Community Business


diversity and inclusion conference logo

Below is the current list of confirmed speakers:

Sara J. ADAMS    

Regional Sales Manager
Cisco Systems
Based in: Australia

Sara Adams is a Regional Sales Manager at Cisco Systems. She leads a team focused on ensuring Cisco’s success in the small and medium business market in Australia, the fastest growing segment of the market. Under Sara’s leadership, the division has more than doubled in size since 2005.

Sara has held numerous roles in her 10 years at Cisco in various divisions such as Customer Advocacy, Channels and Sales. Prior to Cisco, Sara worked in various IT companies for a total of 18 years industry experience across numerous countries such as the UK, Canada and the United States.

Sara was born in Canada and studied at York University in Toronto. She currently lives in Sydney with her husband Mark and their son.

Subha BARRY    

Managing Director & Head of Global Diversity
Merrill Lynch
Based in: the USA

Subha Barry is Managing Director and head of Global Diversity and Inclusion for Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. In this role, she is responsible for managing and integrating existing and new diversity efforts across the corporation globally.

Subha joined Merrill Lynch in 1989 and spent 13 years in the Private Client Group as a highly successful and best practice Financial Advisor and Branch Manager. In 2001, she created the firm’s Multicultural and Diversified Business Development group to help establish Merrill Lynch as the preeminent wealth management firm among diverse and multicultural markets. She headed the group until 2005 when she was appointed to her current role.

Subha holds a Bachelor of Accounting from Bombay University, India, a Master of Business and Public Management and a Master of Accounting from Rice University, Houston.

She is a member of the Board and of the Corporate Circle Advisory Committee of the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW); a Corporate Advisory Council member of The White House Project; a Hidden Brain Drain Task Force member, and she sits on the Advisory Board for VOICE, Hyperion’s imprint for women. Ms. Barry is a member of the Council of Overseers for Rice University’s Business School and serves on the Boards of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the Princeton HealthCare System Foundation.

Subha is an active mentor of women both within her community and at Merrill Lynch, where she is responsible for the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. A three time cancer survivor, she supports and coaches newly diagnosed patients with coping strategies and work/life balance. In 2000, she won the Women’s Fund of New Jersey Award for Outstanding Achievement in Banking and Finance. In 2006, she was inducted into the New York City’s Academy of Woman Achievers. The National Organization for Women (NOW), recognized her as one of its 2008 Women of Power and Influence.

Subha lives in New Jersey with her husband and 2 children.

Peta BAYMAN    

Facilitating Results

Peta's qualifications include: A Masters degree in General Management, Level IV Certificate Workplace Training and a Diploma in Training and Assessment Systems. Peta also holds a certificate in counselling and a diploma in Remedial Therapies.

She has a reputation for thinking strategically and holistically when it comes to dealing with business challenges. Peta's training / coaching style is informative, interactive and “down to earth”. Peta takes a whole systems, very practical approach when working with people. She is passionate about helping organisations bring their people, business goals and use of technology into alignment to achieve their vision.

Peta is also an experienced public speaker providing sessions for national conferences on a variety of subjects such as Managing Change, Communicating With Emotional Intelligence and Leading Teams. Peta's public speaking engagements have earned comments such as “Inspirational; challenging; refreshing – great practical examples; thought provoking; show stopper!”.

Jenny CHAN    

Manager: Documentation supporting Diversity & Inclusion
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Based in: Hong Kong

Jenny is currently Manager, Operating Guides & Documentation, mainly responsible for compiling operational manuals and language training. Since 2007, she has taken up the coordination role of Diversity and Inclusion for Hong Kong Disneyland. She partners with different departments in promoting the importance of diversity and inclusion for areas of Workforce Diversity, Workplace Inclusion, Inclusive Products & Services, and Corporate Citizenship. Jenny supports the nurturing of building an inclusive workplace where every team member of the diverse pool can fully contribute their talents while being engaged, respected and valued to achieving success of the organisation. She also coordinates with Marketing and Public Affairs teams for inclusive products and services in order to position the company brand as being culturally sensitive and responsive to employee, customer as well as the community needs.


Managing Director
Watson Wyatt Asia Pacific
Based in: Hong Kong

Bob Charles is the Managing Director of Watson Wyatt Asia Pacific. As such he has overall responsibility for Watson Wyatt's business in the region and is a member of Watson Wyatt's global management team.

Watson Wyatt has over 1,000 consultants and associates in Asia Pacific across 21 offices engaged in 4 lines of business:

  • Human Capital consulting
  • Actuarial/employee benefits consulting
  • Investment consulting to large pension and sovereign funds
  • Actuarial/management consulting to the insurance sector.

Based in Hong Kong; Bob’s clients are major multinationals with multiple operations in Asia.

Bob is an actuary by profession and was previously the managing director of Watson Wyatt Hong Kong. Bob worked for in India from 2001 to 2003 following Watson Wyatt’s acquisition of India’s largest actuarial firm. Bob advised some of India’s largest private sector employers on the financial and human capital implications of their employee benefits issues. Bob joined Watson Wyatt in 1987. Before moving to India he worked in London as the lead actuary for several of Watson Wyatt’s major UK pension fund clients.

Bob is a frequent speaker on Human Capital issues in Asia; including on the similarities and differences between managing Human Capital in China and India. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries (UK) and holds a first class honours degree in mathematics from Oxford University.

