Chief Marketing Officer, KiwiCo, Inc.
Trustee, Asia Society
Katie Soo is an award-winning global media and tech marketer with a proven track record for breaking trends, forging new technology partnerships, and launching large-scale, disruptive business models and brands.
In her current role as CMO of KiwiCo, she oversees global marketing across consumer, brand, performance, and campaign strategy. Soo was the former Senior Vice President of Growth Marketing for HBO Max overseeing growth marketing, which included brand, originals, and growth media, subscriber acquisitions, consumer engagement, digital campaigns, social media and audience development, partner marketing, and retention strategies.
Soo is actively involved in startups, serving as an advisor to a handful of companies in health and wellness like Oura and Neuro, as well as dedicates her time to mentor early founders. She has received numerous accolades from Promax, Webbys, Digiday and the Shorty Awards for her work in both creative storytelling and digital products. Most recently she was recognized on Ad Age’s “40 Under 40,” PR Week’s “The Innovation 50” and was named on Goldhouse’s A100 list honoring the most impactful Asians in culture.
She is a West Coast native and sits on the Advisory Board for both Pinterest and California State University Entertainment Alliance. She’s also on the Asia Society’s Board of Trustees and is the Co-Chair of Asia Society Southern California and serves as a member of Vox Media’s Brand Council. When she isn’t working, Soo enjoys spending time with her family and supporting environmental causes.
Director, IBEAR MBA program at the USC Marshall School of Business
Richard Drobnick is the director of the IBEAR MBA program at the USC Marshall School of Business. He was the founding director of the School’s Center for International Business (1990-2014), which was supported by the U.S. Department of Education since 1990, as one of its 33 national resource centers on international business. Dr. Drobnick served as USC’s inaugural Vice Provost for International Affairs (1994-2005). He was the inaugural Secretary General (1997-2002) and a member of the Steering Committee (1997-2010) of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), an association of presidents of 45 leading Pacific Rim research universities (www.apru.org). He launched and led APRU’s Pacific Rim research programs on “Sustainability and Climate Change” and “Public Health” (2006-2010).
Dr. Drobnick specializes in Pacific Rim economic and business issues and U.S. and Pacific Rim trade policies. He is the author of numerous articles regarding international economics and business, as well as the co-author of Neither Feast nor Famine: Food Conditions to the Year 2000 and co-editor of Small Firms in Global Competition. Drobnick is a Trustee of the Asia Society and the Chairman of the Asia Society of Southern California Center. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia (1967-1969), Drobnick served as an economic advisor to the Malaysian Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Association Movement.
Thomas E. McLain
Partner, OakGrove Partners
Tom McLain has been involved in international legal and business matters his entire educational and professional career. During most of his career as an attorney he specialized in international business transactions, with special emphasis on intellectual property licensing related to the entertainment industry throughout the world. He has been a partner or senior counsel at Hogan Lovells US LLP, Arnold & Porter, Sidley, Perkins Coie and Manatt, and he was a foreign law consultant at Nagashima, Ohno & Tsunematsu in Tokyo. As an attorney he has spearheaded entertainment industry transactions throughout the world, representing or negotiating against all the major U.S. studios and many of the intellectual propriety licensors. Signature transactions include Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan. In addition, McLain founded and managed the Asian operations of Balcor Shearson Lehman International Realty Company, and he was a partner at Wings Partners, which acquired Northwest Airlines, where he oversaw strategic planning in Asia and the monetization of real estate assets in Japan. Currently, he is a founding partner of OakGrove Partners, an early-stage investment firm, and he consults with clients globally on licensing for large scale entertainment venues. McLain served on the board of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (US) for six years.
McLain was the Chairman of ASSC for 10 years, and he was a Global Trustee of the Asia Society for 12 years. President Clinton appointed McLain to two terms each on the U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON) and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC). He also has served on the advisory boards of Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy, UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.
Brian L. Treiger
Founder & Managing Director, JadeRock
Brian Treiger is founding partner of JadeRock, which invests in both the U.S. and Asia via private equity and real estate since 2007. Prior, he was for nearly two decades managing director of Rockvest, overseeing a global investment portfolio with a focus on Asian emerging markets. He has served on numerous not for profit and charity boards and, at present, is Vice Chair of ASSC’s board. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California Marshall Business and Yale Law Schools.
