(Moderator - Lunch Keynote)
Tara Joseph is the President of AmCham Hong Kong. In her 22 years as journalist, she has reported on hundreds of the world’s most important and high profile news stories including Russia’s financial crisis, Myanmar’s emergence from virtual isolation, China's rise on the world stage and the Beijing Olympics to name a few. Earlier in her career, Tara was the editor and main presenter of Reuters Financial Television based in London, and covered emerging markets and G7 economic issues. She has twice served as President of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong, one of the world’s largest press clubs.
Originally a Canadian, Bydwell began playing rugby in high school in Quebec. Moving to the United States to pursue her degree and ice hockey career at Brown University, Bydwell also played rugby there earning three-time Women’s Collegiate All-American honors and was selected as the 2007 Collegiate Player of the Year. She made her Eagles debut against England in August 2008 and went on to compete in three Rugby World Cups (two 15s and one 7s) retiring in late 2015 after a career ending injury. Just before the end of her career, Emilie spent a season abroad playing for the London Saracens, helping them win the Premiership Title that year.
Bydwell has coached across all levels of rugby in the United States including high school, collegiate and senior, leading teams to multiple national titles. Bydwell served as the Director of Rugby at Seattle- based Atavus, where she worked to develop player pathway systems across the United States. She has coached across all the age grade USA Representative sides including the High School All Americans, U20s, Collegiate All Americans, Falcons and just took the USA Women's 7s team to the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru. Emilie served as the Team Leader for the Women's 7s team at the Rio Olympic Games
Bydwell currently serves as the USA Rugby Director of Women’s High Performance living in Chula Vista. She is committed to building environments that support people and teams to maximize their potential.
Photojournalist Nicole Tung is an American citizen born and raised in Hong Kong. She graduated from New York University in 2009 after studying journalism and history and freelances for international publications and NGOs, working primarily in the Middle East, and also Asia. After covering the conflicts in Libya and Syria extensively from 2011, focusing on the plight of civilians, she spent 2014 documenting the lives of Native American war veterans in the US, as well as former child soldiers in the DR Congo, the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and the refugee crisis in Europe. She is also a grantee of the IWMF Grant for Women’s Stories, and a fellow of the IWMF Great Lakes Reporting Initiative (D.R. Congo, Central African Republic).
She has received multiple awards for her work from the International Photo Awards, Society of Professional Journalists, PX3, and was named PDN's 30 Under 30 Emerging Photographers (2013), among others. Nicole was given the honorable mention for the IWMF 2017 Anja Niedringhaus Awards, and awarded the 2018 James Foley Award for Conflict Reporting from the Online News Association. She has also exhibited, most recently at the Annenberg Space for Photography in L.A., the Freilicht Museum in Germany, and the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, and has spoken about at TEDx in Sweden, the Adobe Make It Conference in Sydney, and Creative Mornings at the National Geographic Auditorium in Washington D.C. Nicole served on the board of the Frontline Freelance Register (2015) and is has undergone HEFAT training with Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC) and Global Journalist Security. She is based in Istanbul, Turkey.
Anne LeBourgeois is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Hamilton Advisors, a Hong Kong-based strategic communications firm. She was previously Chief Operating Officer of Fung Global Institute.
Anne began her professional career in international banking and held senior positions at JP Morgan Chase and its heritage banks. Highlights include: Chief Representative for Manufacturers Hanover in Beijing, Managing Director and Group Head (Corporate Banking) for Chase Manhattan Bank in Hong Kong, and Managing Director in the Global Financial Services Group of JP Morgan Chase in New York.
Anne graduated cum laude from Middlebury College and received her M.A. in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She served as President and Board Director of the World Affairs Forum in Connecticut for six years to 2007 and earned the FT Non-Executive Director Diploma in 2015. She is proficient in Chinese and French. Anne is married with two daughters and enjoys music, visual arts, dance, hiking, swimming and cultural travels. Anne is the Co-Chair of the Women of Influence Committee at AmCham Hong Kong.
Jennifer Parks is White & Case's Chief Operating Officer in Asia-Pacific and President of the White & Case Global Operations Center in Manila. She works with firm leadership on White & Case's strategic direction across the region. This includes practice development and client relationship strategy, financial planning and practice, legal and business personnel management and development, and overall oversight of the firm's profile in the region.
