Immigrant Heritage Month Celebrates Success Seeking The American Dream   

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Welcome back to The Sunstone Way. 

This Sunday, June 16, is Father’s Day – clearly the second most important holiday of the year. If you don’t know what the most important holiday is, go ask your Mother! 

Welcome back to The Sunstone Way – and welcome to June! 

June is National Immigrant Heritage Month. It was designated as such to celebrate the contributions immigrants have made to our country. 

National Immigrant Heritage Month has only just arrived in our country – it was declared 10 years ago, in 2014. That might seem a bit ironic, since there is a good argument we are all immigrants unless you have Native American heritage in your blood. 

Still, considering the combative nature of recent dialog over immigration, I find it more than fitting that we take a moment to recognize how much immigrants have meant to the United States

Making History 

Immigrants, particularly first-generation immigrants, have been shaping our country for generations. While it remains true that you have to be born in the United States to become president, lots of first-generation immigrants have made a big impact on our government. For example, the first woman to serve as the U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, was born in Czechoslovakia. And perhaps the most famous Secretary of State in the last century, Henry Kissinger, immigrated from Germany before World War II to escape Nazi persecution. 

Closer to home, who can forget the time Mr. “I’ll be back” himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, served two terms as California’s governor. He is from Austria. Long Beach’s current Congressman, Robert Garcia, came to the U.S. as a young boy from Peru. And Steven Choi of Irvine immigrated from South Korea long before he served six years representing the area in the state Assembly. 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. First- and second-generation immigrants love our country, and often show it by serving. 

Big Business Impact 

Just a few years ago, the magazine Fast Company did the research to find out that 216 of the companies on the Fortune 500 list were founded by immigrants or their children. That’s up to 224 today, according to Immigration Impact

Some of those companies have changed the world. Levi Strauss made what Americans wore when they won the west. Greece’s Arianna Huffington was an internet news pioneer with the Huffington Post. Taiwanese Immigrant Jerry Yang co-founded Yahoo in 1994, and eBay was the brainchild of Pierre Omidyar from France. 

It gets bigger. Google’s co-founder, Sergey Brin is a Russian immigrant. Apple’s Steve Jobs was born here, but his father immigrated from Iran. And Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, owner of X (formerly known as Twitter) and so much more came from South Africa. 

Most important of all, our own founder John Shen found his way to America from China to launch multiple companies. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for an immigrant! 


In John’s book “Crossing The Swamp” about becoming a parallel entrepreneur, he says this: 

“The natural human drive to create one’s own life becomes very powerful for ambitious immigrants … you are propelled forward because there is no other choice. You must succeed.” 

That drive, that motivation, is something called The American Dream pretty much since there has been an America. People have been coming here in search of a better life since the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. And immigrants have been contributing to our country since that time. 

Our immigrant heritage is one of working to better ourselves and our communities through hard work and dedication to the greater good. I can’t think of a better way to define The Sunstone Way. Thanks to all the immigrants – and that means you! 

As always, remember to be a Sunstone! 

John Keisler 

CEO & Managing Partner 

Sunstone Management, Inc. 

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©Sunstone Management, Inc. 2024 

More About Sunstone Management 
Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital sponsor firm headquartered in Southern California. Identified by Financial Times as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row. In the latest Pitchbook rankings, Sunstone Management was #15 in the third quarter of 2023 nationally, and #18 in the fourth quarter.1 

  1. Rankings from Pitchbook Venture Monitor, Q3 and Q4. 

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