Director, Global Events & Publicity, Warner Bros. Publicity
Jade Alex is an event producer and awards strategist specializing in red carpet motion picture premieres, promotional stunts, awards celebrations, marketing conferences, corporate retreats and fan events. Beginning at DreamWorks SKG, her career has spanned 20 years at entertainment studios like MGM/UA, Focus Features and Relativity Media. Alex currently serves as the Director of Global Events and Publicity at Warner Bros. Pictures, where she has designed creative programs to eventize over 100 theatrical releases including “Judas and the Black Messiah”, “A Star Is Born”, “Dunkirk”, “Ready Player One”, “American Sniper”, “Wonder Woman”, “Just Mercy”, “It” and “The Lego Movie”. Her team’s work has resulted in three Maxwell Weinberg Awards for Motion Pictures Publicity Campaigns for “Gravity”, “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Joker”.
Prior to her work in the film industry, she spent five years in Hong Kong at Chinese Estates Holdings Ltd managing, leasing and marketing office and retail properties Windsor House and the Entertainment Building, which was sold to Hysan Development Holdings for HK$3,640 million during her charge. Alex was an original board member of L.A. Diaper Drive, one of the largest nonprofit diaper banks in the U.S . The charity was acquired by Baby Buggy renamed to GOOD+ Foundation, where she continues to volunteer as a Los Angeles Friends committee member. She holds a seat on the Advisory Board of Asia Society Southern California and is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. Alex earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Counsel, Latham & Watkins LLP
Jing Cao focuses her practice primarily on entertainment and media finance and investment transactions. Cao represents major studios, production and distribution companies, commercial banks, investment funds, and financial institutions that are based in both U.S. and China in corporate finance transactions, film slate and single-picture financings, and production and distribution of motion pictures.
Cao also regularly helps her clients navigate issues in connection with cross-border finance, co-production and distribution transactions. In addition to her core practice in the entertainment and media sector, Cao is also regularly involved in many other types of US-China cross-border investment transactions. Previously, Cao was a legal consultant in O’Melveny’s Shanghai office, where she represented clients on matters ranging from telecommunications, broadcasting and logistics, to commerce, banking and employment issues. Cao earned her Bachelor’s degree in law from the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade and her LL.M. from Columbia University.
Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Palm Drive Capital
Seamon Chan is Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Palm Drive Capital, a venture capital and growth equity firm invested in over 95 startups across five continents. He brings entrepreneurship and operating experience through multiple startup roles in the US, Asia, and Europe. Earlier in his career, he gained investment, corporate, and research experience at Insight Venture Partners, Hitachi Data Systems, Citigroup, Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, and Stanford Center for Integrated Systems. Through Palm Drive, Chan has pledged a seven-figure amount to The Billion Dollar Fund for Women, a global consortium of venture funds committed to tackling the gender investment gap by increasing their investments in women-founded companies. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Chan co-founded MillionLives.org, a non-profit to donate medical supplies to underserved communities around the world. He graduated from Stanford University, the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard Business School and is completing his EMBA at Tsinghua University.
President & Co-Founder, Gold House
Bing Chen is President of Gold House, the premier collective of pioneering Asian founders, creative voices, and leaders dedicated to authentic multicultural representation and socioeconomic equity. A serial digital media entrepreneur and investor, he previously was YouTube’s Global Head of Creator Development and Management and one of the original architects of the 500-million creator, multibillion-dollar influencer ecosystem. Chen strives to build new worlds for new-majority communities, a passion that extends to his Board and Advisory positions, including Google's Global Marketing Board, Snap's Yellow Incubator, Omnicom’s Sparks & Honey, Baobab Studios, Oura Health, Musely, Asia Society, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, and more. He is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree; a Hollywood Reporter Next Gen Leader; a Hollywood Reporter Most Influential Agent of Change; ADCOLOR Catalyst Award Honoree; Asia Society Asia 21 Young Leader; Magic Johnson's 32 Under 32 Leader; and Asian Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year. Chen is a third culture kid across North America and Asia, finally graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. He was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, which becomes obvious at $11.99 buffets.
Managing Director, Dasym Media LLC
Charles Coker is Managing Director of Dasym Media, an entertainment company focused on launching and optimizing brand franchises on a global scale. He also advises Dasym Investment Strategies on media-related investments and activities in China. Coker served as producer on the Sino-foreign co-production Skiptrace (2016), a buddy comedy starring Jackie Chan, Johnny Knoxville and Fan Bingbing. The film grossed over $135 million at the Chinese box office. He is currently working on a number of co-production film and TV projects, including a miniseries about the legendary World War II fighter-pilot unit known as the Flying Tigers. Before joining Dasym, Coker practiced law in Shanghai and Los Angeles with leading international law firms, where he advised entertainment and media companies, as well as independent producers, on their China strategy and operations, including Sino-foreign co-productions.
