Please note that we will be announcing additional honorees in the coming weeks.

Recipient Of The 2021 CKA Empower Award

Honoring an Accomplished National Leader Whose Life’s Work Demonstrates Great Leadership, Service, and Role Modeling to the Korean American Community

John Suh

Senior Advisor and Former CEO, LegalZoom

John Suh retired in October 2019 after 25 years in various CEO roles. He served as LegalZoom’s CEO from 2007 and as a member of LegalZoom’s board of directors since 2005. Prior to LegalZoom, he was CEO of StudioDirect, the internet division of a global supply chain company, Li and Fung Limited. Prior to StudioDirect, John co-founded and served as CEO of Castling Group, helping offline companies create their internet divisions and launching category leaders such as jcrew.com, Barneysny.com, and hifi.com.

John is a serial entrepreneur with experience leading businesses through different parts of the lifecycle. He has taken several businesses from $0 to more than $20 million of revenues, grown multiple companies from $20M to the north of $100M of revenues, and taken multiple companies to profitability. LegalZoom was grown on only $1m of primary capital and provided over $1.5B in liquidity to its shareholders. He was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016.

John received a B.A. degree in Organizational Behavior and Public Policy from Harvard College and received his M.B.A. with high distinction from Harvard Business School, graduating as a George F. Baker Scholar.

Recipient Of The 2021 CKA Embrace Unity Award

Honoring a Bridge-Building National Leader Whose Work Promotes Greater Understanding and Cooperation Across the Korean American Community and With Other Ethnic and Racial Groups

Eric Nam

Singer/Songwriter and Co-Founder, DIVE Studios

Eric Nam is a multi-faceted Korean American singer, songwriter, entertainer, and TV personality. He is one of the most popular and recognizable celebrities in Asia and has been named GQ Korea’s Man of the Year and Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia. He is one of the most extensively touring solo Asian acts in the world and is also the Co-Founder and Creative Director at DIVE Studios.

Recipient Of The 2021 CKA Inspire Award

Honoring a Celebrated National Leader Whose Achievements Advance the Culture, Image, and Reputation of the Korean American Community

Chloe Kim

U.S. Olympic Snowboarder – Gold Medalist

Chloe Kim first burst into the public consciousness aged just 14; at the 2015 X Games, she was the youngest ever winner of a gold medal, taking the prize in the superpipe ahead of Kelly Clark. The records continued to tumble – she won X Games gold again the next year, and in the US Snowboarding Grand Prix, she became the first female border to land back-to-back 1080s.

Kim was too young to compete at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games – an event she was already talented enough to win a medal at – and therefore her first taste of Olympic action came at the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games. Kim was head and shoulders ahead of the competition, winning gold, notching the highest score in YOG snowboarding history, and acting as US team flagbearer.

The stage was set for Pyeongchang 2018. Kim was, for many, the face of the Games. A fluent Korean speaker whose parents were first-generation South Korean immigrants to the US, Kim appealed to home and overseas fans alike. She won gold in the halfpipe, with a remarkable score of 98.25 points, ten points ahead of her nearest rival. It made Kim a household name around the world and the youngest halfpipe gold medallist. She has since been on the front of the Corn Flakes packet, been made into a Barbie doll, and starred in several films and music videos.

Recipient Of The 2021 CKA Trailblazer Award

Honoring a Visionary National Leader Whose Accomplishments Demonstrate Innovation and Paving the Way for Future Leaders to Follow

Justin Chon

Director, Writer, Producer, and Actor

Justin Chon is a writer, director, and actor known for his ’90s LA Riots drama Gook (2017), which won the NEXT Audience Award of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win him Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award at the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The film also won the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature Film, Best Director (Justin Chon), Best Actress (Simone Baker), and an Audience Award at the 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. The film further won Golden Space Needle Awards for Best Director and Best Actress at the 2017 Seattle International Film Festival.

Justin followed up with a contemporary Koreatown sibling drama Ms. Purple (2019), which also premiered at Sundance. Most recently, Justin wrote, produced, and directed his latest deportation drama Blue Bayou (2021), where he also plays the lead role opposite Alicia Vikander. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on July 13, 2021, and is scheduled to be released in the United States on September 17, 2021.

Recipient of The 2021 CKA Voice and Leadership Award

Voice and Leadership Award: Honoring a National Leader Whose Voice Galvanizes Attention and Mobilizes Change for the Korean American Community

Daniel Dae Kim

Actor, Producer, and Activist

Daniel Dae Kim has captivated global audiences with his transformative performances across film, television and theater. His body of work continues to evolve with powerful roles and compelling narratives as an actor, director and producer.

Born in Busan, South Korea, and raised in New York and Pennsylvania, Kim discovered acting while a student at Haverford College. After graduation, he moved to New York City, where he began his career on stage, performing in classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Ivanov and A Doll’s House. Despite early success, he chose to further his knowledge of the craft by enrolling in New York University’s Graduate Acting Program, where he earned his Master’s Degree.

Kim’s imperative work as an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion for Asians throughout the US, as well as in Hollywood, has been documented in the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News Nightline and a ground-breaking five-part PBS documentary. Kim has testified in front of Congress twice and was instrumental in the passing of the bill “Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act” In addition to Kim’s public-facing activism work, he is also a founding board member of the newly formed non-profit The Asian American Foundation, which aims to solve for the longstanding underinvestment in AAPI advocacy and power-building infrastructures. Since May, TAAF has already donated $125 million in support of AAPI causes and raised $1.1 billion in its first month.