Chris Min was born to immigrant Korean parents in Houston, Texas in 1967. In those days, Houston was much less diverse than it is today. Luckily his mother was able to access an organization called S.M.I.L.E., which was an outreach program from South Main Baptist Church (the S.M. were for the name of the church). A kind white woman, Magdalene Olsen, took his mother under her wing and taught her how to make classic American dishes like casseroles that utilized Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup. Over the years, his family grew more affluent, especially after a move to West Des Moines, Iowa, when his father went into private practice as a doctor.
Growing up in two homogeneously white areas, Texas and Iowa, his parents emphasized assimilation and Chris was a model student. He eventually matriculated to Harvard University and met his future wife during his freshman year. Like Chris, she was the child of Korean immigrants and born in the US. Even more remarkable was that she grew up in Brookings, South Dakota.
After college, Chris came to New York for graduate school but never left. He has now raised twin daughters in NYC who are are 21 years old and are both attending Harvard University. His wife is a Managing Director in the legal department at Morgan Stanley, and he is an increasingly entrepreneurial biotech executive who has served in the C-suite of publicly listed companies.
Act 1 of SPEAK: Heritage features 5 incredible talks to start our show. (click the photo to read their bio)
🎤 JASON GREER: “Embracing Forgiveness: Transforming Pain into Strength”
🎤 PARUL DUA: “Finding My Way Home”
🎤 CHRIS MIN: “Koreans, The Irish of the East?”
🎤 JEAN C. VICTOR, JR.: “I Would Rather Have My Good Name Than Great Riches”
🎤 PHOENIX CARNEVALE: “Me in Parts and Pieces”