Washington Ho // Special Ep // House of Ho

Welcome to a special episode of the Asian Hustle Network Podcast! We are very excited to have Washington Ho on this week's episode.

We interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals. We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.
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Washington Ho is an American-Vietnamese best known for appearing on HBO Max reality tv House of Ho.

House of Ho, the multi- generational family docusoap, chronicles the daily lives of patriarch Binh Ho, matriarch Hue Ho, their daughter Judy Ho, their son Washington Ho and his wife Lesley Ho, Aunt Tina, and Cousin Sammy.  Power couple Binh and his wife Hue immigrated from Vietnam to the United States with little money, relying on hard work to establish the ultimate American dream. They have built a multi-million dollar bank, a real estate development company and a new generation of American Hos. The series pulls back the curtain of their lavish Houston lifestyle and showcases the tight family connections that unite them as well as the multi-generational outrageous drama that ensues.

Katy Wallin, Stephanie Bloch Chambers, and Nick Lee executive produce the non-fiction series with co-executive producers Amanda Ly and Rosalina Lydster.  House of Ho is produced by Wallin Chambers Entertainment in association with Lionsgate Television.

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Transcript

Intro: (00:00:00) Hey guys, welcome to Asian Hustle Network Podcast, My name is Bryan. 

And my name is Maggie 

And we interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals.

We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.

Maggie: (00:00:23) Hi, Everyone welcome to the Asian Hustle Network Podcast. His name is Washington Ho. And he is an American Vietnamese best known for appearing on HBO Max reality TV, House of Ho, the multi- generational family docusoap, chronicles the daily lives of patriarch Binh Ho, matriarch Hue Ho, their daughter Judy Ho, their son Washington Ho and his wife Lesley Ho, Aunt Tina, and Cousin Sammy. Power couple Binh and his wife Hue immigrated from Vietnam to the United States with little money, relying on hard work to establish the ultimate American dream. They have built a multi-million dollar bank, a real estate development company and a new generation of American Hos. The series pulls back the curtain of their lavish Houston lifestyle and showcases the tight family connections that unite them as well as the multi-generational outrageous drama that ensues. Washington, welcome to the show.

Washington: (00:01:22) Thank you for having me.

 

Bryan: (00:01:24) Yeah. We’re super excited to have you here, Washington. So I’ll start off the question. What is your upbringing like growing up? Are your parents very traditional Asian parents?

Washington: (00:01:35) My upbringing growing up, you know, it was. All I felt every day was blessed. Um, and I’m grateful for that because my parents worked so hard and instill good values and, you know, being Vietnamese and being able to celebrate a different tradition and culture, I felt like was the best of, you know, it’s worlds because I was in America. My father was. Oh cool father. She spent time and my mother very traditional Vietnamese cooked every day at a certain time spanked you when you needed it. At the end of the day, she forgave me for everything.

 

Bryan: (00:02:22) So. Wow. I could totally relate to that chocolate. I’m also Vietnamese and my parents would make sure I’m always staying disciplined with speaking. Yeah,

 

Maggie: (00:02:33) I think similar to a lot of Asian parents. And so why did your family choose to be in Houston, Texas. And how has growing up in that area affected your Asian identity? If at all?

Washington: (00:02:46) Well, my family, um, my parents immigrated to America in 1975. My father was an officer in the Vietnam war and had already trained at the air force base in San Antonio in 1971.Loved America. And so when they came to America, they were sponsored where a lot of Vietnamese immigrants were in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. Their first sponsor was in Kerrville, Texas, which is, um, about three hours South of Houston. And, you know, in Kerrville, um, it’s a great town, small town. My mother has learned English there at our college and her sponsors, uh, or great people. But my father, when he went to Houston, it was very similar to the climate in Vietnam. And she was like Galveston to beach. It was only like two hours away. It reminded me of a wing young, which is an area in Vietnam. And so. That’s why they went there. Um, my mom’s from long scene where there’s water and they, they felt like he, he was supporting 11 brothers and sisters. I said, well, both of his parents and his three cousins. So it was very portable. There was other Vietnamese there and great, uh, You know, what he would say is in Kerrville, there were only like hamburger restaurants didn’t you. And she could find places where that pickled pork feet and they would cook that.

