Our Winter Chamber Champion Helene Kwong, Hashtagitude CEO and founder, helps businesses grow their digital presence while giving back to a Chamber affiliate–Denver Opportunity Youth Initiative–by helping youth in the program grow their resumes. Kwong understands the importance of providing real-world learning opportunities to youth who are working to get the skills and education they need. She has gone above and beyond as a supporter of the Opportunity Youth Initiative, taking on an intern and referring other members to do the same. Get to know our Winter Chamber Champion and what drives her work.
I was inspired to get involved with the Opportunity Youth Initiative because it both helps us as a company and helps the youth who work with us. I strive to provide meaningful work for them because I was once in a similar position seeking my first opportunity in a challenging job market. I hope more businesses in the Denver metro area will participate in the Opportunity Youth Initiative and provide great job opportunities to this youth demographic.
The best part about being a Chamber member is having access to the diverse array of programs that the Chamber offers.
The people who have been most influential in my life are my parents. My father literally risked his life to immigrate to the United States from China in order for our family to have a better life. On top of that, my father and mother started a Chinese restaurant in Radford, Virginia, and worked tirelessly to achieve the American dream for my siblings and myself – all while learning English along the way and adapting to a vastly different culture and way of life. I am grateful to my parents for instilling within me dedication to hard work and integrity.
All five of us Kwong kids worked at our parents’ restaurant throughout our adolescence and a little bit in college/post-college. My first job after college was working as a legal secretary with a small law firm in San Francisco. I worked as a hot dog vendor around the same time in Union Square.
The most important business lesson I’ve learned is the path to success is like a curvy and treacherous hiking trail up the side of a mountain.
Setbacks will happen, but as long as I learn from each challenge, I can continue to ascend and grow in my career and business.
Social media matters to businesses because they can have valuable conversations with their customers and fans, which isn’t easy to execute through traditional marketing. Social media levels the playing field for businesses and individuals alike- you just need to actually interact with others on social media! This is often the missing piece of the puzzle when businesses hop onto social media: they solely broadcast and then wonder why nobody is talking back to them.
I am a multi-passionate person. I am a lifelong learner and won’t hesitate to learn more about unfamiliar topics. I especially love learning about different languages and cultures. I have studied Spanish, Japanese, Korean and French and plan to learn more languages.
I am a huge advocate for better public transit and love to volunteer my time to help public transit agencies improve accessibility for citizens.
–Kathryn Goggin, former Chamber Events specialist