Houston's Asian American Journeys: Donna Fujimoto Cole
Produced in partnership with the University of St. Thomas MAX Studios and Yetter Coleman LLP
Donna Fujimoto Cole has made many contributions to the city of Houston, serving as a leader in the chemical industry and the Asian American community. Guided by her belief in advocating for civil rights, community organizing, and the power of mentoring, Donna shares her insights on overcoming hardship, coming to terms with identity, and finding moral courage during difficult times.
On Creating Community:
On Speaking Up:
About Donna Fujimoto Cole
Donna Fujimoto Cole, Pres/CEO of Cole Chemical & Distributing, Inc., founded the company in 1980, at the age of 27 with $5000, divorced, with a four year old daughter. After working for Goldking Chemical for four years and owning 3 percent of the company, the partners started del Rey Chemical International where Ms. Cole was named VP Sales and a 26 percent owner. Subsequently DuPont, Exxon, Monsanto and Shell encouraged Donna to start her own business because they appreciated the responsiveness, honesty, market intelligence and sourcing in short supply. Ms. Cole has experience with start ups, joint ventures, acquisitions and divestures in the chemical manufacturing, distribution, warehousing and packaging areas. Cole Chemical's revenues are in excess of $80 million supplying chemicals, synthetic lubricants, fuels and specialty chemicals with supply chain management services to the aerospace, automotive, refineries, petrochemical, specialty chemical plants, personal care, and electric utility industries. In 2009, Houston Woman Magazine named Donna one of Houston's 50 most influential women.
About Houston's Asian American Journeys
In partnership with the University of St. Thomas MAX Studios, Asia Society Texas presents a new video series, Houston's Asian American Journeys. Through short video interviews with local Asian Americans, the series illuminates the voices that make up a vital part of the most diverse city in the U.S.
Featuring Houstonians who reflect the richness and diversity of the local Asian American communities, the series highlights a variety of experiences, cultures, religions, and ethnicities and explores themes of identity, memory, and shared humanity. In sharing these personal journeys, Asia Society Texas and the University of St. Thomas seek to build empathy and connectivity between people, as well as deepen our collective understanding of Asian American experiences in Houston.
About the University of St. Thomas
The University of St. Thomas is a comprehensive university, grounded in the liberal arts. Committed to the unity of all knowledge, we offer programs in the traditional liberal arts, professional, and skill-based disciplines. Graduates of the University of St. Thomas think critically, communicate effectively, succeed professionally and lead ethically.
By pursuing excellence in teaching, scholarship and service, we embody and instill in our students the core values of our founders, the Basilian Fathers: goodness, discipline and knowledge. We foster engagement in a diverse, collaborative community, and our student body reflects the rich diversity of the city itself. We welcome undergraduate and graduate students of all faiths and of no faith.
About UST Max Studios
In his lifetime, St. Maximilian Kolbe founded and ran a radio station and several publications. It is in this tradition that University of St. Thomas – Houston steps into the realm of digital content creation through MAX Studios. Inspired by St. Maximilian’s passion and emboldened by St. John Paul II’s words in his encyclical “Redemptoris Missio,” MAX Studios’ goal is to provide fresh monthly content and conversation. MAX Studios aims to encounter the surrounding culture while highlighting the diversity of the Catholic Faith Tradition.
About Asia Society Texas
Asia Society Texas believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating the vibrant diversity of Asia, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community — trusting in the power of art, dialogue, and ideas to combat bias and build a more inclusive society.