Our People, Their Stories | Honoring AAPI Heritage Month – Stephanie Fabian

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and we are proud to offer our platforms to our team members as they share their stories in their own unique voices. Today, we are pleased to feature Stephanie Fabian, our Director of Growth and Retention.

“My parents immigrated to the United States from Taiwan with a dream to provide endless opportunities to their children. I was born in San Jose, California and was raised along with my identical twin sister and my older sister. Let’s just say, our household was a very loud one! Everyone in my family is very sarcastic and a master joker. I was also raised closely by my two grandmothers – from them, I learned how to speak Chinese and learned a lot about the art of Chinese cooking including the tradition of Chinese New Year. This is my favorite holiday because my mom, sisters, and I all get together and cook all day. Our recipes for Chinese Lion’s Head Meatballs and Bok Choy with Shiitake have been passed down through generations.

Being raised as an “American-born Chinese” gave me the drive to push through so many perceptions and barriers. Growing up, people assumed that because I am Chinese, I was either going to be a doctor or engineer – but that was never who I was. I knew I wanted to be a difference-maker through words, through public speaking, through writing, and through creativity. Watching my parents sacrifice so much for our success encouraged me to work even harder to achieve these goals.

After I graduated from San Jose State University, I took a role as the Marketing Manager with SJSU’s self-operated dining organization. I created the first Marketing department for campus dining with a fully functional team of designers, marketers, and photographers. Eventually, I transitioned to Chartwells Higher Education as Marketing Director before I moved into a national role as the Director of Growth and Retention.

When people learn about the Chinese culture, I hope they see the importance of family. Everything parents do is shaped around their children. Moving to a new country, learning a new language, pushing past their fear of living in an unknown environment were all challenges they were ready to take on because they wanted a better life for their children. The Chinese culture focuses so much on their undeniable love for their family members, respect for elders, and remembering traditions that are passed on through generations. I love the fact that my parents and grandparents taught me how to speak Chinese, cook traditional recipes, and the amazing history of our ancestors so I can show others where I come from, who I am, and who I will always be.”