Richard was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1964, and immigrated with his parents and little sister to the United States in 1972. After a brief stay in Los Angeles, the family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. From the age of 9, Richard worked in his parents’ stores in the afternoons and on weekends, helping to stock shelves, organize inventory and translate letters and documents. Living in Memphis, Richard learned about blues, bbq, and rock and roll as well as the complexities of living in a racially diverse and divided community. These life lessons would help Richard become a student leader at Vanderbilt University where he was co-chair for the “Vanderbilt against apartheid” group and the founder of Vanderbilt Asian American Student Association.
In 1988 Richard graduated from Vanderbilt and returned home to help his family business stay afloat while his father battled with a severe heart condition. Thankfully Mr. Jung recovered fully and Richard was able to move on to Washington DC where he worked and attended law school. While in law school he was recruited by the DC Mayor’s Office to serve as the Assistant Director for Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly was proactively seeking to strengthen relationships between the African American and Asian American communities. Growing up in both communities, Richard was comfortable working with various groups to foster understanding between merchants, neighbors, government offices, and public safety departments. In this role he also worked to bring attention to the lack of mental health services for language minority communities and to foster new programs in the areas of public safety, minority business participation and scholarship programs.
Since 1996 Richard has called Austin home. Due to another family health crisis, Richard decided to place his legal career on hold and focus on business pursuits. His first foray into the business world began with him rolling up his sleeves hauling trash, scraping paint, and power washing as part of a construction cleaning company. His second foray ended with Richard as the CEO of an international semiconductor service company with nearly 20 million in sales. Over the ensuing 10 years he managed a worldwide network of sales companies and his client list included most of the top semiconductor manufacturers worldwide, including Intel, Texas Instruments, AMD/Spansion, Motorola/Freescale and Samsung.
With his father’s passing, Richard decided to reset his priorities to seek a better work/life balance and to have more time to re-engage his passion for community service. Richard has since gone on to open a small law practice focusing on immigration law. His engagement in the community includes board chair of the Asian American Resource Center, service on the Austin Travis County EMS Advisory Board, the 2012 City of Austin Charter Revision committee, and the Austin Sustainable Development Committee.