The firm's operations which Jennifer oversees are based in Beijing, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo, and she also manages the firm's association with Indonesian law firm WCA in Jakarta.
Prior to becoming White & Case's COO in Asia, Jennifer was the firm's Director of Strategic Initiatives for five years, based in New York. Her main responsibilities in this role were to work with senior management of the firm on implementation of the firm's new structure and long-term strategy. Her work included macro and micro business planning, analysis and implementation of strategic initiatives, assessment of opportunities, change management, and improvement of firm systems and global business support strategy.
Jennifer's career also includes strategy and change management roles in the financial services and consulting sectors, based in New York, London and Dallas. Jennifer currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Women of Influence Committee at AmCham Hong Kong.
Amie Chang is a Managing Director and head of the firm’s Hong Kong office. She has lived and worked in Hong Kong since 2010 in her capacity as a diplomat for the US Department of State and as a senior investigator with an international consulting firm. Amie specializes in conducting complex investigations on behalf of corporates and their legal counsel as well as litigation support, due diligence, strategic intelligence, and asset tracing assignments.
Prior to joining Nardello & Co., Amie was a director in a global risk consulting firm, where she managed multiple engagements across the Asia-Pacific region. These included an investigation into numerous Chinese companies in a wide range of industries ahead of their proposed listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; a business intelligence investigation seeking to gain clarity into allegations made against a listed Chinese company by a short-seller report; and a litigation-driven investigation into assets of the founders of a prominent food and beverage chain in Asia and North America.
Amie began her career as an Intelligence Analyst for the US Department of Defense, where she authored analytic papers on North Korean leadership and foreign policy. She also was a diplomat with the US Department of State, first in Washington, DC and subsequently in Hong Kong, where she monitored regional political and security issues and served as a focal point for multi-disciplinary teams providing analytic support to policy, strategic, and tactical customers. Amie is a graduate of Boston College with a BA in political science and international relations. In addition to her native English, she is conversant in Korean, Mandarin, and Portuguese.
Jessica Cole is a persistent sports lover, a marketing professional and an immigrant to Hong Kong. She is the President and founder of the AFL Women’s HK Dragons team and although not the quickest, definitely passionate about women’s sport and fostering a culture of inclusiveness.
Originating from Melbourne, Australia, Jessica holds a Bachelor of Business from RMIT University and has worked across professional services and finance in her career. She is currently the Head of Institutional Marketing, Asia ex. Japan and Thought Leadership Asia Pacific at Invesco, having come to Hong Kong over four years ago to challenge herself. She also chairs her company’s women’s network and engages with other diversity groups across Hong Kong to share experiences and help create better connections within industry. When not at work or running on after a ball, Jessica is trying to practice her basic Cantonese and explore hiking trails with her dog.
Andrea D. Fessler is the Founder and Executive Director of Premiere Performances, which is a registered charity founded in 2007 which brings the best musicians in the world to Hong Kong for recitals and chamber music performances and outreach. Ms. Fessler was named a Top 30 “Mover and Shaper in Classical Music by Musical America in 2018, and was the winner of the “Master of The Arts” award at the 2018 AmCham Women of Influence Awards.
Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Ms. Fessler graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991, and worked as an international corporate lawyer in New York, London, and Tokyo before settling in Hong Kong in 2004. Prior to her responsibilities with Premiere Performances, Ms. Fessler was an international corporate lawyer and, together with her husband, founded Time Out Hong Kong magazine. She has three daughters.
Valerie Stait has been flying worldwide for 24 years. She has 14,000 hours and currently works in two roles for a mainline Asian airline. She flies long haul on the Boeing 777 and works in flight operations risk assessment management, mainly in incident investigation. Valerie holds an MSc in Aviation Human Factors and is also a Liveryman and Director of Technical and Safety for the Honourable Company of Air pilots Hong Kong region, a body that promotes excellence in aviation. In previous airlines, she was part of the crisis management team and taught security to air crew.
