Many iconic American companies got their start in garages. From Microsoft and Apple to Amazon and Hewlett-Packard, many global businesses started small—really small. But CEO Chloe Hung (BS, Management Technology '06) may be the first to lead one that started in a house behind a gas station.
In fact, she had to ask for directions at that very station when she interviewed with Autel US, Inc. founder Gary DeLuca in 2011. Soon after she found the headquarters house, the startup hired Hung as employee number two. Today, just 10 years later, she leads a team of nearly 150 at the quickly growing automotive diagnostic tools and accessories developer and distributor.
It’s been quite a journey for someone who didn’t even know how to drive when she came to the United States in the early 2000s.
From Hong Kong to Long Island
Hung left her family behind in Hong Kong at age 17 to pursue an education in the United States. After a short stint in English language classes in New York City, she joined her cousin, Farmingdale Professor of Engineering Jeff Hung, and settled into student life on Long Island.
“Living with my uncle and cousin was great. I had rides to campus, I could study in his office, and he helped me with my English,” Hung recalls. But her time at FSC wasn’t just about staying within her comfort zone. She helped create an Asian student club, and during their weekly meetings they would hang out together, watch movies as a group, or discuss book club selections.
International students, Hung acknowledges, have more barriers to overcome, especially when it comes to language. But she praises the environment at FSC as being especially welcoming.
“It is cozy is how I would say it,” she says. “It’s smaller, the professors are accessible, and you won’t get lost.”
She is especially encouraging to those following in her footsteps, and with her CEO cap on she offers this advice: “Speak up and be brave.”
Autel Seeks FSC Grads for Growing Workforce
It was Hung’s ability to speak both English and Chinese that ultimately landed her the job with DeLuca. At the time, Autel was importing automotive products from China to distribute in the US, and Hung had a hand in just about every aspect of the business.
“I did everything, from packaging and mailing to accounting. Now I can tell people I’ve literally done every job there is to do here at Autel, and I can be very hands-on in helping our people succeed,” Hung says.
With new products coming out all the time—including electric vehicle chargers—she seeks workers who are interested in sales, tech support, and customer service. She says that FSC grads with experience in automotive technology and IT would be among her top choices.
Hung aspires to grow the company and possibly open a manufacturing facility in the United States. Within the next three to five years, she also hopes to achieve one of the most iconic American business milestones: going public.
As she steers Autel into the future, Hung emphasizes that business management skills from FSC served her well. She tells us with pride: “Without a doubt, I’m here because of Farmingdale.”