Deb­bie Liu: En­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to serve BIO

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By DENG YU in Seat­tle lin­dadeng@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

“I hope to unite more Chi­nese-Amer­i­can em­ploy­ees and set up a big­ger value-re­al­iz­ing plat­form for our mem­bers. Then we will be able to con­trib­ute more to our com­mu­nity,” said Deb­bie Liu, pres­i­dent of Mi­crosoft Chi­nese Em­ployee Net­work (CHIME).

CHIME was founded in the early 1990s by a group of Chi­nese em­ploy­ees of Mi­crosoft Cor­po­ra­tion. It is en­dorsed by Mi­crosoft’s hu­man re­sources depart­ment as an of­fi­cial em­ployee net­work group, with des­ig­nated ex­ec­u­tive spon­sors and an elected board with a chair­man. Its mem­ber­ship is vol­un­tary and open to all em­ploy­ees of Mi­crosoft world­wide.

To­day CHIME has more than 5,000 reg­is­tered mem­bers and is one of the largest pro­fes­sional Chi­nese com­mu­ni­ties in the US. Harry Shum, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent at Mi­crosoft, serves as the ex­ec­u­tive ad­viser to CHIME.

Deb­bie Liu signed up for CHIME when she joined Mi­crosoft China in Bei­jing in 2004. When she moved to Seat­tle to work at Mi­crosoft’s head­quar­ters in Red­mond, Wash­ing­ton in 2007, she stayed ac­tively in­volved in CHIMA ac­tiv­i­ties and events. She has been a CHIME board mem­ber since 2011.

Liu now works as a full­time pro­gram man­ager at Mi­crosoft. When asked why she is will­ing to con­trib­ute al­most all of her off-work time to CHIME, she said, “I want to stan­dard­ize our progress set up by the great CHIME lead­er­ship of the past years and make the or­ga­ni­za­tion run and de­velop sus­tain­ably.”

Ev­ery year, CHIME ini­ti­ates and or­ga­nizes pro­grams and events that bring the Chi­nese com­mu­nity of the greater Seat­tle area to­gether. The An­nual Mi­crosoft Asian Spring Fes­ti­val Cel­e­bra­tion has be­come a pop­u­lar and in­flu­en­tial cel­e­bra­tion, with large au­di­ences and sub­stan­tial lo­cal in­volve­ment.

“We have the vi­sion to en­cour­age CHIME mem­bers to serve in their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, es­pe­cially Chi­nese com­mu­ni­ties, get­ting in­volved in ed­u­ca­tional, char­i­ta­ble, and other pro­grams to pro­mote Chi­nese cul­ture and val­ues and fos­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion and friend­ship be­tween the CHIME com­mu­nity and China. The an­nual cel­e­bra­tion be­came a ve­hi­cle to make this hap­pen,” Liu said.

CHIME also or­ga­nizes cul­ture sa­lons, lec­tures, sem­i­nars and work­shops. Liu be­lieves all forms of cul­tural com­mu­ni­ca­tion are mean­ing­ful.

Their re­cent cul­tural sa­lon — Cul­tural Dif­fer­ences be­tween the US and China — fea­tured Sid­ney Rit­ten­berg, the Chi­nese scholar, and drew an au­di­ence of more than 250 to Mi­crosoft’s cam­pus.

Mi­crosoft also at­tracts many Chi­nese del­e­ga­tions to its Red­mond cam­pus for tech­ni­cal talks and busi­ness. CHIME rou­tinely hosts the

DEB­BIE LIU

Pres­i­dent, Mi­crosoft Chi­nese Em­ploy­ment Netowrk (CHIME) Age: 36 Born: Bei­jing • Pro­gram Man­ager Mi­crosoft (2012-present) • Pres­i­dent, Mi­crosoft Chi­nese Em­ploy­ment Netowrk (CHIME) (2012-present) • Soft­ware De­vel­op­ment En­gi­neer in Test II, Mi­crosoft Red­mond (20072011) • Soft­ware De­vel­op­ment En­gi­neer in Test, Mi­crosoft Bei­jing (2004-2007) del­e­ga­tions and ar­ranges the re­lated pro­grams.

Liu said she al­ways has and will con­tinue to do what­ever she can to sup­port ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams and char­i­ties, es­pe­cially those di­rectly re­lated to China and the Chi­nese com­mu­nity.

Liu joined the China To­mor­row Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion (CTEF) in 2009 and now serves as an hon­orary board mem­ber for this Seat­tle-based non-profit char­ity founded in 1999. “In 2008, when their or­ga­ni­za­tion was work­ing hard to or­ga­nize a do­na­tion cam­paign to aid vic­tims of the Sichuan earthquake, I was im­pressed by how they founded schools in China by ren­o­vat­ing schools, es­tab­lish­ing li­braries, sup­port­ing teach­ers and fund­ing scholarships,” she said.

Liu was born and raised in a pro­fes­sor’s fam­ily in north­west Bei­jing, a district that is home to many uni­ver­si­ties. “My ex­pe­ri­ence grow­ing up made me be­lieve that ed­u­ca­tion changes lives. I was so glad to join the CTEF fam­ily and con­trib­ute to im­prove the ed­u­ca­tion en­vi­ron­ment for Chi­nese stu­dents who live in ru­ral ar­eas,” Liu said.

The mis­sion of the CTEF is to im­prove ed­u­ca­tion in ru­ral China and pre­pare the chil­dren there to be­come re­spon­si­ble global cit­i­zens. So far, CTEF has funded 147 ru­ral school projects.

On March 3, Liu gave a speech at the China-US Fo­rum 2014 on ca­reer de­vel­op­ment for Chi­nese stu­dents. The event was or­ga­nized by Bridg­ing Pa­cific, UW Chi­nese Stu­dents and Schol­ars As­so­ci­a­tion and the China En­tre­pre­neur Net­work.

Liu in­vited Ju­lia Liu­son, cor­po­rate vice-pres­i­dent at Mi­crosoft, to be the key­note speaker for the fi­nal pre­sen­ta­tions of the China Busi­ness Chal­lenge and the China En­tre­pre­neur Fo­rum hosted on April 5 at Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton. Liu thought Ju­lia would be the right per­son for the event and con­tacted her right away.

Liu­son talked about in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity. She also shared her in­sights into the en­trepreneur­ship en­vi­ron­ment in China and en­cour­aged stu­dents to “re­ally live in China” if they were in­ter­ested in found­ing a startup there.

DENG YU / CHINA DAILY

Deb­bie Liu (left), pres­i­dent of CHIME, poses with Qi Lu, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent at Mi­crosoft, and Deputy Con­sul Gen­eral of the People’s Repub­lic of China in San Fran­cisco Bi Gang (right) at the 2014 Mi­crosoft Asian Spring Fes­ti­val Cel­e­bra­tion.

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