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  • Writer's pictureShelby McFarland

GTA in AAAB Newsletter

The March AAAB (Arkansas Association of Asian Businesses (AAAB)) newsletter was published this week. GTA is a proud member of the AAAB. This month included a spotlight of Mimi San Pedro and our executive director, Toni Carr.

Mimi San Pedro is a volunteer for GTA and sits on the board for AAAB. She and the Venture Center have hosted in-person and virtual YSEALI Fellows several times. We have included a few blurbs from the newsletter:

"My family moved to the US in June 1974. My mother is one of seven girls, most of them educated in the United States, and each in their way broke glass ceilings for women in the Philippines. My aunt Priscilla Santos was the first Filipino woman to get a Masters of Law degree from Harvard Law School. Her other sisters were top of their fields in medicine, banking, commerce, and the arts. My father was a high-ranking bank executive during the week and a farmer and landowner on the weekends. We had a good life in the Philippines full of good fortune, a great network of friends, and a very large loving family. That is until Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law/military rule on September 23, 1972.

This year, we will celebrate our 48th year as Little Rock, Arkansas residents. Both our parents are gone now, but I wanted them to know that though it was the hardest decision, it was the best decision they could have ever made for their children. My brother, Gerardo Jose Santos San Pedro, is a successful pulmonary doctor at LSU Medical Center. My sister, Naomi Marie San Pedro Crume, is a nurse practitioner at UAMS, and I have been a marketing strategist for some of Arkansas' most dynamic companies and brands. "

"Toni Carr is the Executive Director of Global Ties Arkansas, an organization that unites emerging and existing national and international leaders through educational programs, cultural exposure, and productive collaboration. Particularly, Toni and her team work with the US Department of State and many Embassies around the globe to bring professionals into Arkansas to meet with their counterparts in their field. The visitors, many from Asian countries, may stay anywhere from a few days to a month.

Toni also has a strong personal tie with Asia. Her husband, Jim, taught government officials in Xi'an, China, for a two-month period over the course of six years. Toni said, "I was lucky to have been able to visit and sometimes help speak in his classes about American Education. We have personally visited many countries including China, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Malaysia."

Toni is a firm believer in the Global Ties Arkansas mission, which is "Through international exchange and the promotion of lifetime friendships, we strive to empower individuals, communities, and nations to build trust and advance peace and prosperity, dispel stereotypes, and develop cultural sensitivity." She thinks her work at the organization makes a significant difference in furthering the role of Citizen Diplomats by dispelling cultural and professional stereotypes."

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