Colorado Proud: RTD celebrates AAPI leader Fran Campbell
Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities have historically faced significant challenges and difficulties. This community has endured many hardships, including the destruction of Denver’s Chinatown 143 years ago, the unjust internment of Japanese Americans at Camp Amache in Colorado, prejudice against South Asian and Muslim communities post-9/11, and most recently, the surge in AAPI hate and violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Asian Chamber of Commerce (ACC) was formed in 1984 to unite local communities, elevate their diverse cultures while raising awareness and protecting the economic development of Asian American businesses. The chamber places a strong emphasis on fostering cultural growth and understanding, in addition to assisting in the creation of a thriving business climate for AAPI individuals in our state.
This organization is spearheaded by Fran Campbell, an accomplished leader and Denverite. Born to Filipino immigrant parents, Campbell cares deeply about her community and has been an active leader in Denver’s AAPI community throughout her life. She runs Simsiman Family Enterprises, a minority-owned company with a 30-plus-year history, in addition to serving as the ACC's CEO and president. Campbell also served for 14 years as the Denver commissioner for both the AAPI Commission and the Immigrant & Refugee Commission.
In her role as the CEO and president of the ACC, Campbell has worked tirelessly to open doors for AAPI businesses in the community by connecting businesses to international markets and offering 200+ hours of business counseling to members to help them develop and expand their businesses. The ACC focuses on outreach through events in the Denver area, as well as giving presentations on diversity and inclusion. Campbell was most notably awarded the Denver Foundation Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award; the Martin Luther King Social Responsibility Award; and Asian American Hero Award from Asian Avenue Magazine.
It is clear how passionate Campbell is about the AAPI community in Colorado through her work with the ACC and beyond. When looking at the future of AAPI businesses in Colorado, Campbell enthusiastically writes to her members, “I’m looking forward to looking forward with you – it’s the only direction we can go!”