Linda Nguyen is the COO of SOUPPLY and former VP of Community Relations for 360 Clinic. She strives to cultivate relationships with various organizations and partner agencies to foster collaborative opportunities to serve the community.
Passionate about giving back, Linda supports organizations such as Orange County United Way, Girls Inc., and OC Drive. As Executive Director, she is currently leading the fundraising efforts to complete the building of the Dalai Lama Library and Learning Center in Ithaca, New York. She devotes her community service to support small businesses, serving on the board of the National Association of Asian American Professionals Orange County (NAAAP-OC) in addition to serving as Chair of Charitable Giving for Southern California Vietnamese Golf Alliance (SoCal VGA). She is a past Board Member of the Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce (VACOC) and Asian Business Association of Orange County (ABAOC) along with serving as past Ambassador for Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County (FACCOC).
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Thank you so much for giving us your time! Before we begin, could you introduce yourself to our readers and take us through what exactly your company does and what your vision is for its future?
Linda Nguyen: SOUPPLY (soup-lee) is a modern premium soup company dedicated to preserving the essence of traditional flavors — perfected by our past generations — in one convenient, elevated package with real shelf-stable meat. We believe in using quality ingredients simply prepared for anyone to enjoy any time, any place — an essential for people with demanding lives.
SOUPPLY was founded by friends who yearned for authentic Vietnamese pho when traveling abroad for extended periods. Growing homesick thousands of miles away from Vietnam, the idea for a premium simple-prep pho bowl with real meat that can be conveniently enjoyed any time and any place came to mind. We are excited to introduce new soups in the near future that will take you on a cultural journey.
In remaining true to our founders’ charitable nature and promises to uplift our community, we donate to national organizations to nourish our underserved communities.
NO child ever says I want to be a CEO/entrepreneur when I grow up. What did you want to be and how did you get where you are today?
Linda Nguyen: Growing up I was always fascinated by the fashion industry. It must be from all the fashion magazines I scoured in my early years. I wanted to be a buyer so I went to FIDM to major in Merchandise Marketing. I started my career as a Fashion Stylist and Makeup Artist. In order to appease my family’s desire for me to work in something more stable, I tried working government and corporate jobs before landing in healthcare in which I remained for a majority of my professional career.
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.
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.
Tell us something about yourself that others in your organization might be surprised to know.
Linda Nguyen: I’m an 80’s music fan – especially New Wave!
Many readers may wonder how to become an entrepreneur but what is an entrepreneur? How would you define it?
Linda Nguyen: An entrepreneur is a risk-taker – one whose passion outweighs their desire for financial security. They must be great multi-taskers as they will juggle multiples roles before hiring in-house or outsourcing talent when profits allow. Entrepreneurs must be able to identify their weaknesses and hire accordingly in order to scale.
What is the importance of having a supportive and inclusive culture?
Linda Nguyen: Humans are social animals – we all want to be included, supported, and recognized among our peers. It’s important to support a team member’s personal and professional development as well as including them in various projects by obtaining their input and feedback on projects.
How can a leader be disruptive in the post covid world?
Linda Nguyen: Look at data on consumer habits to make business predictions for the years to come. Allow a hybrid work environment to give team members opportunities for socialization and team collaboration as well as independent work while implementing metrics to measure performance.
If a 5-year-old asked you to describe your job, what would you tell them?
Linda Nguyen: Every day is never the same. I’m making decisions on last-minute requests that come up and unexpected obstacles that arise. Exciting goals are met and new opportunities arise. I’m delegating new tasks to team members daily. I wouldn’t change a thing. I love the roller coaster of emotions!
Leaders are usually asked about their most useful qualities but let’s change things up a bit. What is your most useless talent?
Linda Nguyen: I can roll my tongue and cross my eyes. Haha!
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, we do have one more question. If you wrote a book about your life until today, what would the title be?
Linda Nguyen: “Bring It On!”
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Linda Nguyen for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Linda Nguyen or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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