UC-Berkeley CITRUS Foundry Promotes Innovation

I was recently named a CITRIS Foundry Mentor by the University of California – Berkeley. CITRIS Foundry, which is embedded in the premier research institution, helps innovators and entrepreneurs from the University of California-Berkeley make a significant impact on the world by tackling problems in industries ranging from cleantech to medical devices to consumer products and software. The group leverages the incredible resources and expertise at UC Berkeley, to bring innovation to market and society through coaching, access to labs, funding, and mentorship.

I’m thrilled to be part of this prestigious program which helps young entrepreneurs leverage one of the best research and startup ecosystems on the planet. If it weren’t for the advice and mentoring I received throughout my career, I would not be where I am today. I look forward to serving as a CITRIS Foundry mentor.

To learn more about the program, visit: citrisfoundry.org.


Sand Hollow Resort Clubhouse Named One of the Most Beautiful in the U.S.


The Clubhouse at Sand Hollow Resort has previously been recognized by Architectural Digest as the most beautiful in Utah, but the accolades continue to roll in. This week, JustLuxe, a media company that provides affluent consumers worldwide with engaging content about luxury travel, named the Sand Hollow Clubhouse one of the most beautiful in the US, stating, “If you find yourself in Utah, you have to stop by Sand Hollow Resort in Hurricane to take a peek at the new 7,000-square-foot clubhouse. Though the design is fairly modern, it still manages to blend in seamlessly with the beautiful landscape of red rocks. Plus, the floor-to-ceiling windows mean you get an unobstructed view of your surroundings while you take a breather between games.”

Along with the award-winning Clubhouse, the Championship course earns its share of accolades, with Golf Week naming it one of the Top 100 Resort courses in the U.S., and the number one course in Utah since 2009.

Acorn Digital Joins Forces with Sara Happ

Sara Happ has joined forces with Acorn Digital Services, a division of Acorn International and leading marketing and branding downloadcompany in China listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Acorn will assist the luxury beauty brand on its strategic move to enter the Chinese market and sell directly to consumers through cross-border e-commerce.  Selling directly to consumers through these channels allows the brand to forego China’s animal testing requirements for cosmetics products imported through general trade channels, which is crucial to the clean and cruelty-free mission of Sara Happ.

Sara Happ’s philosophy of creating the most indulgent, effective, healing and deeply hydrating lip products imaginable is a perfect fit for the Chinese market, and Acorn Digital is excited to team up with the brand on it’s entry into the Chinese market.

USJBF Fosters International Understanding

usjbf2Over the years, I have been proud to support The United States – Japan Bridging Foundation (USJBF) and its Bridging Scholars program. The USJBF is a non-profit organization that seeks to increase understanding and cooperation between Japan and the United States through study abroad opportunities. I believe that study abroad opportunities create global citizens and enhance international understanding. Anyone who knows me understands the tremendous impact study abroad has made on my life.

USJBF is focused on three core activities that support its global education mission: recruiting U.S. undergraduate students interested in study abroad in Japan for a semester or academic year; funding scholarships for exchange students; and mentoring those students with opportunities to build their global leadership and workforce skills.

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted these objectives. However, now usjbf1more than ever, the organization’s efforts to create opportunities for listening, learning, and developing trusting friendships across cultural, racial, economic, and religious affiliations are critical. The Bridging Foundation board and staff remain committed to educational exchange. As Kylan, a 2019-2020 Bridging Scholar whose time in Japan was disrupted this spring stated, “I was disappointed my time in Japan had to be cut short…My experience in Japan was at times challenging, but I learned to be positive regardless, an attribute that I am sure will help me in these challenging times for the world. I am thankful for the Bridging Scholarship and look forward to seeing what the future holds.”

Because the health and safety of its scholars is critical, the organization has postponed its programs for the full academic year 2020-2021 and fall 2020 programs with the hope of safely resuming study abroad in Japan in spring 2021. In the meantime, USJBF is committed to emerging even stronger and provides an opportunity to expand the launch of virtual programming to engage its scholars and community in these challenging times, and supplement in-person exchange when Bridging Scholars return to Japan–designed to enhance students’ readiness for study abroad and provide leadership and workforce development opportunities.

We are in a difficult time with pandemic-related health and economic pain and disruption, but it’s reassuring to know that organizations like the USJBF are remaining steadfast to their objectives while attempting to emerge stronger. Despite these challenges, they are reinventing the ways they prepare America’s young people to assume leadership roles in all aspects of cultural, educational, trade, and security relations between Japan and the United States.