Partner, O'Melveny & Myers, LLP
Lindsay Conner is a leading corporate entertainment lawyer, with a focus on film, television and digital content. He has served as chief outside entertainment counsel for major film studios and television networks, global telecommunications companies, film and television production and distribution companies, rights owners and content owners, and digital media companies, as well as for banks, financial institutions, private equity funds and high-net-worth investors. Lindsay’s clientele span the globe, from North America to Asia, Europe and Latin America. Lindsay has been quoted in media ranging from The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times to the China Global Television Network. He has been honored by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the “Top 20 Dealmakers of the Year” and one of the “Top 100 Power Lawyers in Hollywood,” and by Variety as one of “50 Game-Changing Attorneys in Hollywood” and one of the “Variety 500,” Variety’s list of the top 500 most important people in the global entertainment and media industries.
Lindsay has restructured the production and distribution of a multibillion-dollar television franchise, closed half-billion-dollar feature film finance and distribution deals, negotiated studio film slate and independent film financing deals, and structured international television finance, production and distribution deals. He regularly closes deals for equity investments in, as well as for the acquisition of, entertainment companies and film and television assets.
Principal, Deloitte (Retired)
Chairman, American Red Cross - Los Angeles Region
Bruce B. Daly was a Principal with Deloitte & Touche’s Enterprise Risk Services group both in Tokyo and Los Angeles and was with the company for over two decades. Formerly, one of Deloitte’s national leaders both in Japan and the U.S., his roles ranged from launching the innovative Digital Risk Management practice to leading the Risk & Financial Advisory practice for the Los Angeles office. Daly currently serves as Chair for the American Red Cross – Los Angeles Region. Daly has also served on the Board of Directors for the National Health Information (Cyber) Sharing & Analysis Center and is a former corporate officer with SoftAware Networks (now part of Cable & Wireless). He earned his B.A. degree from UC Santa Cruz and an MBA from UC Irvine. He has also been credentialed as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP), and Certified in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA). Daly has lived and worked in Japan and Asia for over a decade.
Eric Garcetti (on leave)
Mayor, City of Los Angeles
Eric Garcetti is the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles. He was first elected Mayor in the 2013 election and won reelection in 2017. From 2001 until assuming the office of Mayor, Garcetti served on the Los Angeles City Council representing the 13th district. He also served four consecutive terms as president of the city council (2006–12). A fourth generation Angeleno, Garcetti grew up in the San Fernando Valley and received a B.A. in urban planning and political science as well as an M.A. in international affairs from Columbia University. As a Rhodes scholar, he studied at the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics. Before entering politics, he taught public policy, diplomacy, and world affairs at the University of Southern California (1997–99) and Occidental College in Los Angeles (1998–2001). He is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy reserve. Garcetti was a member of Asia Society’s inaugural 2006 Class of Asia 21 Young Leaders and is on leave from the Asia Society Southern California board.
Senior Advisor, Atomico
Michael Gisser’s first career was as a musician. A conservatory-trained trombonist and close contemporary of Yo-Yo Ma, he branched out into jazz, pop and commercial music and became a top-call musician on the East Coast before he was 18 years old.
Gisser is best known as the head of Skadden Arps’ Asia Pacific Practice. He was a founding partner, and led the practice as it grew to more than 200, with seven offices in six nations. Gisser spearheaded notable merger and acquisition transactions across the globe including Skype, Juicy Couture, 99 Cents Only Stores, the sale of Youku to Alibaba, the sale of Lexmark, and many others. Gisser is perhaps the only person to have advised on transactions greater than $1 billion in size on four continents.
Chambers Global consistently profiled Gisser as a leading lawyer in both China and the United States. He has been recognized in Corporate/M&A by Chambers USA and Chambers Asia-Pacific. Gisser regularly teaches corporate/transaction law topics at Stanford Law School and NYU Law School.
In addition to serving as a Senior Advisor at Europe’s largest venture capital firm, Atomico, Gisser is an active board member as well as investor in growth and technology companies. In his spare time, he has taught himself the Australian aboriginal instrument, the didgeridoo, as well as the Great Highland Bagpipes.
Managing Partner, New Horizon Real Estate Group
Steve Harper is Managing Partner of New Horizon Real Estate Group, an operating partner in SRS Capital Partners and a founding principal in SRS Family Office Partners. Active in Asia for over thirty-five years with some twelve years as a corporate expat in the region, his expertise includes a wide range of international business, finance, real estate, corporate management and governance.
Among his assignments in Asia, Harper has served as the senior expatriate officer of AMRESCO Japan, a subsidiary of Australia-based global real estate and financial services firm Lend Lease, with Japan AUM of more than $US500 million. He also served as a director of two affiliated companies, one co-owned with Merrill Lynch Japan, and the other with Cargill Japan, and held the additional post of statutory auditor for the firm. Harper has also served as Senior Research Analyst in the U.S. Department of Commerce/U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service in the U.S. Consulate General, Hong Kong.
