The American Chamber of Commerce in South China


 

The 2014 Board of Governors

President Harley Seyedin

AmCham South China President Harley Seyedin
President, The American Chamber of Commerce in South China, Vice Chairman-China, The Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce President, Sithe Global Pacific
 

Harley Seyedin is the most recent recipient of the “Peace through Commerce Medal” originally initiated by Thomas Jefferson in 1790 when he was the first Secretary of State of the United States. Harley is among less than 20 individuals to receive this Medal in the 223 years since its inception. This Medal is the highest honor awarded to an individual by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Harley Seyedin is the President of Sithe Global Pacific ( Its parent, Sithe global is a multi-national company with more than US$15 billion in power and energy projects under development worldwide), and President of American Chamber of Commerce in South China. Under his direction since 1991, the company achieved firsts in many areas in China, including: the first majority western owned power plant; first western invested toll road; and first US accredited joint university. In 1991 President George Bush recognized Mr. Seyedin for his involvement with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Appointed by three governors of the State of Maryland to four terms of office he served as Chairman of Montgomery College and State Chairman of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges representing all seventeen colleges in the State. He served on the Board of Directors of the Kennedy Institute, by appointment of Cardinal James A. Hickey. He was a recipient of an award in business from the US Department of Commerce. He received recognition from The US Senate Sergeant At Arms for his service to the US Senate Deliberations. He served two terms on the Maryland Advisory Board of the United States Civil Rights Commission.

Harley is also Vice Chairman for China Affairs of the Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce.

 

Vice President Steven Cheng

AmCham South China Vice President Steven Cheng
CFO
Amway (China) Co., Ltd.

I have been serving as Vice President of AmCham in South China since 2006, before that as Governor from 2003, and have always been an active member in supporting a wide array of events organized by AmCham in South China. I strongly believe that AmCham can play a very positive role in promoting trade, commerce and investment between the US and China, particularly in South China.

Currently, I am the Vice President of Finance - Greater China Region of Amway Corporation. I have been working and living in Guangzhou for more than 13 years to have profound sentiment towards this city. As one of the world's largest direct selling companies with sales over US$9.2 billion, Amway has been a strong promoter of Sino-US trade relationship. Both its Chairman and President have tested in front of the Congress to support PNTR and China's entry to WTO.

Amway China, one of the Top 500 largest MNCs in China, has been a devoted member of AmCham in the past years, who has actively sponsored and taken part in meetings, seminars and other programs organized by AmCham in South China. This is also in line with our company's drive to promote Sino-US bilateral relationship and free trade between the two countries. As an AmCham member, we pride ourselves in not only sustainable business growth but also good corporate citizenship. Business aside, Amway China gives back to the society generously, making positive changes in children philanthropy, environmental protection and volunteer service for over 10 years. As of today, Amway China has over 60,000 Amway volunteers nationwide who have worked together and contributed more than 1.4 million service hours, benefitting 1.20 million children under the One by One Campaign for Children. In 2011, with the approval from Ministry of Civil Affairs, Amway China established the Amway Charity Foundation with RMB 100 million funds. The Foundation will focus on improving the life of children of migrant workers physically, mentally and intelligently. Our footprints of love and social accountability can be found from Michigan in the US all the way to the Great Wall in China.

It is an honor for me to be on the Board of Governors from 2003 to 2005 and serve as the Vice President from 2006 to 2011. With my professional knowledge and background in Finance, as well as my experience of operating business in China, particularly my passion to provide opinions and services to all the member companies, I sincerely seek your vote for re-election as Vice President in 2012 to continue working on our common interest.


 

Secretary Thomas Podgurski

AmCham South China Secretary Thomas Podgurski
Partner
Royal Service

Royal Service Air Conditioning Corp a wholly owned USA based company. Royal Service group has been established in China since 1995 expanding its operation to Shanghai, Xiamen, and Beijing and now Asia Pacific. Royal will continue to promote energy efficient Air Conditioning building design as it continues positive business growth. Tom position as the group director; Over See International business and systems operation for China. Royal group includes Royal industries manufacturing , Royal Project group and services Asia Pacific and the USA markets. Tom has served on the Board of Directors since 2002 and as an officer of the board serving as Secretary since 2004.

Royal group promotes American engineering and product throughout Asia Pacific. He has enjoyed working with the American chamber of commerce servicing not only large businesses but small and Medium sized business. In this challengingly market places we on the board will promote AmCham companies to help enterprise a positive results.

