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2020 & 2022 New American Hero Award Dinner2020 & 2022년 이민자 영웅상 시상 만찬 안내. June 18, 2022 6PM.


The American Korean Friendship Society cordially invites you and a guest to

our 2022 New American Hero Award Dinner

Date and Time: Saturday, June 18, 2022, 6 p.m.

Location:  Cherokee Town Club, 155 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta, GA

(Free valet parking is available at the main entrance)

Dress: Business Attire

Guest Speaker: Dr. Andrew Young, Former U.S. Ambassador to the U. N.

2022 New American Hero Award Recipient

Dr. Victor Cha

Chair in Asian Studies in School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), former Director for Asian Affairs in the White House’s National Security Council.

2020 New American Hero Award Recipient

Mr. Henry Cho

An American comedian for over three decades famous for his unique brand of clean comedy.  His work can be heard nationwide at comedy clubs, SiriusXM Radio, and the Grand Ole Opry.  (Mr. Cho was previously slated to receive the 2020 award, which was canceled due to the pandemic.)

2022 Lifetime Achievement Award

Mr. Baik Kyu Kim

Mr. Kim is the President of the Korean American Grocer’s Association, former President of the Korean American Association of Greater Atlanta, and successfully led the fundraising campaign to purchase and build the country’s largest Korean American Community Center.

RSVP to Sharon Woodson at PresidentialOfficePark@gmail or 770-458-7000

Cost: Complimentary for invited members & guest

Since 2000, the American Korean Friendship Society (AKFS) has held an annual dinner presenting its New American Hero Award (NAHA).  Awardees of the New American Hero Award are Americans of Korean ancestry who have made significant contributions to the United States, thereby serving as role models and encouraging and empowering Korean Americans to serve their communities, neighborhoods and country.

Past Awardees of the New American Hero Award

  • Dr. Tom Kim of Knoxville, Tennessee, who founded the Free Clinic for the Working Poor and has been operating the Clinic for over two decades.
  • US Army Lieutenant Colonel John Oh, a medical doctor and retired U.S. Army general surgeon, for his heroic service for his country including his service in Afghanistan where he performed emergency surgery removing an unexploded rocket propelled grenade (RPG) protruding from a wounded soldier’s body.
  • Dr. Samuel “Sammy” Lee, the first Asian American to win an Olympic Gold Medal for the United States, and the first man to win back-to-back gold medals (1948 and 1952) in Olympic platform diving.
  • US Army Captain Jason Pak, West Point graduate, Captain of the U.S. Army (Ret.) and an elite Ranger, who was wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan and serves as an inspiration for veterans and civilians alike.
  • US Navy Seal James Suh (March 2, 1977 – June 28, 2005), U.S. Navy SEAL, who was part of a dedicated Naval Special Warfare team fighting the Taliban and volunteered to go on a mission to rescue his fellow SEAL members who were trapped by insurgent fire.  He was one of 16 troops killed when his MH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.
  • US. Army Colonel Young-Oak Kim (January 29, 1919 – December 29, 2005), a highly decorated U.S. Army combat veteran of World War II and the Korean War, a civic and community leader and humanitarian.  He was a member of the U.S. 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and a combat leader in Italy and France during World War II. 
  • Dr. Peter Meong Rhee, chief of acute care surgery and medical director of the Marcus Trauma Center, an American surgeon, medical professor, and military veteran. During his 24 years in the U.S. Navy, Dr. Rhee served as a battlefield casualty physician in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Mr. Steve Stirling, the president/CEO of the Medicine Assistant Program (MAP) International, a Christian global health organization that provides medicine, prevents disease and promotes health in some of the world’s poorest countries. MAP International has provided more than $6 billion in medicine and health supplies to communities in need since its inception in 1954.
  • Mr. Byung J. “BJay” Pak, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, which includes 46 counties in Georgia, including the cities of Atlanta, Gainesville, Rome, and Newnan.  Mr. Pak previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia and a three-term member of the Georgia General Assembly.
  • US Marine Corps Major General Daniel Yoo, Commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, or MARSOC, former commander of Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC) and Marine Expeditionary Brigade – Afghanistan (MEB-A), the highest ranking Korean American general officer in the United States military.

Past Awardees of the Lifetime Achievement Award

  • The late Mr. Han Choi, former partner at Ballard Spahr in recognition of his leadership, service and passion for the Korean American community over two decades. Han assisted the State of Georgia by encouraging Korean companies to invest in Georgia. Han’s community service included serving as the President of the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association. the College Football Hall of Fame, Atlanta International Women’s House, Georgia Center for Nonprofits, and Decatur Education Foundation.
  • Mr. Jay Eun, co-founder and CEO of Golden Stella and one of the most respected leaders in the Korean American community.  Former Chairman of the Korean American Association of Greater Atlanta, and served as a board member, volunteer and supporter of AKFS since 2002. 

Board Members and Staff

  • Honorable Yoonjoo Park, Consul General, Republic of Korea (ex officio)
  • General Burwell B. Bell, Commanding General, US Forces Korea (Ret.)
  • Mr. Frank Blake, Chair, AKFS, Chair, Delta Air Lines
  • Mr. Don Chapman, Chair, ChapCo. Investments
  • Robert Hall, CEO, HRH Recruiting, Former District Governor, Rotary International
  • Honorable Miles E. Davis, U.S. Magistrate Court Judge, Pensacola, Florida
  • General Larry Ellis, Commanding General, US Army Forces Command (Ret.)
  • Mr. Jay Eun, Chair, Golden Stella, Inc.
  • Mr. Paul Kim, Vice President/Secretary, AKFS, Sr. Attorney, U.S. SEC.
  • Mr. Bartow Morgan, CEO, Georgia Banking Company
  • The Honorable Sam Olens, Dentons, Former Georgia State Attorney General
  • Byung “Bjay” Pak, Partner, Alston Bird, former U.S. Attorney, Northern District GA
  • Dr. Stanley Shin, Cardiologist, Statesboro Cardiology
  • Dr. Roger Tuttero, Economist/Professor, Kennesaw State University
  • Mr. Sunny K. Park, President, AKFS, CEJ, General Building Maintenance


David H, Kang, Program Director; Jessica Ahn, Event Director; Sharon Woodson, Coordinator


In April 1996, on the eve of 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the following founding members, concerned citizens of both the U.S. and the Republic of Korea, sought to promote the extraordinary relationship between the peoples of these two countries: founding  committee chair, Marine Corps General Raymond G. Davis (Ret.), Medal of Honor recipient; Dr. James Laney, US Ambassador to the Republic of Korea; Dr. Sang-Chul Kim, former Mayor of the City of Seoul; Dr. William Chace, President, Emory University; U.S. Army General William Livsey (Ret.); Mr. John Hemby, Executive Vice President, Southern Company; Dr. Wan-Kyu Cho, former President, Seoul National University; and Mr. Sunny K. Park, CEO, General Building Maintenance, Inc.

Chair Emeritus and Past Chairs

Chair Emeritus:  Dr. James Laney, former US Ambassador to Korea

Chair 1996-2000:  Dr. William Chace, President, Emory University

Chair 2000-2004: Dr. Wayne Clough, President, Georgia Institute of Technology

Chair 2004-2009: Dr. Betty Siegel, President, Kennesaw State University

Chair 2009-2016: General Larry Ellis, Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (Ret.)

AKFS is a nonprofit and nonpolitical organization www.USKorea.org.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

The Blake Family Foundation


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