Mark Wen: Keep­ing health on a par with profit BIO

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By LINDA DENG in Seat­tle lin­dadeng@chi­nadai­

“I have al­ways wanted to go the ex­tra mile in or­der to con­trib­ute to the lo­cal Chi­nese com­mu­nity, and half of my time and ex­per­tise goes to the good health of our com­mu­nity and the other half to pro­mote global busi­ness,” said Mark Wen, an ex­pe­ri­enced global busi­ness ex­pert and present pres­i­dent of the Wash­ing­ton State China Cham­ber of Com­merce.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from univer­sity, Wen found a po­si­tion at the min­istry of ma­chine build­ing of China in Bei­jing. “As for­eign af­fairs di­rec­tor, I be­came more and more fas­ci­nated by in­ter­na­tional busi­ness and trade and de­cided to ap­ply for an MBA pro­gram in the US,” Wen said, re­call­ing how he gave up a de­cent ca­reer and life in Bei­jing to come to the US in early 1980s.

Ed­u­cated both in the US and China, Wen has been ac­tively in­volved with in­ter­na­tional med­i­cal ser­vices and global health­care for more than 20 years.

In the early 1990s, Wen helped Vir­ginia Ma­son Med­i­cal Cen­ter es­tab­lish an in­ter­na­tional health clinic, pro­vid­ing lan­guage and cul­tur­ally sen­si­tive care to Greater Seat­tle’s Asian pop­u­la­tion and pa­tients from for­eign coun­tries.

Wen also served as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Stan­ford Univer­sity Hospi­tal In­ter­na­tional Med­i­cal Ser­vices. In this role, he was re­spon­si­ble for all of Stan­ford Univer­sity Hospi­tal’s in­ter­na­tional pa­tient ser­vices, med­i­cal ex­change pro­grams, in­ter­na­tional in­tern/ob­server pro­grams and global pa­tient re­fer­ral net­works.

As an in­ter­na­tional health­care con­sul­tant, Wen has also been a res­i­dent con­sul­tant for the Swedish Med­i­cal Cen­ter since 1998 af­ter he moved to Seat­tle the same year.

Wen is pas­sion­ate about cross-cul­ture health­care and of­ten vol­un­teers his time at Seat­tle In­ter­na­tional Com­mu­nity Clin­ics, where he has served on the board since 2002 and is a mem­ber of the board’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee for in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity health ser­vices, a non­profit com­mu­nity health cen­ter that of­fers af­ford­able health­care ser­vices to Seat­tle and King County’s Asian, Na­tive Hawai­ian and Pa­cific Is­lan­der com­mu­ni­ties. The or­ga­ni­za­tion be­gan in 1973 as a small store­front clinic in Seat­tle’s in­ter­na­tional district. To­day it is the largest Asian, Na­tive Hawai­ian and Pa­cific Is­lan­der com­mu­nity health cen­ter in Wash­ing­ton State.

Now Wen is re­spon­si­ble for the Port of Seat­tle’s commercial strat­egy with a fo­cus on ex­ports in the agri­cul­ture and food in­dus­try.

As an ex­pert in global busi­ness and trade, Wen is very op­ti­mistic about Wash­ing­ton State’s strong busi­ness ties with China.

“Boe­ing’s air­planes ac­count for al­most 35 per­cent to 40 per­cent of Wash­ing­ton’s ex­ports. How­ever, more than 50 per­cent of our con­tainer­ized ex­ports by sea are our agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties, such as hay, ap­ples, soy­beans and wheat, plus tim­ber, fish and veg­eta­bles. In 2012, hay (al­falfa only) ex­ports to China ex­ceeded 30,000 TEUs with an es­ti­mated value of more than $130 mil­lion. The state’s ex­ports are strongly tied to China,” Wen said.

Wen was CEO of AMMEX CHINA/COO Global Sourc­ing from 2004 to 2007 in Shang­hai, man­ag­ing more than 1,000 em­ploy­ees with a to­tal of 400 mil­lion yuan in an­nual sales. He also founded a num­ber of joint ven­tures and wholly owned en­ter­prises in China, cov­er­ing dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries from im­port and ex­port, whole­sale prod­ucts, to con­sult­ing ser­vices. In 1993, he started the first Sino-US joint health club in Shen­zhen.