Noriko Honda CHEN    

Research Director and Senior Vice president
Capital World Investors
Based in: Hong Kong

Noriko Honda Chen is a research director and senior vice president of Capital World Investors, a division of Capital Research and Management Company and a director of Capital Research Company. She has research responsibilities for Asian oil and gas, refiners and construction. She is also a portfolio counselor for SMALLCAP World Fund. Prior to joining Capital in 1998, she spent four years as a manager in corporate finance and later in the research department of Worldsec International in Hong Kong (a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Bank). She is also the vice chair of The Women’s Foundation (TWF) in Hong Kong and has been involved with TWF since it was established.

Ms. Chen has a BA in economics from Williams College and completed a degree in the Japanese Language Bekka Program at Keio University in Tokyo.

Bernice CHENG    

Chairwoman, GE Women Network, Hong Kong Hub
General Counsel, Asia Pacific, Aviation, GE Technology Infrastructure
Based in: Hong Kong

Bernice Cheng is the chairwoman of the GE Women Network in Hong Kong. In her role, she leads the diversity efforts together with diversity leaders in GE and the human resources leaders of the region for participation by all female employees in Hong Kong.

In her day job, Bernice is the general counsel of GE Aviation in Asia Pacific. Bernice joined GE Corporate in 2003 and worked on assignments with various GE businesses in Greater China. Bernice joined GE Aviation as its regional counsel for Asia based in Shanghai in 2005 and subsequently as general counsel for Asia Pacific based in Hong Kong at the end of 2006. She is currently working on a special project based in Beijing.

Prior to joining GE, Bernice was trained as a lawyer in Slaughter and May in London. She relocated to their Hong Kong office as a corporate finance lawyer doing regional M&A work. She subsequently joined Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer based in Hong Kong focusing on PRC restructuring and capital markets work in Asia and China.

Bernice read law in England and is admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales and Hong Kong.

Aside from her legal work, Bernice leads the GE pro bono group in Asia. She is also the adviser to a number of NGOs and charities in region with a focus on promoting the rights of underprivileged children including UNICEF.

Patrick CHEUNG    

Hong Kong Social Entrepreneurship Forum
Based in: Hong Kong

Patrick Cheung is an entrepreneur. He grew a multinational business from scratch to HK $100 million in 8 years before his relocation to Canada in 1989. Three years later, he founded his own company on flexible packaging business and grew it to HK $1 billion in 15 years and then sold it to Alcan, a Fortune 200 company. Now Patrick acts as senior advisor to the president of Alcan China. Patrick is a Director of Hong Kong Social Entrepreneurship Forum. He has also been a director of Sowers Action since 2006. Patrick graduated from Hong Kong University with a BSc. degree. He attended the PMD program at Harvard Business School and Management Training at INSEAD. Currently, he is studying a masters degree in international relations and public affairs at Hong Kong University.

Cordelia CHUNG    

Vice President, Financial Services Sector
Based in: Shanghai, China

Cordelia Chung was named Vice President, Financial Services Sector, Asia Pacific in January of 2008.

Ms. Chung joined IBM in 1991 as General Counsel for China and Hong Kong. She became General Counsel for the Greater China Group in 1994, covering China, Hong Kong and Taiwan when the management group was formed. In 1996, Ms. Chung was appointed as Vice President and General Counsel of IBM Asia Pacific, with responsibility for IBM's legal and security matters across the Asia Pacific region, and relocated her base from Hong Kong to Japan.

In January of 2001, Ms. Chung returned to Hong Kong and was named General Manager of IBM China/Hong Kong Limited, responsible for all of IBM’s business operations in Hong Kong and Macau. In November of 2003, Ms Chung was appointed as Vice President, Business Partners, Asia Pacific. She returned to Greater China to take up the position of Vice President, Marketing and Channels in 2006 before she was named to her current role.

Prior to joining IBM, Ms. Chung practised law with an international law firm from 1983 to 1991. She specialized in corporate commercial law and in advising foreign companies doing business in the emerging markets.

Ms. Chung serves as member of various advisory committees of the Hong Kong Government, namely the Digital 21 Strategy Advisory Committee, the Appeal Board on Closure Orders (Immediate Health Hazard), and the Citizens Advisory Committee on Community Relations of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. In addition, Ms Chung is a member of the Court of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and a Council Member of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She also currently heads up the IBM Asia Pacific Women’s Council.

Ms. Chung holds a law degree from the Law School of The University of Hong Kong. She is admitted to practise law in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Singapore, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory of Australia. She also holds a diploma in Chinese Law from The University of Law and Politics, the People's Republic of China.

Ms. Chung is married with two children.

Arisa Batista CUNNINGHAM    

Vice President, Global Diversity, Medical Devices & Diagnostics Group Worldwide
Johnson & Johnson
Based in: United States

Ms. Arisa Batista Cunningham is Vice President, Global Diversity, for the Johnson & Johnson Comprehensive Care and Surgical Care Groups. In this role, she is responsible for the comprehensive global diversity strategy and action plans within all franchises of the $21B sector.

Ms. Batista Cunningham has extensive experience in U.S. and global management, marketing, strategic planning, business development and advocacy across various product categories with major consumer and pharmaceutical companies including Procter & Gamble, American Can Company, Revlon, Chesebrough-Pond's/Unilever and Whitehall Labs, division of Wyeth. Her work has been acknowledged by many organizations and she has been honored with several awards for creativity, business excellence and leadership.

Ms. Batista Cunningham has also made significant contributions in diversity as a member of the Steering Committee of the Women’s Leadership Initiative, co-chair of the Women of Color/Multicultural Women subcommittee and winner of the J&J Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Award. Among her many community and professional associations, she serves on the Board of Directors of The National GEM Consortium, Empatha subsidiary of the American Social Health Association and of The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families. She is also on the Advisory Board for the National Hispanic Health Foundation, a Congressionally mandated project for HealthCare Disparities and the Executive Team of Madrinas, a network of Latina leaders.

