Introduced by

Have you met Hyong Yi?

Assistant City Manager of Charlotte. Passionate about better living through love.

Have you met Hyong Yi?

We’ll do this a little backwards this time. Before you read anything else I’d love for you to scroll down and first watch the video created by the McColl Center. Hyong talks about creativity, empathy and connection. Then read his answers to the six random questions below that.

I’ve only known Hyong for a short period of time but in that short timeframe he’s had a profound effect on the way I approach many aspects of #weloveclt and my life. How do we make Charlotte more lovable? Since we met it’s a question that I ask myself daily. I never considered what I’m doing something that made Charlotte more lovable. It’s just something fun that I do or it’s not big enough to have the kind of impact, right? Not to Hyong. It’s all things, big and small that can connect people in new ways and make them love Charlotte just a little bit more. He’s pushed me to meet new people, learn more about Charlotte’s history and be better connected to the city than ever before. He’s awesome.

Come out next month, meet Hyong IRL for the final #weloveclt speaker series and hear his story. RSVP today.

I asked him 6 questions. His answers are below.

What are you most passionate about?

Better living through love. Love of self, family, community, and city and creating opportunities for myself and others to practice “love” and connect in a meaningful way leading, hopefully, to new possibilities, opportunities and ways of thinking and doing.

If you could give anyone one single piece of advice what would it be?

Always ask the question. Whether its for clarity, a raise, a date, or marriage or professional, social, or personal, never be afraid to ask the question. Only by asking questions, do we allow new possibilities to exist. As an example, growing up, I never regretted the girl I asked out who said no. It’s always the girl that I failed to ask that I wondered “what if”? Always ask the question regardless of the situation, the audience, the risk. It’ll be worth it.

If you had one day in Charlotte with someone who has never been here where would you take them?

Breakfast at Toast. Then, I’d start at Stonewall & Tryon. I’d walk them north taking them the Green, the museums (Lunch at Halcyon). Meander through Romare Bearden, talk about some of the history embedded in all the plaques Uptown, stop at Amelie’s Uptown (when it opens) for afternoon Tea/Coffee. Go through Trade/Tryon and continue to the northside talking about the architecture and end up at First Ward Park (when it opens). Dinner at Blue (for sentimental reasons). Nightcap at Fahrenheit (on a nice evening). This all assumes I can find a babysitter for that length of time.

What is your greatest indulgence?

Science fiction novels, especially contemporary SciFi as done by Weber, Ringo, McDevitt, Douglas (to name a few).

What is one thing you’d like to see happen in Charlotte over the next 5-10 years?

More “grassroots” expressions of joy, love, and community. We do the big things well (i.e., roads, water, sewer, police, skyscrapers, arenas, etc.) that make life possible. But in between the big balls are spaces that smaller balls can fill in. It’s those acts of kindness, love, generosity extending across space/time, that will will fill in those spaces and hold the big balls together. We need more love – for the City, for our neighborhoods, for each other. And one way to do that is to create opportunities for people to get together and know each other. The second (answerer’s prerogative to provide a second) would be to help the new generation (millennials and those following) find easy ways to access and be included in the power structure of the City.

If you could do one thing knowing you could not fail what would it be?

I read this two ways. First, I do something knowing I could not fail (as in its a high pressure situation and he better not blow it because of the consequences of failure). Second, pick a thing and you are guaranteed to succeed. In either case, the answer is the same: my children. They are the most important thing and I take my responsibility to raise them well and help them define what a great life is and go live it. No parent wants to fail at this.

Come see Hyong talk on Oct 22 for the final #weloveclt speaker series event. You can RSVP here or get in touch with him on Twitter at @BudgetBadger.

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