Published 05.01.24

LEAD empowers, inspires and helps guide Cintas’ Asian Pacific Islander employee-partners

Cintas supports and embraces its Asian Pacific Islander (API) employee-partners and communities in part through LEAD.

Cintas supports and embraces its Asian Pacific Islander (API) employee-partners and communities in part through LEAD, a Partner Business Resources Group (PBRG) that is firmly rooted in creating a supportive environment for Asian Pacific Islander partners. 

LEAD, which is an acronym for Leading & Empowering API Development, helps its members to thrive, fosters collaboration with universities and professional organizations to recruit more API employee-partners and provides resources and education on API holidays and traditions. 

The group will reach its two-year anniversary as a PBRG this fall and has seen substantial growth during this time.  

“The Asian Pacific Islander demographic is statistically the largest in the world and one of the fastest growing here at Cintas,” said Jimmy Lien, Regional Business Director at Cintas and the President of LEAD. “LEAD originally started as two unofficial groups at two different regions within Cintas, but we believed it was important to bring the two together and unite as one official PBRG.” 

The goal of LEAD is to focus on three things: build a sense of community, create a way for employee-partners to advance their career development and advance connections with partners at Cintas and organizations in the communities.  

To accomplish this, the PBRG consists of three segments: Connections, Career Development and Community. 

The first segment, Connections, consists of a Membership & Communications Committee that focuses on recruiting, onboarding new members and providing communication updates. The committee uses a variety of communication channels including “LEAD Feed” on LinkedIn, a “LEAD Story” quarterly newsletter and a “LEAD Line” which provides text updates.   

Employee-partners who join the PBRG also receive a welcome packet from the leadership council formally introducing them along with some Asian candy and snacks.  

The second segment of the PBRG, Career and Development, has a committee that is focused on helping advance employee-partners’ careers through mentorships, workshops, training and guest speakers.  

The mentorship program helps connect rising API employee-partners with veteran API leaders here at Cintas. LEAD puts on quarterly workshops where they send learning documents or sessions for virtual professional training to partners. The committee recently did one for LinkedIn, showing partners ways to recruit, post and share updates on their personal pages. 

The final segment of LEAD is Community Outreach, which includes a committee that focuses on partnering with local non-profit organizations, fostering relationships with universities and professional organizations to help recruit future API members and educating employee-partners on API holidays, traditions and stories.  

LEAD has partnered with organizations like Ascend, a Pan-Asian business organization that helps empower and develop API leaders. They are also developing a recipe book where employee-partners can share meals and the stories or history accompanying them, helping build a sense of community. They also send calendar reminders for holidays like Lunar New Year, Ramadaan, Diwali and more to help bring awareness to the vast number of API holidays. 

The organization is intentional and thoughtful, as seen through its logo design. The logo comprises five petals that together form a lotus, one of the most enduring and prolific symbols in Eastern culture. The colors were chosen based on the predominant colors found in Asian and Pacific flags, and each of the five colors represents a trait of the API culture, including prosperity, pride, luck, wisdom and strength. 

The PBRG’s mission is focused on empowering, inspiring, and developing Asian Pacific Islander Cintas employee-partners to drive total business performance and establish a supportive and inclusive environment for Asian Pacific Islanders to thrive. 

The LEAD vision is to be the top-of-mind, inclusive community for professional development, networking, and driving business performance while attracting new talent and helping Cintas continue to be ranked as a great place to work. 

While the group has seen much success and progress in its first year, LEAD and its leadership council are actively seeking opportunities to enhance their presence and reach within the organization. This effort aims to bolster support for Cintas’ diverse employee-partners, PBRGs and overall business objectives.  

“LEAD has created opportunities for our employee-partners to become mentors, connect with other rising Asian Pacific Islander leaders from all divisions and reshape the way we recruit, retain and develop our API partners,” said Lien. “I am so proud that Cintas recognizes, appreciates and celebrates the unique backgrounds of all of our partners, thus allowing us to bring our whole selves to work.”