The Korean-Southeast United States Chamber of Commerce Inc. has elected Thomas D. Lee of the Coca-Cola Co.’s USA operations to head the 120-member organization. Mr. Lee, the first Korean-American to hold the post, assumed the position at a dinner banquet held at Georgia Power downtown Aug. 19.
Mr. Lee told GlobalFax that he wishes to attract 80 new members to the chamber during the coming year from companies located in the chamber’s seven-state region including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
He also said that he would seek to develop stronger ties between the region and Korea through his involvement in other organizations such as the Asian Caucus and the Southeast U.S.-Korea Annual Conference, which he will attend this fall as part of a trade mission to Korea Oct. 5-6 with governors from the Southeastern states, including Georgia Gov. Zell Miller.
The chamber was established in 1991 to promote better economic and business ties and to foster better mutual understanding between the region and the Republic of Korea. Now that James T. LANEY, the former president of Emory University, is the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, the ties between Atlanta, the Southeast and South Korea are stronger than ever, Mr. Lee said. And, he added, efforts will be made to bring President Kim Young Sam to Atlanta when he visits the United Nations in October.
Mr. Lee pointed to sales to South Korea by Lockheed Aeronautical Systems, Georgia-Pacific and Coca-Cola, among other U.S. multinationals, as examples of strong Southeastern economic ties with Korea. And he cited the support of Georgia Power and NationsBank to the chamber.
He also said that he expects more South Korean investment into the region. Among the chamber’s active Korean supporters are Korean Air, the shipping company Han Jin and Hyundai Motor America, which have offices here already.
The annual membership fee for corporations with six or more employees is $150; for corporations with five or fewer employees, $100; and $75 for individuals. For more information, call Gene Hanratty, the chamber’s Executive Director, at (404) 238-0875; fax, (404) 239-1727.