Young Shin-Chang ’59 Receives the 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award

Release Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2009


PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Chestnut Hill College Alumni Association announces that alumna Young Shin-Chang ’59 is the recipient of the 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award for her remarkable business accomplishments that have improved and enhanced the daily lives of millions of consumers. The Chestnut Hill College Alumni Association Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes graduates of the College who have a history of accomplishment in their business or profession or in civic, philanthropic, or other volunteer activities.
Young-Shin, or Teresa, as her classmates know her, began her journey to the highest levels of Korean business and industry through an unexpectedly tragic route. After graduating from Chestnut Hill College with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, and returning to Korea to marry and raise a family, only 11 years later she faced the sudden death of her husband three days after the birth of their fourth child. One year later, Young Shin decided to enter the management of AeKyung Oils and Fats Inc., the major company that her late husband had founded in 1954, and what many considered the start of the chemicals industry in Korea. In 1972, two years after her husband’s death and despite much objection from within the company, Young-Shin became AeKyung’s president, the first woman in the Republic of Korea to hold such a position. Thirty-seven years later, no other woman in Korea enjoys an equal position of prominence and respect in the business world.

Aekyung Group now operates subsidiaries spanning a variety of industries that include home, health, and cosmetic products, petrochemicals, store-based and online retail, manufacturing, leisure real estate, plastics, and more.

In addition to presiding over her company’s extraordinary growth, Young-Shin has contributed her experience and talents to broader causes. For example, she has served as a member of Korean’s National Assembly, the equivalent of the United States Senate; the National Advisory Council for Budget Policy; the Planning and Budget Commission; the Regulatory Reform Committee; the Presidential Commission on Small and Medium Business; the Korea-U.S. Economic Council, and vice chair of the Federation of Korean Industries.

She has served as president of the Federation of Korean Women (1997) and has figured prominently in advancing business opportunities for women, serving as the first president of the Korean Business Women Association (1999). Her commitment to education and the advancement of women in business is seen through generous financial support of Korean educational and women’s foundations. In addition, she established a foundation that resembles Meals on Wheels to benefit people in need, and has been an active supporter of the Korean Symphony Orchestra and the Red Cross.

Her honors and awards are many, ranging from the Order of National Service Merit presented by the president of the Republic of Korea, to the Grand Prize from the Korean Academy of Business Historians in 2004. Ten years ago, the Korean Management Association awarded her its Grand Prize; the same year, the Korea Economic Daily newspaper named her recipient of its Dasan Management Prize. She has served on committees of international import, including the Seoul Olympic Games Committee and, at the invitation of Cardinal Archbishop Kim Soo Hwan, the committee to welcome President Ronald Reagan on his 1983 visit to Korea.

She holds two honorary doctoral degrees and has lectured at major universities worldwide, being recognized as much for her humanitarianism efforts as she is for her business expertise. In 1985, she was awarded Chestnut Hill College’s honorary doctorate, and twenty years later, she was inducted as a Charter Member into the College’s Libris Society.