Huntsman Post

Graduate who planned to be a military general, ends up church leader

By Steve Eaton

When Yoon Choi attended the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business in the 1980s his goal was to become a general in the Republic of Korea. While he did become a leader, his career path took him in an unexpected direction.

Elder Yoon Choi is now a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elder Yoon Choi – Photo by Steve Eaton

The Huntsman School of Business honored Elder Choi in October 2010 with a Professional Achievement Award. The Huntsman School of Business uses the award to recognize individuals “who achieve extraordinary success in their career and demonstrate uncommon leadership in their communities.”

The need to be strong ethical leaders is something the Huntsman School of Business emphasizes. Dean Douglas D. Anderson said students are encouraged to think about their life’s work and what kinds of contributions they will be making.

“Elder Yoon Choi is a good example of someone who has made these elements a priority throughout his life,” Anderson said just before the award was presented. “You do not have to be a member of the LDS church to appreciate the moral courage it has taken for him to pursue the career choices that he has made.”

Elder Choi answered a call to serve in the LDS Church even though it appeared to take him away from the leadership opportunities he sought vocationally. Elder Choi said his education at Utah State University shaped his character. He was a shy boy but decided in college that he wanted to become more proactive, he said.

“This is the school that taught me how to do that,” Elder Choi said. “I have great memories of this school.”

After receiving his master’s degree in business information systems education at Utah State University in 1989, Elder Choi worked at Data General Korea Ltd. in a variety of positions from 1989 to 1997. He was working as the managing director for CDC & MBS Venture Capital Co., Ltd. in 1998 when he was asked to become the regional manager for temporal affairs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Korea. Since April 2009, he has been serving as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy for the LDS Church.