Prior to the formation of New Horizon, Harper was Senior Vice President of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, an internationally prominent business and civic organization, for which he directed the international, investor relations, marketing and corporate communications programs, while serving concurrently as President and CEO of the World Trade Center Association Los Angeles-Long Beach, a subsidiary of the LAEDC.
Harper holds a B.S. in economics, summa cum laude, from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and an MBA in international business from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business IBEAR Program. He has served on the Board of Governors and the National Board of Directors of both the USC and Marshall School of Business Alumni Associations, and as a USC Ambassador in China, Japan and the US. Harper has been active with the Asia Society for 29 years.
Counsel, Litigation, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates
Winston P. Hsiao is a Litigation Counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates. He practices complex civil litigation, representing clients in a wide range of suits including securities and shareholder litigation, consumer class actions, tax shelter and accounting malpractice, contract disputes, trade secret actions, and fraud claims. Hsiao also has represented clients in private arbitrations, internal investigations, criminal matters and appeals. His clients include U.S. and international companies in the financial services, tax consulting, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical insurance, energy, education and food industries.
Hsiao’s pro bono practice includes representing immigrant detainees in deportation proceedings and public school teachers advocating for students’ constitutional right to education. Along with other Skadden attorneys, received the ACLU of Southern California’s 2018 Access to Justice award for their work on Hernandez v. Sessions, which resulted in a precedential Ninth Circuit decision establishing that immigration officials must consider noncitizens’ ability to pay when setting bond.
Hsiao earned his B.A. in history from Yale University and his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law.
Senior Counselor, APCO Worldwide
Dr. Ira Kasoff is a recognized expert on Asia. He became a senior counselor at APCO Worldwide and a member of APCO’s International Advisory Council in 2010, after a long career with the U.S. government. His extensive experience in Asia spans four decades, with seven commercial service assignments in the region, in addition to private sector and academic experience. He served from 2007 to 2010 as deputy assistant secretary for Asia at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he oversaw Asia trade policy for the department, engaged in trade negotiations with officials of key counterpart governments, including China, Japan and Korea, and served as the senior adviser on Asia to two secretaries of commerce, Carlos Gutierrez and Gary Locke.
Prior to serving as deputy assistant secretary of commerce, Kasoff was principal commercial officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai, commercial counselor at the American Embassy in Tokyo and senior commercial officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong. Earlier in his career, Kasoff worked for the Boston Consulting Group, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and as the Beijing representative for the Fuqua World Trade Corporation.
Kasoff received his BA from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Princeton University, where he specialized in Chinese and Japanese history. He is the author of a book on Chinese intellectual history entitled The Thought of Chang Tsai, published by Cambridge University Press.
General Partner, CerraCap Cares
Sylvia Kim is the Founding Partner of CerraCap Cares - a women-led impact-driven fund unleashing the power of technology for good and investing in early-stage human-centered technologies that reduce disparities and empower the underserved. Currently, she is also a Senior Consultant with La Piana, a Venture Partner with CerraCap Ventures, an active member of Transact Global and the Global Women in VC community, and a member of the inaugural 2020 class of the All Raise Visionary Voices Speakers Bureau.
As a former human rights lawyer and multilingual non-profit executive, Kim has over 15 years of experience in rights-based advocacy, strategic planning, and fund development. Throughout her career, Kim has co-founded a human rights organization for North Korean human rights, led the Orange County expansion of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and launched the country's first National Asian American Community Foundation.
Kim has been featured in the LA Times, NPR, ABC News, the OC Register, and the New York Times and has been recognized for her advocacy work by local, national, and international agencies including the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (Best Under 40), the International Association of Korean Lawyers (Public Interest Award), the Orange County Bar Association (Courage Award for Diversity & Inclusion) and the Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leaders (Class of 2016). In 2019, Coast Magazine named her as one of Orange County’s 2019 ‘Game Changers’.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Kim practiced criminal law as both a defense attorney and as an Assistant Crown Attorney. She received her Bachelor’s degree at Queen’s University, her Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School, and completed her Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law (LL.M. equivalent) at Oxford University.
