We are continuing a series of posts highlighting the awards recipients for the 2016 Hometown Heroes Celebration by the American Red Cross of West Michigan. Each year, the American Red Cross celebrates the community heroes who inspire us through their commitment to service and their recognition of the humanity of their neighbors down the street, across the country, and around the world.The event will be held on Thursday, April 21 from 6:00PM-9:00PM at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. For ticket information, please visit our Hometown Heroes event page.
In the middle of daily readings on national business leaders and historic social change agents, I often need to remember the great local heroes surrounding me. Bing Goei is one of those hometown heroes that I admire for his work and the tangible benefits it produces for people.
It is fitting that Bing is being honored by the American Red Cross of West Michigan. He exemplifies the values of the American Red Cross of relief, healing, compassionate care, and partnerships that help communities. As the founder and president of a project management firm adhering to social responsibility, I count Bing as a model of how to advance those values in the context of business.
For the community, customers, citizens and civic leaders Bing is the CEO of Eastern Floral Company, Director of the Michigan Office for New Americans, founder of the International Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (ICEE), Board of Director for the West Michigan Asian American Association and former President of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.
Bing represents all of those great elements in addition to friend, former client, provider of my customer needs and inclusion ally. Bing has inspired me to join the American Red Cross of West Michigan in saluting Bing by sharing my appreciation of his passion for being a hero in providing:
Relief: Some in our community often encounter barriers keeping them removed from equal access, power-sharing and resources. As I witnessed from our time on the Varnum Law Diversity Advisory Council, his business advocacy and other mutual endeavors, I have been emboldened by Bing’s work as a tireless champion in eliminating exclusion. He has embraced risk and innovation to replace exclusion with social and economic progress for people regardless of their race, ethnicity or gender.
Healing and Compassionate Care: I salute Bing’s work on creating an environment that welcomes immigrants and the talents they bring to Michigan. Bing’s ethics and values for how we embrace strangers makes him the perfect public representative of sound immigration policies amid public discourse where solutions and ideas are not often compassionate, solution-oriented or respectful of people.
On behalf of thousands of people looking to make a better life in the West Michigan region, I wish Bing continued success in his work as Director for the Office for New Americans and head of the ICEE to create the tone, conditions and policies that are compassionate and affirming of new arrivals.
Partnerships: Great heroes enter into the battle of change work with humility, commitment and a skill to connect allies together. Bing is being honored because from attracting young professionals to West Michigan to supporting entrepreneurs via funding opportunities, he forms partnerships between people of all backgrounds. He is to be saluted because those partnerships have created economic security and empowerment for the most vulnerable.
I salute and honor Bing Goei, our hometown hero. Furthermore, I will continue to take inspiration from him.
Eric K. Foster is Principal of Progress Strategies+, a project management consultancy in five areas of social responsibility. He created Progress Strategies+ to serve organizations, corporations, non-profit groups and other clients in consulting and direct project management in the areas of diversity and inclusion, community engagement strategies, grant writing and grant project management, public policy and advocacy and corporate social responsibility.