Q. What is your current role at KBS?

I am corporate senior accountant reporting to Jonas Dabao and Travis Menghini.  

Q. What is the scope of that role?

As corporate senior accountant, I perform a variety of accounting and reporting duties associated with the operations of the management company as well as other general partnerships and ventures that the company’s principals have an ownership interest in.  

Q. What is the scope of that role?

I originally started at KBS in 2008 but left in 2009. I then came back in 2015 and have been with KBS these last seven years.


Q. What is the most enjoyable part of your job here at KBS?

The people. I genuinely enjoy working and interacting with everyone at KBS.  

Q. Tell us about your career before joining KBS.

Prior to KBS, I held various accounting and finance positions from senior accountant to assistant controller at CBRE before their Newport Beach location was closed down permanently.  

Q. Any fun or memorable events from your time with KBS?

There are many fun KBS events. It’s always a blast to be at the Day at the Races, Christmas Casino Night, Newport Dunes Wellness Afternoon and other events, but I would have to say the most memorable one was the Red Carpet Night at Pelican Hill.  

Q. Tell us a little about where you grew up. We understand you are originally from Vietnam.

Yes, I was born in Vietnam and left my homeland as part of the “boat people” to Malaysia with both my parents and my younger sister, Doanthy, who is a former KBS employee :-). In Vietnam, my mother was a high school math teacher, and my father was a Navy Lieutenant Commander of the Republic of Vietnam before the fall of Saigon. We lived in a small city south of Saigon named Can Tho. Soon after the fall of Saigon in April 1975, my dad was put in jail, or as the Communist Party called it, “Education Camp.” I grew up with my maternal grandparents as my father was put in the Education Camp when I was only 6 years old. Earning a living and life in general were exceedingly tough under the Communist Party, so my mother, sister and I were forced to live with my grandparents. Growing up without a father taught us to be tough at a very young age. During grammar school, in addition to getting good grades, I was constantly involved with school activities and functions, and I recall being selected every year to hold various class officer roles: president, vice president or treasurer. Looking back, making my father proud was my motivation as I was able to describe my achievements through the letters that I wrote to him while he was jailed. After eight years in the Education Camp, my dad was released, and we eventually were able to escape by boat in April 1985. We stayed at the Pulau Bidong Refugee Camp in Malaysia for a few months prior to the U.S. accepting our petition. We were then transferred to the Galang Refugee Camp in Indonesia to study the English language and American culture for a few more months before we arrived in the U.S.  

Q. You were still in high school when you came to the U.S. Where did you go to school?

I left my homeland when I was a sophomore in high school. After spending nearly a year in various refugee camps, I attended Orange High School and graduated in 1988. After that I went to Fullerton Community College and transferred to Cal State Fullerton where I graduated in June of 1993.

Nguyenthy and her husband took her parents and daughter to Napa Valley for the first time in September 2021.

Q. Tell us a little about your family now. I am married to a sweet and wonderful man who is an electrical engineer and we have three beautiful and amazing children (two sons and a daughter). Unfortunately, my husband had a severe stroke in 2009 and sadly experienced the loss of motor movements in half of his body. My daughter is proudly following in the footsteps of her father and will graduate in December 2022 with an electrical engineering degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She is working in San Diego as an intern at The Engineering Enterprise this summer. My younger son, on the other hand, is following in my footsteps and will graduate with an accounting degree from Cal State Fullerton in December 2023. He is doing an internship with PWC this summer. Even with a 4.25 GPA, my older son had no interest in furthering his educational pursuits beyond high school and is happily working at Longo Toyota’s service department.

Q. What are some of your favorite pastimes?

I have plenty! Shopping, eating, cooking, hiking, hanging out with friends, taking pictures of food to post on my Facebook page, traveling, reading and watching dramas (Korean, Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese).

Nguyenthy loves to make home-cooked meals and post pictures on Facebook. Shown: Egg noodle soup with char siu (Chinese BBQ pork) and shrimp ball and Vietnamese crab noodle soup.


Q. Any favorite sports teams or musical artists?

I don’t watch sports, but I do love to listen to music every night. Most is Vietnamese music, but I do like some non-Vietnamese bands such as Air Supply, OneRepublic, Savage Garden, Westlife and artists such as Elvis Presley, Andrea Bocelli, Julio Iglesias, Enrique Iglesias and Ed Sheeran.

Q. Favorite vacation spots or places you have visited in the U.S. or abroad?

The most relaxing vacation by far was in Cancun. Some of my favorite sites in the U.S. include Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, Graceland, Florida and New York. Abroad it would have to be Italy and Germany. I am really looking forward to visiting Switzerland this summer as part of our upcoming trip to Europe with my daughter, which also includes the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

Q. What has been your most adventurous or “daring” experience?

The trip to Italy with my husband in his current state after the stroke was daring in the sense that the schedule was very hectic as we were taking trains and moving from city to city every two days. Hauling around two medium-to-large pieces of luggage while making sure first and foremost that I was always sensitive to his limitations and attending to his needs was a real exercise in patience and a true test of determination.

Nguyenthy and her husband in front of St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

Q. Favorite book or movie?

I loved the movie Sabrina so much so that I named my daughter Sabrina.

Q. Favorite food or restaurant?

I enjoy and love all kinds of food except dishes that are overly spicy. I have a sweet tooth, and sweets are my ultimate weakness. I can eat pastries and cakes in place of meals. I can drive anywhere, near or far, for great sweet desserts and boba drinks.

Q. Any humorous moments — something you all look back on and laugh about?

I inadvertently entered and used the men’s restroom at a Costco because I was on the phone and wasn’t paying attention. I did not realize i made this blunder until I came out of the stall and saw a few men with perplexed looks on their faces.

Q. If you were a contestant on Jeopardy, what categories would you want to guess from?

I would only stand a chance if the category were “Food.”

Q. If you were a contestant on Jeopardy, what categories would you want to guess from?

Choose to do what makes you happy. Nothing motivates you more than the feeling of happiness. I believe you will be the best you can be if you are happy at what you are doing.