Executive Director, Center for Regional Economics and California Center, Milken Institute
Kevin Klowden is the executive director of the Milken Institute’s Center for Regional Economics and California Center. He specializes in the study of key factors that underlie the development of competitive regional economies (clusters of innovation, patterns of trade and investment, and concentration of skilled labor), and how these are influenced by public policy and in turn affect regional economies. On a national level, he is heavily involved in issues of capital access for small business, including serving as chair of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Trade Finance Advisory Council. He co-led the Partnership for Lending in Underserved Markets initiative with the U.S. Small Business Administration, which focused on funding for African-American and Latino small businesses. His areas of expertise include technology-based development, capital access, infrastructure, the global economy, media, and entertainment. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and London School of Economics.
Managing Director, Chelsea Partners LLC
With more than 35 years of experience in executive and board recruiting including 24 years with Korn/Ferry International in the U.S. and Japan as a partner/shareholder, Andy Knox has executed senior-level client work in the U.S. and internationally, including Asia/Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. He has worked extensively across industry sectors and functional disciplines, including financial services, consumer products and services, technology, professional services, sports and entertainment.
Knox founded Chelsea Partners in January 2015 to provide a diverse client base with a range of human capital advisory services across industry sectors, functions and geographies, including executive and board recruiting; management assessment and development; CEO succession; globalization; executive coaching; and corporate governance consulting. Chelsea Partners is a member of Global Board Advisors (www.gba-globalboardadvisors.com), a group of boutique firms in major markets of the world.
Knox joined Korn/Ferry International in 1985 from Russell Reynolds Associates. In addition to his client responsibilities with the Firm, Andy held a number of management and leadership roles, including terms on the Operating Committee, management of the Los Angeles Office, and the development and leadership of the partner-led committee responsible for setting the standards and evaluation of recruiting professionals globally for promotion. Working from a base in Tokyo initially, Andy was responsible for Korn/Ferry’s activities in Japan and Korea through late 1990. He has worked extensively throughout Asia/Pacific during and since that time from a base in Los Angeles.
Knox is a Director and Vice Chair of United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. He is a member of the Executive Committee and Board of the Asia Society/Southern California Center, and a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, Lincoln Club and National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). Knox also serves as an officer and on the Executive Committees and Boards of the Los Angeles Sports Council and Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games. Knox played a leading role in the planning and operational management of the aquatic competitions for both the 1984 (Los Angeles) and 1988 (Seoul) Olympic Summer Games.
Knox earned an MBA from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree from UCLA.
Partner, KPMG US LLP
Danny Le brings over 25 years of global experience in IT governance and transformation. Le moved to China for ten years where he built and led KPMG's Consulting practice. Having moved back to the U.S. in 2015, he is applying this experience to help expand KPMG's Cyber service line, focused on information security and privacy. Le is bringing hands-on experience in serving global multi-nationals working across different regulatory jurisdiction and complex business requirements. He is currently focused on serving Technology, Media, and Entertainment companies. Le continues to develop sector-specific solutions to the global regulations, technology innovations, and business challenges.
Le serves on the board of Asia Society of Southern California as well as a member of Asia Society’s Technology and Innovation Council in New York. He also serves on the Board of Regents of Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles and is a member of the LMU College of Business Administration’s Dean’s Advisory Council. Le was recently on the board of the Los Angeles chapter of Ascend and KPMG’s Asian Pacific Islander Network (APIN) and continues to be actively involved.
Kathy Le Backes
Director, Content Advisement - Representation, Inclusion Strategies & Engagement, The Walt Disney Studios
Kathy Le Backes has been working at the intersection of entertainment and social impact for over 15 years.
Most recently, she was Senior Director of Programs in Warner Media's Enterprise Inclusion group where she helps create pathways and opportunities for underrepresented storytellers. Previously, Le Backes was the Vice President of Development & Research at Wise Entertainment where she oversaw development of the company’s slate with a special focus on inclusive content and diverse storytellers. She also oversaw integration of social issues into Wise Entertainment’s creative IPs, and cultivated relationships with non-profit and social justice organizations to bolster meaningful storytelling. While at Wise, Le Backes was a producer on three seasons of the six-time Emmy-nominated Hulu original drama, EAST LOS HIGH, as well as various multi-platform/360-storytelling content series.
Prior to joining Wise Entertainment, Le Backes served as the Digital Campaign Manager for the Entertainment Industry Foundation's Stand Up To Cancer program. In that role, she oversaw and produced multi-platform digital and brand integration and social media campaigns to help raise awareness for cancer research.
Before her role at the EIF, Le Backes served as Program Manager at The Norman Lear Center's Hollywood, Health & Society program, where she worked closely with writers and producers from hit shows on top networks to facilitate storylines that educate viewers on social issues.
Le Backes is a regular lecturer on entertainment and social justice at USC, UCLA and Mount Saint Mary’s University. She is also a mentor with #StartWith8Hollywood and Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Evolve Entertainment Fund to champion diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry.
Le Backes holds an MPH degree from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and a BS in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Davis.
President, BYD Motors LLC
Stella Li is the President of BYD Motors LLC, a global green technology company based in Los Angeles, California that produces cutting edge battery-electric vehicles, battery-energy storage solutions, solar farms, and energy efficient LED lighting systems. As President, Li is responsible for overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations and long-term strategic vision. She is also the architect of BYD’s thriving expansions in the Americas—including its North America headquarters in Los Angeles, California in 2011 and its electric bus, truck, and energy module factories in Lancaster, California in 2013. Prior to becoming President, Li served as BYD’s Senior Vice President and was responsible for successfully expanding the company’s operations around the world. Under Li’s leadership, BYD achieved exponential market growth, developed invaluable partnerships, and became a dominant global force across multiple industries.
Principal, Alumni Ventures
Yiwen Li has over a decade of experience in investing and operations and is well-versed in the venture landscape across the U.S. and Asia. She is currently Principal ofAlumni Ventures, world's 3rd most active venture firm, and focuses on investing in web3, healthcare, fintech. She is also a venture partner at Revere VC and CerraCap Cares.
Yiwen was most recently Director for Corporate Strategy and Development at the global healthtech company Masimo (MASI).She started her career in equity research at the leading investment management company Capital Group, covering emerging markets stocks in Asia. Thereafter moved to venture investing with a focus on deep tech and healthtech at NantWorks, a global conglomerate at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and innovation.
Yiwen has been investing and building in the blockchain space since 2015. She is Co-Founder of Los Angeles Blockchain Lab (now part of Global Blockchain Business Council), a collaboration between academia, governments, investors, and entrepreneurs to innovate and elevate the blockchain ecosystem.
Yiwen received dual master’s degrees in economics from the London School of Economics and global studies from the University of Vienna. She is a recipient of the Erasmus Mundus scholarship from the European Union. She is fluent in Mandarin and German. Yiwen is passionate about connecting East and West, making social impact, and supporting women empowerment. She serves on the board of directors at several non-profits and foundations, including Give 2 Asia, Asia Society,and C-Sweet. Yiwen is the author of a best seller in China, Make the World Your Playground, inspiring Chinese women to follow their own unique paths.
Executive Director, Long Family Foundation
Vivian Long is the Executive Director for the Long Family Foundation, an intergenerational, private nonprofit organization that funds religious, educational, cultural, and research endeavors. In her role, Long works closely with members of the family to promote the Foundation’s core principles of faith, compassion, and commitment to strengthen future generations’ philanthropy.
Long received her MPA from NYU's Wagner School of Public Service and graduated with a BA in International Human Rights from New York University with honors. She is currently a Trustee for the China Institute and is a past Trustee for Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles and the Pi Beta Phi Foundation.
Thomas C. Malayil
Founder and Managing Director, Indo-Pacific Partners LLC
Thomas C. Malayil is a commercial real estate professional and entrepreneur. He started his career with a private shopping center developer in the US Midwest, Dial Companies. Malayil subsequently entered law school and obtained real-estate related experience at several large law firms. He returned to the commercial side and spent over a decade with one of America's largest shopping mall companies, NYSE listed REIT Macerich. Malayil served in various roles at Macerich concluding as a Vice President of Real Estate. Before joining Lippo Karawaci as CEO of Lippo Malls Indonesia, he founded a private consultancy focused on the shopping center and commercial real estate industry. Malayil is the Managing Director of TCM Property Advisory where he advises individuals, families and companies on commercial matters. He has also been a Senior Advisor to The Jerde Partnership, SM Legal Group (including predecessors) and Elavare Global Advisors.
Malayil holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy from the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU, a Juris Doctor law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law and MBA degrees from the National University of Singapore and UCLA Anderson. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (and served on its Asia Pacific Advisory Board), Urban Land Institute, Asia Society (and serves on its Southern California Advisory Board), LA World Affairs Council & Town Hall, Pacific Council on International Policy, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Facilities Advisory Committee, UCLA Real Estate Alumni Group (and serves on its Board) and American & Washington State Bar Associations.
Asia Practice Chair, Blank Rome LLP
Mike Margolis has been a trial lawyer and appellate lawyer for over 30 years. Chambers Global reported in 2015 that Mike “draws acclaim for his broad litigation expertise.”
Margolis also “heads the Blank Rome LLP group dedicated to representing Chinese companies and individuals working in the USA.” (Chambers Global) He is conversational in Mandarin Chinese. For over 20 years, Mike has traveled regularly in Greater China. He has advised many Chinese companies and business owners about how to use law and strategy to succeed in the United States. Representative clients include CTBC, Esong, GAO Xiaosong, Gemdale, Great Wall Motor, ICBC, JD.com, OnePlus, Skyworth, Tsinghua Tongfang, Yutong Bus, and ZTE.
Margolis’s opinions about cross-border issues have been featured on National Public Radio and in the Wall Street Journal, London Financial Times’ FDI Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, China Daily, and the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong).
In 2017, in the category of International Attorneys, Margolis was one of four Finalists in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Leaders in Law” awards. He is repeatedly rated a “Super Lawyer” and, by AVVO.com, “10.0 Superb.” In 2014, Los Angeles Magazine called Mike one of its “Top 100 Super Lawyers in Southern California.”
In 2018, Margolis was appointed as an Arbitrator for the Shanghai International Economic and Trade Commission. In 2020, he was appointed as a Distinguished Professor at the Lawyers Institute of the East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, one of China's top ten law schools.
COO, ORIX Corporation USA
David Nishida has over 35 years of experience in the private equity, accounting and finance industries in Japan and the United States. Nishida is currently the Chief Administrative and Operations Officer and Interim CFO for ORIX Corporation USA. He also serves on the firm’s Executive Committee, Management Committee as well as the Enterprise Risk Committee. Prior to joining ORIX USA, Nishida was an independent consultant from 2016 to 2020 serving Softbank Corp. of Japan, a Family Office for former Lone Star Funds Principals, and an international professional sports agent. From July 2005 through June 2016, Nishida held several positions including Representative Director, Managing Director, President and Chief Financial Officer of Hudson Japan KK, private equity firm Lone Star Funds’ captive asset Management Company. Prior to joining Hudson Japan, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Morgan Stanley Properties Japan KK from 2001-2005. Nishida has held executive level finance positions in private industry since 1999 and has over 13 years of public accounting experience specializing in the real estate industry, most recently with Deloitte & Touche LLP, including two years (1995-1996) in the firm’s Tokyo office as a deputy professional practice director. Nishida began his career with the accounting and consulting firm of Kenneth Leventhal and Company (now part of Ernst & Young) in its Headquarters office in Los Angeles in 1985. Nishida is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive license renewal 10/2015) and a Certified Fraud Examiner.
Nishida received his B.A. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Managing Partner, Clearview Ventures LLC
With over 25 years of experience in investing, corporate finance and investment management, Tisno Onggara has served clients from all over the world and has helped build a number of successful companies. Onggara also has extensive experience in cross border investments and transactions, which ranges from complex state-owned enterprises acquisitions to early-stage investment in various industries. He also uses his years of experience in Asian Markets to assist Asian companies to gain access in the US investments products and US companies to Asian markets.
Onggara is currently the Founder and Managing Partner of Clearview Ventures Inc, and the co-founder of Theorem Capital LLC, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles. He was also the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Century Financial Partners, a Private Equity Firm which was ranked as the top 15 Private Equity firm in Southern California by Los Angeles Business Journal 5 years in a row. In his early career, Onggara was one of the portfolio managers at AMG Capital, a global macro hedge fund.
After graduating with Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Pepperdine University, Onggara received a Post Graduate certification in International Business Management from Oxford University, England.
Onggara was one of the panel advisors to the Hong Kong Trade Commission and sat at numerous boards for his portfolio companies. He spent most of his early childhood in South East Asia where he learned the local languages and culture. Currently, he resides in California with his family.
Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate Banking, East West Bank
Bennett Pozil is a leading expert on U.S.-China cross-border entertainment financing and is the head of East West Bank’s Corporate Banking. Since 2011, his team has made over $4 billion in loans to finance the production and distribution of content in the U.S. and China, establishing the bank’s unique, significant presence in both markets. East West Bank has created relationships with Chinese studios, including Bona Film Group, Perfect World, Hunan Broadcasting and Alibaba Pictures. Pozil’s team also works with notable U.S. digital-media clients, including Scopely, Wondery, and Skybound. Over his career, Pozil has structured the financing of hundreds of films, including Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero, Fearless and Lost in Translation. He is listed on the Variety500, is a frequent speaker on cross-border film partnerships at international film festivals and has been an adjunct professor at the Beijing Film Academy.
Founder, DXS Advisory Group
Based in Los Angeles, Michael Riady is the founder of DXS Advisory Group, a boutique strategic advisory firm with a focus in bridging the east and west for established and high-growth international companies of various industries, stages and needs. Riady’s direct access (DXS) and business experience provides deep value for clients seeking to navigate the complexity of business and government in the era of globalization.
