“Crossroads” – The 2013 NetKAL Summit

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The 2013 NetKAL Summit, co-hosted by the BBCN Bank and the USC School of Social Work, kicked off on October 25th with an exclusive Friday night VIP Reception held at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in Century City. Marilyn Flynn, Dean of the School of Social Work, made welcoming remarks adding that one of her proudest accomplishments has been to see the establishment and success of the Network of Korean-American Leaders, a signature program of the School.  Her remarks were followed by testimonials given by NetKAL VII Fellows Sandra Kang, Marketing Executive at Creative Artists Agency and Young Chung, Managing Director of DAG Ventures, who shared their experiences as fellows.  Suok Noh, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and President of the NetKAL Advisory Board expressed his sincere thanks to the USC School of Social Work for wholeheartedly supporting NetKAL from its inception and demonstrating a strong commitment to the Korean-American community that is deeply appreciated by many across the nation. He pointed to recent NetKAL developments including the establishment of Regional Committees in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Washington, DC and Seoul. In addition, he announced the return of the NetKAL Fellowship Program to the East Coast with sessions scheduled in the Philadelphia region and New York City beginning in February 2014. For the remainder of the evening, attendees enjoyed music provided by a USC student jazz ensemble while networking with many esteemed members of the Korean-American community.

The following day, approximately two hundred NetKAL fellows and other Korean-American leaders gathered at CAA for an exceptional and invigorating day of engagement with a wide array of distinguished leaders in the fields of entertainment, technology, fashion, music, real estate, and film and those involved in humanitarian efforts in North Korea. Through fireside chats led by NetKAL fellows, presenters shared their personal stories of success and how their Korean-American identity has shaped their lives. Those presenting included:

–          South Korean Los Angeles Consul-General Yeon-sung Shin

–          Cory Hong, President & CEO of UNICOM Global

–          Brian Lee, Founder of LegalZoom & CEO of Shoedazzle

–          Jane Cha, Executive VP of Full Picture Entertainment & Executive Producer of Project Runway

–          Peter Kim, CEO of Hudson Jeans

–          Ted Chung, CEO of Cashmere Agency & Stampede Management

–          Young Woo, Principal of Young Woo & Associates

–          Mike Kim, Humanitarian & Author of Escaping North Korea

–          Benson Lee, Award-winning Filmmaker & Documentarian

As these business leaders, artists, entrepreneurs and humanitarians – many of them second-generation Korean-Americans – shared their life stories,  it was evident that their passion for their work and willingness to take risks propelled them not only into leadership positions, but set them apart as Asian-American pioneers in their respective fields.

The Summit concluded with an open discussion on the future of the Korean-American community followed by a reception where attendees further connected and shared their thoughts on the day’s programming.

Many in attendance mentioned in post-Summit evaluations how thoroughly impressed they were with the calibre of speakers and others in attendance and how wonderful it was to be associated with such an extraordinary network of Korean-Americans who have found success in such diverse fields.  As one Summit attendee commented, “I came to the NetKAL Summit with an open mind and took the opportunity to truly interact with others who share similar backgrounds and a common heritage.  And to future NetKAL Summit attendees, listen to the words of wisdom from the inspirational guest speakers. Make the important connections for our future together and most importantly, implement change and further awareness from the amazing experience!”

The 5th Annual NetKAL VIP Reception and Summit were made possible through generous sponsorship from the BBCN Bank (Platinum Host & Title Sponsor), the Richard & Elizabeth Fullerton Foundation (Gold Host), DAG Ventures, Frankly, and Greenberg Traurig (Silver Hosts).


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