Letter from the Director — February’s End

Letter from the Director

We’re a whole month into the Year of the Horse now and a lot of people have asked about our 2014 Lunar New Year Gala. From a fundraising standpoint, it was certainly on par with tradition, thanks to our sponsors and loyal members. We ran a survey after the event and the response was positive. We also received some great ideas for next year’s event. All in all, it was up to historical standard, but there’s room to improve and we intend to fill that space.

Speaking of space, we moved our office this month from the Barnes Dennig office at the Federal Reserve Building to the Lang Thang Group’s office space on Race St. and Central Parkway. The move brought about a clean slate and time to take a breath and do some planning in the longer term. We need direction and we need goals.

In my six months at the chamber, I have heard many folks – loud and clear – say they want to see a more organized and more professional chamber.

Our first step in achieving that goal is to create a team of qualified individuals to create specific direction for our membership. This membership committee, which is made up of investment professionals, attorneys and manufacturing executives, will work to grow our membership, retain those already in it and find ways to improve the overall member experience, and the return on your investment.

In general, I’ve found that our membership lacks manufacturers, the people who actually create business here and abroad. So, for 2014, we’re going to reach out to exporters – those already in the game and those want to get into it – to strengthen our network, increasing trade activity and creating jobs.

The other part of our growth lies in our events, which in the past was organized on a mostly volunteer and part-time basis. This year we are looking to hire a professional event planner. You might know that the chamber just has one full-time employee. We don’t have the funds to hire another, but we do have the funds to contract a professional. The Greater Cincinnati Venture Association does this and it has seen great success in the past few years. Take a look at this article in the Cincinnati Enquirer as proof.

With this new direction and our dedicated team, the Chinese chamber is poised for a lot of growth in 2014. Stay tuned throughout the year and check out our events. I’m personally the most excited about our burgeoning young professionals networking series, set to start in April. Of course, we’ll have some really interesting luncheon speakers too. You can keep informed by checking our web site. And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach me at ebrooks@china-midwest.com.


2014 Events Schedule:

The Chinese chamber will have 16 events in the Year of Horse, with the first starting March 25. We will have six different kinds of events. They are as follows:

  • Growing Your China Business

A networking luncheon with speakers from various Asia offices run by Dezan Shira & Associates, an international business consulting firm. Speakers will discuss best practices for navigating China’s complicated, and sometimes cumbersome, regulatory environment.

  • China Executive Round Table

A networking luncheon sponsored by Frost Brown Todd, a local law firm. Speakers will discuss new business trends, burgeoning technology and economic development reforms in China.

  • Beer and Guanxi: YP Networking

If you’ve learned anything about business in China, it’s that you need to “build” and “pull” your oh-so valuable guanxi, the Chinese word for “networking.” The events will be pure networking, with no real speaker program. It’s a time to relax after work and get to know some of the smartest and youngest in local business.

  • NKITA’s Merx 2014

The Northern Kentucky International Trade Association has invited the Chinese chamber to speak on a panel during its massive international conference in June.

  • The Art of China Business

Local Chinese teachers and business consultants will hold sessions to teach you the art of negotiations and interpersonal communications in Chinese business.

  • 2015 Lunar New Year Gala

Our annual New Year celebration of the biggest holiday in Asian culture

The dates for saving:

March 25 – Growing Your China Business
April 16 – China Executive Round Table
April 23 – Beer and Guanxi
May 8 – China Executive Round Table
May 22 – Beer and Guanxi
June 5 – NKITA’s Merx 2014
June 13 – Growing Your China Business
June 26 – Beer and Guanxi
July 10 – China Executive Round Table
August 14 – Growing Your China Business
September 9 – The Art of China Business
September 18 – Beer and Guanxi
October 14 – The Art of China Business
November 6 – Beer and Guanxi
November 18 – The Art of China Business
February 6, 2015 – 2015 Lunar New Year Gala


Board Update:

Board members in February met and voted on new executive committee members for 2014. The members are as follows:

ChairwomanHui-Jiang Saldana,

Divisional VP of Logistics and Clinical Support Services at Mercy Health

Chairman-electMichael Kou, President of Growth By Export

Vice ChairwomanLouisa Luk, Director of Green Energy Enterprises

TreasurerJulie Hagen, International Tax Director at Barnes Dennig

Board members also approved two new members: Anita Haefner, Director of Regulatory Compliance at DHL Express, and David Le, Managing Member of the Lang Thang Group and Compliance Officer for Fifth Third Bank.

Bio from Anita Haefner

Anita Haefner represents DHL Express (USA) as the Director of Regulatory Compliance in the U.S. Customs and Trade Compliance Department.  In her current role, Anita is responsible for import and export compliance for the DHL Express U.S. hub, gateways and service centers.  Ms. Haefner is also responsible for the management and implementation of DHL Express (USA) compliance policies, internal compliance audits and the relationship with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other government agencies.

Anita has worked with DHL Express since 1997 with responsibilities including Sr. Business Manager in the Operations Process Development Team.  Additionally, Anita’s experience includes working as a licensed customs broker for Inflight Duty Free Shops, Inc., United Airlines and Fritz Companies.  She also held the position of Implementation Manager in the computer software industry where she focused on import / export compliance and supply chain management.

Bio of David Le

David Le spoke during a TEDx event in Cincinnati a few years ago. Listen to his story at this link. You can see his LinkedIn profile here.


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