A native of the Republic of Panama, Arisa has an MBA from Ohio University and undergraduate degrees from James Madison University and Sta. Maria La Antigua University. She lives in Chappaqua, New York with her husband and children.

Anshuman DAS    

Assistant Vice President, Execution Services Technology
Merrill Lynch
Based in: Hong Kong

Anshuman Das works is an Assistant Vice President at Merrill Lynch. He is based in Hong Kong. Anshuman leads the LGBT Professional Network in Pacific Rim. Anshuman joined Merrill Lynch (Hong Kong) in 2005 and works as a Business Analyst for the Execution Services Technology. He is an Indian citizen. He has been living in Hong Kong for 7 years and loves it for its breathless pace. He graduated in Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) in 1999 from Barkatullah University (India).

Christopher ERNST    

Director – APAC Research & Innovation
Centre for Creative Leadership
Based in: Singapore

Chris is currently Director–APAC Research & Innovation for the Center for Creative Leadership. CCL® is the leading global nonprofit institution dedicated exclusively to leadership.

In this role, Chris leads the start-up of CCL’s Research and Innovation group in Asia. This group seeks to create cutting-edge innovation in the practice and development of leadership within the Asia Pacific context. Concurrently, Chris co-directs a five-continent program of research designed to advance leadership across complex social and organizational boundaries.

Since joining CCL in 1997, Chris’ work has centered on advancing leadership across boundaries in a diverse and interconnected world. As a researcher, he is an author of over 20 articles, a frequent presenter and commentator on global issues, and is co-author of the book Success for the New Global Manager: How to Work Across Distance, Countries, and Cultures, published by Jossey-Bass/Wiley.

As a practitioner, he has worked as an expatriate in both Europe and Asia, has led multicultural teams, managed geographically dispersed projects, and has studied, lived and traveled his way through many parts of the world. By weaving global research with global real-world experience, Chris seeks to create innovative, practical leadership interventions for client organizations worldwide.

Chris holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from North Carolina State University with a minor concentration in International Business Management from the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. He currently resides in Singapore with his wife and two children.

Andrew FUNG

General Manager
Tripartite Centre for Fair Employment
Based in: Singapore

Andrew Fung is General Manager of the Tripartite Centre for Fair Employment. Bringing together representatives from the Government (MOM), Employers (SNEF) and the Unions (NTUC) in one physical centre for the first time, Andrew leads the tripartite operations in promoting fair and merit based employment practices to Singapore employers.

Andrew has extensive experience in handling strategy development and operations in Singapore’s public service, having been in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of Manpower. For the last decade his focus has been on assisting companies with people issues. His international experience includes setting up Contact Singapore operations in North America where he developed programmes to recruit and relocate global talent to Singapore. In Singapore, his experience includes helping more mature Singaporeans find new sustainable careers as well as promoting the adoption of Work-Life harmony and Fair Employment Practices to enhance the quality of Singapore workplaces.

GOH Swee Chen    

Global VP
DS Lubricants
Based in: Singapore

Goh Swee Chen is currently the Global Vice President for Downstream Lubricants in Shell, based in Singapore. She joined Shell in 2003 and in September 2004, became the first Asian female leader appointed to a senior executive position within Shell’s Global IT organization as the Vice President for Global IT Infrastructure.

Her career has taken her to Malaysia, Australia, USA, Japan and Singapore. She has had the privilege of leading global organizations and working in diverse environments –at last count, she direct managed and worked with individuals from more than 30 nationalities.

Swee Chen started her career in a Regional bank. Prior to joining Shell, she worked with IBM and Procter & Gamble. She counts amongst her significant achievements the leading of major change programmes such as global standardizations of systems and process e.g. SAP, Enterprise Support and Innovative Workplace initiatives.

She is a graduate from Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand and has an MBA from the University of Chicago.

She is a passionate believer in building diverse teams that reflect the composition of customers in meeting the challenges of doing business globally. Personally, she strives to continually deliver value and make a difference through her choices – in her roles as a global business leader, as a member of the community that she serves, and as a mother of 3 young children.

Thomas GOH    

Partner and Director
Based in: …

Dr Thomas Goh is a Partner and Director at Gallup with extensive consulting experience working with client organisations in Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East and North America. Thomas sits on leading international business and academic advisory boards and is an active advocate for building change resilience at the country, community, company and individual levels. He has extensive consulting experience leading and managing large scale change. Prior to joining Gallup, Thomas was the Market Leader and Director for Greater China at Towers Perrin – ISR, and the Lead Manager for Human Capital at Accenture.

Stephen GOLDEN    

Head – Global Leadership & Diversity, Asia Ex-Japan
Goldman Sachs
Based in: Hong Kong

Stephen Golden is the head of Asia Ex-Japan Global Leadership & Diversity at Goldman Sachs.

Stephen began his career in 1993 as a technology analyst in New York. He moved to London in 1995 and became a project manager focusing on both technology and compliance. Stephen moved into a diversity role in 2005. In 2007-2008 he spent 5 months as the head of diversity in Japan. In July, Stephen relocated to Hong Kong into his current role.

Stephen earned a Bachelor of Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He and his civil partner, Richard, live in Hong Kong.