 

Bryan: (00:04:23) Yeah. Yeah. I really liked that a lot. I mean, my family as wall from Vietnam promotes from not young the countryside. So when it came to choosing a place, my parents actually started in Washington, DC. But then my mom was like, I can’t handle anywhere that snow is because it never slows it enough over here. And she actually saw the commercial on TV of California or in Houston. They’re like, well, it’s close to the water. It reminds me of home reminds you the climate. But I think from like a spelling error, we kind of ended up in California instead of texting. We couldn’t really speak English that well, you know? Right. Yeah. That’s that’s so that’s awesome. So what type of business does your family do and how does your family become so successful?

 

Washington: (00:05:12) As you know, Judy, myself, I’m the middle child, my brother Reagan, we were growing up. We always saw our parents working very hard. Um, we saw their work ethic. We saw my father. You know, work two, three jobs a day. We saw my mom, you know, work and, and circle K starting off sweeping floors. And in two years became the manager of the store and train a lot of Vietnamese. And my father, he’s a visionary, he’s a guy that dreams big. And when I say big. I mean big and it’s not for anything else, but that he felt like when he was, he was in a country like America, the only way you could fail is if you didn’t try, or we felt about this show, it was an opportunity. And you know, when the Hos play with house money, we’re going all out. So we had a good time and we’re grateful that HBO. Uh, allowed us to share our story and we hope to inspire other Vietnamese and Asians around the world.

 

Bryan: (00:06:26)  Yeah, I’ll talk from person I’m inspired by the show. I’m inspired by what you guys are doing for your FA with your family and HBO.And I can say on behalf of the Asian Alister network, that we’re really excited to be supporting this.

 

Maggie: (00:06:38) Yeah. It was one of the things where we saw it on TV and we were just so inspired because we know that there’s more Asian representation on national television. And with that being said, you know, we’d love to know how did the inspiration. For how suppo transpire, what was the original inspiration and how did you guys come up with this idea? And have you always referred to your family as the House of Ho even before you began to work with the production teams to air this show? And what does House of Ho mean to you?

Washington: (00:07:08) First of all, that’s a great question. It’s a very important question to my family. We’re all about legacy. As you can see from the day I was born, my name was Washington. There was no way I was going to run away from it. Again, there’s no way to run from it. And my father, his, his way of coaching us and rooming us was to be leaders. And when you’re named Washington, after the first president of America that manifestors into yourself. And so I felt like Asians, you know, we needed to. You know, stand up more and be more proud of our culture. And I felt like for, you know, all my American friends and neighbors, man, Washington, how come you never told us about fuck when we were in like high school, I was like, dude, the thing’s amazing. And so, you know, as people started loving the Asian culture and the Vietnamese culture, I felt like as a businessman, With how successful Netflix there’s been streaming, there’s going to be global. We’re all humans. Why not take an opportunity? And, uh, I felt like it would be fun to work together again. And it had been a while since my family had seen an opportunity where it was more of a unit and also behind every successful man is a very strong lady. My mother, I give, you know, I mean, she’s, she’s the rock of our family. And for my wife to support me, I hope one day somebody walks into a restaurant and says, Hey, Mr. Ho, are you Washington Ho’s father? So it was a way for me to step out of his shadows and. Hopefully I can help other people, uh, open doors for people that are true artists that study it, study the craft and are very, you know, starving artists. And I feel like if you know, somebody like me, who has no reason really to be in Hollywood and, you know, I would learn, learn the business and hopefully I can open up doors and finance movies and things that I love to do.

 

Bryan: (00:09:28) That’s awesome.

Maggie: (00:09:31) Yeah, that’s amazing guy. I love that you are bringing more light to not only, you know, Asian culture, but Vietnamese culture and, you know, just bringing more representation to all of us in general.

 

Washington: (00:09:43) I’m sorry. Can I say something that’s really important? Um, you know, the Kardashians really inspired us. We, we see their success, we see how much they love each other. We see that they’re not afraid to be themselves. And so when we saw that kind of family, not the, not the money, not the success, but just the love. And we saw crazy rich Asians, right? My birthday. I’m a Leo August 15th. So crazy rich Asians came out August 18, 2018, and my wife took me to the movie and of course I was too cool to see Asian, you know, movies or shows because I really didn’t like, I mean, to be honest, I thought fresh off the boat was a playoff fob, which I had been called a few times. And then. Make, you know, my son or daughter would feel, you know, proud, nothing against that, but crazy rich Asians came out and I felt like, look, there’s momentum. It’s on our side. We better jump all in and take it or else, you know, in business, you know, people will forget very soon.

