By Samantha Pak
Northwest Asian Weekly
Theresa Pan Hosley has always been actively involved in her community.
Whether serving the Pike Place Market Foundation in caring for the Pike Place neighborhood in Seattle or on the board of Bates Technical College in Tacoma, she sees it as her duty to give back.
“It’s part of my civil responsibility as a member of the community,” Hosley said. “I’m passionate about helping people.”
It is because of this passion that has been named one of Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation’s Top Contributors to the Asian Community.
Hosley is being honored for her work with the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation — a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 and dedicated to educating people about Tacoma’s expulsion of Chinese immigrant workers in 1885.
In addition to educating the public, the CRPF’s goals include promoting and celebrating cultural diversity and setting a reconciliation example for other communities nationwide that have had similar events in their histories. The foundation’s main goal, however, is working with the city of Tacoma in designing and constructing the four-acre Chinese Reconciliation Park and International Pavilion located at 1741 North Schuster Parkway.
Hosley has been the president of the foundation since its inception and, as Lotus Perry states, “committed to this project from the very start.” Perry, an instructor at the University of Puget Sound in the Asian Studies Program, serves as a member of the CRPF board.
“I met Theresa about 20 years ago, working on the Tacoma Garden and Chinese Reconciliation Park project back in the early 90s,” Perry said. “She has emerged not only as an unflagging supporter of the park project but as an active community and local business leader who has built a wide network in the Puget Sound area.”
Perry said the CRPF’s accomplishments have been due to Hosley’s vision and determination. Hosley has worked to bring everyone in the community on board with the project, talking to city officials, state policymakers, schools, neighborhood committees, and more.
Because of Hosley’s strong commitment to the community, Perry was not surprised to learn that she was named a Top Contributor.
“She truly deserves it,” Perry said. “In addition to her work with the CRPF, Theresa has been a long-time supporter of the local Chinese schools, community colleges, and has served on the boards of many other nonprofit organizations. She represents a strong voice for the Asian community in the Puget Sound area.”
Suzanne Wilson Barnett agrees with Perry. Barnett, who is an active, unofficial CRPF board member, met Hosley in 1992, just as the reconciliation project began. She said that in the years that she has known her, Hosley has only reinforced Barnett’s initial impression of her as a bright and concerned citizen who stays focused on the goals in mind.
Like Perry, Barnett feels that Hosley’s Top Contributors award is not surprising and is well deserved.
“While I am not a part of the local Asian community, early in my association with Theresa, I became aware of her commitment to, and leadership of, the effort to sustain a Saturday Chinese school for children in Tacoma,” Barnett said. “Theresa is something of an executive dynamo, and when the community is involved, she helps to make things happen.”
While Barnett and Perry weren’t surprised about her nomination, the same cannot be said about Hosley herself.
“I was surprised to learn about the nomination,” she said. “Personally, I think there are a lot more people who deserve it more than me.”
Hosley was born in Taiwan and moved to western Washington in 1977. She has lived in Tacoma since 1979. She has been the owner of Associate Travel and Marco Polo Tours in the Chinatown-International District since 1999 — after her first husband died. The business, which is a wholesaler for airline tickets, keeps her quite busy and she often travels to Asia for work. But this does not deter Hosley from getting involved in her community. Somehow, she manages all her responsibilities.
“I don’t mind (the additional responsibilities),” she said. “I think it’s important to the community. And with so much going on in her life, Hosley makes sure to use her time off wisely. She likes to travel for pleasure, exercise, and garden. But what she likes to do most is just relax.
“When I have down time, I want to stay home,” Hosley said. “I’d rather stay home and do nothing.” ♦
Samantha Pak can be reached at email@example.com.