Maram HABASH    

Group Diversity & Inclusion Manager
Standard Chartered Bank
Based in: Hong Kong

Maram Habash is 29, started her career in Finance when she joined the bank in 2001. At the young age of 25 she was appointed as Chief Financial Officer of SCB Jordan Branch for few years before moving to Singapore in 2006 as Senior Manager, Business Performance for South East Asia. Being proud of the great diversity of the bank and passionate about creating more inclusive culture within the bank she took the role of Group Diversity & Inclusion Manager in September 2007. She aspires to embrace diversity across the bank from a customer, community and workplace perspective and support the bank's journey in sustaining an inclusive and meritocratic high performing culture which will enable the bank to understand and serve its stakeholders better and position it as the preferred employer in its markets.

Avril HENRY    

Managing Director
Avril Henry Pty Ltd
Based in: Australia

Avril Henry graduated from the University of Cape Town in Accounting and Economics, migrating to Australia in 1980, with two suitcases, $500 and a dream to live freely and make a difference.

In 2003, Avril set up her own business, focusing on Public Speaking, Consulting and Executive Coaching in the areas of Leadership, People and Performance strategies. Avril has delivered keynote addresses to more than 30,000 people in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. She is regarded as one of Australia’s leading thinkers and speakers on Generational Diversity and Leadership.

During 2006, Avril completed a Ministerial Review for the Minister of Defence, into Recruitment and Retention in Army, Air Force and Navy. Many of the recommendations have been adopted by Cabinet. She has been appointed as a Strategic Advisor to the Chief of Navy and has joined the Navy's Workforce Planning Advisory Board, being the only female and civilian on the board.

Avril is the author of “Leadership Revelations: An Australian Perspective” and “The Who What When and Y of Generation Why?”  She is featured in the book “Secrets Exposed of Inspiring Leaders”, as one of Australia’s most inspiring female leaders. Her latest book released in 2007, is entitled “Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders Today: Breaking Down Generational Barriers At Work”.

Kimiko HORII    

Global Enhancement of Women’s Executive Leadership
Based in: Japan

Kimiko conducts various consulting services, training programs, and research projects to promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Japanese society. Prior to founding NPO GEWEL (Global Enhancement of Women’s Executive Leadership) with ten committed friends in 2003, Kimiko was National Sales Director at Avon where she managed over 700 sales managers and improved the sales revenue under a difficult economic environment. Active in professional and community organizations, she is a member of Tokyo Kiwanis Club and serves as head of Young Children Priority One program in Japan.

She received her Bachelor of Arts at Tokyo University.

Stuart KOE     

Based in: Singapore

Dr Stuart Koe is founder and CEO of Fridae, one of Asia’s largest gay and lesbian media companies. In 2000, he saw a desperate need for a reliable and credible media serving the gay and lesbian community in Asia. Fridae was thus born with a mission to “Empower Gay Asia”, providing a platform that bridges cultures, transcends geographical borders and unites the diverse communities.

Equal parts idealist and pragmatist, Stuart has made Fridae his life and passion. The press has referred to him as a “rare breed of entrepreneurial activist”, and he is respected by civil society as a strong advocate for human rights, most recently being one of three petitioners in a Parliamentary challenge to the constitutionality of the anti-sodomy statute 377A in Singapore.

Stuart is currently a Board member of Hong Kong’s Aids Concern, a founding Trustee of the Singapore’s Action for AIDS Endowment Fund, and a long time AIDS activist, having also served on the AfA’s Executive Committee for several years. He holds a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Minnesota, specialising in HIV therapy. Prior to founding Fridae in 2000, he worked at the Economic Development Board where he contributed to laying the groundwork which resulted in significant investments in the Life Sciences as a key pillar of the Singapore economy.

Alison LAM     

Pinsent Masons
Based in: Hong Kong

Alison Lam, acting in a voluntary capacity for Community Business, is a solicitor in the Projects & International Construction Group at Pinsent Masons. She was admitted as a solicitor in the UK in 2004 and in Hong Kong in 2007. Alison specialises in construction law and has experience in both dispute resolution and construction related work. In addition to her role as a solicitor, Alison is the CSR Leader of Pinsent Masons' Hong Kong office working closely with the management in driving the firm's CSR initiative, Starfish, forward. Alison was born in Hong Kong and was educated in the UK since the age of 11. She is fluent in both English and Cantonese. Her interests include snowboarding, wakeboarding, yoga, reading, travelling and voluntary work.

LIM Shoon Yin    

Senior Consultant, Diversity and Inclusion Practice
Based in: Singapore

Shoon Yin is a Senior Consultant in the Diversity & Inclusion Practice in Shell, based in the Asia Pacific. She leads Shell’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts in the region that are targeted at increasing the representation of local nationalities and women in leadership positions and at building a culture of inclusion. She believes that diversity and inclusion play a key role in increasing organisational capability to compete effectively in an increasingly global and diverse arena by enabling the full participation of all employees. Prior to joining the Diversity & Inclusion Practice, Shoon Yin held various business roles in Sales & Operations, Branding & Communications, and Planning in Shell Downstream Retail between 1998 and 2007. She graduated with a Bachelor in Business Administration with Honours from the National University of Singapore in 1998 and lives in Singapore together with her husband and 3 daughters.

Sabrina LIN    

Director, Sales Strategy and Planning
Based in: Hong Kong

Sabrina Lin is senior director of Cisco Strategy and Operations for the Asia Pacific region. She is responsible for identifying and developing growth strategies and new businesses, leveraging strategic alliances and investment portfolio, and ensuring operational execution and scaling across the region with particular focus on emerging countries (China, India, ASEAN).

Appointed to the role in 2006 and based in Hong Kong, Lin has been instrumental in driving Asia Pacific strategy, theater governance, cross-theater initiatives and investment trade-off decisions for growth, and tying strategy to execution and operational excellence in the region.

