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AAPI Heritage Month Employee Feature: Daniel Tsuei, Account Executive of Membership Sales

by Sam Perley

Throughout the month of May, hornets.com will be highlighting employees across different departments within the organization in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. 

Describe what you do with the Charlotte Hornets organization.

“My official title is ‘Account Executive, Membership Sales’, so I’m on the new business, revenue-generating side of the front office. I work really closely with fans, families, and companies. If they want to come out to games, they go through me and I help make those dreams come true. I assist them with seating locations, package availabilities, and inform them on the special benefits they get by working through us. It’s been a great ride so far, working in sports and being a part of this wonderful organization. Being able to talk about basketball all day with fans and calling this my job has been an experience that is second to none. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true when they say ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’” 

What experience(s) have had the most significant impact on your career in sports?

“Coming into Charlotte, my first game as a Hornets employee was the tribute to Kobe Bryant after he unfortunately passed away early last year. It was really touching to see how everyone came out from all different fanbases to honor Kobe for everything he had done for the NBA and the game of basketball. I thought that was a special moment and it made me proud of where I am right now professionally, to be working for an NBA team as it’s a really close community that I’m appreciative of.”  

What does AAPI Heritage Month mean to you?

“It definitely means the world to me. Both my Mom and Dad are originally from Taiwan. I was also born there and moved to the United States when I was just four years old. Growing up as an Asian American in the US, AAPI Heritage month always had great significance to me as we are a relatively large group, but quite often, an underappreciated one. AAPI communities have made major contributions to the United States whether it’s through their voices, activism, skills, food, fashion, music and much more. It’s great that we can all come together and celebrate our history and all of Asian excellence that has occurred in the country throughout the years.” 

“As an Asian American and Pacific Islander, it’s essential to educate ourselves over our own rights and history. That is the foundation of where everything comes from, so it’s crucial to educate yourselves, celebrate success and support one another. I know a lot has been going on throughout the past year or so, making AAPI Heritage month more important than ever.”

How do you see yourself as a role model in the AAPI community?

“Naturally, I try to hold myself to the highest standards in everything I do. I always try to exceed my own expectations and be someone that I can look at in the mirror and be proud of and people in the community can look up to. At the end of the day, I want the younger generations to see that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it and try to be the best version of yourself every day.” 

Who are the most influential AAPI role models in your life?

“The first thing that comes to my head in terms of influential role models is my family. I could not have accomplished what I have so far in life without them. They’ve allowed me to follow my dreams and given me the right amount of push and support to end up where I am today.”

“I also first got into basketball because of NBA Player Jeremy Lin. Growing up like many Asian Americans, no one really knew that you could play basketball, be good at it, or yet alone make it into the industry. He was one of the first to break the barrier, defied all odds and proved that you can do whatever you want with hard work and believing in yourself. On top of that, he has been a strong voice in the AAPI community, constantly fighting for social justice. Seeing his success has given me a lot of confidence that I can do the same, but on the business side of the league.”

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