By Lee Jong-hwan
Seoul, July 1 (World Korean News)= "We held a leadership conference in Wilmington, North Carolina, near the Atlantic Ocean, with 60 participants. It was held on November 12th and 13th.”
Hong Seung-won, who met in Raleigh, North Carolina, introduced the event he recently held.
"All 60 people invited to the event participated. Professional Korean mentors and next-generation Korean mentors participated in half of each."
The event was organized by the Korean American Leadership Association, represented by Hong Seung-won. The Korean Consulate in Atlanta also sponsored the event.
Professional figures participated as mentors at the conference. They were Korean American professionals working in various fields, including doctors, dentists, university professors, researchers, lawyers, accountants. They instilled vision and identity in the next generation of Korean Americans. Participants were 30 mentors and 30 mentees. Mentees were college students, young office workers and businessmen until their early 40s.
"They came from North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Mentors and mentees discussed together. Everyone liked the program."
They participated in the program by staying and eating together for one night and two days. It was Hong's third leadership conference. It was started in Greensborough in 2016, and held a second conference in Durham in 2019.
"The consulate and several organizations sponsor the conference. But all mentors participate at their own expense. They drive their own cars for more than three to four hours and instill dreams and hopes in mentees."
He said, "The 2016 and 2019 events were held in a day, but in 2021, I held a two-day event," and added, "We also held a small concert on the first evening."
The concert was a small event named Kim's Concert. The concert featured tenor Kim Jae-yoon and pianist Kim Seung-ah, professors at the University of North Carolina. The performers sang songs from Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Korean and also played piano solo songs.
Hong Seung-won served as President of Greensborough Korean association, North Carolina. When he was the president, the 8,000-square-foot Korean Education and Culture Center was established and opened. At that time, the Korean Association, the Korean School, and the Old Timers worked together and purchased the hall.
"There were a lot of professionals who came to the U.S. early to study in Greensborough. And leadership conference was the opening event of the Korean Education and Culture Center."
Hong said he hopes such leadership conferences will be held throughout the Americas.
Hog graduated from Yonsei University and moved to the United States in 2004. He completed his master's degree in accounting at the University of Oklahoma and worked for Grant Thornton, one of the world's leading accounting firms.
His wife is Professor Jin Byung-ho, who majored in clothing marketing.
** (This translation was sponsored by Dokko Youngsik, the president of the Midwest Korean American Association.)