Sandy Springs, February 23, 2018 — American Korean Friendship Society (AKFS) and its Board members hosted the 2018 New American Hero Award ceremony at Le Meridien Perimeter.

The American Korean Friendship Society is a non-profit and non-political civic organization founded in 1996. The society's goal is to celebrate and strengthen the unique relationship between the peoples of Republic of Korea and the U.S.A.

The Society present its New American Hero Award to Americans from Korean ancestry who has contributed in a significant and noteworthy way to the United States.

The program started with an invocation by Reverend Henry Holley, a close friend and former Billy Graham Evangelical Association. The ceremony was solemn as Reverend Holley shared some insights on Billy Graham's mission work in Korea.

Hon. Young-jun Kim, the Consul General of South Korea in Atlanta, delivers a special remark on U.S.-South Korea relationship and friendship.

The Society presented its first recognition of the evening to Mr. Han C. Choi with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognized Mr. Choi's contribution for his leadership and passion for community services for over two decades in Georgia.

Guests were treated to a special appearance and in-person interview by Dan Cathy, CEO, Chick-Fil-A. Frank Blake, Chairman of AKFS and Sunny K. Park, Board member of AKFS, moderated the interviews with Dan Cathy.

Byung “BJay” Pak, U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Georgia, which oversees 46 counties in Georgia, including the cities of Atlanta, Gainesville, Rome, and Newnan, and a population of more than six million. “BJay” receives the evening's first New American Hero Award along with a cash donation of $10,000, which he graciously donated to Grady Memorial Hospital.

Steve Stirling, CEO, MAP International, a Christian global health organization that provides medicines, prevents diseases and promote health in some of the world's poorest countries. MAP International has provided more than $6 Billion in medicines and health supplies to communities in need since its inception since 1954.

Stirling grew up in an orphanage in South Korea after he was abandoned by his father when he contracted polio as a child. Stirling eventually was adopted by an American couple where he settled and grew up in Alaska.

Stirling receives the New American Hero Award along with a $10,000 cash donation that he donated to the Carter's Center.

For more information on American Korean Friendship Society, visit

Photos by Ben Hioe, Georgia Asian Times