David Kim

David Kim, the former CEO of Baja Fresh, is now the Managing Director of Ignite Enterprises whose primary business is consulting with companies and entrepreneurs by helping them establish and grow their brands in the United States.

Star of the April 10, 2011 episode of Undercover Boss on CBS, as the Boss of Baja Fresh.

Author of Ignite! The 7 Values that Fuel Billionaire Success.

In 2011, David Kim’s appearance on CBS’s hit show “Undercover Boss” drew one of the show’s largest audiences to date and resulted in “unprecedented” and “never before seen” web traffic, according to AOL.

But the David Kim story runs much deeper.  Kim arrived in America at the age of twelve.  His father, a South Korean ambassador, was forced to flee the country in the wake of the assassination of the president of South Korea.  Penniless, Kim’s family moved into a two-bedroom apartment in southern California.  To earn money for the family, David’s father would take him to swap meets, spread out a blue tarp, and leave his son with a pile of plastic toys to sell on the streets.

“That’s where I learned the art of business,” says Kim.  “How to serve customers, how to negotiate, how to build relationships—it was the best business education I could have ever hoped to receive.”

A serial entrepreneur by nature, David’s equity market investment group specializes in acquiring distressed companies and turning them into high-powered profit centers in record time.

Kim’s love of business is matched only by his passion for service.  His charitable interests involve several faith-based groups, North Korean freedom organizations, and charities that focus on strengthening families.



How can I possibly say thank you enough for your inspirational keynote presentation at our recent executive summit in Chicago!  Your session received the absolute highest score J And I know it would not surprise you to know that in the write-in comments for future topics, there were many requests for the topic of leadership.

David, you are an amazing person with a unique ability to change people’s live for the better.  I share your passion for our country.  I loved your closing remarks around keeping sight of core values around family, freedom and faith and recognizing our brave soldiers.

I have the deepest respect for you and what you achieved early in life and for loving your parents so much that it drove you to achieve a level of success so they did not have to work again.

So many people we meet in our lives but so few like you who have a heart, who can inspire, who can run a business while still being human and who understands that people their best work when they are lifted up and respected and encouraged.

I feel blessed that our Summit brought us to know each other and I hope we can stay in touch.  I wish you the very best on Hannity (or was it O’Reilly?) and in all of your endeavors

Have a wonderful day!

Maureen McCann, Infosys

“It was an honor and a great pleasure to have David Kim as a speaker at Harvard Business School Association of Orange County’s 2011 Business Growth Conference.  David has a unique and inspirational story of an immigrant family member, who became a successful serial entrepreneur and CEO of several businesses.  Given his distinct experiences, David’s insights on achieving business and career growth with passion, perseverance, and uncompromising dedication to one’s core values were extremely impactful.  And his openness and genuine perspectives allowed him to connect with the audience of business owners, entrepreneurs, and middle market company executives.  David was very forthright on sharing his career as well as life mistakes and lessons learned, which also made his comments very educational for the group of business professionals and leaders.  One attendee said that David “wears his heart on his sleeve,” and this quality drew the listeners into the discussion and inspired them accordingly.  This was evident by the large crowd of people who swarmed David after he spoke, whether it was to buy his book, to take a picture with him, or to get from him a few minutes of business mentorship.

We very much hope to have David as a speaker again at our future events.”

-David Oh and Tom Dean, co-Managing Directors — Harvard Business School Association