Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May 22nd, 2023

Celebrated nationally in May, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month recognizes, celebrates, and increases awareness of the rich history, contributions, and accomplishments of Asian and Pacific Island Americans. In celebration, Montrose is proud to highlight team members and share what Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month means to our team. Meet some of our amazing team members below.

John Echivarre
Senior Field Technician | MAQS

What does “Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month” mean to you?

To me, it means I am part of American society as a whole, and I am not going to be discriminated against after all. We are all Americans and came from immigrant families. We, too, can be the best and can achieve excellence after all we are all US citizens and contribute to the success of the United States of America.

Who (in general) inspires you the most and why?

My Dad, he’s the one who inspired me because he taught me about integrity and leadership.

How did you find your way to where you are today at MEG?

By doing the best I can and have the desire to do the right thing the first time so that nothing is wasted, especially time because doing it a second time means more expenditure for both the customer and our organization.

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned and how has it proven invaluable?

The important lesson I learned is that no one is perfect but I had to always keep in my mind how do the job right the first time and safely.

Hetal Patel
HR Business Partner | CTEH

What does “Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month” mean to you?

Being a vegetarian and growing up in a South Asian home with parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts, speaking multiple languages, and being restricted from doing certain things made it challenging to explain to my friends.

The value of family, religion, delicious food, and festivities is emphasized by the South Asian community. A chance to catch up with relatives and friends is frequently just around the corner because there are frequently a lot of events and festivities to look forward to (all with wonderful food and wearing new Indian attire!). Because I wanted to fit in, I was reluctant to talk about those experiences in school or with my friends when I was younger. Today, however, I can say with confidence that I am proud of my Indian heritage and that it has shaped the kind of person I am. It has also influenced the values I hold dear, and I am very thankful to live a life that combines both South Asian and American cultures.

What motivations fueled your career path?

The opportunity to challenge myself and know that there is never a dull moment within Human Resources.

Who (in general) inspires you the most and why?

My parents have always been a source of inspiration for me, and I look up to them both for their dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment to family. Having emigrated from India, they faced many challenges in raising four girls while instilling a strong Indian cultural grounding. However, despite these challenges, my parents have remained steadfast in their dedication to us and our future

Surya Adhikari
Senior Reporting QC Specialist/ Reporting QC Manager | MAQS

What does “Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month” mean to you?

I find this as a celebration of diversity and a sense of recognition at work. This is encouraging, and events like this will have the ultimate positive impact on employees and fuel the organic growth of our organization.

What do you like best about Montrose?

I like my team, work environment, and greater flexibility at the workplace where I can contribute the most. We respect each other and value teamwork to achieve our ultimate goal of producing superior-quality work and meeting or exceeding our client’s expectations.

What motivations fueled your career path?

My optimistic attitude, strong work ethic, and willingness to learn and excel in my field every day. By providing greater support to both team members and our clients, as well as regulatory agencies, have excelled in my career growth.

Who inspires you the most within our organization?

The team members and the leadership whom I work with on a daily basis. We have a strong sense of camaraderie and a willingness to support each other.

Nita Bhojwani
HRIS Director | MEG

What does “Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month” mean to you?

An opportunity to learn about the important role Asian Pacific/South Asian Americans have played in shaping American history and culture. It's a time to honor the rich cultural heritage and diversity of this community and recognize the challenges and struggles that Asian Pacific/South Asian Americans have faced throughout history.

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned, and how has it proven invaluable?

Growing up in a South Asian household, my cultural upbringing emphasized offering one’s opinion only when solicited. In retrospect, I have come to appreciate how being more outspoken about my perspectives and experiences has helped advance my career. By doing so, I have demonstrated how my prior learnings and abilities can contribute to a project's overall success. While I maintain a deep respect for my cultural teachings, not all of them necessarily translate into how I operate in my professional life.

What has been helpful to you in navigating and connecting to a larger organization?

Establishing a network of colleagues and mentors who provide guidance and support. Building relationships with people across different businesses/departments is transformational and helps to deepen your understanding of where we all work and how we can also work better together.

Montrose Reflections: A note from Wendy Huang
Assistant General Counsel | MEG

This month, we recognize and celebrate the generations of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage who have influenced and enriched American and Canadian history, culture, and society. I’ve always appreciated the reminder to pause and reflect on these stories, but this year the significance of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month has taken on a new dimension for me. As a new mom, my lens on the world is tinted by my hopes and concerns for her future.

When I look at the history of Asian Americans, I see stories of perseverance and resilience. I see stories of remarkable individual achievement as well as those of the struggles in our society for civil rights and equality. I am inspired by the trailblazer Jonny Kim and how far we’ve come as a society since the Chinese Exclusion Act. Looking at that history, I am hopeful she will grow up in a culture that values diversity and inclusion, specifically someone with her heritage. At the same time, I am acutely aware of the challenges that lie ahead. Recent events present a sobering reminder that we as a society still struggle with viewing people different than ourselves as the other. We still have work to do to create a more equitable and inclusive society.

As we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, my hope is that as we honor the contributions of past generations, we will also acknowledge the work that remains. May this month serve as an opportunity to learn more about the history and perspective of Asian and Pacific Islander communities and inspire us to continue to work towards a better future for all.

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