2020 AGM Election Results

AmCham thanks its members for attending the Annual General Meeting and helping us to meet the quorum. We are pleased to announce the results of the 2020 Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel. The election results were compiled by Deloitte & Touche. The elected Governors and Supervisors are listed in alphabetical order. Read more about the event here.

2021-2022 Governors (Serving a two-year term, beginning January 1, 2021):

2021 Supervisors (Serving a one-year term, beginning January 1, 2021):

Other Business Items on the Ballot were all approved. 

With the help of the staff at Deloitte & Touche, we were able to successfully compile the election results for this year. Congratulations to the newly elected Governors and Supervisors!

A Virtual Trip Around the World – at the American Ball

AmCham Taipei’s 2020 American Ball was an evening of glitz and glamor as nearly 300 members and their guests arrived at the Grand Hyatt Taipei dressed in dashing tuxedos and elegant evening gowns. While the COVID-19 pandemic has severely restricted international travel, the theme of this year’s ball – Fly Me to the World – aimed to bring the world to attendees. The event featured a world-class meal, international performances, and dance-worthy sounds from around the globe.

View the full photo gallery here

As guests began to trickle in, they made their way from the photo stand in the hotel’s lobby to the registration area outside the Grand Ballroom on the third floor. There they were treated to an eye-catching display of duty-free products supplied by Ever Rich, including high-value Taiwanese tea sets, as well as other local snacks and assorted goods. Those wishing to further memorialize their attendance at this premier event had the chance to strike a pose at two photo stations upstairs.

2020 American Ball – AmCham x Ever Rich

The evening’s festivities kicked off with a lively dance performance, transporting the audience to France and Spain with traditional songs and beautiful costumes. It was a hard act to follow, but Master of Ceremonies Roger Yee rose to the occasion, eliciting laughs and applause from guests and putting everyone at ease. He was joined onstage by AmCham Taipei Chairperson CW Chin and President Leo Seewald, and the three raised a toast on behalf of the host organizations.

2020 American Ball – Dance Performers

As the night continued, guests were treated to a sumptuous intercontinental meal, whose courses included Spanish-style smoked halibut, pineapple sorbet with coconut crumble for lovers of Hawaii, Netherlands-style roasted U.S. beef tenderloin, and a coffee chocolate bonbon representing Italy. It was the kind of feast that lets you savor the world without ever needing to leave the dinner table. To complement this delicious spread, bottles of Robert Mondavi Winery Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay were provided by drinks sponsor Sergio Valente, while whisky drinkers enjoyed glasses of Johnnie Walker Black Label Sherry Finish from Diageo.

Live music for the American Ball was provided by Sherwyne Pereira and his band MODA, while local DJ Rick Kraft spun a range of contemporary jams and classic tunes, getting people in the dancing spirit. Those who still had room after dinner could take a break from the dancefloor for a late-night snack of pulled pork sandwiches and Spanish churros. Meanwhile, free-flow refreshments were available at the bar throughout the night.

2020 American Ball – Dance Floor

The 2020 American Ball was made possible by the generosity of a number of sponsoring organizations. These included Grand Prize Sponsor Samsung; Wine & Liquor Sponsors Diageo and Sergio Valente; Gold Sponsors Amgen, Grand Hyatt Taipei, and HSBC; Décor Sponsor Merck; and Silver Sponsors Corning, The Rehfeldt Group, and GSK.

The party featured raffle drawings with attractive prizes throughout the night. The grand prize, from Samsung, was a 65” QLED 4K television. Other prize sponsors included the Grand Hyatt Taipei, Amba Taipei Songshan, CÉ LA VI Taipei, eslite hotel, Everrich, Hotel Eclat Taipei, Hotel Indigo Taipei North, Hotel Royal Group, Howard Plaza Hotel Taipei, Madison Taipei, Mandarin Oriental Taipei, Mellow Fields Taipei, Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, The Landis Taipei, The One, The Place Taipei, Regent Taipei, Sherwood Taipei, Westin Tashee Resort Taoyuan, and W Taipei.

Interested in attending our events? Join us at other upcoming events, click here.

Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.

An AmCham “Big Idea”: Establishing a Sovereign Wealth Fund in Taiwan

AmCham Taipei President Leo Seewald appeared recently on the Taiwan Matters Podcast hosted by Nicholas Gould to discuss the potential for Taiwan to establish a sovereign wealth fund as a number of other countries have done to engage in strategic investing internationally.

The notion of creating such a fund is one of a series of “Big Ideas” that AmCham is seeking to promote.