I like to thank the members for their participations in our programs in the past year. In the coming year China will have new business opportunities as companies expand in the more mature market place of South China. AmCham South China and its elected Board can continue good sound support of that business that is looking for other business to network and operate in South China. In turn I sincerely appreciate your support in coming year of 2013.


 

Treasurer Tim Wen

AmCham South China Treasurer Tim Wen
Chief Representative
Allway Co.

Tim Wen is the Vice President and China Senior Representative of Allway Co based in Seattle, Washington. In addition he is one of the founders of the American Products and Services Center (APSC), which is a platform for American Small & Medium Enterprise’s (SME) marketing into China. He is also the president of the American Wine Import Association. Prior to his position as VP for Allway, he acted as China’s Trade Representative for the City of Tacoma, Washington. He has worked as a SME in several industries, such as banking, IT, food and beverage, and Personal Services, and is also a board member for several non-profit organizations in the US. Because of Tim’s full participation and immaculate work ethic, he has been invited to become the Director for the China Chamber of International Commerce, Guangzhou and has also been invited to become the Investment and Promotion Senior Advisor for the city of Fuzhou. Even with all of this responsibility, he has stayed active and very involved in his communities both here in China and in the US.

Tim takes great satisfaction in his 15 years membership with AmCham in South China and his service AmCham as Treasurer for years. He desires to continue this service for his fellow members of AmCham in the coming year, and truly believes AmCham is the best organization for individuals and enterprises to rely on when doing business in China.


 

Honorary Governor James C. Rigassio

AmCham South China Honorary Governor Greg Wong
Principal Commercial Officer
U.S. Department of Commerce
U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou, China

Mr. James Rigassio is the Principal Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, leading a team of dedicated trade professionals increase commercial ties between the U.S. and Southern China. Conducting U.S. commercial diplomacy to increase U.S. product and service exports to China includes: helping U.S. companies find market opportunities and Chinese trading partners; assisting Chinese firms find investment opportunities in the United States; promoting U.S. education and tourism opportunities; and advocating for U.S. national economic and trade interests.


Previously serving as the Regional Senior Commercial Officer for Argentina and Uruguay (2008-2012), Mr. Rigassio served as Commercial Counselor to the U.S. Ambassadors in Buenos Aires and Montevideo and engaged host governments in advancing bilateral commercial relations by identifying new commercial opportunities and removing obstacles to trade. To further support U.S. National Export Initiative goals, he collaborated with the U.S. Embassy in Asuncion to offer Commerce Department services to assist American firms export to Paraguay.


As the Senior Commercial Officer in Sofia, Bulgaria (2004-2008), Mr. Rigassio provided insight to help U.S. firms understand opportunities that came with Bulgaria's European Union accession; obtain transparency in tendering and privatization processes; increase protection of intellectual property rights; and benefit from new bilateral agreements on taxation and aviation.


As Deputy Senior Commercial Officer in Santiago, Chile (1999-2003), Mr. Rigassio was a vital part of the U.S. Embassy team working to conclude the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement negotiations. He also managed the U.S. Commercial Service activities in Bolivia through a partner post relationship with the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, establishing an innovative U.S. exporter service center in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.


Mr. Rigassio joined the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1992 and served in Washington, D.C. (1992-1996), followed by an assignment as Director of the Santa Clara, California U.S. Export Assistance Center (1996-1998). Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Commerce, Mr. Rigassio worked for the State of New Jersey Commerce Department's International Trade Division.


Mr. Rigassio received his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey, and a Master's Degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


 


Governor David Hon

AmCham South China Governor David Hon
CEO
Dahon Technologies

The Dahon Group, including four companies in the U.S., Taiwan, China and Macao, is world renowned for being a pioneer in high-tech bicycle products. The Group has been awarded many prestigious international awards, including the "National Invention Achievement Award" of Taiwan, and has been mentioned in the "Guinness Book of World Records". Before forming the Dahon Group, Dr. Hon was an assistant professor of physics at Cal Poly and USC, and Sr. Physicist and Management at Hughes Aircraft Labs, Malibu, CA. After finishing high school in H.K., he received his B.A. in Physics from U.C., Berkeley, and PH. D .in Physics from U. of Southern California. Dr. Hon holds over 100 patents.


 

Governor Frederick Hong

AmCham South China Governor Frederick Hong
Chief Representative
Frederick Hong Law Offices

I have served in different capacities in Amcham South China since its inception in 1996. For the last 3 years, I have served on the Board of Governors. I am an American attorney who came to China in 1993 when my Los Angeles firm,the Law Offices of Frederick W. Hong,received a license from the Ministry of Justice of the PRC to open a branch representative office in Guangzhou. I have been providing legal assistance to U.S. and foreign companies in their investments and dealings in China as well as giving advice to PRC enterprises in their cross border transactions and investments in the U.S.over the last 18 years. With the recent global economic crisis and uncertainties, I feel the role of cross cultural profesisonals like ourselves as well as organizations like AmCham South China are even more important in acting as bridges and advocats for U.S. companies operating in China as well as promoting PRC companies to conduct more business and investments in the U.S. In that regards, I would like to continue to serve on the Board of AmCham South China to continue to make the organization an even more effective and important platform and medium for U.S.businesses in China and Chinese businesses to the U.S.


 

Governor David Peng

AmCham South China Governor Joe Zhou
Chief Representative
C. V. Starr & Co. Beijing Representative Office

Dr. David Peng is the Chief Representative of C. V. Starr & Co. Beijing Representative Office. C.V. Starr & Co. is a member of Starr Companies which is an insurance and investment organization run by Mr. M. R. Greenberg, former Chairman and CEO of AIG, providing Property & Casualty insurance to business and industry. Prior to this position, David was an Executive Director and Deputy General Manager of Dazhong Insurance Company of China (DICC), a general insurance company with presence across Eastern part of China. The major shareholders of DICC include Shanghai International Group (owned by Shanghai Municipal Government) and Starr Insurance & Reinsurance Co. Ltd. Before his being invited by Mr. Greenberg to join Dazhong, David was the founder & CEO of Care & Share Insurance Brokers Co., Ltd. which is primarily an Accident & Health and Life Insurance wholesales broker via direct marketing.

Concurrently, Dr. Peng is a Research Fellow of Economic Diplomacy Center at Tsinghua University, a Tribunal Member of Shanghai Court of Financial Arbitration, a Co-Chair of Consumer Safety Assurance Committee at American Chamber of Commerce in South China and a Part-time Mentor at the MBA Center of Shanghai University.

Dr. David Peng used to be a Director of the Board, a Senior Vice President and the Director of Distribution for AIG General Insurance Company China Ltd. Dr. Peng also held a number of other senior positions in AIG companies in China including the Assistant to Chairman of AIG Companies in China, the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of AIG Business Consulting (Beijing) Co., Ltd. and a leader of expert group at AIG/PICC Co-Operation Division, an AIG entity working with PICC Property and Casualty Insurance Company Limited in which AIG is a strategic investor. Previously, Dr. Peng had been the General Manager of AIU Insurance Company (AIU) Guangzhou Branch, since its inception, for almost ten years.

Prior to AIG, Dr. David Peng had worked for about three years at Minet Asia, a major international insurance broking firm in Hong Kong, as General Manager for Minet China Ltd. In 1992, he was an insurance consultant for Shell (U.K.) Ltd. From 1989 to 1992, Dr. Peng studied at the University of Dundee of the U.K. with two scholarships for a PhD degree. In 1988, Dr. Peng obtained his Chinese Lawyer Qualification. Prior to 1989, he was Chief Counsel and Insurance Manager for Total Chine, a large foreign invested enterprise, in cooperation with CNOOC, in China.

Dr. Peng was a part-time professor at the Business School of Sun Yat-san University. He was also the Vice President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Guangdong (now renamed as AmCham in South China) from 1998 to 2005. Dr. Peng is the author of a book in U.K. namedInsurance and Legal Issues in the Oil Industry and his PhD thesis named Law and Insurance in the Offshore Oil Industry. Dr. Peng is an active speaker on Capital Market, Leadership and Management Behavior, Professional Ethics, Risk Management for Large Commercial Risks, Director and Officer’s Liability Insurance, Health Insurance and Product Liability Insurance, etc. at various conferences and seminars in Hong Kong, Malaysia, London and Mainland China. He also writes articles on insurance and legal issues for newspapers and magazines from time to time.


Governor Guy Robertson

AmCham South China Governor Lilly Li
VP
Walmart Global Sourcing

A Texas resident for most of his life, with BSME and MBA degrees, Guy began his post-academic career as a Naval Flight Officer stationed in San Diego, CA, completing two western Pacific deployments aboard the USS Enterprise. Following his military service, Guy embarked on a twenty-year-plus career in electronics manufacturing, fulfilling leadership roles in quality management, service operations, general management, and procurement. Following completion of a two-year expat assignment with Dell in Shanghai, he joined Walmart Global Sourcing, where he has served the last three years leading the sourcing operations and administration in Shanghai and now Shenzhen as VP of Sourcing.


