Henry Sangtai Kim, accountant and business advocate who helped establish first Koreatown in Maryland, dies – Baltimore Sun


Henry Sangtai Kim, a certified public accountant who was active in the local Asian American community, died of lung disease May 28 at Howard County General Hospital. He was about to turn 76 and lived in Clarksville.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Yonsei University and a master of science in accounting from Syracuse University.

In 1971, Mr. Kim immigrated to the United States. He founded his accounting firm in Baltimore and Silver Spring eight years later. He had an office at 1023 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill.

He has served other members of Asian American communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

“My father was the hardest working man I have ever known,” said his son Thomas W. Kim. “He was passionate about his job. He enjoyed giving speeches and doing social work in the Korean American community. He has helped so many people. »

“Henry leaves a long and respected legacy,” said family friend Eun Kim of Ellicott City. “He was a positive person, calm and kind to anyone who needed help. He was there for others.

Mr. Kim was the chairman of the Koreatown Planning Committee Board Inc. in Ellicott City and helped raise over $700,000 to establish the first Koreatown in Maryland.

When Koreatown opened in October 2021, Mr. Kim introduced Maryland Governor Larry Hogan in a celebratory ceremony.

After hearing Mr. Kim’s words, Governor Hogan said, “That was a great introduction. I think I will take Henry Kim everywhere I go.

Active in Republican Party circles, Mr. Kim was the former Chairman of the Asian-Pacific American Affairs Committee under Governor Hogan and served as Vice-Chairman of the Asian-American Pacific Affairs Committee under former Governor Robert Ehrlich.

Mr. Kim was also the past president of the Korean Society of Maryland and the president of the Korean Business Enterprise Association.

Among his many interests, Mr. Kim had been comptroller of the Times Crescent Publishing Co. in La Plata in the 1970s and comptroller and business manager of the National Center for Community Actions Inc. in Washington.

A proponent of economic growth policy in Maryland, Mr. Kim helped relocate several businesses from Washington, DC, to Maryland in 2018, a family obituary said.

Mr. Kim was a delegate to the China-Korea Trade Mission from Prince George’s County in 2017 to attract Chinese and Korean businesses to Maryland. His family said he negotiated with six companies in China and Korea, including Shandong Taixin Curtain Wall Engineering Co. LTD and real estate companies.

As President of ST Kim Company LLC, he has worked with clients in retail, manufacturing and non-profit organizations. He has provided accounting, tax preparation, audit representation, and business acquisition and management services.

His firm also specializes in commercial property acquisitions and property management in the Baltimore-Washington market.

His family said Mr. Kim volunteered his time to obtain nonprofit IRS-exempt status for the Korean American Grocery Organization of Maryland, the Korean Businessmen’s League, the Korean School of Baltimore and churches. Korean.

Mr. Kim was the Executive Director of the Sejong Scholarship Foundation of America.

He had been a guest speaker and led a workshop called “How to Grow Your Business and Your Personal Wealth While Planning Your Taxes”.

He wrote and published a bilingual guide for small entrepreneurs and was a co-founder of the Korean language program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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Additionally, he had a Korean American radio show based in Rockville. He served as a senior adviser to the Advisory Council on Democratic Peaceful Unification in Washington and received a Presidential Award from the Korean government for his efforts to reunite South Korea and North Korea.

Mr. Kim has received distinguished public service awards from Governors Parris Glendening, Ehrlich, Martin O’Malley and Hogan. He also received the President’s Gold Volunteer Service Award 2021 and the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award 2022.

“My husband was blind for the last seven years of his life. He didn’t want to use a cane and he walked alone in familiar places. Other places we walked together, side by side,” said his 43-year-old wife, Dr. Youngja L. Kim. “He never compared himself to anyone else. He set a goal and then he achieved it. He was optimistic. He said, ‘Doing things for other people is like doing things for yourself.”

Mr. Kim was a member of the Buddhist faith. As a young man, he spent a year in a Buddhist monastery but also attended Christian schools.

“He was open to both religions,” his wife said.

Survivors include his wife, a retired University of Maryland, Baltimore County, English as a Second Language teacher; his twin sons, George J. Kim and Thomas W. Kim, both of Clarksville; one brother, Jason Sangwoo Kim of Fairfax, Virginia; and a sister, Dr. Sookhui Peterson of Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

Services were held on Saturday.

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