Through the Community Grants Committee (CGC), KACF-SF’s participatory grantmaking program, volunteers learn about issues affecting the Korean American community as they make site visits to nonprofit organizations that have applied for a KACF-SF grant.  Members of the CGC are volunteers who bring a wide range of expertise and professional/personal experience in helping the Foundation invest in our community.  The CGC works in small teams to review grant applications, gather information during site visits, and make funding recommendations to the KACF-SF Program Committee and Board of Directors.

Read below what some CGC Members had to say about their experience serving on the Committee and being involved with KACF-SF.  To learn more about our participatory grantmaking process, clickHERE.


“My experience with the CGC was eye-opening and important on both a personal and professional level. The needs in the Korean American community became very apparent, and I realized the importance of having a foundation that the community can look to for guidance and support. It was truly a privilege to have the opportunity to gain deep insight into the organizations in the Bay Area.”

Silvia Chang is Educator for Public Programs at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, working to serve communities through art and performance, while providing opportunities to express the Bay Area’s diverse culture. She earned an MA in Art History from Seoul National University and a BA in East Asian Studies at New York University.

“Through two years of volunteering on the CGC, I have acquired a greater appreciation of all the non-profit organizations serving the needs of Asian communities, especially the Korean community, in the Bay Area. It’s such a blessing that KACF-SF exists to support these organizations. It’s been a great pleasure and honor to contribute to the grantmaking process. Keep up the great job, KACF-SF!”

Don Shin is a VP-Financial Consultant at Charles Schwab.  He has worked in the financial services industry since 2000 after completing his military service in Korea. Besides traveling with his family, he loves deep-sea fishing and skiing in his leisure time.


“Being part of CGC was an amazing experience. It gave me an opportunity to meet wonderful and passionate people. In addition, through site visits, I was able to see intimately organizations doing powerful work on behalf of the Korean American community here in the Bay Area.” — Phil Kang

Phil Kang is currently the Director of Alumni Educator Engagement with Teach for America. Prior to joining Teach for America, he served as the assistant principal at Downtown College Prep Alum Rock Middle School in San Jose, CA. Before transitioning to an administrative role, Phil was an 8th grade English intervention teacher for 5 years.

“I joined the CGC with some hesitation and curiosity about how the other side of grant-making worked; I had a tiny NIH grant in the past, was new to non-profits, and had had mixed experiences working with the Korean-American community.  Highlights of volunteering to review proposals included meeting dedicated reviewers from business, law, medicine, psychology, social work and non-profit worlds, learning about community efforts to reach vulnerable populations, and understanding that visits and experience complemented “imperfect” applications, helping steward resources responsibly.   It was a privilege to volunteer and learn more about KACF’s ties and work through the CGC.” — Yeuen Kim

Yeuen Kim is an internist, mom, clinician educator working in the south bay. She is a staff physician working with homeless veterans and supervising residential rehab programs at the Menlo Park and Palo Alto VA since 2013. Born in Boston, raised in NY, SF, and Korea (high school), returned to the States for undergraduate and medical school at Brown University in RI.

“Serving on the CGC gave me the opportunity to take a deeper look at the great work of some local nonprofits and to understand how they are positioned to address culturally-specific health and wellness issues. These groups play an essential role in serving what is otherwise an invisible and marginalized population in the Bay Area: low-income, language-isolated Korean immigrants and senior citizens. I was also grateful for the opportunity to work with other CGC members who bring such a diverse range of backgrounds and life experiences. I really look forward to staying connected and involved with KACF-SF.” — Christen Lee

Christen Lee previously served as Deputy Director at Asian Immigrant Women Advocates, and she has nine years of experience working with culturally diverse nonprofits and social enterprise. She has a BA in History from Yale University and a JD from UC Berkeley School of Law.


“Serving on the CGC has truly been a rewarding experience. Through site visits, the needs of the Korean American community became a tangible reality for me and it was inspiring to see the passion in people at the organizations to serve the community. The leaders and fellow CGC volunteers were also wonderful to work with and contributed to a great experience. I would highly recommend checking out CGC or other volunteer opportunities at KACF-SF.”  — Sun Hwang

Sun is a finance professional who has worked in investor relations at Korea Exchange Bank and in the International Cooperation Office of Korea’s financial regulatory authority. She has an MBA from UC Berkeley and a BA in Business Administration from U. of Washington. Sun likes to travel, play tennis, and try adventurous activities like ziplining, whitewater rafting and skydiving.

Sun Hwang (middle) with CGC team members Yoon Cho (left) and Sophia Oh-Kim (right)

I am so glad I learned about KACF-SF and had the opportunity to join the CGC. The work of KACF-SF is necessary, holds deep personal meaning for me, and cultivates an important culture of giving among Korean-Americans. The CGC process was an enlightening, rewarding and efficient experience. It was streamlined into a few documents and single orientation meeting, making it easy for a newcomer like me to learn the important aspects of reviewing the proposal and doing a site visit. I appreciated everyone’s goodwill and sharp intellect, resulting in a lively and productive final discussion. In the end, I felt that the grant making process was effective and compassionate. I look forward to seeing it grow in the future!” — Mary Kim Walsh

Mary is a professional violinist and maintains a thriving private violin studio for children, and volunteers at Escondido Elementary School and Silicon Valley Korean School. She is currently a substitute violinist with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Prior to moving to the Bay Area, she played with the National Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Mary has an AB in architecture and music performance from Princeton Univ., an MM from Yale University and DMA from UC Santa Barbara. Mary lives in Palo Alto with her husband & two daughters and is an avid bicyclist.

“I had known about KACF for several years through many friends who actively participate in KACF in NY. I only recently had the opportunity to get involved on the CGC for the first time. It was very informative, both in terms of learning about the needs of the Korean American community and about a high-quality organization, Korean Community Center of the East Bay, that is working to address those needs. I truly appreciated the opportunity to serve and plan to continue assisting KACF-SF. The experience has also inspired me to seek out more volunteer opportunities for me and my family so we can give back to our community.”  — Tony J. Lee

Tony is Senior Vice President/Portfolio Manager at Progress Investment Management, an asset management firm based in San Francisco. Tony previously held senior investment roles at two large pension plans and spent nearly a decade working in hedge funds/trading/investment banking in New York and Chicago. Tony has a BA in economics from The Univ. of Chicago and MBA from The Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Tony enjoys playing and coaching sports as well as mentoring young people.