Before joining Cisco, Lin had held various senior management positions in Hewlett- Packard (HP) Development Company. She was Executive Director, Strategy and Planning for HP's Services and Emerging Countries Groups where she developed growth strategies and drove strategy-to-execution interlock across HP's businesses in mature and emerging markets, as well as across multiple customer segments.

Prior to HP, Lin was co-founder of two Silicon Valley start-ups engaged in educational software research, online training, and social networking. She also held various engineering management and university research and teaching roles.

Lin has both a PhD in Psychology and a master’s degree in Statistics from Stanford University in the US. A native of Hong Kong, Lin is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, with conversational skills in French and Spanish. She is married with four children.

B. C. LO

Vice President, Public Affairs
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Based in Hong Kong

Bing Chung (BC) Lo is the Vice President of Public Affairs of the Hong Kong Disneyland. He oversees government relations, external relations, community relations, media relations and internal communications.

Prior to joining Hong Kong Disneyland in July 2006, BC was a Corporate Communications Consultant for the Hong Kong Jockey Club working for the preparation of 2008 Olympic Equestrian Events held in Hong Kong. In addition, he ran his own agency, B.C. Lo & Associates, providing services for some of the world’s leading international brands, such as McDonald’s, KFC, Martell and Carrefour.

Before that, BC was employed at The Coca-Cola Company for 15 years, holding a series of management positions including 8 years as Vice President and Director of External Affairs for the Greater China region. He had overall responsibility for all corporate affairs and public relations activities for more than 30 bottling plants and regional offices. He started his career in journalism, at Ming Pao Daily, The Star and Sing Tao, spending a total of 8 years in the local print media.

Since 2001, he has been the part-time lecturer for the Post-graduate Integrated Marketing Communications Executive Program, jointly organized by the Hong Kong University and Tsinghua University. He teaches Marketing Public Relation course in the program at the Tsinghua University. Before that, he taught the same weekend course in Fudan University in Shanghai, Sun Yat Sun University in Guangzhou and Shejiang University in Hangzhou. He was elected as an Outstanding Teacher in March, 2006 by the School of Professional and Continuous Education of Hong Kong University.

BC was the Chairman of the Hong Kong region of the International Public Relations Association from 2001 to 2007; Life Member of International Association of Business Communicators; and a Director of China International Public Relations Association. He has been a member of the Wuhan Branch of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference since 1998.

Christine LOH    

Civic Exchange
Based in: Hong Kong

Christine Loh is well known for her wide-ranging intellect and ability to find practical solutions to problems. Her background in law, business, polictics, media and the non-profit sector has given her considerable knowledge and insight about how they work and has helped her to become a leading voice in public policy in Hong Kong. From 1991, Christine has anchored public affairs radio programs at various times. She has also presented a variety of TV programs apart from being the subject of many more. She is a much sought after public speaker. With Lisa Hopkinson she founded Civic Exchange in September 2000. Christine is responsible for charting the Civic Exchange’s long-term course. Christine is also a founding Director of Community Business.

Shalini MAHTANI    

CEO and Founder
Community Business
Based in: Hong Kong

Shalini Mahtani is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Community Business, a leading non-profit organisation in Hong Kong working with some of the world’s largest companies in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Shalini works with leadership in these companies on matters of CSR strategy for Asia, corporate community investment and diversity in the workplace. Shalini has written numerous publications and is a frequent speaker on these subjects. In 2005, Shalini was awarded the “Chief Executives Commendation for Community Service” by the Hong Kong Government for her contribution to the ethnic minorities of Hong Kong. In 2007, Shalini was named Asia 21 Young Leader by the United States’ Asia Society.

In a personal capacity, Shalini is External Diversity Advisor to Merrill Lynch in Asia Pacific and is a founding board director of The Women’s Foundation in Hong Kong. Shalini is also founder of the Suddhananda Vidyalaya Ammapettai School in Madras, India- a village school for first generation school attendees.

Before Community Business, Shalini had a career in accounting and banking. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics and is a Certified Public Accountant. She is married with two children.

Roman MATLA    

Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, Asia Pacific
Merrill Lynch International Bank Ltd.
Based in: Singapore

Roman Matla, Vice President and Divisional Diversity Manager at Merrill Lynch rejoined the Firm in December 2006 to help establish and deliver Merrill Lynch’s inaugural Diversity and Inclusion program across the Pacific Rim region. Prior to relocating to the region more than 7 years ago, Roman had worked in various technology management positions at Merrill Lynch in both the US and Canada.

Though he currently has a primary focus on Global Wealth Management across the Pacific Rim region, together Roman and team target their efforts across all divisions in the region and partner with their global colleagues to further the vision of an inclusive business rich in its mix of people, experiences, thoughts and perspectives.

He is an honours graduate of Business Administration at Humber College in Toronto, Canada and he and his partner Heather, an executive recruiter and his 10-year-old son Alex have made Singapore their home.

Andrew MCGREGOR    

Talent Development Director
PepsiCo International – Asia
Based in: Hong Kong

As Talent Development Director, Andrew is the lead I&D practitioner for PepsiCo International - Asia. With past experience as Chair of SenseWide, an Australian NGO supporting people with disability to engage in mainstream employment, and HR roles covering Asia from Australia, Hong Kong & Thailand, Andrew recognises the rich cultural, racial and ethnic diversity of Asia. Working closely with senior leadership, Andrew is actively raising I&D awareness and skill across PI - Asia's 23 countries. Andrew holds Master’s & Bachelor’s Degrees in Social Science.


