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Amcham News


AmCham 2007 Annual General Meeting

On December 7th, more than 150 members arrived at the China Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom for a three-ring luncheon and meeting—the 2007 General Meeting, in fact. The annual General Meeting serves as a platform for electing and introducing the coming year’s AmCham South China Board of Governors, but has traditionally included a whole lot more than that.

 

In addition to the election process, this year AmCham took three birds with one stone, inviting Hewitt Associates to give a presentation on their 2007 Expat/Returnee Compensation and Benefits Survey results, as well as inviting more than 40 members of the press—local, regional and national—for a special cheque presentation ceremony, handing over a donation of RMB 803,350 to the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation Vice Chairman Chen Kaizhi.

 

Cheques and Balances

 

As lunch started, so too did a short two-part press event in which Mr. Li Sze Lim, Chairman of R&F Properties, was officially named “AmCham Philanthropist of the Year” for his great contributions to AmCham charity efforts. After a few words from AmCham President Harley Seyedin, U.S. Consul General Robert Goldberg and Mr. Li himself, the three gentlemen proceeded to present Mr. Chen Kaizhi, Vice Chairman of the CFPA, with the 2 meter wide ceremonial cheque. Smiles and handshakes all around.

 

Major donors to the black-tie event included R&F Properties—who donated RMB 250,000—as well as UPS, Mayland Properties, Can-Achieve, Colgate-Palmolive and the Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou, all of whom donated RMB 50,000 in cash.

 

The Winter Ball this year raised in excess of 1.4 million RMB in cash sponsorships, live auction proceeds and product donations, placing it among the highest-grossing charity events ever held by a foreign Chamber of Commerce in South China

 

Maybe I Deserve a Raise, Boss

 

This ever-popular topic of compensation and benefits was covered by Ms. Stella Hou, General Manager of Hewitt Hong Kong, and Ms. Lindsay Klump, Rewards Consultant from Hewitt Shanghai, in a rapid-fire presentation on the Guangzhou and Shenzhen results of Hewitt’s aforementioned 2007 Expatriate and Returnee Compensation and Benefits Survey.

 

More than 145 companies participated in the survey this year, which is an overview of some 300 different positions, including regional AP jobs, and 6 different categories for expats.

 

Ms. Hou and Ms. Klump, with their dynamic tag-team style, covered living expenses, prevalent trends and practices, and the evolution of the pay landscape—answering questions such as how expat salaries compare with local ones for top leadership positions, how returnee packages compare with foreign national expatriates (favorably), which perks are most popular, which are being cut, and which seem to have the biggest draw, and whether or not companies are looking to permanently relocate employees to the PRD nowadays.

 

Election

 

Finally, after much derring-do, 2008 Board of Governors Nominating Committee Chairman Charles Hubbs was invited to the stage to begin the brief election proceedings. Kicking off by introducing the incumbent Board members present, and leading the assembled members in a round of applause for the leadership and donated time of these gentlemen, Mr. Hubbs was presented with the election results by Mr. William Cheung of KPMG (who audited the entire election process) and invited the other present members of the nominating committee to join him on stage: Brian Ma and John Norris.

 

In his cool and statesman-like drawl, Mr. Hubbs invited the 2008 AmCham Board of Governors to the stage. Messrs Dave Hon of Dahon Technologies, Joe Zhou of American Appraisal, Fred Hong of Frederick Hong Law Office, Simon Foo of AIG assumed their positions of Governors, Mr. Tim Wen reprised his role as Treasurer, and Mr. Harley Seyedin was officially named President for 2008.

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