About Us

PAVE NC (Pan-Asian Voices and Experiences of North Carolina) is a nonpartisan, volunteer-led initiative created to educate by sharing real stories and experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islanders in N.C. and provide a platform to connect AAPI communities so that they may collaborate with and support each other.

The Details

Each week in May, we will feature local Asian Americans as part of this new storytelling series to elevate our voices and tell a broad array of personal experiences. Among those to be introduced in May is a fascinating local couple who run their own dental practice together, a downtown restaurant owner with an innovative vision, and an admirable Greensboro native whose work with NCAAT (NC Asian Americans Together) fosters community among Asian Americans and allies statewide. The series will continue with an ongoing monthly feature starting in June. 

To ensure access, we are self-funding all content creation associated with each story and are donating it for free use. We encourage schools, nonprofits, businesses, places of worship, and organizations to share, leverage, and utilize this content as a means to build awareness and demonstrate commitment in standing against AAPI hate. 

The “open source” content for each interviewee includes: an article featuring their personal story, professional photography, a summary video, the whole interview video via Zoom and the podcast version. For more information, go to the Stories section.

To volunteer as a future featured interviewee or as a creative, or become a sponsor, please scroll down and tell us more about your interest.

For questions, to share feedback or start a conversation, you can reach us at [email protected] or at @panasianvoices.

With the upcoming Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May, we’ve been reflecting on how the Asian population is the fastest growing ethnicity in the USA and North Carolina, and that there have been almost 4,000 reported attacks on Asian Americans across the country in the last year, of which more than two-thirds have been on women, due to racial bias associated with COVID (see references like the “China virus” and the “Kung flu.”) Additionally, the pandemic has been particularly stressful for Asian business owners, who have suffered the largest losses overall across the country. 

Given this current landscape, we as co-producers, along with a host of hugely talented collaborators and interviewees locally, feel compelled to pool our skills and resources as a 100% volunteer endeavor and focus on what we can contribute in an educational effort to facilitate awareness, understanding, and change. Collectively, we are proud to introduce the Pan-Asian Voices and Experiences of NC (PAVE NC) initiative. Our goal is to help frame the narrative around the positives by sharing real stories through the lens of local Asian Americans and paving a path forward to conversations in our community

Most importantly, thank you to all of our collaborators, interviewees, and community friends thus far for your generous support, encouragement, and engagement.

Our Team


Christie Soper
Co-Producer, PAVE NC

Christie is currently the co-founder of Maunaleo Ventures, Inc., a company dedicated to accelerating success for women, veterans, and other minority business owners in start-up or growth phases through strategic consulting and nontraditional access to funding. 

A veteran of Fortune 200, mid-sized, and start-up organizations, Christie is a versatile, entrepreneurial, and results-oriented executive with 25 years of leadership experience in strategy, sales and marketing, human resources, project and portfolio management, and digital business/technology. 

Christie holds an Elon University MBA, a Master’s Certificate in IT Project Management from The George Washington University, and a Diversity Management Certificate from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR). She is also certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and in Change Management by Prosci.

An avid advocate of her community, Christie has served on boards for Elon University’s Doherty Center for Entrepreneurship, the GreenHill Center for NC Art, Triad Local First, Children’s Home Society and the Greensboro Children’s Museum. She has also volunteered for numerous roles including as a panelist, co-founder, or planning committee member for girls’ leadership, women’s, and Asian American organizations.

When not planning unforgettable getaways around the world, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Dave, their four children, two grandsons and the furry master of their universe, Miles. 

Tina Firesheets
Co-Producer, PAVE NC

Tina started her career in journalism with her high school newspaper, then served as editors for the campus newspapers of both colleges she attended.

She was a journalist at the Greensboro News & Record for nearly 15 years, covering education, local government, community news and business. She most enjoyed her years as a feature writer for a national award-winning features section.

She was also the founding editor of 1808: Greensboro’s Magazine, published by the Greensboro News & Record. While she was its editor, the magazine received North Carolina Press Association and Society of Professional Journalists awards in the Best Niche publications categories.

Currently, she is an associate creative director at Pace Communications. A lover of writing and creativity, she’s happy to be a founding Co-Producer for PAVE NC



Patrick Miranda

Patrick Miranda

Graphic Artist

Where are you from?
I’m from Quezon City, Philippines. So always been a city kid, NC is still an adjustment, too much space!
When did you come to the US?
I was in my late teens, over 2 decades ago.
What inspires you artistically?
I can never tell. It’s just being open to what happens in life. Because I work in a creative field, life and art and work kind of just blend together.
Fave dish?
My favorite dish is one I haven’t had in decades. It’s my mom’s version of meatloaf. She passed away when I was younger, so that recipe’s gone. My favorite Pinoy dish might be a tie between lechon regular or “kawali” (which means frying pan) or kare-kare
For fun – What’s the most “Asian” thing that you do?
My wife says it’s that I eat rice almost every meal, so that.
Sayaka Matsuoka

Sayaka Matsuoka

Managing Editor, Triad City Beat & Freelance Journalist

Sayaka Matsuoka (she/her) is a journalist who grew up at the intersection of her Japanese heritage and the suburban south. She is the managing editor for Triad City Beat, a weekly newspaper covering the Triad in NC, and is also the Diversity Chair for the Association for Alternative Newsmedia, a national organization of more than 100 news media in North America.
Using her cultural background, she focuses on issues surrounding race and identity, immigrant food culture, activist art, and cultural exchange.
Kailyn (Kailee) Akers

Kailyn (Kailee) Akers

Art Director, Upstart

Kailee is based in Raleigh, NC, and works as an Art Director at Upstart. 

Though culturally American, she has acquired a strong fondness for Korean and Asian American culture through her college experiences and travels. 

If she is not doodling for her friends, she is usually walking around international grocery stores looking for recipe inspiration. She loves watching Bob’s Burgers and anything Marvel!



Media Production


Dave is a builder, fixer, and protector of digital things. He has worked for small businesses and Fortune 200 companies across multiple industries, including financial services, manufacturing, and defense.

Dave was born in the District of Columbia but considers the Districts of North Kohala and Hamakua his spirit home. So once from the District, always from a District. Dave does not do social media or answer the phone very much, so if you want to talk to him, you will probably need to go analog… dasswhyhard!

Volunteer: Be A Creative

Are you a "creative" professional?  We have a number of ways for you to get involved. Whether you can only spare a few hours, or you want to take on a project, we will help you find the right opportunity.

Tell your story

Want to share your personal AAPI story? We’re intrigued! Introduce yourself and why you would like to be featured.

Be a sponsor

Our stories are rich, but we aren’t. We’re donating 100% of our time and resources to bring you this amazing content, so help us out here.