With his knowl­edge and net­work­ing in China, Wen has for a long time been plan­ning to build a plat­form to pro­mote global businesses, es­pe­cially be­tween China and Wash­ing­ton State.

“I am re­ally ded­i­cated to pro­mot­ing the bi­lat­eral busi­ness


Pres­i­dent, the Wash­ing­ton State China Cham­ber of Com­merce

Age: 57

• Pres­i­dent, WA State China Cham­ber of Com­merce (since 2012) Commercial strat­egy man­ager, ex­ports, Port of Seat­tle (since 2011) Fi­nan­cial on­troller/PCS, Port of Seat­tle (2009-10) Di­rec­tor of in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­ing, Port of Seat­tle (May 2007–Oct 10) CEO, AMMEX CHINA/ COO Global Sourc­ing (2004-07) Di­rec­tor, In­ter­na­tional Trade In­sti­tute/ In­ter­na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­grams, Seat­tle Com­mu­nity Col­lege (1998–04) Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, in­ter­na­tional med­i­cal ser­vices, Stan­ford Univer­sity (1995-97) Di­rec­tor, in­ter­na­tional ser­vices, Vir­ginia Ma­son Med­i­cal Cen­ter (199395) Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Asia Pa­cific di­vi­sion, Key Tronic Corp (1988-93) For­eign af­fairs di­rec­tor, min­istry of ma­chine build­ing of China (1982–84) and trade re­la­tion­ship be­tween Wash­ing­ton State and China, and will fi­nally make the plan a re­al­ity,” Wen said.

Wen founded the Wash­ing­ton State China Cham­ber of Com­merce, a busi­ness or­ga­ni­za­tion in 2012. Now the cham­ber has more than 2,400 reg­is­tered mem­bers from the Greater Seat­tle area.

The cham­ber pro­vides a wide range of re­sources and a plat­form for all of its mem­bers to de­velop busi­ness re­la­tions and form busi­ness al­liances with China. Their re­cent meet-up called “B2C E-com­merce Revo­lu­tion in China: Op­por­tu­ni­ties for US Ex­porters” in Fe­bru­ary fea­tured two global busi­ness de­vel­op­ment team lead­ers from Tmall and drew large crowds from lo­cal busi­ness cir­cles and the state govern­ment.

Wen never hes­i­tates to con­trib­ute his time and re­sources to all kinds of com­mu­nity pro­grams and ac­tiv­i­ties.

“My per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence in­te­grat­ing into Amer­i­can so­ci­ety made me think of how to help new im­mi­grants and in­vestors gain busi­ness suc­cess. On the other hand, I hope to help lo­cal busi­ness­men un­der­stand the Chi­nese mar­ket and cul­ture bet­ter, con­nect­ing with the global busi­ness world,” Wen said.

Dur­ing the WTO min­is­te­rial con­fer­ence hosted in Seat­tle in 1999, which was to be the launch of a new mil­len­nial round of trade ne­go­ti­a­tions, Wen got ac­tively in­volved in vol­un­teer ser­vices, re­cruit­ing, train­ing and man­ag­ing more than 2,700 vol­un­teers and host­ing VIP del­e­ga­tions.

He has served as a guest lec­turer and speaker at the Seat­tle Univer­sity Global Busi­ness Cen­ter and Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton since 2009, been a board mem­ber of the Seat­tle Chi­nese Gar­den since 2010 and was a mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional Trade Club from 1998 to 2010.

Wen also do­nates reg­u­larly to the Seat­tle Chi­nese Gar­den, the Hong Kong As­so­ci­a­tion, Seat­tle Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal and other lo­cal ser­vices ded­i­cated to im­prov­ing com­mu­nity health.


Mark Wen and his fam­ily. From right: Mark Wen, Wen’s song Andy Wen and Wen’s wife Diana Samp­son.

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