Riady started his career with PT. Lippo Karawaci, Tbk, Indonesia’s largest real estate company. Riady was promoted to Vice Chairman and CEO of South East Asia’s largest shopping mall owner (65 plus operating malls, 35 pipeline) - Lippo Malls Indonesia - and CEO of Mixed-Use Developments Unit (20 million square feet). Riady’s experience includes acquisition, design, construction, finance, leasing, sales, property management, and investor relations.
Riady received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University, Fullerton, and graduated from the UCLA-NUS Executive MBA program with an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management and an MBA from the National University of Singapore.
Riady is a board member of the Asia Society Southern California, UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate and UCLA Center of Global Management, and has previously spoken on Forbes, CNBC and International Council of Shopping Centers. Riady is an Advisor to OUE Limited, Singapore.
Head of International Entertainment Group, Media, Fieldfisher
Stephen Saltzman has extensive experience in domestic and international transactions in the entertainment and media industries. He focuses on innovative and complex international distribution, co-production, and co-financing transactions as well as cross-border transactions involving the creation, production, financing, and/or exploitation of content, and brand building.
Saltzman recently advised Chinese studio Huayi Brothers International, which co-bankrolled the largest indie film to complete production in 2020, Roland Emmerich's $140 million Moonfall. In addition, he also recently advised esports team TSM (Team SoloMid) in one of the largest sponsorship deals in the industry with the crypto currency exchange, FTX. Saltzman advises a broad range of clients across the media and entertainment spectrum, including US, European and Asia-based producers, production companies, studios, theme park operators, distribution companies, broadcasters, digital content companies (including esports teams), banks, film funds, directors, talent, and authors.
Saltzman regularly appears on The Hollywood Reporter's "Power Lawyers Top 100" list and on Variety's "Dealmakers Impact Report", and frequently participate as a featured speaker and panelist in seminars and symposiums in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In addition to his US and Asia experience, he utilizes his language capability to develop his German-speaking practice, which is often profiled in various German publications.
Partner, Capital International Investors
Akira Shiraishi is a partner and portfolio manager at Capital Group. He has 24 years of investment experience and has been with Capital Group for 18 years, of which he spent his first seven years in Tokyo. His investment responsibility has evolved from Japan/Asia focus to global. Prior to joining Capital, Shiraishi was a portfolio manager and research analyst covering Japanese equities at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
Senior Counsel, NBA China
Dr. Seagull Haiyan Song has been a leading expert on U.S.-China intellectual property law and entertainment law. She has over twenty years of experience practicing in international law firms, advising multinational corporate clients and working with academics, policy makers and industry players across the U.S. and Asia Pacific region. Song is the former Director of the Asia-America Law Institute at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and a Guest Professor at Peking University School of Law and Beijing Film Academy. In addition to her academic capacity, she held a series of positions, including Senior Advisor with Hogan Lovells LLP and Arnold & Porter LLP, Senior Counsel at Disney, overseeing the company’s intellectual property division in the Asia Pacific region, and a partner with King and Wood Mallesons, heading the intellectual property practice of the firm’s Shanghai Office. Song also serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. Song earned her LL.M. from Hong Kong University, and a second LL.M. and a J.S.D. from School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.
Walter Wang Jr.
Head of Operations, TSM
Walter Wang Jr. began his career in esports creating and developing from the ground up the esports/gaming division at HTC. There he built a small and agile team that was able to quickly make an impact across the esports industry. Walter brought this valuable expertise in the gaming and esports ecosystem to TSM, first as an investor and consultant, and now Head of Operations.
Founder and President, Janet Yang Productions
Janet Yang is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning Hollywood producer with deep roots in China. Yang is a member of the Board of Governors of the Motion Picture Academy, as well as an officer chairing the Membership and Governance Committee.
Yang has worked with some of the most formidable directors and actors in the world. She came to prominence through her collaboration with Steven Spielberg on Empire of the Sun (Warner Bros). That was followed by a long partnership with multiple Academy Award-winner Oliver Stone—where she served as Executive Producer on the iconic The Joy Luck Club (Disney), and as a Producer on the Golden Globe-winning The People vs. Larry Flynt (Columbia Pictures). Her latest film is Over the Moon, an animated feature based on her original story inspired by the Chinese moon goddess. Legendary animator Glen Keane directs the movie for Netflix and Pearl Studios.
Committed to fostering global understanding, Yang has been a long-standing member of the Committee of 100, an organization of the most prominent Chinese-Americans; an advisory board member of Asia Society Southern California where she also chairs its highly regarded U.S.-ASIA ENTERTAINMENT SUMMIT; and co-founder of Gold House, the non-profit collective of influential Asian cultural leaders.