Roslyn CEO of G.N. business wins executive award

Roslyn CEO of G.N. business wins executive award
Fenella Kim of Roslyn (left), receiving the president's award from WPO president Dr. Marsha Firestone (right) (Photo courtesy of wantleverage).

Fenella Kim is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Being a self-starter is something her parents instilled in her early on.

“Growing up in Asia, my parents always said, ‘whatever you want, you need to go and earn.’ I took that literally and started working at age 12 in a local business as a cashier,” Kim, who recently won the Women Presidents’ Organization’s president’s award, said.

Kim, a Roslyn resident, is the founder and CEO of Reliance Star Payments, a Great Neck-based credit card processing business. The WPO award has the distinction of being personally selected by the WPO president and founder, Dr. Marsha Firestone.

“Fenella’s commitment and support has been crucial to our organization, and to the future success of women business owners. She has consistently gone above and beyond to build networks and allegiances on WPO’s behalf,” Firestone said.

Kim’s inspiration for Reliance Star stemmed from her interactions with Asian business owners who do not speak English. “Being able to explain how to use payment services to benefit their businesses in their native languages provided me with the idea for Reliance Star Payments and provided a competitive advantage,” said Kim, who speaks six languages, English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien-Min Nan, Indonesian and Malay.

Kim has been a member of WPO since 2013. She helped established the WPO Malaysia Chapter in January 2016, with more than 10 members. She was “surprised, honored and happy to hear” she won the award, she said. She was recognized at WPO’s 20th Anniversary Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Her participation in WPO has involved monthly meetings with other women entrepreneurs she met through WPO. Kim said she has “gained incredible knowledge and insight” from these meetings where the entrepreneurs have addressed “a number of leadership and management issues.”

“For the times when there’s uncertainty about an impending decision, I can actually get feedback and opinions from other CEOs who are in similar situations,” Kim said.

Kim has also contributed to WPO in many other ways. She introduced new payment technology and processing to WPO New York, and provided numerous WPO member referrals. She has also brought WPO an important corporate sponsor and contributed to the women-owned business community as a frequent speaker for Women’s Network in Electronic Transactions and Financial Executives International, on the topic of starting your own business.

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