PromoKitchen Podcast: Diversity in the Promotional Products Industry - Anti-Asian Racism

In this moving and powerful podcast hosted by Promo Kitchen's Chef Kate Plummer, our President Kathy Cheng is joined with Cindy Tsuji, Kathy DiFrancesco and Michelle Chen to talk about anti-Asian racism, how it has personally and professionally effected them.

They also share how others can help and what our next steps need to be.

To learn more about the rise of anti-Asian racism, here are some resources:


Cindy Tsuji, Image Source
A Senior Account Executive with Image Source in Kirkland, WA. 2.5 generation Japanese American. Proud daughter of a gardener and seamstress, born and raised in San Diego. Been in the industry 5 years. Committed to see a more diverse and inclusive Promo Industry of the future.

Kathy Cheng, WS & Co. dba Redwood Classics Apparel
Kathy Cheng is the President of WS & Co., one of Canada’s leading full-service apparel manufacturers. She is also the founder of WS & Co.’s in-stock apparel line, Redwood Classics Apparel, which provides promotional and retail distributors with trending garments that are handcrafted in North America.
2020 has been a milestone year. Kathy was named on Inc. Magazine’s 100 Female Founders List for 2020 and was awarded the CAMSC Special Recognition Award for her philanthropic work and inclusive local procurement during COVID19. She was also recognized for her significant contributions in Supplier Diversity, receiving the WBE President’s Award, and the LGBTQ+ Ambassador of the Year Award.

Kathy was honored with the WBE Accelerator Award in 2017, was a recipient of MBE Magazine’s “MBEs Who Rock” Awards in 2016 and honored by CAMSC as the 2015 Supplier of the Year. In 2016, Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI) presented Kathy with the prestigious Counselor Supplier Woman of Distinction Award for her positive mark in the industry through her business acumen and leadership abilities. In 2014, Kathy was also one of three Canadians inducted into The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program, a North American competition and executive leadership program. In 2013, she won a position on the Women’s Executive Network’s list of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada.

As a diverse certified supplier of CAMSC (Canadian Aboriginal Minority Supplier Council), WBE Canada (Women’s Business Enterprises Canada) and WE Connect International, Kathy is on the Board of Directors for CAMSC, served on the WBE Canada Supplier Advisory Council Member, and is an Ambassador for CGLCC (Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce).

Kathy DiFrancesco, Snugz USA
Kathy DiFrancesco is the VP of Sales with top 40 supplier SnugZ USA, llc and recently moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. She has been in the industry for 14 years with a foundation in sales, marketing and product development working for retail brands and manufacturers. Kathy is a dynamic leader who believes in the importance of building strong teams with a focus on personal development, overcoming obstacles, and staying positive. She has served on WLC and L.E.A.D. as well as a dedicated volunteer with The Soka Gakkai International for the last 12 years, an organization committed to developing capable people through study, practice, leadership training, and altruism.

Michelle Chen, Fossa
Michelle Is the co-founder and Sales Director of Fossa Apparel, a Women/Minority owned company in the Bay Area that focuses on creating fashion driven, retail quality apparel.

She is a first generation immigrant. Her family moved to the US from Taiwan in hopes of a better life. Through perseverance and the help from many industry colleagues and customers, Fossa is now a recognized brand and a reputable company in the promotional industry. She is constantly driven by the meaningful relationships she has built and continue to build with the amazing people of this industry. It takes effort to understand their individual needs, but when she does, she creates an advocate for life. In her spare time, I like to spin and spend time with my family.