In the spirit of celebrating Asian Pacific America Heritage Month and the remarkable achievements of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) entrepreneurs, we shine a spotlight on the incredible talents and insights of eight inspiring members of Hera Hub. As a dynamic community of diverse professionals, Hera Hub empowers and uplifts entrepreneurs from all backgrounds. In this blog post, we have the privilege of hearing from these exceptional AAPI business owners, as they graciously share their invaluable advice and wisdom for other entrepreneurs, gained through their personal journeys. Join us as we celebrate the brilliance, resilience, and ingenuity of the AAPI community within the entrepreneurial realm.


Zonia Yee, Founder & CEO of Salient Solutions Group

Zonia Yee is an accomplished accounting and finance professional with over 20 years of industry experience. As the founder of Salient Solutions Group, a esteemed accounting firm, and has established herself as a trusted expert and dedicated in assisting small businesses financials and tax preparation. Zonia has consistently delivered exceptional financial solutions to a diverse clientele nationally.

Beyond her professional achievements, Zonia finds joy in being a dedicated dog mom. Her love for animals reflects her compassionate and caring nature, traits that extend to her professional relationships as well.

What advice do you have for new business owners?

My advice would be to have a clear vision for your business and know what you want to achieve. Also, make your business financials a priority by keeping the books current, budgeting, maintaining a contingency fund, separating personal and business expenses, and reviewing your business financials on a monthly basis.

May Tom, Founder, Registered Dietitian of Malama Programs, LLC

May Tom, R.D. is a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner and Registered Dietitian. May is the founder of Malama Programs, LLC. She loves helping women optimize their hormones, energy and metabolism so that they can live life with a full cup. She was trained in animal physiology and neuroscience at UC-San Diego and did her masters of public health and nutrition degree at Loma Linda University. She is passionate about teaching her clients the science behind nourishing our bodies for better health and graceful aging. She is also the mom of three little boys, who are 2, 5 and 6 years old.

What advice do you have for new business owners?

Plug into a tribe and keep asking questions; you will find the support you are looking for. Manage your mind; don’t let your emotions dictate how you lead yourself and others!

Asako Okuma, Financial Consultant of Revolution Financial Management

As a financial consultant, Asako offers each client a financial needs analysis and brokerage services to find the best fitting plan for the individual and families.

Asako was born and grew up in Tokyo, Japan. She moved to the U.S. by herself after graduating from a university and worked for several years. The motivation was to discover her lifestyle and values without any “societal / peer pressure” which is heavy in Japan, especially in city areas.

She reentered a university in Los Angeles through the adjacent ESL program, then entered a graduate school and received a Master of Science in Psychology. After experiencing several psychological/therapeutic works in Los Angeles, she moved to Carlsbad, San Diego, where she served in an adult day health care center for patients with physical/psychological difficulties and their families.

Meanwhile, she grew a passion to build her own business in a different field where she has more freedom of time. Through her back-then husband, she found the opportunity to obtain a license to become a financial professional. In 2014 she completely left her practice in the psychology field and took over her ex-husband’s business after several years of helping the client services in his back office.

Asako guides her clients to help them address financial goals and challenges, whether the goal is, but not limited to, saving for retirement, preparing for a child’s education, getting out of debt, and/or passing on a legacy.

Asako’s goal is always to help people achieve peace of mind. Her influence is far-reaching by her ability and background in Psychology to support and bring awareness to families and individuals in the planning of their financial future.

What advice do you have for new business owners?

Invest in self development! Even if it does not appear to relate directly to your own business, always invest your time and effort into it. A better mindset attracts better things in your business, life, everything. Every successful business owner knows it, so join the club! Good luck!

Dr. Cindy Tsai, MD, Physician, Speaker, Wellness Expert, Life Coach of Yes & More

Dr. Cindy Tsai is an award-winning board-certified physician, TEDx speaker, bestselling author and wellness/life coach taking an integrative mind-body-spirit approach helping accomplished women create alignment to live a healthy and meaningful life with ease. As a leader, physician, and patient herself, she saw and experienced the impact of chronic stress on the body and was compelled to do more than prescribe medications as a bandaid. Through her own healing journey, she explored and trained in a wide range of modalities and transitioned to entrepreneurship to make a bigger impact taking an integrative approach to wellness. Dr. Cindy believes that everyone deserves to enjoy the life they worked so hard for and it’s time to say yes to yourself and more.

What advice do you have for new business owners?

  • Define your vision and set clear goals to stay focused.
  • Leverage your network and tell people what you’re doing and how you can help.
  • Maintain a growth mindset and be adaptable to the unexpected along the way.
  • Prioritize self-care and take breaks. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Get support, be in community, seek out mentors/coaches for guidance. You’re not meant to do this alone
  • It’s not always going to work out as you planned. Separate the “failures”/setbacks in your business from your value as a person and be kind to yourself.
  • Celebrate all the wins and have fun!

