Episode 74: Wan Kim (Smoothie King), New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

YPO member Wan Kim grew up in a traditional, conservative South Korean family. His father ran a successful electronics business. After Wan graduated from Boston University and received an MBA from the University of California, Irvine, his father expected Wan to return home to Korea to take his place in the company.

But Wan was determined to create his own path. He discovered the Smoothie King brand as a student in the United States and began his entrepreneurial journey as a franchisee in Seoul, South Korea. Within 10 years, Wan had grown a network of 130 Smoothie King franchises in a country that hadn’t previously known what a smoothie was.

In 2012, Wan bought the entire Smoothie King company and has achieved considerable success in growing the business. In 2017, Ernst & Young named Wan Entrepreneur of the Year.

In this episode, Wan shares his transformation from Korean son to the CEO of a top American brand.

Guest: Wan Kim, CEO of Smoothie King
Host & Executive Producer: Kevin Daum
Executive Producer: Van Van
Music: DreamArtist Music.

Made possible with grants from Gazelles Growth Institute.

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Kevin Daum is an award winning and bestselling author of 5 books. He is a marketer, speaker, and columnist for Inc.com and Smart Business Magazine. As an Inc. 500 entrepreneur, his sales and marketing techniques resulted in more than $1 billion in sales. Drawing on his background in theatre and business, Kevin is a compelling speaker who has engaged and inspired audiences around the globe. Kevin is a graduate of the MIT Entrepreneurial Masters program and has received the Global Learning Award 3 times from the Entrepreneur’s Organization, where he held several board positions. Kevin has designed, produced, and led award-winning executive training programs and events for C-level executives and entrepreneurs on four continents. Previously, Kevin was named one of the 40 people to watch under 40 in San Francisco by the Business Times and in 2006 was named Distinguished Alum of the Year by his alma mater, Humboldt State University.