David Kim

David Kim

Businessman & former CEO of Mexican fast food chain Baja Fresh

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David Kim, the former CEO of Baja Fresh, is now the Managing Director of Ignite Enterprises whose primary business is consulting with companies and entrepreneurs by helping them establish and grow their brands in the United States. He is the author of Ignite!: The 12 Values that Fuel billionaire Success.

In 2011, his appearance as CEO of Baja Fresh on CBS’s hit show “Undercover Boss” drew one of the show’s largest audiences to date and resulted in “unprecedented” and “never before seen” web traffic, according to AOL.

But the David Kim story runs much deeper. Kim arrived in America at the age of twelve. His father, a South Korean ambassador, was forced to flee the country in the wake of the assassination of the president of South Korea. Penniless, Kim’s family moved into a two-bedroom apartment in southern California.

To earn money for the family, David’s father would take him to swap meets, spread out a blue tarp, and leave his son with a pile of plastic toys to sell on the streets. “That’s where I learned the art of business,” says Kim. “How to serve customers, how to negotiate, how to build relationships-it was the best business education I could have ever hoped to receive.”

A serial entrepreneur by nature, David’s equity market investment group specializes in acquiring distressed companies and turning them around.

Kim’s love of business is matched only by his passion for service. His charitable interests involve several faith-based groups, strengthening families, and North Korean refugees freedom organizations

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“I want to extend my heartfelt “thank you” for all you did in helping us host Ms. April Ryan as our 2018 MLK, Jr. keynote speaker. Ms. Ryan was absolutely amazing last night!! She was captiva ...
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~ Marion Sanford, Director, University of Mary Washington
~ Marion Sanford, Director, University of Mary Washington

“I want to extend my heartfelt “thank you” for all you did in helping us host Ms. April Ryan as our 2018 MLK, Jr. keynote speaker. Ms. Ryan was absolutely amazing last night!! She was captivating, insightful, and delivered a powerful message with words of hope, love, and a call to action to the audience. They were utterly enthralled by her presence and presentation.

I would like to also add that I thoroughly enjoyed the pleasure of meeting Ms. Ryan. She was so personable, pleasant, down-to-earth and very gracious and accommodating with the guests. She was patient with each question and stayed until every person had their book signed or picture taken. I would not hesitate to have her visit our campus again. I was so impressed and grateful for her contributions to our campus community in this role, but even more so for the work and accomplishments she is making in journalism, politics, and keeping integrity in the profession.

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the wonderful and professional work of Ms. Kim Lowery in her role in ensuring a positive and successful program. She was thorough in providing the details of the travel itinerary and ensured that we had all the information necessary in preparation for Ms. Ryan’s visit. It was a pleasure working with her on this engagement.

Thank you again for the work you do and the rewarding collaborations we enjoy with your agency. I look forward to future interactions.”

“Meeting you both today was a great experience for me and my career development! I learned so much and truly valued your expertise, insight and probing questions. You really got my wheels turning an ...
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~ A. Gordon, Corporate Executive
~ A. Gordon, Corporate Executive

“Meeting you both today was a great experience for me and my career development! I learned so much and truly valued your expertise, insight and probing questions. You really got my wheels turning and focused solely on the success of building my brand. As I mentioned, this was a new experience for me and it was a great opportunity to be ultra successful in 2015! As I recap my notes, I just wanted to send you a note of sincere thanks.”

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