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What Drives Nan, Inc.’s Business Founder Nan Chul Shin’s Generosity?

Nan Chul Shin’s pledge to provide similar opportunities for others is clear. Nan, Inc. is one company that is hugely committed to giving back to the local Hawaiian community. Nan, Inc. supports the University of Hawaii, Kapiolani Medical Center, St. Francis HealthCare System of Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific University, and has donated to schools and orphanages in Cambodia and Bangladesh. Shin has also contributed to sponsoring student travel to Cebu, Philippines to volunteer with the cleanup effort after Typhoon Haiyan displaced millions of people. Shin also coordinates with the Honolulu Rotary Club to sponsor service projects in the Philippines.

But what drives Nan Chul Shin, founder of Nan, Inc.’s generosity?

Nan Chul Shin remembers life in South Korea as a young boy, “Our family was very poor and my parents and five siblings all lived in a small one bedroom home. Life was not easy, but you learn to persevere." “Perseverance” is often tossed about as a preferred personality trait, along with “grit,” as key ingredient in learning and success for children. While some children must learn it on school, others have learned it from facing real life hardships.

For Shin, it is both his perseverance and a bit of luck that helped him create Nan, Inc., one of the largest construction company in Hawaii. When he was just a teenager, Shin, moved to Guam to attend high school. Subsequently he went to live with his older brother in Bronx, New York. It was in the Bronx, Shin remembers one of his early life changing opportunities. He was offered a soccer scholarship from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. While Shin had no idea what it would be like to live in Ohio, he took the scholarship. It was a chance that Shin knew would alter his path in life.

"That opportunity changed my life. If not for that scholarship, I would not have been able to attend college." At Bowling Green State University, Shin played soccer for four years and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. This may be why Shin donated money for a soccer facility at Hawaii Pacific University.

Reflecting on his life challenges and current situation, Nan Chul Shin said, "My life today would be completely different if I never had the chance to get a good education. I hope in a small way, [I] can help provide that same opportunity to others."