We had the good fortune of connecting with Wendy Fong and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Wendy, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’ve always wanted to start my own business, but having a steady paycheck is so tempting. I was actually forced to go for it when I had an experience that pushed me to the edge.

From the beginning, the people who interviewed me were very clear about how the industry was male, stale, and pale (their words, not mine). They said they wanted to change, they wanted diversity, and that I was the change-maker they wanted. I felt like I won the lottery. A company that actually wants me to be who I am! Once I got in there and actually used my voice, I found the same resistance that many people of color, especially women, find. I didn’t get support for the issues that needed to be fixed. In fact, leadership ignored the issues I brought up many times. From tokenism to microaggressions to the denial of racism and retaliation, it all happened.

So, I decided I would rather work hard and enjoy the fruits of my labor than have yet another negative experience in corporate America. I do DEIB and talent optimization work in organizations so we can have better work.

What should our readers know about your business?
Chief Gigs offers fractional business leadership, organizational consulting, and team development. I help businesses and the people within them achieve optimum performance and thrive in a dynamic and diverse world.

My family immigrated to the United States when I was 8. As with most immigrant stories, we didn’t have very much. I worked hard in school and made good grades, eventually being the first in my family to get a college degree. From a very young age, I was achievement-focused. I love efficiency and solving problems.

I was in my late 20s when I started managing people. The good news is that my strengths translated to financial success for the company and I was recognized and promoted. The bad news – I was not well-equipped as a leader, nor was I given direction.

In the absence of leadership and mentorship, I put together a team of people who executed everything exactly as I said. Everyone had a place in the well-oiled machine, and I perceived that as an achievement. I didn’t invest in the GROWTH of my employees and I didn’t build trust. Unfortunately, as my team and responsibilities grew, I was pulled into too many directions. I was stressed, worked all the time, and ended up in bed for a week with migraines.

That incident taught me that I cannot control everything around me.

My leadership growth (and the hiccups along the way) helps me relate to my clients. I now use tools (like behavioral assessments) and resources to work with leaders and teams to help them get to the next level.

My work ranges from coaching leaders to improving team dynamics. At the core of it, it’s really helping people understand themselves, their coworkers, and why people do what they do.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I LOVE food, and so all activities are planned around memorable food experiences. I’m a southerner at heart, having lived in Alabama and Georgia during my formative years, so many meals are influenced by this.

Breakfast – I love Tel-Wink Grill, Breakfast Klub

Brunch – Backstreet Cafe, Boheme

Lunch – Kata Robata, Cafe Benedicte

Happy hour – Eunice, Present Company

Dinner – Hidden Omakase, anywhere in Chinatown, but some favorites are House of Bowls, Mein, Wing Kee

Hang out – Julep for fancy cocktails and a cheese plate and Space Cowboy at the Heights House Hotel on a cool night playing giant Jenga and listening to the DJ!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to give a shoutout to my husband who believed in me and encouraged me to start my own business.

Website: https://chiefgigs.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chief_gigs/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trendywendy/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.