Nema Etheridge for GlobalAtlanta
With nine new officers, the Atlanta chapter of the National Association of Chinese-Americans plans to help strengthen Georgia’s ties to China, Henry Yu, the association’s newly elected president, told GlobalAtlanta.

“We want to continue to help Georgia as well as Atlanta with their continued interests in China,” said Mr. Yu, who is director of Global Trade Solutions at SunTrust Banks Inc. and a member of its Atlanta Diversity Council, which brings together employees from different cultural and professional backgrounds to improve the bank’s operation.

Mr. Yu said that the Chinese-American association would use its business and political contacts in China to help Georgia attract Chinese investment, which he sees coming in the form of joint ventures or acquisitions.

“Chinese companies outside of China have no brand in the United States, so they will either have to form joint ventures or make direct acquisitions to have the brand and customer base of an existing U.S. company,” he said.

He used the recently announced joint venture between Ningbo, China-based Ningbo Lehui Food Manfucaturing Co. Ltd. and New Jersey-based Wy Industries Inc. as an example. The two companies are to invest some $15 million in a joint venture that will locate a condiment manufacturing and distribution center in Newnan.

Mr. Yu also said that the association would assist Mayor Shirley Franklin’s office in finding a Sister City match in China. While Mr. Yu believes Ningbo and Chengdu would make good Sister Cities for Atlanta, he would like to see Wuhan, the logistics hub of central China, become Atlanta’s Sister City.

“If China has to expand west, they have to go through Wuhan,” Mr. Yu said of China’s future business development, which he believes would offer business, logistics and educational opportunities for Georgia companies in Wuhan.

Mr. Yu was one of nine new officers elected to the association June 24.
He is joined by Immediate Past President Wei Hu, corporate counsel for payroll provider ADP Inc.; Chairman Lani Wong, member of Gov. Sonny Perdue’s Asian-American Commission for New Georgia; Vice President Victor Lai, attorney with Drew, Eckl & Farnham LLP;

Vice President Henry Li, senior level program manager with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority; Vice President Christina Liao, member of the senior management team of Atlanta-based marketing research and consulting firm CMI Co.; Vice President Jian Ouyang, chairman of the Emory Chinese Academy; Treasurer Ethel Mar and Secretary Yin Olivia Wu, financial analyst with Heritage Capital Advisors LLC.

Mr. Yu said that having four vice presidents would create a dynamic atmosphere in the 150-member organization. He hopes they will learn from each other and collectively further the association’s goals of training young Asian professionals and reaching out to the Atlanta community.

The group also elected new board members June 24. They are James Hu, information technology consultant and architect; Danny Pian, branch manager of Flagstar Bank in Duluth; Julia Saia, director for Global Supplier Performance for Home Depot Inc., Terri Selik, retired clinical research coordinator for the departments of surgery, obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University and Hong Sun Wills, associate in the corporate section of Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP.

For more information, visit or call the association at (770) 394-6542.