by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Soul of Photography

Meet Charlie Yim

faces_yim2Charlie Yim has lived in Rancho Santa Fe for more than 30 years, calling the community a joy and a comfort. “When we bought our home, it was exciting and challenging as a young couple from Korea. My wife was a school teacher in Oceanside School District, and I was a senior auditor for the City of San Diego,” revealed Charlie. He was born in Seoul, Korea, and came to America as a Peace Corps trainer, working with 500 Peace Corps volunteers in Hawaii. Charlie then moved to San Diego where he attended San Diego State University. While at SDSU, he needed a job to pay for tuition and room and board. With poor English but a positive attitude, Charlie went to the Aztec restaurant and told the manager that he would work for nothing. With that, he got his first job in America.

Over the years, Charlie has taken his attitude of enthusiasm, creativity, and commitment, and achieved the American Dream. “I created eight Hallmark card shops, four Hilton brand hotels, four manufacturing and distribution businesses, and more than 10 shopping centers,” said this hard-working entrepreneur. His latest endeavor is that of author. “I wrote I Will Work for Nothing for today’s youngsters. Attitude is everything, and young people these days need to learn to improve their attitudes. They are boxed in their cell phones and losing sight of quality of life and the good elements of humanity,” related Charlie.


Name: Charlie Yim
Family: Wife – Gloria; two daughters – Jennifer and Lucy
Community: Rancho Santa Fe
Hobbies: Yoga, helping others


faces_yim1In his spare time, Charlie enjoys practicing yoga and spending time with his wife, Gloria, and daughters Jennifer and Lucy. Charlie is also committed to giving back to the community, especially young people. He is invited to speak at UCSD and SDSU annually and serves as a mentor to students at both universities. “I came to America pretty much empty-handed and have accomplished so much. I think serving others and helping others who are in need is such a joy. In serving others, I find the value in life,” stated Charlie, who volunteers his time as the honorary president of the Korean American Association of San Diego, honorary president of the Korean Chamber of Commerce, and a donor and member of The San Diego Foundation.