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Meet Local Hero Nominee: Tam Nguyen and Nailing It For America Leadership Team

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Tam Nguyen smiles in a suit and tie

Nominee Name: Tam Nguyen & Leadership Team
Organization/Business: Nailing It For America
Title: Founding Volunteer Leader
Website: Nailing It USA Facebook page
Nominators: Laarni Rosca Dacanay and Alexander C. Kim

“Tam Nguyen and the core leadership team for Nailing It For America stood up to anti-Asian racism, worked to correct the inaccurate claim that community spread of COVID-19 in California started at a nail salon and helped finalize safety guidelines for reopenings of nail salons. They countered the misperception of the ‘Asian virus’ itself with positive community outreach and volunteer actions to help healthcare and essential front-line workers during COVID-19.”

— Laarni Rosca Dacanay and Alexander Kim, Nominators

About Tam Nguyen and Nailing It For America

Tam Nguyen is the Orange County United Way’s board vice-chair and president of Advance Beauty College, an accredited beauty academy founded by his parents when they immigrated to California after the fall of Saigon in 1975. Now run by Nguyen and his sister Linh, Advance Beauty College was hit hard by California’s necessary Stay At Home response to this spring’s COVID-19 surge. But when it was announced that the first community spread of the virus started at a nail salon without any other details, Tam Nguyen, Johnny Ngo, Ted Nguyen, Christie Nguyen, Hallie Duong and other leaders in the beauty and nail industry believed it was time to speak up. The next day Nguyen held a press conference and a new organization, Nailing It For America, was born to represent the nail care industry in California. The organization has been involved in finalizing safety guidelines for the reopening of nail salons throughout Southern California, and has become an advocacy group for correcting inaccurate information being spread across the industry. Nguyen and the organization collaborated with other regional leaders and community resources to donate more than 1.2 million items of personal protective equipment worth more than $30 million to hospitals, senior-care centers, homeless shelters and other facilities. The effort also provided more than 52,000 restaurant meals to healthcare workers and other front-line employees throughout Southern California and across the U.S.

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