by Fredi Aks

Dennis Choe, the Hospitality Manager at Frank Residences, was born in 1972 in Seoul, South Korea, where his parents and younger brother still reside. He is a graduate of Seoul University, where he studied graphic design. Prior to coming to the United States, he worked for LG Corporation in Seoul as a graphic designer.

Dennis Choe, Hospitality Manager for Frank Residences

Dennis’s longing to explore different parts of the world led him to relocate to Boston in 1999. During the nine years he lived and worked in Boston, he took English immersion courses, and he completed a two-year graphic design program at Boston Community College. Next, he decided to study medical imaging, and graduated with certification as an EMT. All this extra education was in addition to his day-job in restaurant service as a hospitality host and manager. When he completed the EMT and Medical Technician certification, he came to a decision point. He had had enough of Boston weather, and he realized that he wanted to work with people rather than with machines. Despite his boss’s disappointment, he decided to relocate to the West Coast.

In 2009, he chose San Francisco as his base. When he got here, he said “I thought I had arrived in heaven – flowers were blooming in March!” In addition, he saw many Asian people who were living and working here with obvious success. He went to work for a Korean restaurant that catered to waves of Asian tourists each week. The owners were Americans who took an interest in Dennis’s penchant for hard work and his inner drive to succeed. After some years there, the restaurant owners wanted him to stay on, but encouraged Dennis to explore his new interests and rewarded him with a substantial bonus.

He then found a job at a Michelin-star San Francisco restaurant where he began a seven-year career in fine-dining. The owner expected him to start at the bottom, doing mundane tasks such as unloading and stocking shelves, which was hard mentally, physically, and financially, but within a month he was promoted to full-time front-of-the-house tasks. He was convinced that hospitality aspects were more important than fine food aspects. He took a second full-time job at Cavallo Point Hotel, where they paid for butler training as well as wine-education & sommelier training.

Dennis with Frank resident Thea Black at the opening reception for the Byer Square resident art exhibition.

Dennis came to Frank Residences in October 2021 and has since enjoyed meeting and serving our residents in Ozzie’s Dining Room and for special events in Byer Square. His free-time hobbies include wine tasting, outdoor hiking and gym visits with friends, travel when he has the opportunity, and learning about world history. He lives alone with his two well-loved, adopted dogs who have become accustomed to his very busy schedule.

Originally published in Frankly Speaking, the newsletter by and for the Frank Residences community, written, edited, and photographed by the residents themselves. They frequently feature staff profiles and other news from campus, which they have offered to share with the readers of our blog.

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