Name: Kerry N. Doi
Hometown: Gardena, CA
Profession: President and CEO of Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment
"My name is Kerry Doi, and I build a bridge to understanding."
Early in his career, Kerry N. Doi saw the need for an organization that was culturally and linguistically trained to work with the diverse Asian Pacific Islander community in Los Angeles.
In one of his early jobs helping people find work with the state Employment Development Department, Doi came away with two life-changing observations. One observation was that jobs matter.
“If you don’t have a job, it makes a real big difference in your outlook and how you live your life,” said this 60-year-old Gardena resident.
The other observation? Many Asian Pacific Islanders weren’t using available services because state workers could not relate to them culturally and linguistically.
For more than 30 years, Doi has been working to change that as the president and CEO of the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE), an organization that provides assistance with employment, affordable housing, early childhood education and more to Asian Pacific Islanders and other ethnic minority residents.
Since he took the helm of PACE in 1976, it has become one of the largest Asian community development organizations in the country. PACE programs now serve more than 60,000 low-income residents annually in the Los Angeles area.
Doi has seen California change dramatically in the 50 years he’s lived here. But he believes more dramatic changes will be required if the state is going to tackle its challenges. He’d like to see businesses pursue a “triple bottom-line,” where creating jobs and being community-minded are just as important as making a profit.
He’d also like to see Californians become more involved in improving their communities.
“People should ask themselves, what have I done today to make the world a better place?” he said.