For more information on The United States – Japan Bridging Foundation, please visit: https://www.bridgingfoundation.org/


ACCJ Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Recently, I was asked to share my thoughts on the 20th anniversary of the American Chamber of Commerce indownload Japan (ACCJ) Chubu Chapter. It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed so quickly. My involvement with the organization actually dates back 30 years to the start of the American Business Community of Nagoya (ABCN), which was formed to bring a bit of the American culture, in particular the business culture, to Nagoya, Japan.

In the U.S., many American businesses support their local communities through activities like walkathons and other charitable events. I wanted to introduce that concept to Nagoya, so I chaired a committee that organized the first Chubu Walkathon. Now, 30 years later, the membership has grown, the organization has become more professional, and the Walkathon has become an annual international charity festival that raises in excess of $7 million yen per year. When the ABCN merged with the ACCJ, we expanded on a national level.

When considering my involvement over the years, I can’t help but focus on the networking and mentorship opportunities it has afforded me. I encourage future leaders and members of ACCJ, or in fact any civic organization, to take full advantage of these networking opportunities. It has been my experience that members sincerely want to help each other, and when they offer advice or assistance, they genuinely mean what they say.

Early in my career, as a foreigner working and living in Nagoya, I always felt a bit isolated and like an imposter who did not quite fit in. If it weren’t for the advice and mentoring that I received as part of the ABCN/ACCJ, I don’t think I would be where I am today. I was encouraged to join committees and to speak up and share my ideas. I learned that as a committee member, it was my responsibility to contribute my ideas to the discussion without worrying about being right or wrong.  This was wonderful advice that I remember to this day.

The mentoring I received through this organization has been meaningful and ongoing, and I truly appreciate each and every one of my mentors. I have always said that when you meet individuals who have the type of success and knowledge you are looking for, try and get into their orbit. The best way to do just that is to participate in civic and community activities and be present.

My experience with ABCN/ACCJ not only taught me the value of being mentored, but also how to be a good mentor. It taught me the importance of sharing what I have learned and passing that knowledge on to others. I take this very seriously and would advise future leaders and members to find mentors and then mentor others in return. Giving back is one of the most critical parts of our mission and will only enhance the US-Japan relationship we strive to develop.

Gallup Energy Logistics Park Offers Affordable Oil Storage Option

rail car 1The U.S. is facing looming challenges regarding the storage of excess crude oil. Business shut downs, travel bans, and social distancing due to the COVID-19 health crisis have created a significant surplus, and global oil demand is falling as much as 8 to 9 million barrels per day. This has obviously created storage issues, with many U.S. facilities expect to reach maximum capacity in the coming weeks. A recent Wall Street Journal article pointed to rail cars as an innovative option for storing excess crude oil. With 11,000 linear feet of privately-owned rail track available in Gallup, New Mexico, Gallup Energy Logistics Park provides a viable solution for affordable, long-term oil storage. 

Contact General Manager Martin O’Malley at 505 399-3111 for additional information. 

“In trade wars with no strategy, there are more losers than winners.”

In trade wars with no strategy, there are more losers than winners. I recently sat down with Business Forward to discuss trade. Listen to the latest episode of Answering America for my views on the current U.S. policy.

The podcast is available on the following streaming platforms:3000x3000_14588650


Sand Hollow Championship Course Earns Golfweek Honors

The Championship Course at Sand Hollow has been selected as one of Golfweek’s 2019 Best Courses You Can PlaySand_Hollow-0804-Edit (56th out of 100) and Top 200 Modern Courses (156th) by a nationwide team of esteemed course raters. While the Championship Course has consistently ranked as number one in Utah and a top resort course for the past 12 years, this is the first time Sand Hollow has earned a spot in these new rankings.

We’re thrilled to receive this recognition and enjoy welcoming both novice and experienced golfers to experience our breathtaking course. The Championship Course offers an unparalleled golf experience with its gorgeous desert landscape, vast greens, wide fairways, and unique bunkers. The Championship Course was designed by John Fought and hosts several tournaments throughout the year. In addition to world-class golf, the resort is located in close proximity to outdoor recreation, including boating, motor sports, biking, and hiking and is the ideal location for a relaxing family getaway or corporate team building event.

