The 2008 AWIB Entrepreneurial Leadership Award Winner
SK Management Consulting & St. Mary's Eye and Surgery Center
St. Mary's Ambulatory Surgery Center is a one-stop eye center that provides comprehensive ophthalmic care, including laser vision correction, retina treatment, cataract surgery, and a high-end fashion optical dispensary. SK Management Consulting provides consultation for healthcare businesses. Services extend from coordination of physical construction and implementation of medical equipment to human resource management and accreditation. The businesses and its predecessors began in 1997 and has over $3 million in revenues.
Musically gifted, Sara Kim grew up playing the violin and after she graduated from Seoul National University, she headed for the U.S. to pursue a music career. She earned a Masters in Music Therapy from NYU and a PhD in Music Education at Columbia University.
Her first business was a music school for pre-school to high school students , where she developed her own curriculum. At the same time, she helped her physician husband set up his first medical office and then a second office while raising two kids. Sara decided she needed to focus, closed her music school and concentrated on what she saw as a needed service, medical administration and eye care.
In 1997, she started a medical consulting business and opened a Lasik eye center in Palisades Park, New Jersey. Three years later, she expanded the center, which grew into a 12,000 square foot full service ambulatory eye surgery center. Now, with the centers running well, almost on auto pilot, Sara started SK Global last year and works with hospitals and doctors in Korea as a consultant, rather than management. Sara enjoys solving problems and is also assisting Korean medical equipment manufacturers to set up distribution systems. In the future, she plans to expand her global healthcare consulting business.
When asked what advice she would give to other entrepreneurs, Sara declared "Don't be afraid of the unknown. Experience in one area can be applied to a different field". "You must be willing to take chances and get out of your comfort zone to achieve success". Studying music gave her discipline and she used that principle in her life. Although she was not trained in the medical field, she was a manager and leader and she learned from the example set by her physician father, her mentor, who runs several hospitals in Korea.
Sara's mother was involved with women's and youth groups in Korea and she has followed in her foot steps. Sara served 3 years on the board of directors of Sejong Soloist, a string ensemble from the Julliard School; is on the Board of Directors of the LaGuardia Community College; and raises funds for the Network of Korean American Leaders and KACF.
Sara, her husband and two sons (Jason and Elliott) live in Manhattan.
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