Seewald is a former Chairman and country head for Black Rock investment Management in Taiwan. Other guests on the podcast include Professor Jennifer Wang, former Chairperson of the Financial Supervisory Commission and now the Chairperson of the Department of Risk Management and Insurance at National Chengchi University; and Silicon Valley angel investor and CEO of Taiwania Capital Management Corp. David Weng. Taiwania is a National Development Fund established by the Taiwan government two years ago.

3M Hosts AmCham Taipei Field Trip

3M, one of the largest multinational companies operating in Taiwan, hosted the AmCham Taipei staff at its Customer Technology Center in Yangmei on September 25. Jeffrey Tung, Managing Director of 3M Taiwan, provided a briefing about the company’s 51-year history in Taiwan and its leading role in driving science-based innovation. The guests had the opportunity to walk through the impressive showroom area. Through hands-on demonstrations, visitors learned about 3M’s core technologies and witnessed how science can be “applied to life.”

In his briefing, Tung described how 3M applies materials science to its four major business units: Safety & Industrial, Transportation & Electronics, Health Care, and Consumer-based products. With an annual revenue of more than US $30 billion, the company currently has over 200 offices with 96,000 employees globally, and it holds more than 100,000 patents.

Tung noted that each of 3M’s R&D Centers develops its own unique products and innovative processes. The company shares its patents across business units to encourage continuous, collaborative efforts to drive innovation, producing products that are “safer, faster, and last longer.”  He also stressed the vital role that 3M has played in working with governments to ensure sufficient supplies of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers around the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taiwan-USA Trade and Investment Networking Center Opens in Taipei

AmCham Taipei on December 18 participated in the opening ceremony of the Taiwan-USA Trade and Investment Networking Center. The center is the result a collaborative effort between the government-sponsored Taiwan External Trade and Development Council (TAITRA), the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the American State Offices Association (ASOA), and AmCham Taipei. It is designed to strengthen commercial ties between Taiwan and the U.S. by facilitating cooperation between business partners, and offering advisory, analysis, and referral services, among other functions.

TAITRA Chairman James Huang delivered the ceremony’s opening speech, highlighting the special partnership between Taiwan and the U.S., which he said has “enabled Taiwan to be one of the most productive members of the global economy.” In order to take this relationship to the next level, Huang said, a channel was needed to advance comprehensive coordination among Taiwanese and U.S. businesses. Out of this necessity, the idea for the center was born.

In his remarks, AIT Director Brent Christensen stressed the vision for the center as “a one-stop, all-purpose platform to advise and assist Taiwan and American enterprises in expanding two-way trade and investment between the United States and Taiwan.” He emphasized that trade between Taiwan and the U.S. increased by 13.6% in the first 11 months of 2019, and that both partners are important sources of investment for the other. He also stated his desire for the center to play a role in promoting the U.S. government’s SelectUSA Investment Summit, an annual conference held in Washington D.C.

Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua, who gave concluding remarks, pointed to the large amount of return investment by Taiwanese companies that have decided to reshore some of their high-value manufacturing operations from China as a result of the U.S.-China trade dispute. She said this development will make Taiwan an even more attractive location for international trade and investment.

The center is being housed within the TAITRA offices in the International Trade Building, 333 Keelung Rd., Sec. 1, part of the Taipei World Trade Center complex.

 

A Fun-filled Evening at the American Ball

The 2019 American Ball – on the theme of Winter Wonderland – confirmed the event’s reputation as one of Taipei’s social highlights. Co-organized by AmCham Taipei and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the ball was held December 7 at the Grand Hyatt Taipei, with nearly 300 AmCham members and guests in attendance.

View the full photo gallery here.

Inside the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, attendees were magically transported to a far different climate than subtropical Taipei’s. The wintry theme was reflected in the room decoration, captivating performances by the VMJ dance group, the menu’s Christmas ball dessert, and such concoctions as the “White Christmas Martini” and “Mrs. Claus’ Wildside” available at the cocktail bar.

AmCham President Bill Foreman and emcee ­­­Dannielle Andrews, AIT’s Economic Section Chief, opened the evening with a toast on behalf of the host organizations. Attendees then enjoyed a succulent five-course meal that featured roasted U.S. beef tenderloin, paired with Robert Mondavi Winery Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay (from Sergio Valente) and Johnnie Walker Double Black (from Diageo).

Live music was provided by Sherwyne Pereira and his band MODA, whose pulsating beat kept the dance floor packed until late in the evening. Dancers could take a break by nibbling on such late-night snacks as chocolate-covered bacon, churros, and macaroon sliders. Guests also had the opportunity to get snapshots taken, creating lasting memories at the photo booths.