ETAS, Digital Marketplace & New Media, IDC Asia/Pacific
Based in: Hong Kong

Claus Mortensen is the Principal for IDC's Emerging Technology Advisory Services – including the Digital Marketplace & New Media program. He is based in IDC's Asia/Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong. As a founding member of IDC's Emerging Technologies Council, Claus' main focus is to identify 'The Next Big Thing' in the ITC space as well as explore the impact of Web 2.0 and New Media in the Asian Digital Marketplace. He was previously Research Manager in IDC's Asia/Pacific Telecommunications research program with more than 8 years of experience in the area.

Claus holds a Master's degree in Law from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Sandra NG    

Human Resources Director
JW Marriott Hong Kong
Based in: Hong Kong

Sandra Ng has worked with JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong since 1991, and specialises in human resources and training. She is a Marriott International certified trainer for core management trainings.

As a 25-year veteran hotelier, Sandra has a wealth of experience, and has actively involved in many “Spirit to Serve Our Communities” projects including in 2005, she represented the hotel to attend the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) roundtable on disabilities and employment and spearhead the partnership between the hotel and Hong Chi Association.

Sandra leads a team of five. Her major focus is talent development within the hotel group.

Fern NGAI    

Head of Human Resources
Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong)
Based in: Hong Kong

Fern Ngai is the Head of Human Resources of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) and a member of the bank’s Executive Committee. She is responsible for leading and managing the HR function for the bank, which employs over 5,500 people and is the largest business in the Standard Chartered Bank Group. Fern is responsible for driving employee engagement and in enhancing the bank’s employer brand. In 2008, the company was recognised internationally as one of Gallup’s Great Workplaces and named the Employer of Choice in the Hong Kong HR Awards. Fern is the bank’s Diversity and Inclusion Champion for Hong Kong.

Teresa NORTON    

Managing Director
Norton Associates
Based in: Hong Kong

Teresa Norton’s career in executive coaching and strategic training is founded on over 20 years of live theatre, television, advertising, bilingual radio and international business experience.

Currently one of Asia Pacific’s most sought-after executive coaches and Managing Director of Norton Associates, Teresa provides strategic communications counsel to numerous multinational corporations in presentation skills, leadership and professional advancement training and surmounting sensitive cross-cultural communication challenges.

Through her Spotlight on Success series of workshops, Teresa has pioneered effective, theatrically directed, group training in Asia to enhance corporate communication skills. International corporate clients include Johnson and Johnson, Intel, Cisco, BP Asia Ltd, Wynn Resorts Macau, The Economist, Group M, Jardine Matheson Ltd., General Electric and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

Ms. Norton began her professional career in the theatre singing with the San Francisco Spring Opera. She left the Bay Area for Hawaii where she worked in radio and embarked on lucrative career in commercial voice-overs for radio and television commercials which continues to this day.

Throughout a radio career in which Teresa hosted the breakfast show that pioneered Hong Kong’s first and highly acclaimed ‘intelligent bilingual presentation’, Teresa maintained her ties to professional theatre, featuring in numerous professional productions, co-writing a series of satirical/musical revues for the Actors’ Rep, eventually forming her own theatre company, Caught In The Act.

In 1997, Teresa was invited to guest lecture at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Musical Theatre Department and also published a seven-year collection of her weekly columns for the South china Morning Post, Mixed Nuts.

Teresa is regularly invited to speak at international conferences about her unique approach to cross-cultural communication training, often offering concurrent workshops. Her warm, engaging style ensures that even the most staid audiences become actively involved in her presentations.

Ashok ROW KAVI    

Humsafar Trust
Based in: Mumbai

Ashok Row Kavi is an Indian journalist and one of India's most prominent LGBT rights activists. In a journalism career spanning 18 years, he worked in various newspapers and magazines, including India’s largest circulated newspaper ‘Malayala Manorama’, ‘Sunday Mail’ and ‘The Daily’. For six years he was also senior reporter covering Science and Technology in ‘The Indian Express’ group of newspapers.

In 1971, he started India's first Playboy clone, Debonair, with friend Anthony Van Braband and later in 1990, he founded Bombay Dost, Mumbai's first gay magazine. He was a representative at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam and served as chairman of the Second International Congress on AIDS. Currently, he is founder-chairperson of the Humsafar Trust, a male sexual health NGO, which also agitates for the legal emancipation of homosexuality in India.

Row Kavi was the first person (and for a long time the only person) to openly talk about homosexuality and gay rights in India. His first coming out interview appeared in Savvy magazine in 1986. Incidentally, his mother, Shobha Row Kavi, too gave an interview to the same magazine; it was the first time that a mother spoke about her son’s homosexuality to the Indian media.

In 1998, Row Kavi received a fellowship to design model questionnaires in the MSM sector at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS), University of California, San Francisco. Row Kavi has been a participant in various international and national fora, including the ICAAPs and the International HIV/AIDS Conferences, where he has made at least five oral presentations. As head of Humsafar, he has also organized the first ‘Looking into the Next Millennium’ conference of 32 MSM NGOs in Mumbai in May 2001 and co-organized the first ILGA-Asia conference in Mumbai in October 2002.

Row Kavi is also NGO representative, Executive Committee, Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS); member, Technical Resource Group, Targeted Interventions, National AIDS Control Organization (NACO); visiting faculty at Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences, the department of Clinical Psychology of the University of Mumbai, Nirmala Niketan, and the International Institute of Population Studies.

