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MACY'S Celebrates the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
with Svetlana Kim

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May 5, 2011 ... NEW YORK-- A history of achievement, drive and excellence will be celebrated this May at ... Macy's Asian-Pacific Heritage Month events will consist of special ... The New York Times Company, OfficeMax and WellPoint


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White Pearl and I Exhibited at the Library of Congress, May, 2010

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Rose from Cleaning Lady to Stockbroker In White Pearl and I, Svetlana Kim seeks …

Interview with Svetlana Kim on February 23, 2010

PageOneLit.com - Writers Digest 2009 Best of 101 writers sites Online
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Featured in Woman Life (Korea)
July 2009

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Featured in Library of Congress Gazette: Korean Woman Flees Russia to Success
May 29 2009, Vol 20, Issue 19

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Featured in Networking Times: Ad Astra per Aspera
July-August 2009, Vol 8, Issue 4

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New Memoir Follows Soviet-Korean Refugee Who Rose From Cleaning Lady to Stockbroker

New Memoir Follows Soviet-Korean Refugee Who Rose From Cleaning Lady to Stockbroker

In White Pearl and I, Svetlana Kim seeks to chronicle the deportation of Koreans from Sakhalin Island in 1937 by Stalin and her personal struggle to succeed as a refugee

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MMD Newswire) January 29, 2009 -- In White Pearl and I: A Memoir of a Political Refugee, Svetlana Kim tells of the 17 years it took to make her American dreams come true and how her grandmother's courage in the face of adversity inspired her.

In 1937, 480,000 Koreans from the island of Sakhalin were deported by Joseph Stalin. Believing that most people do not know this story and wanting to honor her grandmother, one of the refugees, Kim wrote a memoir about her own struggle in coming to America, White Pearl and I.

At the beginning of White Pearl and I, Kim is just 23 years old when she uses a black market ticket to get out of Leningrad, Russia and come to New York City. With only a dollar in her pocket and unable to speak English, she tirelessly pursues her dream of a successful and happy life.

Buoyed by the stories of her Soviet-Korean grandmother, Bya-ok’s (Korean for “White Pearl”) bravery in the face of Stalin’s deportation, Kim never gives up hope. She moves from cleaning houses to selling cosmetics to eventually fundraising for Hillary Clinton, rubbing elbows with some of the most prominent and respected people in America.

“This passionate saga of one woman’s journey to find freedom illuminates the deepest good in the human soul,” states Sarah Miller Caldicott, great-grandniece of Thomas Edison and co-author of Innovate Like Edison: The Five-Step System to Breakthrough Business Success. “Kim’s unlikely path takes her from Leningrad to Wall Street and beyond, reminding us that pursuing our dreams remains our most powerful path to success.”

A personal record of a tumultuous time in history, White Pearl and I is also meant to be an inspiring account of one woman’s courage and conviction.

For more information or to request a free review copy, members of the press can contact the author at white.pearls@hotmail.com. White Pearl and I is available for sale online at Amazon.com, BookSurge.com and through additional wholesale and retail channels worldwide.

About the Author
Svetlana Kim immigrated to the United States from Leningrad, Russia in 1991. She worked her way from a cleaning lady to a successful stockbroker. Today she is a motivational speaker, consultant, community leader and a 2008 Asian Academy Hall of Fame inductee. Married, Kim splits her time between Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.

Svetlana Kim
E-mail: svetlana@svetlanakim.com 




Svetlana Kim, Author and Motivational Speaker
rings The NASDAQ Stock Market Closing Bell

Washington, DC - Tuesday, January 13, 2009 Svetlana Kim, author, entrepreneur, and international motivational speaker, will be ringing The NASDAQ Stock Market Closing Bell.

Svetlana Kim is an accomplished writer, successful businesswoman, and community activist. Her greatest gift is one that she shares with all of us - her story of hope, survival, and success in her release of White Pearl & I - A Memoir of A Political Refugee.

It is the story of an immigrant searching for and finding human kindness in a foreign country, determining her own destiny, and finding success along the way.

Svetlana's life is an homage to her greatest inspiration, her grandmother Bya-ok (Korean for White Pearl), as well as to countless hard-working and generous people. Svetlana says these people taught her "to never stop dreaming big and to pursue my own happiness." Svetlana's life is inspiring for more than her courage to leave her home. She is an outspoken, effective, and active community member.

She recently became a 2008 Asian Academy Hall of Fame inductee. She shares this acclaimed honor with Norman Mineta, the former Secretary of Transportation, and with the nation's 24th Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. Having left the communist world behind her, she has embraced the freedoms of the American political and social system.

Svetlana also shares her insight and managerial experience by serving on several Boards of Directors, and serves as a Steering Committee member of the Global Coalition for Korean War Reconciliation.