The event was made possible by the generosity of a number of sponsoring companies. These included Grand Prize Sponsor United Airlines; Wine & Liquor Sponsors Diageo and Sergio Valente; Gold Sponsors Amgen, Grand Hyatt Taipei, HSBC, and Taiwan Sotheby’s; Décor Sponsor Versum Materials; and Silver Sponsors Corning, Everrich, and Prospect Hospitality Co. Ltd. (McDonald’s Restaurants).

The party featured raffle drawings with attractive prizes throughout the night. The grand prize, from United Airlines, was two round-trip business-class tickets to any U.S. destination. Other gift sponsors were the Grand Hyatt Taipei, Amba Taipei Songshan, CÉ LA VI Taipei, eslite hotel, Everrich, Grand Mayfull Hotel Taipei, Hotel Eclat Taipei, Howard Plaza Hotel Taipei, Hilton Taipei SinBan, Mandarin Oriental Taipei, Mellow Fields Taipei, Procter & Gamble, Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, The Landis Taipei, The Place Taipei, Regent Taipei, Sherwood Taipei, Westin Tashee Resort Taoyuan, and W Taipei.

Interested in attending our events? Join us at other upcoming events, click here.

Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.

In Memory of James F. O’Hearn, 1935-2019

Jim O’Hearn, one of the most prominent members of the AmCham Taipei leadership in the 1980s and 90s, passed away in Arizona on November 14 at the age of 84. He served as Chairman (the position was then called President) of the Chamber in 1991 and 1992. Previously he had been a member of the Board of Governors, chairman of the Chemical Manufacturers Committee, Hsieh Nien Fan emcee in 1983, and Christmas Ball emcee in 1981, 1985, and 1988.

His day job was President of Premier Chemical Co., a subsidiary of Uniroyal Chemical Co. specializing in chemicals for the rubber industry. Jim is survived by his wife of 52 years, Sabrina, children Kevin and Claudine, and four grandchildren.

President Tsai Addresses AmCham’s 2019 AGM

With President Tsai Ing-wen as the keynote speaker, AmCham Taipei’s 2019 Annual General Meeting was held November 19 in the newly redecorated Grand Ballroom of Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza. The President paid tribute to the Chamber’s “key role in advancing Taiwan-U.S. trade relations, and in bringing new investments to Taiwan.”

Some 230 Chamber members and guests attended the luncheon meeting, where voting was conducted for the 2020 Board of Governors and Supervisors. See the announcement of the results here.

The six Governors elected for two-year terms were:

  • Mark Chen of Abbott Laboratories
  • CW Chin of Applied Materials Taiwan
  • Timothy Shields of Cigna Taiwan
  • Gina Tsai of Airbnb
  • Fupei Wang of Ogilvy Public Relations
  • Angela Yu of Microsoft

They join 2019-2021 Governors Al Chang of Deloitte & Touche, Albert Chang of McKinsey, Seraphim Ma of Baker & McKenzie, Jan-Hendrik Meidinger of the Grand Hyatt Taipei, and Paulus Mok of Citibank.

Newly elected for one-year terms as Supervisors were:

  • Mark Horng of Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Stephen Tan of International Policy Advisory Group
  • Terry Tsao of SEMI Taiwan

In her speech, President Tsai also thanked AmCham for helping to “remove many obstacles for U.S. companies investing and operating in Taiwan.” She said the government listens closely to the suggestions of AmCham members and responds to their concerns, citing the recent implementation of a Patent Linkage System for pharmaceuticals as an example. See her full remarks here.

Tsai stressed her administration’s determination to build a new economic development model for Taiwan, one that will “transform Taiwan into Asia’s high-end manufacturing and R&D center, a regional financial and wealth management center, and a base for high-quality talent.”

The meeting also included a State of the Chamber 2019 report by Leo Seewald, who served as the AmCham Taipei chairman for most of the year. He highlighted the Chamber’s recent achievements, including receiving the 2019 Corporate Community Leadership Award from the Community Services Center for “exceptional leadership, service, and commitment to Taiwan.”

Seewald also presented the first annual Outstanding Committee Co-chair Awards to Joyce Lee of the Public Health Committee and Dylan Tyson of the Insurance Committee.

Interested in attending our events? Join us at other upcoming events, click here.

Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.

Foreign Ministry Awards AmCham’s Senior Director Don Shapiro the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded Don Shapiro, Editor-in-Chief of Taiwan Business TOPICS and Senior Director of AmCham, with the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy at a reception packed with family, friends and colleagues on November 8. The Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Wu, recognized Mr. Shapiro for his contributions to Taiwan’s development as a journalist over the last several decades.

