May 6, 2021
Words matter. And so do actions. That’s why these two Sam’s Club associates want to transform the future for their families and friends, while helping us all understand everyone has a story that’s more than meets the eye.
Mongkol Ban – Wolter, a Fresh Manager in Longmont, Colorado, is an Asian American from Cambodia. Her parents came to the United States for a better life for their children. She saw how hard they worked and wants to remain a positive influence for her family.
“Sam’s Club has allowed me to be myself without any reservations,” she said, adding that she’s held several different positions over her 19 years with the company. But today, she thrives on supporting people. “I enjoy developing all of my associates and making a difference in their lives and teaching them things that will help them further their career with Sam’s Club or personally. Everyone has something to bring to the table!”
The education doesn’t stop in her club. Mongkol believes talking about recent reports of violence against Asian Americans is something that needs to be discussed.
“I think it’s important to openly talk about this and have some healthy dialogue to create meaningful change,” she explained, adding that she wants the conversation to be positive, which is why she promotes #Standwithasians.
This change is something that’s extremely personal. Her husband is Black, and they have two multiracial children. So, they both know first-hand how important it is for acceptance.
“Not only do we have to talk about hate crimes against Asian Americans, we also have to talk about hate crimes against Black and African Americans,” she said. “Every day this conversation continues is a day we draw closer to a better place for us all.”
Brandon Curry, Director of Innovation on the Sam’s Club Operations team, is a member of the company’s Asian American and Pacific Islander associate resource group and knows that being an example for his children is critical.
“As a member of the Asian American population, it’s important to remain informed on topics that affect that population, and that my children understand their history and where they come from,” he said. “The group has been a great resource in terms of networking as well as just through facilitating opportunities to interact with associates that face similar issues.”
At Sam’s Club, Brandon’s role includes forecasting unit sales and labor demand, creating accurate budgets and developing insights to help the operations team run their business. He understands being a visible role model for those he knows and those he has yet to meet is the moral of his story and drives his actions.
“Always make sure you’re doing things for the right reasons,” Brandon said of his tenure with Sam’s Club. “We all make mistakes and errors, but as long as the intent is positive and aligned with our organizational values – there’s no mistake that can’t be fixed.”
Having four children, Brandon works hard and always sets a clear path for himself, his fellow associates and, of course, his family.
“I’m motivated by a desire to leave the world to them in a better place than how I found it,” Brandon said.
Words can tell us who we are. But Mongkol and Brandon are taking specific actions to write new definitions and transform not only their stories, but to help all of us who are paying attention.