Wilmar Suan celebrated as Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Game Changers honoree

Great Lakes Regional Chair of National Federation of Filipino American Associations prioritizes civic engagement, advancing Filipino culture

May 20th, 2024

DETROIT -- Wilmar Suan was pursuing a career as a certified public accountant (CPA) when his wife, Flormina, accepted a nursing job in Detroit, leading to the couple moving from the Philippines to the United States in 1995.

Suan said while he was excited to start a new life in Michigan, he was nervous of the unknown.

“I didn’t know anybody, but I first worked as an accountant at the nursing home where my wife used to work,” Suan said. “After I passed my CPA exam, I worked for a small business. But when the Great Recession hit, I realized I really wanted to have my own business.”

Since moving to metro Detroit, Suan has founded three companies: accounting firm Suan & Company, human resources consulting company HR Alliance and behavioral health analyst company Therapy Research Autism Center.

But when Suan is not working, he is making a positive difference in the community.

“I learned there are great needs here, especially in the areas of mental health,” Suan said. “Serving my Filipino community here has been a blessing.”

Suan currently serves as the Great Lakes Regional Chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), the largest national affiliation of Filipino American institutions, umbrella organizations and individuals.

Since 1997, NaFFAA has promoted the welfare of the approximately 4 million Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the nonprofit organization has 15 member regions that help individuals gather locally to develop relationships and share community-building ideas.

“[Filipinos] have a presence over here,” Suan said. “We are all making contributions to our community in our own ways and making a difference.”

Suan is the second of four honorees to be recognized during Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month as part of the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers Game Changers series, presented by Comerica Bank.

“Unwavering in his commitment to the Filipino community, Wilmar’s passion for making a positive impact on the lives of others is what the Game Changers series is all about,” Ilitch Sports + Entertainment director of community impact Kevin Brown said. “Outside of having a successful CPA business, Wilmar leverages his position in the community to inspire advocacy, civic engagement and advancement of Filipino culture locally and abroad.”

Suan said being named a Game Changers honoree is an incredible privilege that motivates him to keep giving back to the community.

“I was so unprepared when I got the call that I was being named an honoree,” Suan said. “I’m very thankful. This award will help showcase the Filipino community and all we do here.”

To learn more about the mission and values of NaFFAA, click here.