On July 12, 2018, the Washington State China Relations Council launched the US-China Women’s Leadership Forum, led by WSCRC board members Holly Yang, Sharon Sidoine and Annamarie Larson as Forum chair and vice-chairs, respectively. Approximately 50 attendees represented business and government professions. The Forum topic – Washington Women: Successful Leadership on the Front Lines of US-China Business Relations – provided a platform for senior-level women leaders to exchange ideas and thought leadership with each other and attendees. Introducing the purpose of the WSCRC Women’s Leadership Forum, WSCRC board member Holly Yang detailed WSCRC’s aim to facilitate executive-level exchange, networking opportunities, and professional mentorship opportunities.
Port of Seattle Commissioner Courtney Gregoire shared engaging and informative opening remarks, discussing longstanding trade relations between Washington State and China. She noted that “strong relationships” and “mutual benefits” are necessary components to maintaining that connection, particularly in times of uncertainty. After discussing her own experiences working internationally between the United States and China, she encouraged attendees to explore avenues for growing US-China partnerships on the local and state level.
Panel speakers – Holly Yang, Senior Vice President & Partner, Kidder Mathews; Jing DiPiero, Founder/CEO, DPR Consulting; Allison Clark, Managing Director of Business Development, WA State Department of Commerce; and Kendee Yamaguchi, Executive Director, Snohomish County Executive Office – discussed how their leadership roles in commercial real estate, healthcare technology, business development, and public service actively shape the US-China relationship from Washington State.
Facilitated by WSCRC board member Annamarie Larson, attorney at K&L
Gates, the Q&A session addressed long-term trends in the US-China business relationship, as well as the experiences of WA state businesses working in China and with Chinese partners. In answering an audience question about the role of women in leadership, the panel encouraged professional women to help each other achieve their goals and emphasized the importance of having a seat at the table in decision-making. PACCAR Director of Sales Operations Sharon Sidoine concluded the program and invited attendees to mingle over refreshments.
WSCRC extends special thanks to WSCRC board members Yuping Wang of Davis Wright Tremaine as venue host and Sharon Sidoine of PACCAR for furnishing refreshments.
Summary Author: Mengyao Liu