Tech CEO Gladys Kong On Why Business and Culture in Pasadena Are the Perfect Match For Having Fun While Growing A Digital Empire

Published : Sunday, September 15, 2019 | 7:40 AM

Old Pasadena is undoubtedly a destination district for locals and visitors alike, and for tech CEO Gladys Kong, it has been her home-away-from-home for nearly a decade.

Kong’s data and analytics firm UberMedia sits in the heart of Old Pasadena inside the famed tech incubator Idealab on Union Street and is a company making noticeable waves in the tech industry as a leading and growing digital empire.

UberMedia is recognized as a pioneer in targeted mobile advertising and was listed as Fast Company’s “50 Most Innovative Companies,” The Wall Street Journal’s Top “50 Startups,” Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America,” and as one of Advertising Age’s “Best Places to Work” since its inception in 2012.

“We choose to stay in Pasadena also because of the talent we are able to draw from local universities, like Caltech, where both our founder and I graduated from. Pasadena has been a home to UberMedia and to me for many years, and I can’t imagine setting up shop elsewhere.”

So what exactly does a successful Pasadena CEO do when work is over and fun comes calling?

Gladys Kong sat down with Pasadena Living Magazine to let us in on her favorite spots in shopping, dining, and recreation in Pasadena…



Trader Joe’s

“For groceries, I like walking around Trader Joe’s on Arroyo Parkway to look at the fresh fruits and vegetables to get inspiration on what to cook.”


“I love going to Lululemon for my weekend wear. And even if I don’t buy

anything, I like walking along Colorado Blvd. in Old Town, looking at the stores to see what they have on their display. We have many beautiful days in Pasadena in a year, so it’s a very pleasant way to spend some time outside.”

Sur La Table

“I love to cook and bake when I have time, which I find is great for stress relief, so once in a while I enjoy buying a new kitchen gadget or a cool cooking tool from there.”




My favorite restaurant in Pasadena is Celestino on Lake Ave. I enjoy the great food and the casual atmosphere there– and, I have been a customer there for so long that the people there literally watched my kids grow up.”


“My family also likes going to the Japanese restaurant Oba on Marengo and Glenarm. Similar to Celestino, we go there so often that they know my kids’ order before they even say the words.”

Lunch Favorites: Union, Tender Greens & Cava

“Other places I like going to for myself or with colleagues and friends are Union, which has fantastic food; Tender Greens, which I often enjoy following the long walk to get lunch there; and Cava, which is my new favorite healthy lunch place on Lake.”



iPic & Arclight

“I like to go to the iPic theater or Arclight in Paseo for movies with my family. iPic is such an indulgence with its reclining chairs, good food and great atmosphere.”

Pilates Pasadena

“Once or twice a week I like to take some time for myself and go to Pilates Pasadena to work out with my trainer there.”

Rose Bowl & Kidspace Children’s Museum

“I often take walks around the Rose Bowl in the morning to clear my mind before I start my day. We are really lucky to have such a big beautiful space near us. When my kids were younger, they loved going to the park there, exploring the Kidspace Museum, and learning how to ride their bikes at the Rose Bowl. It’s my favorite place to get some fresh air and walk around.”

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