From racism to success: the inspiring journey of Chinese American Ron Lau

Robert J Hansen
Ron LauPhoto by(Courtesy of Veital)

First-generation Chinese American Ron Lau, hailing from a predominantly white neighborhood in Michigan, has faced discrimination and racism throughout his life and career. 

Growing up, Lau noted the scarcity of Asian kids in his community, with only one other Asian child at his school.

Early experiences of racism left a lasting impact, as he was physically assaulted and subjected to racial slurs during his elementary and middle school years.

Lau's father and stepmother adhered to the philosophy of keeping a low profile and embracing the model minority stereotype. However, Ron rejected this approach upon graduating from high school, refusing to accept the mistreatment he endured. When his family moved to another town, he encountered theft, physical altercations, and discrimination solely based on his Chinese heritage. 

These experiences compelled him to push back against the injustice he faced, unwilling to tolerate such treatment any longer.

“Even as an adult, I continue to encounter prejudice,” Lau said.

 When attempting to make purchases on the Facebook marketplace, he often faces indifference and disregard. 

Currently residing in Colorado, he works remotely as a tech consultant, providing business and operations consulting services. Lau describes his work as that of a "business therapist," visualizing processes and implementing improvements remotely, a skill he developed even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lau's father, who arrived in the United States at the age of 19, had a contrasting experience. Though he refrained from joining gangs in San Francisco, he adopted their appearance to deter confrontation. Ron's upbringing was marked by financial struggle, as his mother passed away when he was seven, leaving his blue-collar working father to provide for the family wherever he could find employment. 

“From the age of eleven, I had to work to support myself, fostering a sense of self-reliance instilled by my father,”

Lau said.

A thirst for knowledge and skills propelled Lau's quest for self-improvement. During Salvation Army's book sales, he would buy numerous books for just ten cents each, devouring their contents voraciously. 

“By the time I turned 18, I had read over 5,000 books, nurturing a hunger for learning and personal growth that my schools could not provide,” Lau said.

At 18, Lau secured employment at a plastics factory, initially as a machine operator. However, his exceptional performance led to a promotion to material handler within two days. 

He completed the training process in half the expected time and successfully passed additional tests, earning him a pay increase. Later, while working at a major automaker's manufacturing plant, Lau was fired for his "overachieving" performance. 

The company was suffering substantial losses due to faulty parts and inefficient processes. When management sought suggestions from employees, Lau proposed a solution after a month of observing the operations.

“My suggestion, while effective, put the plant manager in an unfavorable light, leading to my dismissal before I could secure the positions that upper management had been considering me for,” Lau said.

Throughout his career, Lau said he has worked for various companies and has clients worldwide. Recently, he joined Veital Nutrition, a nutraceutical company, to assist with the launch of its new brand, Body Brew. 

Evan Dameshek, the company's founder, said this of his first interaction with Mr.Lau. “Ron was recommended for his broad technical ability, but it was his speed that caught our attention and initial concern as we’d not met him in person.  

We confirmed he’s real, as are his abilities, which I’m sure were forged in the struggles he’s had to deal with,” Dameshek said. “We’re thrilled to have him and appreciate him sharing his story.”

Lau's journey serves as a testament to his determination and resilience in overcoming racism and discrimination. 

His experiences have shaped him into a highly skilled professional, ready to make a significant impact on the success of Veital Nutrition and its new product line, Body Brew.

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Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Focused on holding elected officials, police and the courts accountable to the people throughout the greater Sacramento area.

Sacramento County, CA

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