Jeon Dong-pyeong, mayor of Yeongnam County in South Jeolla Province, has won the coveted “2018 Korea CEO Leadership Award” for two years in a row, which proves his dedication to innovative leadership in local administration. He was awarded the honor from the leading national daily, Joong-Ang Ilbo, on Dec. 21, 2017 at the Millennium Seoul Hilton with a number of government officials and journalists attending.
The CEO Leadership Award is presented to “those who make great contributions to improving local communities by demonstrating exceptional leadership based on innovative management.” The award-presentation ceremony takes place in December every year.
During three years and six months after being elected as the Yeongam County chief, Mayor Jeon has recorded more results than before while getting the 60,000 Yeongam residents united firmly for the goal of creating a prosperous Yeongam County.” Of note, he has accomplished noteworthy results in almost all sectors including the four core development fields.
Mayor Jean said he wanted to share his honor with Yeongam residents and 160,000 natives who now in Seoul and other major cities. He said he will remain dedicated to improving the life of Yeongam residents through innovative administration and leadership in all sectors of local administration.
Yeongam County, meanwhile, is determined to attract up to 3 million tourists this years. For this purpose, the county declared this year, a “Visit Yeongam 2018.” The county and its residents will step up their efforts to promote Yeongam’s four “Big 4” Festivals including Yeongam Wangin Cultural Festival, and local specialties. In this regard, they produced 2,000 Yeongam leaflets.
The county will also encourage more residents and young students to actively participate in the promotion of “Visit Yeongam 2018” program in order to attract more than 3 million tourists, Korea and foreigners, this year.
'Yeongam Wangin Cultural Festival
Yeongam Wangin Culture Festival is held in early April when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom to commemorate the achievement of Korea’s Dr. Wangin, who traveled to Japan over 1,600 years ago to spread Korean knowledge, culture, and arts. The festival takes place in Bongseondae and Sangdaepo Historic Park. Tourists and local residents can enjoy various events during the festival period.
Yeongam is surrounded by the beautiful Mt. Wolchul National Park and the Yeongsan River, the main water supply of Honam. As it is an historical site which has served as a key trading center between Korea, China and Japan from ancient times to Goryeo Dynasty, it has produced a number of distinguished persons, such as Dr. Wangin and Doseonguksa.
About 1,600 years ago during the Baekje period, Dr. Wangin was invited by Emperor Ojin of Japan. He took the Cheonjamun, the Analects of Confucius, potters, blacksmiths, and weavers to Japan. He was a great pathfinder who, as originator of Japanese scholarship, helped the Asuka Culture flourish.
To publicize the accomplishments of Dr. Wangin who realized the ideal of an open world and pay tribute to his sublime aspiration, the descendants of Dr. Wangin gather together at the national park Mt. Wolchul in April when the best 40km of cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
Yeongam Mayor Dean said the Yeongam Wangin Cultural Festival 2018 will get more support from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Korea Tourism Organization in pushing ahead with the four festive events.
The Gurim Traditional Village
The Gurim village with its long history dating back to the Samhan Period still has the 436-year-old Daedonggye (mutual assistance society). Dr. Wangin of Baekje, Doseonguksa at the end of Silla period, and Choi Jimong in the early years of Goryeo were born here.
This is the birthplace of the exquisite loess pottery, which is the predecessor of the Goryeo celadon and Joseon porcelain, as well as the loess porcelain, which had been produced here since prehistoric times. The techniques were spread across the country and there are many traces of exchanges with Chinese and Japanese pottery makers via sea routes.
Also, large kiln sites and remains have been excavated in several places of the village. The village accounts for several tangible cultural assets such as the 12 pavilions including Hoesajeong, Gukamsa and Damsukje, as well as traditional houses, stone walls, and remains of ancient trees that still lay intact.