More Than Just a Job: First Rate Account Executive Lives His Passion for Business in Singapore

When my wife and I first met Dave and Trina Stone in 2012 in Kona, Hawaii, I would have never imagined that I would help establish First Rate Singapore 9 years later in the middle of a global pandemic. But it turns out that the wise old proverb is true: A man’s heart plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

I grew up in many countries during my formative years. I was born in South Korea, moved to Los Angeles, then to Taiwan as my parents served as missionaries. Moving and adjusting to the different cultures and people left me quite disoriented and in survival mode. It wasn’t until I was in an international school in Taiwan that I distinctly remember my teachers who lived and loved me fully beyond the classroom content. Their determination and joy in their job as a calling inspired me to believe that the things we do as “just a job” can impact the world.  


The desire to love and serve others led me to a pastoral vocation for 17 years. However, something within me knew that there was a big piece missing from this equation for me. My mind was always spinning with ideas and plans of what could be as I looked at cities and businesses. It was quite odd for a pastor to be thinking this way, or so I thought. I mean, to love and serve God and people would be best done as a pastor, right? That is, until I met the Stones. The thought was sparked again: ”more than just a job.”  


That fateful season together on The Big Island in Hawaii with Dave and Trina made me realize that business could be a transformative and meaningful place to “love your neighbor as you would love yourself.” It can be something more than the transaction of goods and services for profit. Business can be more than mere work; it can be sacred work. It can be an inspiring platform to change the status quo of how we engage our world. It can be an expression of God’s love that was thrilling and extraordinary to me. 


The seed had been planted and I became quite aware that this is what I may have been called for. Sometime later, First Rate was expanding its business in the Asia Pacific region and we prepared to be on board. Now, here we are in Singapore, during the most disruptive times in recent history. It’s been an exciting ride of preparation, uncertainties, and hope. Can you imagine a world where companies operated with the purpose to serve their clients, impact the world around them, invest in human capital, and work for the greater good? Although we cannot solve the world’s problems on our own, we strive to be a driver and part of a bigger solution by building a business to give back to the mission, culture, and the country it serves. Whatever the outcome, we are loving doing business as “more than just a job.”

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