 

Maggie: (00:10:57) Oh, yes, definitely. And I love that you’re continuing that wave and I feel like we’re currently on a really big way for us to bring the representation to Asian culture.And with that, what do you hope to achieve, um, with House of Ho and what is that one message that you want to convey to viewers with the show

Washington: (00:11:15) that love always wins? Love, always wins.

 

Maggie: (00:11:21) Very simple, very direct, very straightforward.

Bryan: (00:11:25) Yeah. I mean, that’s something that my mom, my parents tell me all the time level was when lead with your heart, you know, show everyone that you’re a good person.And then, you know, prove it to the world, make the world a better place.

 

Washington: (00:11:39) And I think, you know, like I’m very impressed by both of you, you don’t look like normal Vietnamese that, you know, like you got the long hair gone she’s right. But it’s cool to see that our generation, right. Our parents sacrifice so much that it would be really taking advantage of the American dream and we help each other be more engaged, more in tune. Instead of, um, seeing who drives a better car or who mess Birkin first. And, you know, let’s spend our resources to like find our passion and that’s what I wanted.

 

Bryan: (00:12:21) Absolutely agree. And I also feel like we’re also in a generation where we’re O’Neil to your heritage. Right? Proud, really proud of who we are. We’re not taking a backseat to anyone. We’re not showing anyone that we’re not hiding our lunches anymore.

 

Washington: (00:12:38) We are, we are going to take a back seat to someone and you see it go right.When I take actually to my wife, Leslie,

 

Bryan: (00:12:46) and suddenly we both have in common here because I take it back to the bank all the time,

 

Washington: (00:12:51) married or

 

Maggie: (00:12:52) not yet,

 

Washington: (00:12:55) man. Don’t worry. I’ll I’m an ordained minister outperform at your wedding.

 

Bryan: (00:13:00) Thank you. I tried to move next to him and he started House of Pham. Okay.

 

Washington: (00:13:07) Uh, how Sofo is just, you know, our family legacy and that’s our team. And, you know, I’ve tried to do, uh, all my life, um, you know, try every other business and my family is on it and I’m in, I’ve been in the energy business. I’m on a healthcare company, had startups and I always wanted to do. I didn’t want to, I was proud to be my father’s son, but I didn’t want to be known as, Oh, that’s Binh Ho’s son. Right. You know, the nice things that I was blessed to have to be the only reason that people wanted to talk to me. So I had to find something to do. And I’m glad that you guys really, um, embraced us. There’s our family. We’re very. We’re very, um, I mean we just, we just feel great, you know, everybody, and hopefully this makes people laugh, makes people forget that you know that whatever color you are, whoever you are in the day, we’re all human.

 

Bryan: (00:14:18) Yeah, absolutely agree. And you know, what, what you’re doing is very aligned with our mission statement. When we first started Asian Hustle Network, you wanted more Asians in media, we wanted more Asians and higher and investment corporate ladders, and you fit all three of the bill, you know, and you are a walking mission statement.

 

Washington: (00:14:40) Cause when I saw Asian hustle network hustle in that word, I was like, what, what kind of, you know, uh, group is this? What does it mean? What does this Facebook group? And, um, my brother turned me on to it more like the group. And thanks for having me.

 

Bryan: (00:14:57) Of course. We’re happy to have you too. So how do you view Asian representation in mainstream media and what do you think we need to do as community to push our better and more reputation in Asian culture?

 

Washington: (00:15:15) I think it’s time for us to, you know, aim for the stars, you know, and go for it because the world needs our stories. They need new stories as Vietnamese. We, you know, we know, we know that there’s more to Vietnam than the war and let’s have fun and let’s, you know, let’s really, really. Show how grateful we are to this country that gives us the opportunity and the freedom to choose how we want to live and who we want to be.And at the end of the day, we have to honor the people that weren’t allowed to come to America by being that person and giving back to a country and giving hope. And that’s what the show is about. Hope.

