Asian American Heritage Month: Employee Spotlight

To celebrate Asian American Heritage Month, our Employee Spotlight is Region Leader, Tom Kim.

Tom Kim serves as Regional Manager for our Durham locations. Tom is originally from Korea and moved to the United States in 1972 with his family.  With the help of his parents, he was able to get acclimated quickly (i.e. baseball, apple pie, etc).  He loves the fact that he has been able to experience both worlds so fully.

Tom has shared some reflections of life experiences, family, his ethnicity, career, and some fun cultural facts:  

They say time flies when you’re having fun!  Can’t believe it has been 4 years since joining the National Jewelry and Pawn family.  As a regional manager, our role is to build a positive working relationship and to remove roadblocks so that our clients can reach their full potential and experience success.  When I say clients, I’m referring to our team members.  They are my business partners.  I am only successful when my team achieves success.


My passion outside of the work environment has shifted recently as my wife, Yenha, and I are empty nesters now.  We are very proud of our daughter and son, Sara and Blake.  Both kids are independent and doing well in their individual careers.  I can’t lie, we thought it was going to be lonely without them around as they have been the focus of our life for the past 22 years.  It has been a life changing experience being able to do what we want when we want, freely.  For me it’s been getting back into tennis, road biking, and crossing off the endless honey-do-list.  

Some cultural fun facts…

We love to travel and recently had the opportunity to visit Korea, my homeland.  I have the best of both worlds as a Korean-American, personally deeply rooted in the Korean culture and the hard work ethic instilled in me from my parents, and being free to do and accomplish whatever your heart desires living here in the US.  The weeks flew by in Korea, as we traveled between Seoul, Busan, and Jeju Island.  Let me tell you, we did not hold back as we both enjoy great food and the sites were incredible.  This trip helped me reflect that Korea is continuously bridging the gap between old world culture with traditional ways and the new modern economy.  

Some of the great meals we had included a whole King Belt Fish in Busan, traditional seafood pancake and rice wine at a folk village in Jeju, a wonderful dinner exploring the culinary culture of Jeju Island, and great drinks at a cafe in Busan.

We got to experience even more of the culture at places like Starfield Library in Gangnam and the Lotte World Tower which has an impressive 123 floors! As well as an awesome visit to a Folk Village in Seoul.

Diversity in the workplace…

To me, diversity is coming to a “happy medium” and I believe National Pawn has done a great job of this. This helps us to understand and relate to our customers and our team members.   The Pawn business is about bridging the gap for our valued customers, by allowing financing to get them to their path.  National Jewelry and Pawn has been in business for over 35 years.  Our success is bridging between what the pawn business used to be and leading our industry to where it needs to be; and a team of associates with various skills and a common goal. 

National Pawn
Author: National Pawn

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