Saundarya RAJESH

Chief Executive
AVTAR Career Creators
Based in: India

Saundarya Rajesh is Chief Executive of AVTAR Career Creators, an ISO 9001:2000 certified Talent strategy consulting firm. She has spearheaded AVTAR I-WIN (Interim Women manager's Interface Network) - India's first National Registry of flexi-time women professionals which plays a very important role in the Diversity plans of companies such as Unilever, Thomson Reuters, Standard Chartered Bank & the Future Group, to name a few.

Jason RYAN

Director, Head, Australian Equity Risk & Head, Australian GELT
Merrill Lynch
Based in: Sydney

Jason Ryan is a Director of Equity Derivative Trading and head of Australian Equity Risk at Merrill Lynch. He is currently based in Sydney, Australia. Jason is an active member of Merrill Lynch’s regional Diversity and Inclusion Council as well as the inaugural regional head of Merrill’s first LGBT Professional Network in the Pacific Rim.

Jason joined Merrill Lynch (Hong Kong) in 1995 and was engaged in various derivative trading roles.

He is a New Zealand citizen, and also proudly holds a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card reflecting the decade he lived in Hong Kong.  Naturally he is an avid fan of Hong Kong and also refers to it as one of his “homes.”

He graduated from Auckland University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Commerce.  In 2002 completed a Post Graduate Diploma of Commerce.  During his final year Jason undertook some interest papers; Anthropology, Environmental Science and Psychology to name a few.

Jason is true to his ‘down-under’ sporting nature and loves water sports and motor sports.


VP Retail Sales and Operations East

Eli Santiago is Vice President for Retail Sales and Operations for the East covering the ASEAN countries, Hong Kong, Oman, Pakistan Australia, New Zealand and the Northern Pacific Islands. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Mapua Institute of Technology in the Philippines in 1971 and received his professional license as a Mechanical Engineer in the same year. He joined Shell at Tabangao Refinery in the Philippines in September 1971. He has held senior positions in the Philippines, Singapore, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and Thailand and was formerly Country Chairman in Thailand and then in the Philippines. Eli has a strong interest in the development of Asian leaders and sits on the Shell Asian Talent Council looking into the accelerated development and degree of representation of Asian talents in senior leadership within the Shell Group.

Roddy SHAW    

Principal Consultant
Responsible Competitiveness Roundtable (RCR)
Based in: Hong Kong

Roddy Shaw advises companies on equal opportunity policies and provides diversity and legal training. He is an active advocate for anti-discrimination law through his role as a working group member for the Equal Opportunities Bill (1996), co-convenor for Civil Human Rights Front (2002-2004), member of Ethnic Minorities Forum (2006-), Sexual Minorities Forum (2006-), Human Rights Forum (2006-), Public Affairs Forum (2005-2008), chairperson of Civil Rights for Sexual Diversities (1999-). Roddy co-authored the book The Visible Truth - Hong Kong Report on Equal Rights for LGBT People (in Chinese). In Roddy's earlier career, he worked for Mass Transit Railway Corporation and PCCW, and was a technology and management consultant for multinational corporations in Hong Kong, China and Southeast Asia. He graduated from University of Hong Kong (LLM in Human Rights; MA in Cultural and Literary Studies). He also obtained a BSc (Hons) in Computer Studies from City University of Hong Kong.

Bianca S.K. STRINGUINI    

Manager, Talent Development Diversity
American Express
Based in: Singapore

Bianca Stringuini's role in Amex is to:
  • Build Diversity and Inclusion awareness and skills internally by deploying current American Express portfolio of training tools and piloting new courses and customizing it for region.
  • Define what Diversity and Inclusion means in JAPA markets and establish key priorities for action. Displaying Diversity as a business strategy.
  • Establish American Express as a Diversity and Inclusion market leader in JAPA.

Bianca has worked in several sectors, such as fashion, banking and trading. Most recently she worked for the Singaporean Government in IE Singapore`s Brazil’s office being responsible for the promotion of trade between Singapore and South America overseeing Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

There her role covered the following activities:

  • Planned, organized and coordinated 6 business and 8 diplomatic meetings for the first visit of Deputy Prime Minister, Prof. Jayakumar, to Brazil. His visit further strengthened Brazil-Singapore diplomatic relations;
  • Organized and managed 6 commercial missions to Brazil, Argentina and Chile in the electronics, real estate, transport and logistics sectors in 2006. They generated 200 leads and 70 opportunities for Singapore companies amounting to S$45 million in total project value.

She led various cross-cultural Asian and Latin American business meetings and shared cultural differences in doing business with at least 60 Asian and Latin American companies.
Bianca is doing her Masters degree in International Business at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and has a Bachelor degree in International Affairs with an specialization in International Trade.
Bianca comes from a culturally diverse background; she is Brazilian and has a mix of Japanese, Italian, Austro-Hungarian and Spanish in her family having lived and worked in Italy and Argentina before.

Mara TENG    

Global Workforce Diversity, Integrated Services Team
IBM Asia Pacific
Based in: Hong Kong

Mara Teng has been named to the position as Director, Global Workforce Diversity, Integrated Services Team, of IBM Corporation in October, 2008, with responsibility for global Diversity strategy execution and program deployment to more than 100 countries across Asia Pacific, Japan, Europe, Latin America and Canada, including the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Prior to this role, Mara was the AP Director of Workforce Diversity for 2 years, and AP Director of Global Executive and Organization Development for two and half years, responsible for executive succession planning and organizational and leadership development in IBM.

