State Farm Insurance
I spent some time at the Sacramento Hmong New Years speaking with the considerate and kind-eyed State Farm insurance agent Khu Yang. We discussed his life, educational, and career decisions. Throughout this discussion he would make point to look over at and make references to his wife, children, and other family members, mentioning how each of them influenced the choices he has made. Khu was born in Laos and raised in Wausau, Wisconsin. All his life his parents reinforced the importance of family and higher education, constantly encouraging him with words like, “Your future lies on the tip of your pencil.” and, “Never try and be better than someone else, because being better than someone else is always out of our control. Instead learn from others and never stop trying to be the best that you can be.” Khu earned his Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance degree in Business from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, and began work in the field as a banker. He had seen the success of those around him in the industry and figured he would try out being a loan officer and work towards one day owning his own business. After spending two years establishing himself in the field, he was approached by State Farm in 2008 and asked to join their company. Realizing State Farm’s visions aligned with his own, he accepted the position.
Khu grew up in Wisconsin and built a strong, dedicated clientele there, but when he was approached a second time by State Farm and offered an opportunity to move to Sacramento to run his own office, he had to take some time to reconsider such a big decision. He thought about the one pivotal moment in his life he revisits for inspiration – when his wife and siblings were involved in a very bad car accident. His wife and younger brother were taken to a closer hospital, but his sister and another of his brothers were transported to two different hospitals two hours from one another. His parents decided to split up and have each go to the other two hospitals to left Khu, 19 years of age at the time, to care for his wife and younger brother. It was then he realized that he could lose his loved ones at any moment. Having experienced this, he never wanted to be too far from his parents and siblings, but he also considered how relocating to the larger Hmong community of Sacramento presented a greater opportunity to serve more of his people, so he consulted his wife and family, and everyone encouraged him to take the path best suited for him. He did and is now based in Sacramento.
Since his relocation to Sacramento, Khu has made it a point to involve himself in the community. He has made donations to local elementary schools and visited local high school such as Hiram Johnson High School to talk with students and parents about college. Khu would like for the community to see his office as the primary and preferred source for insurance and financial services. Focusing on assisting his clients with their needs and building strong relationships with them will drive his success. He tells me he feels most rewarded when community members and clients shake his hands or give him a hug after he’s taken the time to listen to their stories and share his insight. Khu went on to mention he believes reputation as what you are perceived to be, but that character is what we actually are, which he considers to be much more important than what we are perceived to be. He ended the conversation by mentioning his belief that, “successful Hmong business owners and leaders lead by examples not only by giving back to the community but by the work they perform. Integrity will encourage others to follow.”
Photography: Lue Vang
State Farm Insurance
5037 Stockton Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95820
Phone (916) 456-8400