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Exploring Life & Business with Linda Nguyen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Linda Nguyen.

Hi Linda, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’ve been extremely fortunate to have great community leaders in my network who have taken a chance on me by giving me an abundance of new opportunities to delve into.

At the start of the pandemic, I made the transition from healthcare into the role of COO to launch SOUPPLY, a CPG product. At the same time, I assumed the role of Executive Director of the Dalai Lama Library & Learning Center to lead a $5M public fundraising campaign to get the center built in Ithaca, NY. A few months into the pandemic while juggling both start-up projects, I was part of the team that helped start 360 Clinic – the largest COVID-19 testing operator in Orange County – handling Branding, Marketing, PR, and Community Relations. Meanwhile, I continued my volunteer work in the local community along with starting up a youth golf program for Southern California Vietnamese Golf Alliance (SoCal VGA) in partnership with First Tee OC.

It’s been quite an eventful year! None of the above would be possible without a great team behind each project. I’m very grateful to work with such talented people who take initiative to contribute to the team.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There were definitely challenges in every project! No new endeavor is without setbacks. It’s how we navigate the obstacles that move the projects forward. That’s where it’s critically important to have team members with varying skill sets and strengths come together to resolve the issues.

SOUPPLY ran into supplier delays, 360 Clinic’s team couldn’t hire quick enough to serve the increase in COVID-19 testing demands and had to pull resources from family and friends, Dalai Lama Library & Learning Center had multiple rounds of messaging changes that delayed the campaign’s launch, and it took many months of patience and follow up to forge a partnership between SoCal VGA and First Tee OC, who had never partnered with an organization like ours before to host a program.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about SOUPPLY, Dalai Lama Library & Learning Center, and 360 Clinic?
SOUPPLY is a premium simple-prep Vietnamese pho bowl conveniently packaged with real meat and accompanying condiments. We believe in using authentic ingredients simply prepared for anyone to enjoy any time, any place — an essential for people with demanding lives. Whether in the military, college dorm room, or traveling, we provide a taste of home while away. We have a “Spread Good. Eat Pho.” charitable component in which with every bowl sold a meal is donated to a deserving neighbor.

The Dalai Lama Library & Learning Center will be a place for all – across all ages, faiths, and education levels – to think, grow, and understand – and will be a transformational hub of compassionate and humane education to help unify our increasingly divided world. The Dalai Lama’s dream is to “Spread the Seeds of Compassion and Kindness to Unite 7 Billion People Across the World.” We envision a world where we are all genuinely connected through the practice of compassion and basic human values and where our differences generate curiosity and appreciation for one another, making our lives richer and more fulfilling.

360 Clinic was the largest COVID testing operator in Orange County with supersites at Anaheim Convention Center and OC Fairgrounds along with 40+ kiosks and three vans strategically placed at community centers, senior centers, and parks to serve the local community. The operations team had two weeks to put up the first supersite and one month to set up the second supersite. The project was in partnership with the County of Orange, Orange County Health Care Agency, local municipalities, medical schools, non-profits, and small businesses that volunteered their staff’s time to help assemble test kits. The testing centers served over 400K residents with 300+ team members. Our mission was to “Stop Community Spread. Start Community Health.”

What were you like growing up?
As a young girl, I had always taken a desire towards entrepreneurship. I remember gathering items around the house and lining them up on the stairway. When my parents came home from work asking me what I was doing, I told them I was selling goods from my store.
I was a normal kid who made sure to finish my homework as soon as I got home from school so I could play in the streets with the neighborhood kids until dusk. Then I’d rush home to quickly eat dinner, shower, and then sneak in some time to play Nintendo before bedtime!

As I grew older, I developed an interest in fashion while scouring through my sister’s fashion magazines. It was only fitting that I would later study Merchandise Marketing and Cosmetics & Fragrance at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in OC and LA.

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