Melding Cultures

Rancho Santa Fe resident Chun Bin “Charlie” Yim, D.B.A., was honored as one of the 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients at a ceremony presented by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) in New York. The Medal of Honor is one of the nation’s most prestigious awards, recognizing people each year who have maintained the traditions of their ethnic heritage and country of birth while upholding the ideals and spirit of America.

“I strongly believe in the ability of cultures and countries to come together for mutual benefit.”

Dr. Yim grew up in South Korea during a tumultuous time, serving as lieutenant at the DMZ during the Korean conflict. He was hired by the U.S. Peace Corps in its early days to train American volunteers headed to Korea and immigrated to San Diego, where he furthered his education and eventually became a successful self-made entrepreneur and businessman. “I am a proud South Korean immigrant and an equally proud U.S. citizen,” he said. “I strongly believe in the ability of cultures and countries to come together for mutual benefit.” Dr. Yim has received the 2007 Asian Heritage Award, the 2009 Korean Presidential Achievement Award, and the 2014 United States Service Achievement Award. He currently owns Encinitas-based Sierra Padre Mill Company and is a well-known philanthropist, humanitarian, motivational speaker, and author of his compelling memoir, I Will Work For Nothing.

Past medalists include presidents, industry leaders, and others who have made freedom, liberty, and compassion a focus of their life’s work. Other notable honorees this year included former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and journalist Fareed Zakaria, among others. Learn more at www.neco.org.