Mara resides in Hong Kong and is a member of the Senior HR Management Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce. She also represents IBM as one of the founding members of the AP Diversity and Inclusion Network organized by Community Business in Hong Kong. Mara graduated with Honors Bachelor of Business Administration from Richard Ivey School of Business in Canada, and has completed the HR Executive Program from University of Michigan, USA.

Kate VERNON    

Managing Director
Community Business
Based in: Hong Kong

Kate has more than 14 years experience in business development, marketing and corporate social responsibility (CSR). She has held senior international marketing positions for global companies such as Reed Elsevier, Cable & Wireless and PeopleSoft.

Kate joined Community Business, a unique membership based non profit organisation whose mission is to lead, inspire and support businesses to continually improve their positive impact on people and communities, in 2005. She was responsible for the launch of the first Diversity & Inclusion in Asia conference and has co-authored a number of publications in the field of CSR and diversity.

In her current role as Managing Director of Community Business, Kate is responsible for the strategic development of the organisation and driving initiatives that raise awareness and understanding of CSR issues to member companies and the wider business community in Asia.

Kate received a First Class degree in Chinese Studies from Durham University in the UK and has spent many years living and working in Asia. Kate currently lives in Hong Kong with her husband and three children.

Susana VIDAL    

Marketing Manager Unified Communications,
Marketing Asia Pacific
Based in: Singapore

Susana Vidal is Product Marketing Manager for Unified Communications in the Asia Pacific region since July 2006. Susana’s role includes creating the product marketing strategy with focus on Collaboration, Rich Media Conferencing and Presence and driving Cisco's market share for Unified Communications in the region.

Before joining Cisco, Susana was the Program Manager for the Unified Communications practice at IDC. Susana has lived and worked in four different countries of the world including Peru, United States, Australia and Singapore. Susana enjoys learning languages (now learning French!), and doing sports, having recently completed her first Thiathlon in May 2008.

Christine WONG    

VP Human Resources
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Based in: Hong Kong

Christine Wong has been the Vice President, Human Resources, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort since 2006. In this capacity, she is responsible for the overall Human Resources strategy for Hong Kong Disneyland including Compensation and Benefits, Staffing, Learning and Development, Human Resources Services and Human Resources Systems.

Prior to the promotion, Christine was Director, Learning and Development, at the Resort. She joined Hong Kong Disneyland in 2003 and was the fourth person hired as the opening team of the park. Prior to joining Hong Kong Disneyland, Wong served for 10 years as Group Human Resources Director for Giordano International Co., Ltd with presence over 10 countries. She served as the Managing Director for Lau, Wong & Associates Consultants – a Giordano subsidiary that offers performance consulting. Previously, she served as a variety of finance leadership, training and operations manager positions for the Jardine Matheson Group.

Christine is a qualified accountant of United Kingdom and Hong Kong. She earned the MBA degree from Chinese University of Hong Kong, and holds a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration from Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Connie WONG    

Managing Director
CSW Associate Inc
Based in: United States

Connie Wong is the founder of CSW Associates Inc., a leading global consulting firm specialising in services addressing workforce diversity. CSW was established in 1990, and its consulting services can be provided worldwide. The firm’s drama-based interactive approach is a unique blend of socio-drama and improvisational theater that actively engages participants. This methodology has received acclaim across many industries, providing a powerful impact for management and staff. CSW has conducted hundreds of these interactive workshops with leading organizations and major universities globally. Connie is an accomplished public speaker and facilitator. She has appeared on ABC’s 20/20, NBC’s Dateline and in print outlets including Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, and Gannett newspapers. She has been interviewed on radio outlets such as NPR on topics including workplace diversity and cross-cultural diversity in global markets. Prior to starting CSW, Connie held executive positions in the financial services and airline industries.

Grace WONG    

Regional Head of Human Resources, Asia
Thomson Reuters
Based in: Singapore

Grace Wong is the Regional Head of Human Resources, Thomson Reuters Asia As a member of the Asia Leadership Team she provides HR leadership and acts as a business partner in setting the HR vision and strategic direction for the region. Grace manages a team of HR professionals across all 11 countries including the specialist functions.

Grace joined Reuters in June 2005 from Invensys PLC where she held the role of Regional Human Resources Director, Asia covering all APAC countries from India to Australia, with extensive experience in merger and acquisition activities.

Prior to Invensys, she has held similar positions in ABB.

Grace graduated from a British University and obtained a post graduate qualification in counselling.

K.Y. YIP    

General Manager
Johnson & Johnson Medical Hong Kong
Based in: Hong Kong

K Y has 22 years of experience in sales and marketing and general management with Johnson & Johnson. Starting in 1986 as product specialist with Janssen Pharmaceutica in Hong Kong, K Y gradually gained his experience in the pharmaceutical business and moved into a managerial role for the company’s Medical Diagnostic & Device business. In 1994, K Y relocated to Shanghai where he headed up the marketing department of Shanghai Johnson & Johnson, overseeing manufacturing, sales and marketing of OTC healthcare products in the PRC market. In 1997, K Y returned to Hong Kong and assumed the Franchise Director role for Johnson & Johnson’s Vision Care business in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In 2002, K Y became General Manager of Johnson & Johnson Medical Hong Kong. K Y treasures the value that diversity brings through his exposure to different operating units within Johnson & Johnson and developing his career from sales and marketing to general management.

See disclaimer.

 Presented by
Platinum Sponsors
community business logo cisco, johonson & johonson, merrill lynch, pepsico asia, shell, walt disney parks and resorts

Created by IT Sponsor Venue Sponsor Media Sponsor
Raven Talon Studios, hats off to Cliff Lui and Keith Chan! IBM JW marriott hong kong south china morning post