Mardine Mao is a human resources manager at the Crowne Plaza Portland Convention Center Hotel where she supports a diverse staff including newly arrived immigrants and refugees. Mardine came to the U.S. as a Cambodian refugee during the influx of refugees arriving from Southeast Asia in the early 1980s and received help from IRCO when she arrived. Her uncle, IRCO’s first executive director, helped Mardine and her mother navigate the system to ultimately become self-sufficient. Achieving the American dream was not an easy road, but Mardine was fortunate to have many programs, mentors, educators, family and friends in the community who contributed to her success in life.
Mardine pays it forward by volunteering with various nonprofit organizations. She is currently serving on the board of Golden Leaf Education Foundation, which builds schools in rural Cambodia. Her past volunteer efforts include co-chair of the Portland Human Resource Management Association Special Interest Group on diversity, inclusion, compensation and benefits; co-chair of the Cambodian, Lao, Thai New Year in the Park Entertainment Program; president of the Cambodian-American Community of Oregon; facilitator at the Asian Pacific Islander Youth Leadership Conference; and board member of Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon.