VOL. 132 | NO. 98 | Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Cai to Lead Memphis Chamber’s International Business Efforts
By Kate Simone
Jinliang (Jin) Cai has joined the Greater Memphis Chamber as vice president of international business development. In that role, Cai will be directing efforts both to grow foreign direct investment in Memphis and Shelby County and to increase the volume of local exports to foreign markets.
Towards meeting those goals, he will manage the Memphis Metro Export Alliance staff and oversee the chamber’s International Business Council, a group of member businesses who work towards promoting a collaborative environment in international business development.
Hometown: Beijing, China
Experience: I previously worked for FedEx for 17 years in a number of management positions, including senior manager of flight operations for Asia Pacific Hub in Guangzhou, China, with responsibilities in project management, regulatory affairs with Chinese officials and leading continuous improvement initiatives. Before that, I worked for U.S. Airways in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for 11 years in several professional and managerial positions.
I have an undergraduate degree in economics from Peking University in Beijing, China, and a master’s degree in public management and policy analysis from Heinz School at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
What talent do you wish you had? To play a musical instrument like a piano.
Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My father. From my early years, he taught me to be responsible and follow through on my commitment. He taught me to be truthful whether it made him happy or not. He always trusted me to make the right decision.
What attracted you to the Greater Memphis Chamber? The Greater Memphis Chamber represents and serves the interest of local and international business communities. We have an important role in leading and influencing the development of our local economy. I hope to increase the international business communities’ contribution in this region.
You’ve gained quite a bit of experience working in international business development, particularly in China – a country where the chamber wants to increase its business development. What strategies do you want to implement to help reach that goal? Currently, I am making a lot of assessments that will help develop a set of strategies. Here are some of the important considerations: First, we must serve existing international companies well so that they can be our ambassadors in recruiting new business. Secondly, we must market our strengths in logistics, manufacturing, health care, education, etc., in the areas in China where there is great demand. Thirdly, we need to build networks and relationships with both public and private partners in China so that we cast a wide net for potential business and investment opportunities for greater Memphis.
What advice would you give Memphis businesses that want to begin exporting to foreign markets? A company should consider exporting their products or services to foreign markets because more than 90 percent of consumers are outside the U.S. To get started, they should contact the Greater Memphis Chamber. We can help them take advantage of free or low-cost export assistance from local, state and federal governments, as well as opportunities with local private companies. The chamber is here to help these businesses be successful exporters.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? To help FedEx successfully launch and operate its Asia Pacific Hub in Guangzhou, China, between 2008 and 2013 is probably on top of that list.
What do you most enjoy about your work? Sustainable local economic development in the increasingly globalized economy is one of the great challenges of our time. It takes both public and private sectors to work cooperatively and creatively to solve problems and to improve people’s lives. I feel very excited to go to work every day thinking that I have an opportunity to make a difference.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Most of us want to have a successful career. I like to define success as improving oneself no matter the outcome. The desire to be a better person and to be better at doing whatever I put my heart into has motivated me to learn more, to be open for new ideas and to seek new challenges. The outcome will follow.
Aubrey B. Greer has joined Glankler Brown PLLC as an associate, with a concentration on litigation. Greer is a U.S. Army veteran who was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and 2005 and to Afghanistan in 2009. After leaving the military, he worked in the business community in the Nashville and Memphis metro areas before earning his law degree from the University of Mississippi.
Richard Moore has been promoted to director of business development at Lehman-Roberts Co. Moore has been with the company for 10 years and most recently served in project management. In his new role, he is responsible for working with Lehman-Roberts’ asphalt-production customers to find solutions for their material and construction needs.
The Tennessee Medical Association has honored Dr. James “Chris” Christian Fleming of Memphis with a 2017 Outstanding Physician Award. The award honors TMA member physicians who, over the course of their careers, have made a distinctive mark on the medical profession, their colleagues and communities. Fleming has practiced ophthalmology in Memphis for 36 years and currently serves as director of the Hamilton Eye Institute.
Laurel Wiedower has been promoted to bed buyer at Hollywood Feed. In her new role, she will be in charge of sourcing and purchasing pet beds, leashes, collars and other items for the Memphis-based chain’s more than 50 stores across the Southeast. She also will design various elements of the brand’s Mississippi Made line of pet beds and accessories. Wiedower previously served as Hollywood Feed’s event coordinator.
Jeff Weintraub, regional managing partner of Fisher Phillips in Memphis, has been selected among the “Top 100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys” in the United States by Human Resource Executive magazine. The list was compiled based on curriculum vitae analyses; evaluations by clients and peers; and reporting by Lawdragon, a media company and networking site.
Clean Memphis has added Maggie Strom and Javon McKinnon to its board of directors. Strom is president of Tioga Environmental Consultants, and McKinnon is a commercial real estate adviser for Keller Williams Commercial.