Sarah S. Yasukochi, Digital Marketing Strategist of House Collective

Sarah Yasukochi is a marketing strategist and brand builder. She is the Founder of House Collective, a Carlsbad CA-based digital marketing agency. House Collective helps values-led, sustainable businesses grow their reputation, revenues and impact through inbound marketing solutions. Before launching her agency in 2017, Sarah was a Corporate Marketer for 15 years and an award-winning ecommerce boutique owner. She earned her MBA from Point Loma Nazarene University and is featured in Self, CEO Mom Magazine and San Diego Magazine.

What advice do you have for new business owners?

Bravery loves company. Being a business owner can be so rewarding – and, sometimes we’re faced with difficult decisions and put in tough situations. In those times – and while maneuvering through uncertainty – courageous steps are easier to take when you walk together. So, immerse yourself in Community. Find business owners and groups who share in your values. There are people out there who are waiting to join you in the laughs and learnings; to exchange ideas and guidance with you; those who will hold you accountable, challenge you, celebrate you, and cheer you on.

In honor of AAPI month and as a proud Fil-Am I wanted to share some of my favorite words and concepts that represent Community in the Philippines: Kapwa (shared identity), Pamayanan (community and togetherness) and Bayanihan (unity and cooperation).

La Jolla

Mia Loya, MSHN, Founder / Holistic Nutritionist of Firewave Wellness LLC

Mia is a highly accomplished holistic nutritionist and strategist dedicated to helping leaders worldwide achieve remarkable success in both business and personal life. As the creator of the Well Fed Warrior System, Mia and her team of Expert Advisors host educational events to empower individuals to make a profound impact on their overall well-being.

With a deep understanding of the vital connection between nutrition, mindset, and achievement, Mia has developed her unique 4 Quadrants of Change practice. Through this transformative approach, she guides her clients to embrace their authentic selves and embark on a journey towards achieving optimal health, abundant wealth, and fulfilling love.

As a member of esteemed organizations such as the Yoga Alliance and the National Association of Nutrition Practitioners, Mia constantly expands her knowledge and skills to provide cutting-edge solutions to her clients. Her expertise extends beyond the realm of nutrition, as she believes in nurturing the mind-body connection for holistic transformation.

Mia’s passion for community engagement is evident through her role as a Director of TEAM Referral Network San Diego, where she fosters meaningful connections among professionals. In addition to her community involvement, she runs a virtual private practice, supporting clients in their pursuit of wellness and vitality.

Driven by her belief that intimacy breeds consistency, Mia guides her clients with unwavering support and personalized strategies. By combining her clinical expertise, compassionate nature, and unwavering dedication, Mia helps individuals unlock their full potential and create extraordinary lives filled with health, wealth, and love.

What advice do you have for new business owners?

In my opinion these three things that are a must when starting your new business.
1. Practice Stress-Relief and Self-Care: You have a grand vision and running the race will take your best every day. Empty your stress buckets daily! (my first quadrant of change). The moment you begin to overwork or feel overwhelm productivity drops. Strike a balance and remember your whole Self.

2. Find A Mentor You Respect: Entrepreneurship is a freight train of new beginnings. You probably didn’t decided to leave the J-O-B to work endlessly. Find somebody who can help you work smarter not harder and help you make effective decisions quickly. You can hire earlier than you think, if it’s not your super power let somebody help you!

3. Establish Boundaries: Your time is so valuable, you realize that quickly when you begin to wear many hats and make your dream reality. Communicate with your family and friends what it will take to reach your benchmarks and goals (emotionally and financially). By year 3-4 you’ll notice each quarter what you can accomplish and how you best like to balance working in and on your business every week.

Mission Valley

Maryrose Solis, Marketing Consultant

Maryrose Solis is a solopreneur providing executive level services to thought leaders, industry experts, entrepreneurs and business owners, based in San Diego.

She earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications from the University of San Diego then went on to build a successful professional career in both the corporate and startup sectors until she decided to become her own boss. Her business acumen is backed by over 20 years experience working with Fortune 500 companies in a variety of industries including military and government.

She calls the journey to solopreneurship, her #March4ward and leverages the experience in a signature branding program called #FindYourWAVE. Learn more about Maryrose at

What advice do you have for new business owners?

Sometimes we can get held back by old paradigms or even cultural expectations when we decide to be our own boss. I encourage any new women business owner to acknowledge this but then continue to create their own path to what they have decided is success. Trust yourself. You are more capable than you know!

Hitomi Taguchi, Owner of Hitomi Taguchi Life & Career Coaching

Hitomi Taguchi is a professional certified coach with a doctorate degree in chemical engineering. She coaches mid-career professionals, often in the field of science and engineering, in increasing productivity, developing leadership skills, and gaining clarity in their passion through healthier lifestyles and better work-life balance.

Hitomi worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Rochester, New York, for over six years before moving to California. In California, she worked as a business development account manager at BioSurplus (now Copia) before transitioning into a full-time life and career coach in 2021. Hitomi has also been active in volunteering activities, which include serving as the co-chair of the sponsorship committee at Women in Bio (WIB), Southern California chapter, and as an associate director of the teleclass program at the International Coaching Federation (ICF), Los Angeles chapter. She currently offers her time to support Epistimi, a non-profit organization that teaches leadership skills to early- and mid-career women in STEMM.

What advice do you have for new business owners?

Don’t isolate yourself. Find people you can talk to, consult with, learn from, and be inspired by.