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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Recognized as one of the "Best Companies for Asian Pacific Americans"


Retailer celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander Americans throughout Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and beyond
BENTONVILLE, Ark., May 2008 – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced that it has been named one of the “Best Companies for Asian Pacific Americans” by Asian Enterprise magazine, the largest Asian-American small business-focused publication in the country.

“Our commitment to serving the Asian and Pacific Islander American community is rooted in our belief that diversity is a business imperative, as well as the right thing to do,” said Esther Silver-Parker, senior vice president, diversity relations for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “From our internal supplier diversity initiatives to our external community partnerships; we continue to look for ways to broaden our efforts to support the APIA community. We are honored to be recognized by Asian Enterprise for our ongoing work and dedication to being the best company we can be for all of our associates, customers and communities we serve.”

Created in 1998, Asian Enterprise’s “Best Companies for Asian Pacific Americans” award recognizes FORTUNE 500 companies that create innovative initiatives to include Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, as well as other people of color in their corporate culture. Wal-Mart was specifically recognized by the publication for its continued commitment to the small business community and contributions to the APA community. As one of the largest private employers in the country, Wal-Mart employs more than 39,000 Asian Americans and more than 5,000 Pacific Islander Americans, and has established internal initiatives and programs to ensure that it supports diversity at all levels of the company.

“Wal-Mart continues to be a strong private sector advocate for Asian Pacific Americans,” said Willy Borromeo, co-publisher of Asian Enterprise. “On behalf of the APA small business community, we are thrilled to recognize Wal-Mart as one of the ‘Best Companies for Asian Pacific Americans.’ We are also proud to honor Esther Silver Parker, Wal-Mart senior vice president of diversity Relations, as our ‘Special Advocate of the Year.’ We want to congratulate Wal-Mart and its associates for these outstanding achievements.”

Wal-Mart’s commitment extends beyond its stores and into the communities it serves. As the country celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, Wal-Mart served as the presenting sponsor of the inaugural South Asian Excellence Awards on May 10, 2008. This was the first ever, globally televised event recognizing outstanding achievers and celebrities in multiple fields of expertise from the South Asian American communities. Also this month, the Wal-Mart Foundation will present the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) with a $150,000 grant to further the organization’s effort to support and encourage all APIA students to pursue higher education by awarding scholarships. Wal-Mart has supported APIASF since its inception in 2003. In fact, the retailer is one of the founding corporate partners of the fund.

Wal-Mart will also sponsor this month’s “Yielding the Floor: An Oral History Screening Project” interview with former Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta, the first representative of APIA decent to hold a federal cabinet post. Established by the Capitol Historical Society, “Yielding the Floor” was created to record members of Congress reliving their memories of people, places and events in the Capitol. In 2007, Wal-Mart provided the Capitol Historical Society with a program grant to capture the experiences and recollections of elected and appointed APIA leaders to serve as a public record of their distinguished government service.

As a retailer of choice, Wal-Mart strives to meet the unique needs of its neighbors, including the APIA community. The company provides APIA customers with essential products and brands that are staples of the traditional Asian diet and lifestyle through its more than 300 Asian-traited “Stores of the Community.” These stores utilize locally relevant store designs and a merchandise mix that reflects diverse customers in areas with large APIA populations.

Wal-Mart further serves the APIA community through its partnerships with several national organizations and financial assistance to support causes important to the community. These organizations include the U.S. Pan-Asian Chamber of Commerce, Committee of 100, and Asian Women in Business, among others.


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