Valerie started flying when she went on a week’s gliding course and didn’t come home for two years. She talked her way into a job on the gliding field, driving the winch for the summer courses and worked her way up from the bottom of aviation, towing gliders and instructing along the way. She believes persistence and not being afraid to get your hands dirty were key to her success.
When not involved in flying, Valerie spends her time between her boat in Hong Kong and her farmhouse near Toulouse. She competes in dancing and enjoys hiking, having completed the 1,000km trail of the South West Coast Path in the UK. She is currently working on ways to implement the latest science behind safety management and resilience engineering to better understand and increase safety in Aviation.
(Moderator - Panel 1)
Mary has more than 25 years of experience in the banking and financial services sector including leadership roles at Citi, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America. She joined the Equinix Business Development team at the start of 2017. Her role is focused on building new relationships and creating interconnection opportunities across multiple industry verticals to develop the Equinix Digital Payments Ecosystem.
Prior to joining Equinix Mary served as the Vice President of Financial Services for Nielsen. Prior to joining Nielsen, Mary served as the Chief Operating Officer for Citi’s transaction bank in Asia. During her 14 year tenure at Citi, Mary worked in retail banking and wealth management, Foreign Exchange and Capital Markets, and Global Transaction Services in both the US and Asia.
Mary received an MBA with honors in Marketing Management from DePaul University in Chicago, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Marquette University.
She is a strong advocate for advancing women in leadership and is a mentor alumni of The Women’ s Foundation Hong Kong, current guru for a Lean In Circle and most recently launched a new Hong Kong based women in tech network, TOGETHER, with women leaders from Telstra, Oracle, Google and Equinix.
“The truth behind the trade war – from Soybeans to Semiconductors”
Tatman Savio is an international trade partner at Akin Gump and a registered foreign lawyer in the firm’s Hong Kong office. She counsels clients on U.S. law and policy affecting international trade and business, including sanctions, export control, anticorruption, and foreign investment laws. On a day-to-day basis, Tatman works with companies to navigate the extraterritorial impact of U.S. laws in Asia and issues related to the U.S.-China trade war. Tatman currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Trade & Investment Committee at AmCham Hong Kong.
“An average person will use 320 toothbrushes during their lifetime”
Tania Sibree is the co-founder of bakbamboo a consultancy and supplier of environmentally sustainable products for the hospitality sector. Tania is also a seasoned financial services lawyer and manager having worked in the industry for over 18 years in London, Australia and Hong Kong. She has also worked for a number of NGOs and not for profits.
“From CEO to Single Mom”
Patricia is a proactive, practical, hands-on, result oriented and innovative professional with an optimistic attitude that always has contingences plans in play to ensure best possible results. Over 10 years managerial experience in business development, crisis & project management, marketing, data monetization, sales (B2B and B2C). Proven performance in dynamic local and international environments with a strong commitment to achieve company / corporate goals. Recognized for providing exemplary leadership to team under supervision, effectively coordinating resources to achieve targets with stringent deadlines whilst being focused on future challenges with the sole view of enhancing the profitability of the company in order to earn the highest EVA rating for the organization.
“Your advocacy matters!”
Mehrnoush is a Service Designer in Digital space, passionate about creating meaningful human-centric experiences through building customer journeys with a design-thinking approach. Due to her personal journey, Mehrnoush is a relentless advocate for diversity and inclusion. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Software Engineering and two Master's Degrees: one in IT and one in Commerce. Mehrnoush currently works for HSBC.
“What getting punched in the face and aging have in common"
Integrative Health & Strength Coach, Professional MMA Fighter
Tricia Yap is a health and wellness entrepreneur, who has founded concepts such as Bikini Fit (a women’s only fitness community), Warrior Academy (HK’s first boutique fitness and martial arts performance facility with an in-house kitchen), and former Director of Fitness of the commercial gym, Goji Studios. She was HK’s first professional female mixed martial artist and was a coach on ViuTV’s ground-breaking reality TV show on MMA called G1 Fight Club. She is recognized as one of the most accomplished health and fitness experts in Hong Kong, with background as a functional medicine, nutrition and strength coach. She is known for her philosophy of encouraging a holistic and balanced mindset towards lifestyle, nutrition and training. She is also an advocate for both women’s empowerment and wellbeing for the busy professional.
