Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce (G4C) Chairman’s Welcome
Dear G4C members,
I am honored to serve as your Chairman during this 2016-17 year. I want to thank our immediate past Chair Michael Kou, of Growth by Export, for his dedication and service to the G4C. Under his leadership, this Chamber experienced a tremendous transformation. I look forward to continuing his hard work and I am committed to doing my best in executing the responsibilities charged to me. Michael will remain with the Board as Chair Emeritus and will continue to serve as our trusted advisor. Also I want to thank Catalin Macarie (UC), Kevin Kahn (K2 Industrial Controls International), and Louisa Luk (Green Energy Enterprises) for their hard work as part of the outgoing 2015-16 executive team.
We now begin the year of the Monkey and prepare to welcome the Rooster. This is a transitional year for G4C and we are under new management. Tessa Xuan, Executive Director, is hard at-work building organizational processes and volunteer capacity to ensure our viability and sustainability. We are lucky to have her and she needs all of our support. My goal this year is to assist her the best I can to stabilize and grow this Chamber, to build a succession plan for our volunteer leadership ranks, and to promote awareness and engagement among G4C members and the region at-large. I am fortunate to have a strong Executive Committee to help with the heavy lifting and to help accomplish this. A special thanks to:
- John Guo from 5/3 Bank (1st Vice Chair of Membership)
- Franklin Lim from Kroger (2nd Vice Chair of Programs)
- Hui-Pin Sepulveda from Deloitte Tax (Treasurer)
- Rhonda Schechter from Frost Brown Todd (Secretary)
In China, there is a saying: 德本財末 – virtue first, wealth follows. This Chamber was founded as a group of Chinese restaurateurs who thought to help themselves by helping each other. Over the years, many others have come and gone and made this Chamber what it is today. As we struggle to define the Chamber’s identity, associated of Chinese? Of Asians? Or of Americans who are doing business in China? We come to realize such an inquiry begs the fundamental question of why we are coming together. We are not here to benefit one person, one race, one culture, or one country in particular. On the contrary, we are associated together because we are all vested in our connection with the richness of Chinese culture, as well as our mutual interests in our professional endeavors. We are associated because we believe in the timeless Chinese virtues pertinent to the changes around us; we believe the sizable impact China will have on our common future. And most importantly, we are associated together because we want to make the Greater Cincinnati region more diverse and prosperous than we found it.
So we come together as a “Chinese Chamber” charged with the task of taking care of one another in these trying times. In light of the recent racial tensions, global terror, and growing distance between all of us, I stand with my fellow board members committed to deliver to you, our members, a Chamber of Commerce worthy of its name and tradition.
Jin Kong, Esq.
Board Chairman 2016-17
Chinese Chamber Member Profile
The Kroger Co.
Kroger and the Asian consumers
Kroger’s overall vision is to make our stores a shopping destination for shoppers of all cultures and a source of inspiration for experiencing the world. Our mission is to provide our Asian customers an uplifting shopping experience by offering relevant assortment, noticeable value and connecting with them in meaningful ways.
We aim to win in the marketplace through:
- Authenticity: We continue to bring the best authentic products that are available to us from Asia.
- Integration: We will continue to integrate international products with mainstream products. International food is not just meant for International customers anymore. By integrating the international categories, we are appealing and increasing the visibility to households.
- Noticeable Value: Due to our growth in Asian food, we are now buying direct from some key Asian manufacturers, thus improving our cost and price for our customers.
- Expanded Promotions: We are now offering yellow tags and promotions to our customers with Asian foods. Furthermore, we are planning to actually promote an Asian product in our National ad for the first time during the third quarter of 2016.
Our dry and frozen Asian commodities have grown significantly over the last five years. The Dry Asian commodity was selected as one of the top priority commodities for the Grocery department in 2016 so we expect to continue winning in this segment.
Franklin Lim, Global Sourcing Manager, The Kroger Co.
Franklin Lim is the Global Sourcing Manager for the The Kroger Co. and a Board Member of the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce. During his 12 years at Kroger, he has been in different roles ranging from Capital Equipment sourcing, Logistics Manager, and Corporate Strategic Sourcing Manager. Franklin has driven significant growth for Kroger through contract negotiations across multiple categories. He has more than 20 years of Sourcing and Operational Experience at small growing companies as well as in Fortune 500 firms.
Franklin holds an MBA degree from Xavier University. He spends his leisure time traveling, exploring local culture, and creating memories through family adventures. Among his favorites are: hiking the Machu Picchu ruins, exploring the jungles of Amazon, and the piranha experience (swimming with, fishing, and eating piranhas). Franklin can converse in 5 languages (fluent in English, Filipino and Fujian/ Taiwanese).
Franklin is the Founder and Co-Chair for the Asian Associate Resource Group. The Asian Associate Resource Group was formed to help in the recruitment, retention, and development of Asian associates at Kroger. It is a great way to network and meet like minded individuals where we can help educate and celebrate the Asian culture within the company. The group is currently composed of more than 160 associates from multiple functions such as Sourcing, Consumer Research, Food Technology, IT, Operations,Finance, HR, etc.
Recently Franklin Lim was elected Vice-Chair of the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce, effective July 2016. We take this opportunity to thank Kroger and Franklin for your continued support of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and our members.
Chinese Chamber Member Profile
Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $141 billion in assets and operates 1,254 full-service Banking Centers, including 95 Bank Mart® locations, most open seven days a week, inside select grocery stores and 2,593 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. More information is available at www.53.com. Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC.
As one of the primary supporter of our Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Fifth Third brings to our Chamber a wealth of experience and expertise from its Asian & Pacific Islander Business Resource Group (BRG). The BRG is a group of Fifth Third employees collaborating to align business and social goals to enhance the company’s success and sustainability. Specifically, the BRG shares cultural values and celebrates differences, helps its members network, develops skills and gain exposures for its members with senior leadership, and expands network impacts and provide insight to improve company products and services. More importantly, the BRG is a group committed to serving our communities. From this BRG, we are fortunate to have Mr. John Guo as a member of our Chamber’s Board of Directors for the past three years.
We take this opportunity to thank Fifth Third and Mr. John Guo for your continued support of our Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce and our members.
John Guo, Senior Vice President of Consumer Risk, Fifth Third Bank
John Guo is a Senior Vice President at Fifth Third Bank. He received his Ph.D. in Business Administration with Minor in Statistics and M.S. in Industry Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. He has over nineteen years of senior management experiences in consumer lending/banking. He previously held senior risk management positions in JPM Chase, HSBC as Director, Vice President, Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer. He is the Asian-Pacific BRG executive advocate of Fifth Third Bank. He is actively involved in community development and serves as a Board Member of the Great Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
John also has extensive publications and is an invited speaker at various international conferences. He has research articles published in Decision Sciences Journal, Transport Research, Journal of the Operational Research Society, and Journal of Business Logistics.