Don Southerton

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Don Southerton
Southerrton Image.png
Residence Golden, Colorado
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Colorado Denver (BA, History)
University of Colorado Denver (MA, History)
  • Founder & CEO of Bridging Culture Worldwide
  • Writer
  • Business consultant
Home town Honesdale, Pennsylvania
Spouse(s) Anna Cash-Mitchell (m. 2003)

Donald "Don" Southerton is an American writer, business consultant and global Korean issues specialist. Southerton, who is a University of Colorado Denver alumnus, taught traditional Korean martial arts before establishing and becoming CEO of Bridging Culture Worldwide, in 2003. Southerton is also the author of a number of books emphasizing on matters related to South Korea.

Early life and education[edit]

A native of Honesdale, Pennsylvania developed his interest on Asian culture while studying in the Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.[1][2] He received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in history from the University of Colorado Denver.[3] Southerton has also taken postgraduate classes in UCLA, University of Southern California, UC San Diego and the Intercultural Institute of California in San Francisco.[4]


Southerton begun training in Tang Soo Do (Moo Duk Kwan) and eventually received his 1st Degree Black Belt in the mid 1970s.[5][6] He was the cadet martial arts instructor and competition team coach at the United States Military Academy at West Point.[5][7][8] In 1987 he was promoted to a master instructor in Tang Soo Do.[9] Southerton was inducted into the Taekwondo Hall of Fame in October 2013.[10] Starting in 1987, he worked as staff development consultant for Bethesda, Maryland-based Educational Funding Company, where he supported the company's Korean American clients, due to his understanding of Korean culture and traditions.[2]

In 2003 he founded and became CEO of Bridging Culture Worldwide, to consult South Korea-based companies operating internationally. Since he has worked with South Korean companies making business in the United States such as Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors as well as with American companies, ranging from Natori to Golfsmith International, in their effort to introduce themselves into the South Korean markets.[11][12][13] In 2005 Bridging Culture announced it would begin publishing books.[14] The first book, written by Southerton himself, was published in 2005 under the title "The Filleys: 350 Years of American Entrepreneurial Spirit".[15] In 2006 he published "A Yankee in the Land of the Morning Calm", his first novel.[16] He completed the history as a trilogy publishing "A Yankee in the Land of the Morning Calm: Gold & Rail" and "A Yankee in the Land of the Morning Calm: The Northern Frontier" in 2007 and 2013 respectively.[17][18][19] In August 2009 he published Chemulpo to Songdo IBD: Korea’s International Gateway.[20]

In 2010 he consulted Smashburger to expand its business to South Korea.[21][22] In December 2012 he published a book titled "Korea Facing: Secrets for Success in Korean Global Business".[23][24] In July 2013, Southerton provided his services to South Korean company Mad for Garlic, in their effort to expand internationally and the United States.[25] In March 2014 he published "Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed", a book analyzing Hyundai's management style.[26] Beginning 2015, Southerton published "Korea Perspective", a book focusing on daily interaction between Koreans and non-Koreans, in a business environment.[27] Throughout his career Southerton has commented on South Korean related issues in BBC, Korea Times, Korea Herald, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes among others and he has given speeches on South Korean-related topics.[19][28][29]


  1. ^ "Korean Martial Art Experiences: Competition Years". Bridging Culture blog. March 21, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Don Southerton CV". Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Volume 11, Number 1" (PDF). Intercultural Institute of California. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 24, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  4. ^ "About Bridging Culture Worldwide". March 29, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "The First Korea Wave-- Korean Martial Arts". Bridging Culture Worldwide. October 20, 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Don't let your training in Tang Soo Doo go unrecognized and uncertified". Black Belt. November 1, 1983. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  7. ^ Watkins, Linda (January 18, 1996). "A Candid Interview with Tony Interdonato". Martial Arts Magazine. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  8. ^ "NAPMA BUISINESS SOLUTIONS: The "Formula" for Success: Beliefs, Strategy, Tactics, Execution". Martial Arts Professional. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Karate instructor promoted". The Newburgh-Beacon Evening News. February 19, 1987. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Excitante fue Gala del Salón de la Fama del Taekwondo en Las Vegas" (in Spanish). October 18, 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2015. 
  11. ^ Levin, Doron (April 4, 2013). "The threat Hyundai faces now". Fortune. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  12. ^ Nelson, Gabe (April 13, 2015). "Kia's new bosses have a tough act to follow". Automotive News. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  13. ^ "For brands, becoming Korean is key for success". The Korea Times. February 22, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  14. ^ [citation needed]
  15. ^ [citation needed]
  16. ^ [citation needed]
  17. ^ "New Korean Historical Novel Available". Bridging Culture Worldwide. September 26, 2007. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Historical Novel Looks at Early Twentieth Century Korea's North Frontier". Bridging Culture Worldwide. March 22, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  19. ^ a b "A Yankee in the Land of the Morning Calm: The Northern Frontier". Google Books. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  20. ^ Jung, Jayne (November 15, 2011). "New Urbanism: Comparing Songdo, South Korea to Belmar, United States of America". Forbes. Retrieved July 10, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Smashburger's International Expansion Begins in South Korea". QSR Magazine. August 31, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  22. ^ Garcia, Cathy Rose (October 12, 2010). "Smashburger looks for Korean partner". The Korea Times. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Korea Facing: Secrets for Success in Korean Global Business Paperback – December 24, 2012". Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  24. ^ Ramstad, Evan (January 14, 2013). "Southerton Advises Non-Koreans in Overseas Korean Offices". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  25. ^ Nicholls, Luke (September 2, 2013). "'Korean Wave' provides UK expansion opportunity for restaurant chain". Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  26. ^ Nam, In-Soo (March 11, 2014). "Hyundai Motor: Cruising or Skidding?". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Don Southerton Releases His Latest Book "Korea Perspective"". February 4, 2015. Retrieved July 10, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Working for Korea Inc with Don Southerton". Foreign Policy Association. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  29. ^ Settle, Jimmy (May 28, 2015). "4th Growth Summit focuses on global jobs". The Leaf-Chronicle. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 

External links[edit]