A transcript of Mr. Shapiro’s remarks is as follows:

Minister Wu, Distinguished guests, friends and colleagues, good afternoon.

Thank you, Mr. Minister. This is indeed a great honor. I’m glad I decided to stay in Taiwan longer than the originally planned 10 months.

Although I deeply appreciate the recognition, in fact I consider that it was really my privilege to have been in Taiwan to witness the remarkable transformations that occurred here – politically, economically, socially – and to have been able to help make more people around the world aware of those developments.

When I came to Taiwan in 1969, it was an autocratic, one-party system. I got to know a number of former political prisoners, and one of the least pleasant reporting duties I had was to cover trials of civilians brought before military tribunals under martial law.

Then came the emergence of the tangwai, the founding of the DPP, the end of martial law, new legislative elections, and the direct election of the president. Taiwan had evolved into a vibrant, full-fledged democracy. For this former political science graduate student, it was like a living laboratory.

In international relations, Taiwan was steadily losing diplomatic recognition from other countries, but it was replacing it with strong, substantive unofficial relations. In effect, I saw the writing of a whole new chapter in the history of international affairs.

Economically, when I arrived in Taiwan this country was just going through the transition from an agricultural to an industrial society. Fortunately, besides my political science courses, I had studied a bit of economics, so I could also write about the strides Taiwan was making in economic development. I saw it thrive as one of the Four Tigers of Asia and then become a technology powerhouse.

I recall that 1969, the year of my arrival, was the first year in which Taiwan exported more than one billion US dollars worth of products. Now it exports almost that much in a day.

In addition to my international reporting, for 25 years I was a partner in a publishing company called Trade Winds. Taiwanese companies were then very good at manufacturing but not so much at marketing. Trade Winds played an important role in reaching out to importers around the world and introducing Taiwanese export industries and products.

The past nearly 20 years have been with the American Chamber, and this has also been a great experience. There are not nearly enough media covering Taiwan in the English language, and I believe our Taiwan Business TOPICS monthly has helped fill that gap. Our annual Taiwan White Paper always gets a lot of attention, and it’s been gratifying – especially in the last few years – to see how seriously the Taiwan government takes the issues raised in the White Paper and tries to resolve them.

Again, I would like to thank the government for this honor. Taiwan has been good to me. I came to Taiwan alone but met my wife here and we’ve now been married 46 years. From the start I always enjoyed warm acceptance from her family. I believe that as a “son-in-law of Taiwan,” I had the chance to delve more deeply into Taiwan society and appreciate Taiwan culture.

Our two daughters were born in Taiwan. And although under the Nationality Act at that time they were unable to become ROC citizens, they’ve always considered Taiwan to be home. After more than 20 years in the U.S., daughter Debbie last year decided to return and is now working in the Taiwan hotel industry. Daughter Laurie lives and works in Singapore but looks for every opportunity to come back to visit.

I’m also grateful to the AmCham officers and board for their consistent support and my wonderful colleagues on the Chamber staff for their friendship and unflagging cooperation. I would also like to give a special thanks to several people here today – Kang Ning-hsiang and Antonio Chiang. Over the years, I have learned so much about Taiwan politics from speaking with them. I should also put Minister Wu in that category.

As for the future, I have always been an optimist about Taiwan. In my years here, I’ve seen Taiwan confronted with numerous big challenges, and it has always had the resiliency and fortitude to come out okay. I believe that will continue to be the case, especially if Taiwan continues to open up and connect with the rest of the world as much as possible.

Thank you all for being here today, and thank you MOFA for this honor.

New Co-chair Awards – Recognizing Impactful Leadership

Many of the most important people at AmCham Taipei are the committee co-chairs. They are the ones who lead the organization’s 25 industry committees – the backbone of our advocacy mission that aims to make Taiwan’s business environment more open, innovative and prosperous. Each year, the co-chairs spend hours and hours writing e-mails, briefing policymakers, holding meetings and molding a consensus with their peers on issues that are vital to our businesses.

The Board of Governors has decided it’s time to formally recognize the most impactful co-chairs. With recommendations from the AmCham staff, the Board will select two co-chairs who will receive awards at the Annual General Meeting on Nov. 19. The selection criteria will include:

  • Catalyzing activity with regular committee meetings, strategic goals, innovative tactics and efficient execution.
  • Engaging with Taiwanese and U.S. policymakers on a regular basis and achieving results through substantive engagement.
  • Organizing events that raise the organization’s profile and advance the mission.
  • Joining the CEO Mission to Washington.