Dennis Yao Yu
Ascend N. California - Member
Dennis Yao Yu is a revenue leader within the e-commerce technology industry with 15+ years of experience creating business strategies and overseeing growth functions and managing teams for companies from startups to large corporations.
He is currently the Merchant Success Team Leader at Shopify under the revenue team that empowers entrepreneurs. Before joining Shopify, he spent two years at the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business as the Associate Director for Global Supply Chain Management. Prior, he served as the Head of Business Development at Art.com and helped the company successfully exit by selling its operation to Walmart.
Dennis graduated from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) with an undergraduate degree in Economics. He received his Executive MBA from USC.
Current Residence: Redwood Shores, California
Birthplace: Taipei, Taiwan
What do you appreciate most about being a member of Ascend?
I have very much enjoyed the community and the camaraderie that comes with being a part of Ascend. Being an AAPI business leader is often a lonely road to navigate, especially given the dynamics of the bamboo ceiling and model minority myth. Having a community of people who not only understand each other, but also resonate and support each other, is invaluable.
What is one important lesson you’ve learned through Ascend?
In the challenging time that we are in with the rise of Asian Hate, it is important for the community to work together to address issues that impact our identity and every single part of our lives – from workplace micro-aggressions to belonging to mental health to social rights.
What advice would you give members to help leverage the power of Ascend?
Like many things in life, the best way to build genuine relationships is to give and to give without the expectation of return.
What do you value about your cultural heritage and why?
I value the complexity of our culture. We are not a monolith and our cultural influences are evident across various industries, from finance to healthcare to technology to hospitality. As part of the Asian diaspora, we are the majority population of the world and it is our time to shine by showing up with our authentic selves.
Is there a public figure you admire? Tell us who and why.
Growing up, there weren’t many AAPI public figures. The one who broke the barrier of the Asian stereotype and influenced the way I conduct my own life is Bruce Lee. Bruce was more than just a fantastic actor and craftsman in martial arts. He was a deep philosopher. The way Taoism served as the foundation for his life, has also served how I try to live mine. Be like water.
What’s something most folks don’t know about you?
Taco Bell used to be my favorite place to go and I could eat 10 hard shell tacos in one seating
Connect with Dennis Yao Yu on LinkedIn.
Dennis as guest MBA class lecturer at his alma mater, USC. Fight on!
Dennis in Los Angeles’ Chinatown, posing in front of the Bruce Lee statue.