Mayor, city of Irvine
Fact: Kang is the first Korean-American mayor of a major U.S. city.
Quote: “Every time I think that I am comfortable as mayor, I remind myself that there is much more to learn, and so much more to do.”
When Irvine residents elected Sukhee Kang as their mayor in 2008, they made history. Kang is the first Korean-American to serve as mayor of a major U.S. city. And it’s arguably one of the region’s most dynamic business hubs.
“I am humbled by the attention,” Kang says, “and I work hard on my visits there to bridge the cultural gap by explaining to Koreans how the American system of government works.”
Kang and his wife, Joanne, immigrated to the U.S. in 1977. He began his career working in sales and customer service at Circuit City and was promoted to a management position.
He soon became involved in the Korean-American community and served as chairman of the Orange County chapter of the Korean American Coalition, as well as president of the Korean American Scholarship Foundation. And in 2004, he ran for a seat on the Irvine City Council.
“I felt both emboldened by the opportunities in America and overwhelmed about how to get started,” Kang says. “So I did the best thing I knew: I put one foot in front of the other and never stopped walking toward the next challenge – first in business, then in community service.
If you love where you live, and you are blessed with a thoroughly integrated environment, you work hard as an individual to keep that balance.”
– Ashley Eliot
OC METRO's 2009 Hot 25 honorees:
Toby Bost | Mike Gillespie | Anil Puri | Sean Collins
Kevin Boylan & T.K. Pillan | Dr. Jason Knight | Hugh Hewitt
Luke Allen | Tina Aldatz | Sukhee Kang | Glenn Gray
Amelia & Florent Marneau | Tim McFerran | Tallia Hart
Bill Sanderson | Henrik Fisker | Janet Hamada | Wayne Gross
Julie Miller-Phipps | Michael Ruane | Carl St.Clair
Pretend City | Phil Willms | Sheryl Bourgeois | Steve Nichols
<<< Back to 2009 honorees
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of OC METRO's Hot 25 awards, here are our original Hot 25 honorees, who were featured in 1990.
Doug Rankin | Erich Vollmer | Dennis Aigner | Greg Patton
Janice Mittermeier | Carol Stogsdill | Carl St.Clair
Anton Segerstrom | Christopher Cox | Christine (Reed) Iger
Dr. Robert Bade | Thomas Mays | Mike Goode
Richard Gadbois | Rudy Castruita | Debbie Miede
Ernest C. Brown | Mossimo Giannulli | Daniel L. Rasmussen
Cynthia Ellner | Kathryn Braun Lewis | David Wilhelm
<<< Back to Web extra main page:
first Hot 25 honorees