Governor Andy Rusie

AmCham South China Alternate Governor Matthew Chapple
Vice President Finance
Mead Johnson

Andy Rusie was promoted to Vice President Finance, Greater China of Mead Johnson Nutrition in February 2013. He previously served as Mead Johnson’s European Finance Director based out of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Andy played a key role in developing and executing a revised European Strategy leading to a focused and more profitable Western European business model and an investment strategy for Eastern Europe.


Andy worked for Ernst & Young as a Senior Auditor from 1996 to 2001. Then he first joined Mead Johnson in 2002 as an MBA finance intern in Asia regional office in Bangkok. He came to work full time for MJN in 2003 and held various global roles based in Mead Johnson’s Global Headquarters from 2003-2005. In late 2005, Andy was promoted to Finance Director, Latin America Supply Chain based in Delicias, Mexico. In 2007 Andy was appointed to be the Finance Director for MJN’s Malaysia/Singapore business based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Andy then served as the General Manager for Abbott Nutrition’s business in Indonesia beginning in 2010 before returning to Mead Johnson as the Europe Finance Director in 2011.

Born and raised in Indiana, U.S.A, Andy received his MBA from Indiana University in 2003 and an undergraduate degree from Miami University (OH) in 1996. Andy obtained his U.S. CPA license in 1996.

  

Governor Tim Shaver

AmCham South China Alternate Governor Tim Shaver
Club Manager
Harbour Plaza Golf Club, Dongguan

Tim has served as the Club Manager of Plaza Golf Club since September 2011 after serving as their Director of Operations from 1999-2002. Harbour Plaza Golf Club, a 27-Hole Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed championship golf course, is the centerpiece of Hutchison Whampoa’s premier residential community in Dongguan, Laguna Verona.

Tim served as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce, South China from 2002-2006 during which, Amcham became the fastest growing chamber in the world, a title that it still holds today. Tim has also served on the Amcham Board of Governors since 2010.

Tim is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio with Bachelor of Arts in History and has also been a member of the Professional Golfers Association of America since 1989.

I am truly honored to have been selected with the opportunity of continuing to serve Amcham-South China. Amcham has been the major focus of life since 2002 serving as Executive Director from 2002-2006, and continuing as a member from 2007 to 2012 and for the past three years a member of the Board of Governors. During this timeframe, Amcham, South China has grown from 200 members to over 2300 today. Amcham South China has become the voice of the business community to both the Chinese and US Governments as well as helping countless American companies relocate into South China. With the recent activities of the Amcham Charity Series, Amcham South China continues to set the standard in which the business community can be proud. If chosen, I will proudly serve the membership of the American Chamber of Commerce South China and continue to promote Amcham as the model business chamber in China.

In Jan 2012, as the governor of the board, Tim was awarded a certificate by US Department of Commerce for his contribution to Sino-US trade.


 

Governor Joe Zhou

AmCham South China Governor Joe Zhou
Vice President
American Appraisal

Joe Zhou is the Vice President of American Appraisal China Limited. American Appraisal is a founder of the appraisal profession in the United States in 1896 - the forerunner in the valuation profession. Today American Appraisal is the largest independent valuation consulting firm in the world, with global execution and compliance capabilities and an international presence. American Appraisal operates out of over 58 offices in 28 countries.

Joe handles liaison with multinational & domestic clients for valuation service and is responsible for financial consulting services and business development in relation to multinational corporation inbound investment and Chinese enterprises’ foreign listings and acquisitions. Joe has successfully served many multinational companies and domestic companies in dealing with valuation and consulting services for the purposes of merger & acquisition, stock listing, due diligence, financial reporting and joint venture etc.

Joe holds a MBA of Southern Cross University and is a DBA candidate of the University of Newcastle Australia. He is a member of Institute of Public Accountants Australia and a fellow of the Institute of Financial Accountants as well as an International Registered Financial Planner. Joe has substantial work experience in different industries, and is especially familiar with the market in Pearl River Delta. Joe served as the Co-Chair of IPR Committee of American Chamber of Commerce in South China and has been the Governor of American Chamber of Commerce in South China since 2003. Joe is also an advisor of China Enterprises Economic Research Study Centre in HK and a part-time professor at Peking University.

Joe has committed himself to the Chamber as he promised and believes the benefit to the member is of the prime consideration by the chamber. It would be always a pleasure to have a chance to contribute to the chamber and to serve all the Fellow Members.

In Jan 2012, as the governor of the board, Joe was awarded a certificate by US Department of Commerce for his contribution to Sino-US trade.


 

 



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