A FEW MINUTES WITH THUY-LIEU VU OF CORE INVESTMENTS, INC.
Thuy-Lieu Vu is an Executive Assistant and Personal Assistant to Dave Pogorelc, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Core Investments, Inc. She joined the company in December 2022.
What do you actually do for Core?
It’s hard to define in couple sentences. Overall, I support Dave and Dave’s team. I focus heavily in creating time through identifying gaps and bridging it to achieve the maximum outcome in the shortest amount of time. I manage the overall administrative operations and provide support wherever is needed. Dave collaborates with multiple executives on a weekly basis. Any time Dave is working on those projects, and when any member of the team needs help in administrative logistics, I work with the individual and/or their administrative assistant if they have one to yield the best outcome for Core Investments. What I have found intriguing about working with Core Investments is that the people are very passionate about the work they do. It’s amazing to join the company and be part of the “work throughs” for a small to large organization.
Thuy-Lieu, how do you pronounce your first and last names?
Twee-liew voo is the Vietnamese pronunciation. Liew is pronounced like “view”. My family refer to me as Lieu. Thuy means waterfall and Lieu means willow tree in the Vietnamese language. I had Americanized the pronunciation during my college years, when I realized it would be easier for the general audience to say “ty-lou voo” and adapted to the environment I was living in. It’s the same reason why I add the phonetic pronunciation on my resume, to adapt and to help the general public. A lot of times when I meet new people who have Vietnamese friends or are experienced or knowledgeable about the culture, they would ask if it was pronounced “twee”, and, yes, they are correct, and I continue to give them the background of why my name is sometimes pronounced as “ty-lou”.
What did you do before Core?
I worked in the executive assistant career track for 13 years. I started at Harvard University, then a few years at Mass. General Hospital. I spent most of my time with DCAMM [the Commonwealth’s Division of Capital Management and Maintenance]. After some time, I worked in construction engineering for Life Sciences and then MIT. Life has its way of taking you places.
I really enjoy being an Executive Assistant because it allows me to help people. What’s new for me in this role is in the past I’d just do a couple of personal errands for my CEOs. This one is a little different. Dave and I work very synchronistically. The percentage switch between being an Executive and Personal Assistant can sometimes be 50-50 or switch to 60-40. Dave is a really nice guy, and he likes helping people. It makes my experience working with him pleasant. He has a lot of ideas and a great amount of experience. It challenges me to improve and allows me to continue to grow professionally.
Where did you go to school?
I graduated from Suffolk University. I achieved a BSBA, Bachelor of Science and Business Administration. I double-majored in marketing and management.
And where did you grow up?
I grew up here in Boston. I was born and raised in Dorchester but have spent most of my life in Quincy. I was in Charlestown for about a year, then we moved to Quincy. Now I live in Malden. But I’ve also lived in Somerville, Cambridge, East Boston, and Revere. During college I moved around a lot because Boston is a roommate city due to the number of colleges in the area. Now I live with three other roommates. Everybody is from a different background. One is Chinese American from New York. One from Morocco who’s only been in the state three years. Another is half Jamaican and half Haitian and moved here from Connecticut. It’s great and challenging too because of the cultures, but we make it work.
What do you do to have fun when you’re not working?
When I’m not working, I like to hang out with friends. I like trying new things. I like freestyle painting, where there’s no rules or structure, you just paint what you want. I have tried line dancing, salsa, and hip-hop. I like music and concerts a lot. I like traveling and trying new restaurants opening all over Boston. I would drive two to three hours just for great donuts, cupcakes, dairy-free vegan ice cream. I snowboard, bike ride, longboard, rollerblade, hike and a lot more. I’m not great at it, but I do like to try. I go to the gym too. I like weightlifting more than cardio.
What’s a favorite place of yours in the Boston area?
It’s hard to say a favorite place. Boston is amazing. They have the North End, Little Italy, Latino places in East Boston. And right in the Financial District for business people is the [High Street Place] food hall that just opened up There’s Faneuil Hall. And north of Boston you have Cambodian food in Lowell. I’d drive an hour and a half in traffic for that. Red Rose is the Cambodian restaurant that I usually go to in Lowell. A part of Boston that I am proud of is Little Saigon in Fields Corner. It became Little Saigon officially in December 2019. I was volunteering with the Vietnamese American Community of Massachusetts, a nonprofit, and we were at the hearing when they announced the decision to make Fields Corner officially Little Saigon District.
My parents are from Vietnam and immigrated here in 1983. I have an ongoing joke with them. “Why didn’t you go to California?” They say, “Honey, we just wanted to live. We just wanted to get on a boat that would give us life.” My two sisters and I were born in Boston, Massachusetts. My mom was pregnant with my older sister when they came. They arrived here in January, and she gave birth to my sister that same week. They’d never seen snow before. There was a foot of snow on the street. They came with nothing and were able to keep their kids safe so all three graduated from college.
Is there anything new in your life?
I went to Puerto Rico recently. It was my first time going. I wanted to go somewhere different, and flights were cheap. I stayed at a hostel to meet other solo travelers. I came back with six or eight new acquaintances or friends. One I met there lived here in Somerville and am happy that our friendship will continue here in Boston!