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The New Frontier
Although the traditional symbol associated with Wells Fargo is the horse-drawn stagecoach of the Old West, the bank today is trying to tap into the 21st century global market.
story by REBECCA U. CHO
photographs by MICHAEL QUIROS
In a few years, Korean Air will leave an indelible mark on the downtown Los Angeles skyline with a $1 billion hotel and office tower that will become the tallest building in the West. The skyscraper will serve as a visible reminder of not only the airline’s presence in Southern California, but also of the many South Korean companies of all sizes that are thriving in the region.
Recognizing this growing market, banking giant Wells Fargo is looking to make inroads with middle-market Korean companies in the Los Angeles area through a new banking initiative.
Wells Fargo has created a new division under its commercial unit dedicated to serving Korean businesses. And in a decision symbolic of the mainstream bank moving into territory traditionally left to Korean financial institutions, Wells Fargo hired Sungsoo Han, a former executive vice president of Wilshire State Bank and senior vice president of Hanmi Bank, to head the effort.
“I’ve never seen any major bank embark on the ethnic market like this,” says Han, 56, who is serving as senior VP and senior regional director of what Wells Fargo is calling the Korean Division. “I thought it was a great opportunity for me because I thought it was about time major banks started doing business with the Korean market.” Continue Reading »
Name: Harold Waterman
City: Monona, Iowa
Job: Graphic designer, owner of Studio 91 LLC, board member of Swing With The Legends Charity Golf Classic Milwaukee
Describe your background.
I grew up in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. I developed a passion for art at a very early age, as my Mother (and her side of the family) are very artistic. My aunt (who resides in Seoul, South Korea) is an accomplished painter as well.
If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?
What is one goal you would like to accomplish during your lifetime?
I would love to see my future grandchildren being born some day.
If you had to describe yourself using three words, it would be…
Passionate, driven, caring. Continue Reading »
Photo via Facebook
by Viji Sundaram of New America Media
So you’re Asian American and you’re depressed. You suffer from insomnia and stomachache – symptoms frequently associated with depression.
But heaven forbid you want to seek the help of a mental health caregiver. As a member of the “model minority” community in the United States, would that not diminish your standing in the eyes of other Asians, perhaps even among your own friends and family members?
The pressure to live up to the model minority myth, sometimes coupled with cultural and language barriers, is driving scores of Asian and Pacific Islanders, one of the fastest growing ethnic communities in the United States, into depression and even suicide. Sadly, according to recent studies, they are the least likely to utilize mental health services among other ethnic communities.
“The stigma is so great,” observed Sylvia X. Bhatia, a Chinese American woman and one of seven founders of the San Francisco Bay Area online campaign, “It’s OK,” set to launch May 10. The goal of the public awareness campaign is to send the message that it’s OK to seek help for depression, and it connects people to mental health providers focused on serving Asian Americans. Continue Reading »
Harvard law professor Jeannie Suk shares her personal story in a candid new memoir, written for a Korean audience.
by SUEVON LEE
For someone just entering the teaching limelight, it’s the last thing you’d want to happen: tripping and falling to the ground in a lecture hall packed with students.
But for Jeannie Suk, the potentially embarrassing moment was a transformative moment.
During her first year teaching at Harvard Law School, the young professor recounts in a recent memoir how she tripped and fell face forwards while descending the steps to begin class, her heavy casebook, cardboard seating chart and hot drink flying out of her hands.
Mortified, the novice professor calmly stood up and walked to the lectern where, she describes, she went on to teach “the best class I had ever taught up to that point.”
“I realized afterward that it had actually been a relief to fall flat on my face. It became blatantly obvious and undeniable in one fell swoop that there was no perfection here,” Suk writes. “I believe it was a huge boon to my comfort as a teacher going forward. Everyone felt more comfortable. Everyone was human.”
Misstep is not a word one might associate with Suk. She has an all-star resume, studded with schools like Yale and Harvard Law, attended Oxford University on a Marshall scholarship, did a U.S. Supreme Court clerkship, joined the Harvard Law faculty before turning 34, and in 2010, became the first-ever Asian American female (and first-ever Korean) to receive tenure at Harvard Law School. Continue Reading »