The U.S.-China Manufacturing Symposium in Dothan, March 26-28 is going to be an historic event. The quality of the attendees is what separates this symposium from all the rest.
This event will bring 300-400 Chinese and American government and business leaders together to openly discuss manufacturing expansion and job creation. The Dothan symposium is attracting CEOs, company chairmen, mayors and vice-mayors from China.
This is a very important event for the state of Alabama, the tri-state region and the southeastern U.S.
Here are just some of the speakers who are scheduled to be at the symposium:
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions
United States Sen. Jeff Sessions has represented the people of Alabama in Washington for more than 14 years. Sen. Sessions is the Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, a role that certainly keeps him busy these days. In that capacity, he is a leader of efforts to restore the federal government to its proper role, and he works to bring deficits down so future generations aren’t burdened with crippling debt. Sen. Sessions is also a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which oversees our nation’s military, the Judiciary Committee, and the Environment and Public Works Committee.
Sen. Sessions knows the state of Alabama well. He grew up in the rural community of Hybart (HIB-ert) and attended high school in Camden. He worked his way through Huntingdon College in Montgomery, and then received a law degree from the University of Alabama in 1973.
Loretta Lee (Loretta Lee, Ltd.)
Talk about leadership in manufacturing and the name Loretta Lee quickly rises to the top of the conversation. Ms. Lee started her company in 1968, and has grown it into one of the world’s largest boot manufacturers and a top supplier to Wal-Mart. As part of her legacy, she wants to see America and China working together to produce products in country instead of shipping them from country to country.
Former Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Francisco is now Chairman of the Cambridge Negotiation Strategies, a strategic consulting firm that assists U.S. companies export overseas and foreign companies invest in the U.S. The firm has a particular focus on China.
Greg Canfield - Secretary of Commerce, Alabama Department of Commerce
Greg Canfield is no stranger to economic development in Alabama. The Alabama native is a successful business executive and state legislator who launched the Business Development Committee during his service as president of the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce. The committee recruited many new businesses to his community. Gov. Robert Bentley appointed Canfield as director of the Alabama Development Office on July 18, 2011. Prior to joining ADO, Canfield served in the Alabama House of Representatives as chairman of the Commerce & Small Business Committee.
Graduating from Huffman High School in Birmingham, he went on to attend the University of Alabama and UAB where he earned a Finance Degree in 1983. Canfield also served on the Government Affairs Committee for the Birmingham Business Alliance. Canfield is the author and sponsor of the Education Trust Fund Rolling Reserve Budget Act as well as legislation to address improvements in Alabama’s tort laws, pro-business environment and economic development opportunities.
Are you ready for some incredible wisdom? Come listen to Sidney Rittenberg. This man has more knowledge and wisdom about US-China relations than anyone. He is president of Rittenberg Associates, Inc. He and his wife and partner, Yulin Wang Rittenberg, currently help companies such as Prudential Financial, Colgate/Palmolive, Warner Music Group, MASCO, and Blue Marble in China. Among their leading clients have been Intel, Hughes Aircraft, Korean Air, ClearWire, Microsoft, AIG, Prudential UK, Nextel, Levi Strauss, ARCO, PricewaterhouseCoopers, InFocus, and many others. In addition, he has been a consultant in China to his close friends, Mike Wallace, and the Rev. Billy Graham. Sidney Rittenberg, Sr. is one of very few living men who has personally known Chinese leaders, including Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, the notorious "Gang of Four," Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Zhu Rongji. (As well as the last Emperor, Pu Yi.)
Ronnie Chan (Co-chair Asia Society)
Mr. Chan joined the Hang Lung Group in 1972, becoming Chairman in 1991. He also serves as Chairman of Hang Lung Properties Limited, the Group’s major publicly listed subsidiary. Mr. Chan is Vice President of The Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong, Co-Chair of the Asia Society and Chairman of its Hong Kong Center. He also acts as an advisor to the China Development Research Foundation in Beijing. Mr. Chan sits on the governing or advisory bodies of several think tanks and universities, including the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the University of Southern California, USA, where he received his MBA, and Tsinghua University in Beijing. Mr. Chan is known for his abundance of philanthropic work. He was named Forbes 2012 Hero of Philanthropy. Among his philanthropic work, donated $1.3 million to help reconstruct the Asia Society building in Hong Kong, and he also led the reconstruction of the Forbidden Palace, an 18-year process.
Lili Zheng (co-leader of Deloitte Asia Pacific ICE)
Ms. Zheng has more than 22 years of experience in international tax and business consulting services for multinational companies’ inbound and outbound investments. She has extensive knowledge in IPO positioning, inversion structuring, establishing offshore IP holding companies, implementing cost-sharing arrangements, and advising on entry and exit strategies for cross-border investments. She is a recognized expert on China related matters.
Mark Stevens (partner with WIPFLI and Spider Logic)
Mark offers experiences and skills developed through working more than 28 years in the manufacturing industry. He has guided local, national, and international manufacturing companies through all facets of operational excellence and technology integration. He has a passion for helping manufacturers become more customer-effective and operationally efficient. WIPFLI is one of the largest accounting firms in the US and Spider Logic is a leader in innovative manufacturing computer software.