity and advocating for justice and equity exemplifies his dedication to serving others.

These Game Changers embody the spirit of AAPI Heritage Month, showcasing the diverse talents and contributions of individuals within the AAPI community. Through their leadership, advocacy, and philanthropy, they continue to inspire positive change and create a more inclusive and equitable society for all.