“Each generation will reap what the former generation has sown.” ~ Chinese Proverb
Hello. My name is Alexander Sum. My Chinese in pinyin is Sum Dingguo which means “stable country.” I was born in Hong Kong, China and have been a Seattleitte since I was 5 years old. I am a family man and raising 5 amazing and beautiful bambinos. As an immigrant and living the American dream with much debt owed to my hard-working blue-collar parents who came to the U.S. dreaming* for their kids to get college education and to make something of ourselves. I am privileged to have fulfilled that dream (both receiving a Bachelors degree from the University of Washington in Seattle) and more.
Professionally, I have been in sales and business development for over 25 years in technology and healthcare. Recently, I have been in technology startups and specialize in negotiating digital agreements, partnerships, and acquisitions. Here is my LinkedIn Profile.
Like I said, I have one of those ultimate “immigrant” stories of poor overseas family coming to the U.S. to find hope of a new life in the American dream* of better wages, free education and the freedom to succeed based on one’s ability. My parents have realized this dream especially through their children. I am a son of Chuck Hang (1943-2013) and Mei Mei Sum with an older brother, David, and a younger sister, Diana Tam. I was born in Hong Kong, China, and arrived in Seattle in 1973 when I was only 5 years old. My parents were hard working blue collar folks, who weren’t educated, that sacrificed so much to raise us, often working long hours for low pay just to make ends meet. Their courage to come to the U.S., without knowing any English, even with extended family here in Seattle was no short of the utmost sacrifice I could ask for.
I grew up in my early years in Seattle’s Chinatown and attended public schools from K-12, graduating from Franklin High School. I had a stint living in Brooklyn, NY, for 6 months after elementary school before coming back to Seattle again. When we moved back to Seattle from Brooklyn, we lived in Beacon Hill, a very diverse community south of Downtown where many Asian-Americans and other minorities lived.
After graduating from the University of Washington (UW) with a Bachelors degree in International Studies, I became the first “Sum” to get a college degree. Big deal! My sister, Diana, became the 2nd Sum to get a college degree and our half-sister, Florence, was the 3rd. Florence is now going for her Masters degree at UW’s Evans School of Public Affairs. We’re so proud of her.
It was in college that I became a Christian, easily the most important thing in my life which calls me to serve my God, the Lord Jesus, as well as my family and people around me. I got involved heavily with Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru). I have attended Chinese Baptist Church, Antioch Bible Church, Cornerstone Christian Church (Asian-American), Federal Way Mission (Korean-American) and have been a member at Grace Seattle Church for the last 14+ years. All in all, I have had an amazing experience serving in various ways whether mentoring others or being a church leader (e.g. college/career leader, adult education, elder) or advocating serving the oppressed in the city. It has been truly fulfilling to be a Christian and live coram deo (“presence of God”) with the Lord Jesus in my life and believing fully in the Bible while being a non-judgmental Christian that is also a bridge maker and loves all people.
“…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. 39 And h a second is like it: i You shall love your neighbor as yourself…” ~ Matthew 22:37-39 ESV
With a deep care for people as a Christian, I have focused on being a community activist volunteering heavily with nonprofits I started, Human Rights Society and Freedom Clinic, as well as with International Justice Mission and others. I also got to help co-found Seattle Against Slavery, a nonprofit coalition that brought together government agencies, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and the community at large. It has been so fulfilling serving in this way and feel this as a lifelong calling.
Career-wise, I am a business development professional in technology and healthcare. I lead business initiatives whether sales, account management, M&A, contracting or projects that help with sales and marketing. I was in banking for 8 years, healthcare for 11 years and technology 7 years. I got to start small businesses in mortgage, escrow and now an active business development consultant firm in technology and healthcare.
*”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness (US Declaration of Independence).”