“Did you know that you can live the life you want by investing in yourself?"
Janice has been raising equity capital for companies in HK and China over the past 13 years. She has just set up her own fund and advisory arm with the intention to help good companies grow.
SBI China Capital is an asset management, capital raising, research and advisory firm in Hong Kong. I head up their fund raising division and will be setting up a fund which will seek to invest in the companies of tomorrow led by able and trustworthy management.
(Moderator - Panel 2)
Jen Flowers is currently the global head of strategy and business management for partnership development and innovation for HSBC Retail Banking and Wealth Management. She is an expert in design thinking helping companies think outside the box to innovative. Jen has over 15 years experience across marketing, business development, innovation and change. As co-chair of the TEDx TinHau committee, Jen oversees all facets of the planning and running of multiple non-profit TEDx conferences and events in her free time. Jen has a masters degree in Chinese Literature, speaks Mandarin and spent over 10 years living across Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Jen currently serves as the Innovation & Technology Committee Co-Chair at AmCham Hong Kong.
(Facilitator - Panel 3)
Felicity McRobb is the Founder of McRobb Consulting, a Hong Kong based company specializing in individual and team performance at the executive level. She has been at the forefront of women’s leadership development in the world’s largest organizations, and in the poorest villages in developing countries, for the past thirty years.
She first came to Asia in 1984 and has lived and worked in Japan, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and Portland, Oregon, returning to Hong Kong in 2011 with her family, to build a regional consulting practice.
Felicity holds a B.A. in Modern Languages from Anglia University in the United Kingdom. She is married with four children and six grand-children, and loves to spend time traveling with her husband Dennis.
Helene Liu is the executive director of Ingrid Millet Ltd, a leading Medical Aesthetic service provider. She is also a governor of Bioscreen Foundation and Ingrid Millet Foundation, as well as the Dean of the French Institutes Beauty Academy. She has over 15 years of experience in the Medical Aesthetic industry.
Helene holds Masters degrees from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris-University of Paris (Economics and Finance) and the University of Hong Kong (Buddhist Studies). She is also a PhD candidate.
She is one of the co-chief judges of the AmCham’s Women of Influence Conference Awards. Helene is also a member of the Mentorship committee of the Asian University for Women’s (AUW) Hong Kong Support Foundation, a TedX speakers’ coach, and a French Foreign Trade Advisor to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. She holds a black belt in traditional Kung Fu and is a certified teacher of Ashtanga Yoga.
Musicians: Venus Chu (Flute), Rachel Wong (Oboe), Edith Tam (French Horn), Rita Au (Clarinet) & Leung Tak-Wing (Bassoon)
The Viva! Pipers are an ensemble of talented musicians from Hong Kong who have received overseas training. The five wind players have received extensive training by the professional musicians from Musica Viva Australia to help them deliver quality educational performances. Since their founding in 2014, the Viva! Pipers’ performances have been carefully developed to showcase a range of musical styles, genres, and fun! As of July 2019, they have given over 80 performances at kindergartens and primary schools and visited more than 30,000 students. They have also given public concerts at Sha Tin Town Hall, Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre and Tuen Mun Town Hall and community concerts at Hysan Place and Exchange Square.
Abigail DeLessio is a Senior Consultant, Asia-Pacific with Triangle Associates an educational consultancy providing leadership support for international and independent educational institutions. Focusing on leadership searches and governance support, Abbi partners her extensive experience and skills with Triangle Associates’ state of the art approach to executive searches to meet the unique needs of individual schools. Her successful experience in governing independent schools supports her working closely with school leadership to maximize strengths and identify opportunities for differentiation and growth.
In addition to provide leadership to independent schools, Ms. DeLessio also supports educational and women’s initiatives in Hong Kong through her work with the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham). She is the co-chair of AmCham’s Education Committee and one of the co-chief judges of AmCham’s Women of Influence Awards. Abbi is also a charter member of the Board of the Asian University for Women’s Hong Kong Support Foundation.
Abbi and her husband Tim have lived in Hong Kong for fifteen years and have two daughters: Alli, a KIPP Charter school teacher in Washington, DC and Maggie, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania.