CEO's corner

"Commonwealth Business Bank is one of California's leading community banks. It initially earned a leadership position in serving the Korean-American business community. Under the leadership of its CEO, CBB Bank is raising the bar in assisting diverse companies both getting started and growing. Disabled veteran-owned companies have already benefitted from CBB's commitment and today we thank them and present our Business Matchmaking Diversity Service Award." These were the introductory remarks of our bank at the Veteran's Day ceremony, titled "Salute to Veterans Day with the Stars", which was held on Nov. 7 at Paramount Studios. Several of our officers and our Chairwoman, Mrs. Soon Pak, attended the ceremony and heard our name being announced in front of an audience of several hundred.

My response was very personal:

"We are committed to bringing financial success to as many disabled veteran-owned companies as possible, because we believe in you."

JOANNE KIM, CEO & President

"My Mom and Dad fled from North Korea in the cold winter of 1951, alongside the retreating allied armies who were pushed southward by millions of China's Red Army. Without your brave fights and sacrifice, my parents would not have survived the war and lived their lives together in the U. S. until now. And I would not have been born and achieved my American dream as a female CEO of a Korean-American bank. My entire family owes our lives to you, and so do so many Korean-American families. I am a proud mother of a son who serves in the US Army as a doctor in Honolulu.

That's why I am personally and professionally enthusiastic about CBB's involvement in promoting the success of disabled veteran-owned businesses. We are about to complete our first transaction with such a company, and many more are in our pipeline. We are committed to bringing financial success to as many disabled veteran-owned companies as possible, because we believe in you."

It came from the bottom of my heart. I realized how much we, Korean-Americans, are blessed, living and working in the best place in the world. The US opened its doors for us, and so many of us have realized our life-long dreams and achieved unbelievable success. The drama is still unfolding on a bigger scale with endless success stories in businesses, politics, arts and science. I believe we, CBB Bank, will be one of those success stories.

We are excited about our recognition in the ceremony, and we humbly accept and, in return, we commit ourselves to helping those who helped us in the past.