Account Executive, Business Development
AAPI ancestry/background: Korean. Born Hyeon Jun Kim (now his legal middle name) in Seoul, South Korea, John grew up on the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula in the city of Ulsan before moving with his family to Delaware when he was 6.
What he does at the Commanders: John joined the Commanders as an inside sales representative last summer and was promoted to an account executive position for the business development team in November 2021. John's days in the role consist of phone calls to businesses, leading private walk throughs with potential clients and going off site to different companies to talk with them about how they can utilize the FedExField for services such as entertaining clients or rewarding employees. Like fellow account executive Johnny Grassi, John also admits to "going hard on the water."
His favorite Korean traditions: "There's a specific Korean tradition called Gijesa where once a year on the anniversary of a death, we'll get together, make a bunch of Korean food and put it on a table with a picture of the deceased. Then, we'll open the door and let her spirit in and we let her eat first for like 15 minutes. We've done that with my grandma on my dad's side ever since she passed like five years ago, and that's something I'd definitely want to do for my parents when it's time."
How his Korean heritage has shaped him: "I would say generally Korean people are very hard workers and perfectionists in a way. The culture expects that you simply work hard and you're good at what you do. That's something my parents instilled in me and I understood through watching them work two jobs for the first eight years we were here, living in a tiny apartment as they tried to save up for a nice house for us. I attribute a large part of how I get here to that. Especially working in sales, a lot of it comes down to hustle."
What AAPI Heritage Month means to him: "I think the biggest thing about this month is that I want to be able to connect with younger Asian kids and students who come from immigrant families and show them that sports business is a viable career. Sports has always meant a lot to me and I've always wanted to work in this field, because sports was a way for me to connect to other kids when I was young and couldn't speak English. I still remember this guy named Seung who used to work in the Sixers. I maybe spoke to him two or three times and just very surface level questions, but I was like, 'Oh shoot, this guy has a similar background as me and he made it on the Sixers…this is something that I can do and something I can work towards.' That was enough for me to put my mind to this and work towards having a successful career in this industry. And now, paying it back is a huge deal for me."
Favorite quote: "I would go 0 for 30 before I go 0 for 9. A 0 for 9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game. The only reason is because you've just now lost confidence in yourself." - Kobe Bryant