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Mimi San Pedro and Derek Haigwood to Headline AAAB’s “East Meets West” Luncheon


Mimi San Pedro and Derek Haigwood

Arkansas professionals will have the opportunity to celebrate the Lunar New Year, the biggest festival in Asia, while learning more about the Asian community in the Natural State.

The Arkansas Association of Asaian Businesses (AAAB) is hosting its third annual “East Meets West” business luncheon in Little Rock on Tuesday, Jan. 28. The two-hour luncheon will be held at A.W. Lin’s Asian Cuisine.

During the event, two Arkansas leaders with significant business and personal connections to Asia will deliver keynotes. Mimi San Pedro, chief strategy officer for the Venture Center, will deliver a keynote, followed by U.S. Soybean Export Council President Derek Haigwood.

Participants will have the opportunity to network during the luncheon. According to a AAAB news release, the event was designed to “bring together professionals that have ties or business interests in Asia for networking and cultural experiences through Asian cuisine and folk performances.”

Founded in 2017, AAAB aims to encourage and connect individuals and companies with business interests in both Arkansas and Asia. Yang Luo-Branch founded the organization as a “chamber of commerce that aims to serve the Arkansas-Asian business community…”

The seven-member AAAB board includes Luo-Branch; Young Chun, vice president of the Korean American Federation of Arkansas; Ameen Pabani, CEO of One Stop Solutions and My Flag Insurance; Rett Hatcher, Gilmore Strategy Group partner; Chang Liu, senior credit analyst for Simmons Bank; William “Goose” Changose, Natural State Law Firm partner and attorney; and Mark Young, president and CEO of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce.

READ MORE: Arkansas’ Top Influencers: Yang Luo-Branch

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