US-China Strong Welcomes Its New CEO

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 10.22.34 PMUS-China Strong is thrilled to welcome its new CEO, John Holden. Mr. Holden officially began his tenure with US-China Strong on October 1st, 2017. As the newly appointed CEO, Holden will work to expand US-China Strong’s presence, programs and mission to create more productive relations between future American leaders and their Chinese peers.

Before joining US-China Strong, Mr. Holden served as the president of the National Committee on US-China Relations and worked as the Associate Dean at Peking University. In his time at Peking University, Holden helped to launch and manage the university’s Yenching Academy – a center for select college graduates pursuing Master’s degrees in China Studies. He also served as Professor of Management Practice at the University’s Guanghua School of Management.  

John Holden recently received the highest award for foreign experts, the China’s Friendship Award, for making “outstanding contributions to the country’s economic and social progress.”

How Can We Put the Immigration System to Work for a 21st Century Economy?

Robert Roche wrote an op-ed discussing the fundamental issues of the United States’ immigration system. Roche noted that the current processes discourage entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers from pursuing employment in the United States at a time when our economy needs them most. The employment processes immigrants endure are contributing to our country’s economic struggles.

Roche stated, “I’ve seen this policy debate unfold from a unique perspective and understand what foreign talent can mean to a country. Thirty years ago I moved to Japan and then later to China where I started several companies that helped to create jobs and expand economic opportunities. The U.S. could benefit from being more open to foreign entrepreneurs who are eager to create similar opportunities here.”

Roche mentions that the United States relies on temporary visas in lieu of employment-based green cards. In fact, the temporary work visa to green card ratio in the United States was 3-1 in 2016. The temporary visa, also knowns as the H-1B, isn’t designed to maximize the economic impact of each visa awarded, or contribute to the advancement of America’s long-term competitiveness.

H-1B workers aren’t innovating or launching new ventures and are in fact prevented from doing so due to the fact that companies, not the immigrants themselves, “own” the visas.  Therefore, H-1B workers can’t leave their employers to pursue other endeavors without losing their right to stay in the country.

Click here to read Robert Roche’s full piece.

AmCham Shanghai is holding a SME Conference in Shanghai

On October 18th, AmCham Shanghai is holding a SME Conference in Shanghai at the Wanda Reign on the Bund.  This conference has been designed to help U.S. and other foreign Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) capitalize on otherwise untapped investment opportunities to grow and expand their businesses in China.

The conference will feature 20 different speakers who will deliver remarks in a variety of styles including keynote speeches, training sessions and panel Q&A’s. AmCham Shanghai is pleased to have its SME Conference’s opening remarks delivered by its President, Kenneth Jarrett. The conference will focus on educating small and medium enterprises on how to take advantage of untapped investment in new booming industries in China and identify the right local partners to maximize their profits and benefits, learning to better navigate the Chinese regulatory environment.

Small and Medium Enterprises operating in China are generally positive about the financial performance and business outlook. In recent years, according to AmCham Shanghai’s annual SME Challenges Survey, (A poll identifying the opportunities and challenges faced by SMEs in China), smaller U.S. companies can succeed in China so long as they adjust their approach to a new and different market, while also accepting that some factors of doing business will inevitably be unknown.

Congratulations to Three CNAS Next Generation National Security Alumni on Serving Amongst the 2017-2018 White House Fellows Class

The Center for a New American Security proudly congratulated three Next Generation National Security Leaders Fellowship alumni who were named as 2017–2018 White House Fellows.  These three individual leaders exemplify the CNAS mission to grow the next generation of national security leaders whom the U.S. will depend on for decades to come. The leaders include Cristina Hernandez, Jeffrey McLean and Katelyn van Dam.

Christina was a member of this year’s Next Generation class and was placed at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. She is a proud Army veteran having most recently served as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Director of Science and Technology for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Jeffrey McLean was a member of the 2014 Next Generation class. McLean was placed at the White House Office of American Innovation. McLean is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and a F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot.

Katelyn van Dam was also a member of the 2014 Next Generation class. Van Dam was placed at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Van Dam is a Major in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and an attack helicopter pilot.