Sand Hollow offers a memorable experience for golfers, adventure seekers, and those looking to relax and unwind in a gorgeous setting. I am extremely proud of the Sand Hollow team, who work tirelessly to maintain the course and ensure that golfers have an unsurpassed golf experience. If you haven’t experienced the challenging course and breathtaking views, it’s definitely worth a trip to Utah.

For more information, visit: www.sandhollowresorts.com

IS Seafood and YouKuai Group Brand Z-Rou Meat Sign Distribution Agreement

IS SeafoodIS Seafood, a sustainable B2B seafood supplier and part of the Roche Enterprises Group, has formed a strategic cooperation with Z-Rou Meat, a premium, plant-based meat brand. The agreement was signed this week in Shanghai.

Z-Rou Meat officially launched in China last December and started delivering delicious, wholesome plant-based ‘meat’ to mainstream restaurants. This iconic future food is made with 100% plant ingredients including non-GMO soybeans, konjac, coconut oil and shiitake. All ingredients are locally sourced, and the end product is 87% more efficient compared with traditional pork production in terms of environmental impact.

YouKuai Group, the company behind Z-Rou Meat, hopes to empower consumers and chefs with tasty and sustainable plant-based meat alternatives. With Z-Rou Meat, people with different dietary habits can sit together at a dining table and enjoy the same food, while being more environmentally responsible.

Sustainability has been a core value of IS Seafood since day one. The team’s philosophy is to leave more than they take from Mother Nature. Being an expert and leader in the industry, IS Seafood has successfully built a network with top restaurants in China.

Biggi Stefansson, one of the founders and CEO of IS Seafood, stated, “We all care about the future. We all care about our health. We care about our children. We feel it’s important to reduce meat consumption based on environmental factors. When Z-Rou approached me, I was immediately sold, not only about the product but also about the love and passion from the team. I feel IS Seafood and Z-Rou Meat are much aligned on our core values and where we want to head in the future. We are looking forward to introducing this futuristic and tasty product into our network.

Celebrity Chef David Laris who worked closely in bringing the three magnificent companies together, expresses his feelings on the great progress: “I’m personally excited to contribute and close a deal with profound meaning. I hope to see that more environmentally conscious companies enter the consistently developing plant-based market and gain a firm foothold there.” David is part of Acorn Digital team, a leading digital agency that assisted in Z-Rou Meat’s launch in China, who is devoted to sustainability.

When the Founder of Z-Rou Meat, Franklin Yao, was in the US last year, he drew inspiration from eating a lot of Impossible burger and Beyond sausage. It struck him that somebody was going to do this for China, for ground pork, and for Chinese dishes like Mapo Tofu, dumplings, and for Lion’s Head meatballs and it should be started from Shanghai. He founded Z-Rou Meat afterwards, and is happy to see growing momentum for this space with the likes of Omnipork entering China. He envisions Z-Rou Meat as a global brand from China to serve the entire world, to empower customers who want good food and make choices to do more good. He feels fortunate to find like-minded allies in Biggi and David who are also focused on building businesses that create a better world.


Green Rock Hemp Holdings Launches New Companies

Green Rock Hemp Holdings, LLC (GRHH), a professional, vertically integrated GRHH Logo CMYKsolutions provider to the industrial hemp industry, has announced the launch of its family of companies, including GeneticsCubed, LLC; Mesa Rising Hemp Farms, LLC; and Red Mesa Science & Refining, LLC. GRHH and its affiliates provide farmers, consumer goods producers, and end customers in the industrial hemp industry with the highest quality products and solutions.

Green Rock Hemp is led by Chief Executive Officer Joe Cachey, who believes that the company’s vertical structure allows them to effectively manage all aspects of the supply chain – from scientific genome and seed development, through cultivation, processing and extraction. Their goal is to provide customers with the highest quality products and solutions and bring professional business practices to this emerging industry.

The Green Rock Hemp family of companies includes GeneticsCubed, LLC, a company that designs, develops, and clones genetically superior hemp seeds; Mesa Rising Hemp Farms, LLC, a large-scale cultivator of high-quality hemp plants, and Red Mesa Science & Refining, an innovative hemp processing and extraction company.

The supply of quality hemp-derived CBD is struggling to meet soaring worldwide demand, and Green Rock Hemp Holdings’ soil-to-oil structure provides customers with professional solutions across the supply chain.  These businesses are led by successful executives with extensive experience in the industry, and I’m proud to have them join the Roche Enterprises family.

To learn more about Green Rock Hemp Holdings, please visit: www.greenrockhempholdings.com