Svetlana's other acclaims include being a former Director for Strategic Partnerships for the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), an organization with 60,000 members, and the Business Women's Network (BWN), a division of NBC Universal, where she brought over $600,000 to the organization. While working with BWN, she had the fortune to work with over one hundred small businesses representing over $1.5 billion in revenues.


Surviving the Recession
Asian American Hall of Fame Inductee Shares Four Tips
By Alison Woo, 1/8/2009 9:26:57 AM

Washington DC - Svetlana Kim knows what it's like to have no money in your pocket and big dreams. Kim came to the US from Leningrad, Russia in 1991 with nothing but stories from her Russian-Korean babushka to guide her - she didn't even speak English at the time.

In 2008, Kim wasinducted to the Asian American Hall of Fame. Her journey to the American Dream is what she bases her Four Motivational Actions to Help Weather an Economic Downturn.

When Kim gives advice, people listen. A noted speakerwho is a favorite at international business gatherings, Kim is quick to credit her grandmother as the foundation of her success.

"My grandmother was a Soviet Korean" she explains via her cell phone. "She survived the Asian holocaust, which is a subject most Americans are unaware of but it was a very bad period. I was raised on stories of perseverance. My grandmother told me about survival and overcoming obstacles- she was able to endure under circumstances that are nearly impossible to imagine. Her storieswere what kept me going and guided me."

In what might be a scene from a Hollywood film, Kim was standing on a bread line in 1991 when a former classmate of hers drove up in a shiny new black Mercedes Benz and handed her a one-way ticket to New York. Kim boarded the plane and arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport nearly penniless but full ofpossibility.

Whether through divine providence or sheer luck, she was befriended by a stranger who bought her a cross-country bus ticket to San Francisco. It is in this city of immigrants that her American life begins.Once in the City by the Bay, Kim went to work cleaning houses, learning the language and eventually landed a spot behind the cosmetics counter at a department store.

"There are female Horatio Algers, you know": Kim laughs.

Her Four Motivational Actions To Help Weather an Economic Downturn is advice geared to the current economic crisis facing business owners worldwide.
They are:

1. Attitude

Be positive no matter what happens to you and your company. If we've learned anything from history we know that bad times never last. My grandmother endured the Asian Holocaust but today in her 90s is alive andwell. The companies that will endure are those that have a vision for themselves, their business and their team that extends for the next few years. Remember to watch out for your competitors. The smart ones are doing the samethings.

2. Cut unnecessary spending and costs, keep cash

I call it a "financial diet," be careful how you spend money and control your budget. Cash flow is king. You can increase your cashflow by lowering your expenses and increasing sales. Remember that pricing will also impact your cash flow liquidity. And finally, inventory control is important. It's better to have a lower profit margin versus holding on toinventory.

3. Find ways to increase your sales

Expand your ideas about how you can increase your sales base. You can become a socially responsible company and increase profit margins by adding a"green" component to your company. Also, look at who else can benefit from your product or service. Think of selling to the largest buyer in the world. Consider local, state and federal procurement and obtaincertificates to qualify to bid for government contracts.

4. Go back to basics

A downturned economy means it's time to focus on the core of your business: Providing outstanding customer service, retainingtalented employees, and networking as never before. Pricing is not always the main factor for making buying decisions. Most buyers make purchase decisions not on cost but on value. Your customers purchase products either we had a great customer service, great value or it was something different (i.e. an appealing fabric or color, etc.) Napoleon said that one soldier in the field can't win a war. Collaboration is the key in this tough economy.Work closer with your team and lead by example. Remember it all begins with this core idea: attitude and passion. Sidebar for NY press: Kim will be ringing the opening bell at NASDAQ to celebrate the launch of her book. Alison Woo is with New Media Mavens

Featured in Slike Endress: Lifestyle of the lady CEO
Fall 2008, Vol 2, Issue 15

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Photo by Jim Guzel

Featured in Silke Endress: Lifestyle of the Lady CEO
Winter 2008, Vol 2, Issue 16

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          Photo by Jim Guzel


Q&A with Svetlana Kim

Lana Kim has  many gifts. She speaks several languages and is an accomplished writer, successful businesswoman, and community activist. Her greatest gift is one that she shares with all of us - her story of hope, survival, and success.

In this exclusive interview, the author shares with us her personal insights into her life and her journey from the former Soviet Union to the United States.

1. Your whole life involves travel. How has this affected you?

I don't feel that travel, as a source of change and growth, is something we naturally seek out. The history of my family is a history of travel. My people, the Koryo Saram, left Korea for Siberia in search of a better life.

In 1937, the history of my family and the history of our travel began when Joseph Stalin deported 200,000 Koreans to Central Asia. This was not a journey of choice, but a journey of survival. My grandmother, White Pearl, survived this brutal forced exodus. When I left Leningrad for the United States, it was a journey of choice and of survival. I have needed to travel to reach my goals. Because I survived my early journey, travel for me today is a way to enrich my life and experience all that this world offers.