If interested, national security leaders can learn more about this year’s Next Generation National Security Leaders Fellowship here.

Sand Hollow Leavitt Group Open

Sand Hollow Resort hosted the three day long 5th Annual Sand Hollow Leavitt Group Open.

Last week, Sand Hollow Resort hosted the three day long 5th Annual Sand Hollow Leavitt Group Open. The tournament players teed off on September 21st and the final round was played on the 23rd. The Sand Hollow Open event has become one of the region’s most important golf tournaments and is played on a spectacular, award-winning Championship Golf Course found on the Sand Hollow Resort property.

Each year the talent at the tournament seems to climb featuring players from all over North America and throughout the world. The tournament has consistently featured up and coming professional golfers boasting an impressive pay-out of nearly $100,000. The caliber of play is undoubtedly reflective of the tournaments reputation and the potential payout.

To commence the 5th annual open tournament, Sand Hollow hosted the Governor’s Charity Cup. Utah Governor Gary Herbert, former Governor Mike Leavitt, and political, media, and business leaders from both Utah and Nevada participated in the event, playing on behalf of an array of charities. The Governor’s Charity Cup pits four teams of 12 (two teams from Utah, and two from Nevada) against each other in a Ryder Cup-style format. One hundred percent of the tournament proceeds are donated to the aforementioned charities.

The Sand Hollow Leavitt Group Open is generously supported by the Utah Sports Commission, The Leavitt Group, WCF Insurance, Gilbert Development, Zion Bank and over a dozen other companies. Sand Hollow proudly hosts the Governor’s Charity Cup and The Sand Hollow Open.


Acorn International Welcomes New Director

Acorn International, Inc.’s board of directors proudly announced the appointment of the new Director of the Company, Ms. Jenny Hseau-Jean Wang.

Acorn International, Inc.’s board of directors proudly announced the appointment of the new Director of the Company, Ms. Jenny Hseau-Jean Wang. Ms. Wang was also appointed as chair of the Audit Committee and will serve on the Compensation Committee and Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee of Acorn.  

“We are pleased to enhance our board with the addition of Ms. Wang, a proven business leader and finance professional at large multinational companies operating in Asia. Her experience in business and corporate governance best practices will be invaluable to Acorn as we move forward with our plans to rebuild our business,” said Acorn International’s Executive Chairman.

Ms. Wang has a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Taiwan Providence University, a Master of Science in Accounting from the University of Houston and is a Certified Public Accountant in the United States.

Professionally, Ms. Wang adds over 30 years of experience in executive management, finance and business strategy for the Asia Pacific operations of several high-profile multinational organizations to the Acorn team. Ms. Wang has worked with companies such as Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Company, Motorola’s Asia and Arthur Andersen.  She has held several positions with the aforementioned companies ranging from Vice President to Tax Manager.  

Acorn International Reports Results for the First Half of 2017

Acorn International, Inc. announced its unaudited financial results for the second quarter through a conference call lead by Acorn International’s Jacob A. Fisch.

Acorn International, Inc. announced its unaudited financial results for the second quarter ending June 30, 2017. The results were discussed through a conference call lead by Acorn International’s Jacob A. Fisch.

In the second quarter, Acorn continued to focus on its business turnaround strategy, delivering double-digit revenue growth, higher gross margins and a reduction in loss from operations due to management’s narrowed focus on core business and top performing brands.

Acorn International’s Management believes the performance of its core business improved substantially in the first and second quarters. Their medium-term goal is to achieve operating profitability to position the business for long-term, sustainable success. Management remains focused on maintaining healthy margins, managing expenses and generating additional cash flow.

In the first half of 2017, the Company reduced its stake in Yimeng Software Technology Co., Ltd., a publicly traded company in China, earning a pre-tax gain of approximately $9.1 million. Comparatively, in the first half of 2016, the Company recorded a pre-tax gain on the sale of Yimeng shares of $18.1 million and a $6.0 million pretax gain on the sale of non-core real estate.

Acorn intends to pursue increased revenue for the remainder of 2017 by growing sales of its proprietary-branded products as well as third-party branded products. The Company is placing an increased emphasis on its e-commerce channel and expects sales from this platform to play a bigger role in the business going forward.