Sunnie S. Kim, president and CEO, Hana Financial Inc.

Winner — Financial Services

Sunnie S. Kim has reached the pinnacle of her profession as president and CEO of Hana Financial Inc. through determination, a commitment to excellence and an entrepreneurial spirit seeking positive change. However, what really separates her from others in her field is the fact that she is a woman.

In a business and culture dominated by men, Kim has broken through every cultural glass ceiling impeding her ascent and subsequently redefined the roles of women in Asian enterprises during her 35-year career. Established in 1994, Hana Financial owes much of its success to Kim, who envisioned becoming one of the most profitable financial services companies in the industry.

Less than two decades later, that vision has been realized as Hana Financial is now the third-largest factoring institution on the West coast. While the recession has had a devastating effect on employment across all sectors of the job market, Hana has moved in the opposite direction, hiring more than 50 employees during the past few months.

Kim’s visionary insight has allowed her to lay the foundation for Hana Financial and its own customer credit database. Today, Hana has a customer base in excess of 10,000 accounts that spans both coasts and internationally as well. Over the past several years, the company’s revenue has increased by 20 percent a year as Hana has undergone transformation into a full-service financial institution.

In order to achieve more diversification of services, Hana obtained its SBA lending license in 2007 as a non-depository financial institution. This unit now has six loan production offices in five different states. Among 2,500 national lenders, Hana was ranked No. 22 in SBA lending for 2011. With the help of Kim’s hard work and industry knowledge, Hana Financial continues to ascend.

How to reach: Hana Financial Inc.,