By Elaine Dunn
It’s been long-time coming that someone who has played a critical connective-tissue role in the local Chinese community be recognized for his contribution. On Sept. 9, Greg Hugh, co-founder and publisher of China Insight, received the Outstanding Service Award at the Council on Asia Pacific Minnesotans Dinner held at the Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center.
The award recognizes someone from the community who has “made significant contributions to the Asian Pacific Minnesotan community.”
In his acceptance speech, Hugh said, “The U.S.-China relationship is currently one of the most complex bilateral relationship for the United States. Over the last 30 years, Sino-American relations have undergone an impressive transformation from animosity and conflict to candid dialogue and constructive cooperation … Although there is not too much we can do to change whatever trajectory is in motion, the Chinese community needs to become more proactive and become more involved as citizens by getting involved in politics, charitable giving and other activities to shatter the “model minority” label and work together instead as factions within their own communities. We need to get young people involved in organizations of all kinds that can benefit the API communities.”
Hugh, is the son of Chinese immigrants. He was born, raised and in Chicago’s Chinatown, attending parochial school. He and moved to Minneapolis in 1969. In 1975, he quit the corporate world to satisfy his entrepreneurial calling. Along with wife Linda, Hugh Enterprises managed a food concession at Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport until 2017. He continues doing consulting work.
Hugh has spent his career dedicated to increasing the recognition of the Chinese American community and, in 2001, started China Insight, the only English language American newspaper to focus exclusively on business and cultural connections between the U.S. and China.
Always opting for “low profile,” Hugh was happy to play many important behind-the scene roles, from helping with set-up at community events to helping with organizing events to working n fund-raising campaigns. Fully supportive of events and efforts of the Chinese community in the Twin Cities, he has often provided free and drastically reduced rates for advertising from local Chinese and Asian organizations.
Hugh has also served as chair of the Chinese Heritage Foundation Friends’ Board. He played a leadership role in the St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship and traveled with the official Minneapolis delegation to Harbin to celebrate the (Minneapolis) sister city relation. He appreciates his family’s support in his China Insight project for the past 21 years and plans to continue advocating for Minnesota’s API communities. He also acknowledged that much of the success of ChinaInsight is attributed to its dedicated staff that mostly has been with him for over fifteen years.