 

Maggie: (00:16:08) Yeah. And so what does the future look like for House of Ho and what will you hope to accomplish in the next five to 10 years, Washington?

 

Washington: (00:16:19) Well, you know, I’m Washington Ho the sky’s the limits and that’s the way the Hos do things. So we always look at potential. Well, you look at how efficient to our daily lives as a quality of life to our family, to our kids, to our legacy, to our communities and to each other. And I hope that in five to 10 years, you know, our wonderful, my dad’s grand grandchildren.Judy’s three kids, Kennedy, Truman, and McKinley, my kids, Roosevelt and Lincoln, you know, Now I want wanna, you know, help us out and maybe have some fun and share with the world, uh, how the multi-generational, uh, Vietnamese and Asian families are very proud of what they do.

 

Bryan: (00:17:06) Yeah  I noticed there’s a trend right here, you know all the president names are in your family, I heard Roosevelt, Mckinley.

 

Washington: (00:17:13) So my, you know, my sister took the names that I wanted out. I always told her when I was young, I go. When I have a daughter and has to be Kennedy. It’s so cool. I love Jane. She had the first one, she took it from I’m like Judy, and then I go, okay, you’re going to do that. And then I had my son Roosevelt and he was stoned, right. Because I’m the Dictaphone. And my dad said Dictaphone, right? And he was born on president’s day during election year, February 16, 2016. I felt like there was a sign from God. I felt like no, the world needed a leader like that. And that’s what my family is about. We’re about our, our legacy and how we can help. Everybody and, and share ADI what we’ve learned and what we’ve done.And, you know, we’ve been through everything. I mean, a lot, we’ve never been through something like this and, you know, to spend them it’s been tough for everybody. And we just hope that everyone has hope and tries to stay healthy.

 

Bryan: (00:18:13) Absolutely. And what advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs today who want to get started?

 

Washington: (00:18:21) I would say keep trying, keep dreaming big until you find your passion and do it for love. And at the end of the day, if you know, money is the result of your success, then you’re blessed. But if it’s not, you’ll still be happy.

 

Maggie: (00:18:51) Wow. Yeah, love it. And how can our listeners learn more about you Washington?

More about me? 

 

Washington: (00:19:04) You know, some ideas and, and me and my father had been brainstorming and my family about how we might be able to share more. Um, you know, my father’s very. Knowledgeable and you know, the loss of fee, business, and vision. And, you know, he, he agreed with me to help share more of that. And so there might be, you know, you never know podcasts or other things like that, but you got to hear from us, whatever you hear about us, the good stuff is true. And remember that stuff is not true. You know?

 

Bryan: (00:19:40) Yep. That’s yeah. I mean, that’s really good.

 

Maggie: (00:19:44) Yeah. Very true. Well, thank you so much for sharing her story, Washington, you some really big takeaways. Not only are you bringing just more representation for Asian culture, but you are leaving your own legacy and you were an exemplary example of that. So, thank you so much for doing that. And, you know, just setting that foundation for future generations, you know, your kids, your grandkids, it is such a great example to all of them, for us to just express ourselves as the way we are as Asians.

 

Bryan: (00:20:09) So as a reminder for our listeners, you know, what is your show show air in? How can we tune in

 

Washington: (00:20:02) December 10th on H B O max, all seven episodes. I hope you enjoy it. I hope you get inspired and let’s have fun.

 

Bryan: (00:20:32) Let’s do it. We’ll have that in our show notes and we’ll have, um, uh, watch parties, our community, as well as, as support Washington and his family.

 

Washington: (00:20:42) And one thing I want to make that’s important is it’s not about my legacy. It’s about. You know, our family’s legacy about, you know, the Vietnam legacy, the American legacy. And at the end of the day, I couldn’t, you know, me, honestly, I can’t do anything alone. I am the support, Washington home needs love. And so thank you so much and, you know, have a wonderful holiday and I can’t wait to talk to you after the show.

 

Bryan: (00:21:12) Yeah. Sounds great. Thank you, Washington so much, Washington.

 

Washington: (00:21:15) Don’t forget to invite me to your wedding.

 

Maggie: (00:21:17) Yes, definitely.

 

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