Gateway Korea Foundation

The Gateway Korea Foundation provides opportunities for the Heartland Community to learn about and experience Korean culture. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, the Gateway Korea Foundation will draw from communities across the American Midwest to nurture a greater understanding and appreciation for Korean culture.

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Upcoming Events

Chuseok - September 28, 2019

Passport to Korea - September 29, 2019

What’s New

Kent’s Korean Wanderings Blog - September 13, 2019

Meet the Volunteer of the Month - August, 2019

Thank you, Volunteers!

The Gateway Korea Foundation is run completely by valuable time and effort of volunteers. To recognize our amazing volunteers, this page is dedicated to meet each of the amazing volunteers. Please meet and get to know Kent Vesser through a brief interview with him.

Kent Volunteer.jpg

Briefly tell us about yourself! Where are you from? How old are you? What do you do? 
I was born and raised in St. Louis.  I went away to college at the University of Montana in Missoula studying and working for seven years.  I returned to St. Louis after I got my accounting degree in 1993.  I am 51 years old.  I work in information technology for Enterprise Holdings, the parent of Enterprise, National, and Alamo Rent-A-Car and have worked there for 26 years.  I live in Des Peres.  I am not married and do not have children.

When did you start volunteering with the Gateway Korea Foundation?
I began volunteering with Gateway Korea in February of 2019.

What kind of work do you do with GKF?
I serve on the PR committee with GKF under the direction of Hyunjoo Oh.  I assist with things like maintaining the e-mail lists, writing surveys, working with the PR committee to come up with ideas to better market GKF and its events, etc.  I also assist with Audio-Video arrangements for GKF events and providing logistic support for the events.  Shortly after you read this, I will be publishing a monthly to quarterly column/blog for the GKF's website that will focus primarily on Hallyu, Korean culture, and Korean history from the perspective of someone who is passionate about these things, but is not Korean and hasn't lived there.  The first column will be about the seven year journey I have been on that led me to the GKF.

What is your favorite thing about GKF?
I'll cover this a bit more in my upcoming column on the GKF's site, but the short version is that I have been very interested in Korean culture for the better part of a decade and wanted to get involved in something where people would have some of the same interests.  I thought it would be a great way to make friends, and so far I would say I was right.

What would you like for people who are interested in getting involved with GKF to know?
Don't be afraid that volunteering means a major time committment.  Sure there are positions within the GKF that have more responsibility than others and therefore require more time, but there are lots of things to help out with that are not a major time committment other than the day of an event.  Also, you don't have to be ethnic Korean or speak Korean to get involved.  You just have to be willing to help in some way and we will find something for you to help with.

Lastly, what do you hope for the future of Gateway Korea Foundation?
I'd love to see our events grow in size and scope.  As someone who loves Korean culture, I'd love to see Chuseok be an event that enters the American event calendar the way that St. Patrick's Day, Oktoberfest, Chinese New Year, or Cinco de Mayo have.  It would be great if in say five years we had 5,000+ attendees at Chuseok weekend.