2. White Pearl (your grandmother) is your guiding star and inspiration for your book. How has her journey inspired your journey?

My grandmother is a generous, funny, warm, fearless, and resilient soul. And yes, thankfully, she is still alive. She survived Joseph Stalin's forced deportation in 1937 from Far East Russia to Central Asia. She was just a young girl of 22 then, and I can't imagine the horrors she saw. So many people died during that journey.

During a particularly hard moment for me in 1991, when I had to decide whether to use my return ticket to Leningrad or take the chance of my life and stay in America, I thought about her life. She didn't have the choice to go home. She didn't have any choices. I had already made the hardest choice by leaving everything and coming to America. I was alive and no one was trying to harm me. In fact, I had only encountered generous people who- whether through pity for me or just the sheer incredulousness of meeting someone alone who spoke no English, helped me.

When I was a girl, White Pearl always told me that I was born with good fortune and luck. I believed her then and I believe her now.

3. Is your book an immigrant story or the story of someone achieving the American dream?

That's a good question. I feel my story is both. I believe in tenacity, the importance of reinventing yourself, and always, always learning new things. You also can't take criticism or bad luck personally. America is a land of immigrants and we have all survived by finding something inside of us or something that we can pass on to our children to help them achieve our dreams even if we can't.

I can say it certainly wasn't my dream to work as a cleaning lady. But I never dreamed of being a stock broker either. As the narrator of my own story, I may not be the best judge of the type of story this is. I hope readers will find my story and the lessons I've learned inspiring. I encourage all new immigrants to have faith, dream impossible dreams, and to know that dreams do come true. I'm living proof of that.

4. How many times have you returned to Russia? What was your first visit back like?

I've returned to the former Soviet Union three times. The first time in 1996, next in 2003, and most recently in 2007. My book describes my trip back to Leningrad in 1996. At that time I noticed dramatic changes in the city's vibe. Many young people, well, people younger than me, I was 28 then-spoke English. There were new restaurants with English menus and stores with European fashions and food items. I also noticed that everything was more expensive and polluted. Sadly, with development and progress comes problems.

5. Everyone in the United States is proud to have a nationality. Do you consider yourself to be ethnically Korean or Russian?

My people are called Koryo Saram. This translates to "Korean person" in Russia. Today there are nearly 500,000 Koryo Sarams still in the former Soviet Union. All of my family still lives there - four generations. That includes my grandmother, White Pearl, my parents, me, and thirty-three nephews and nieces. Many people are surprised to learn that I don't know how to speak Korean. My book explains how the Soviet government eradicated our language. I do speak Russian, German, and of course, I'm proud to say, English--American style.

6. Now that the huge accomplishment of finishing your book is done, what's next for you?

I still can't believe that I'm done. I'm also taking time to promote White Pearl and I and applying my energies to my volunteer passions. This fall I will be volunteering at the Calvary Women's Shelter in Washington, D.C.

Giving back to the community will always be part of my life. While I was going through the legal proceedings to determine my refugee status, I promised myself that if I won my case and became a citizen I would always work to help others. That for me is a greater accomplishment than finishing the book.

7. You write in your book that your life has been full of serendipity and luck, starting from your chance encounter at the bakery. But clearly you haven't relied on luck or waiting for opportunities. What do you rely on?

I truly believe in serendipity but I also believe in my intuition. Life presents everyone with opportunities. Some are worth chasing, others are not. I've relied on my intuition more than anything else. And I feel I've inherited this from both my grandmother and mother. Early in life, my parents encouraged me and my father taught me to seize every opportunity, no matter how small they are.

One of those opportunities that I write about is my decision to move to Washington, D.C. When the call came, I simply said yes. I knew it was the right move at the right time. It wasn't easy moving across the country and leaving so much behind, but the move has changed my life once again. I've met the most incredible people, made new friends, and started writing this book.

8. Every step that you have taken in your career has led you to another milestone. It is as if you are climbing a mountain. What peak does writing this book represent?

Everyone I met after moving to Washington told me to write a book about my life and experiences. With so many people giving me the same advice, I knew that I needed to give it some serious thought. Writing this book has opened a floodgate of emotions. It has been one of the hardest tasks I've tackled, but I've also met some amazing people, like my friend Ron Powers. This book also gave me a great reason to travel back to Russia and interview my inspiration, White Pearl. I've learned a great deal about myself and my family.

But any author will tell you that the hardest part of writing a book is letting it go and letting other people read it. What will they think of the story and of me? Then my book was accepted to the Maui Writers Conference and it gave me the confidence to continue with the manuscript. I now have the joy of sharing this book with the people I write about. This book is a tribute to the generosity and kindness of everyone I've met in America.

Writing seems to come naturally to Lana. She has been blessed with a heart to feel deeply and a mind to remember what is important. With so many interesting experiences from her life to draw from, expect Lana to author many more inspiring works.

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