High-achieving Female Business & Thought Leaders Acclaimed at AmCham's Women of Influence Awards

HONG KONG, Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Six outstanding women, a business leader and an exceptional company were honored "Women of Influence" (WOI) Awards in recognition of their career accomplishments and their support for the empowerment of women at the 13th Women of Influence Conference & Awards held at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong on November 11.

Organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham), the WOI conference is one of the most established women's symposiums in the Asia Pacific region. The awards confer accolades to individuals and organizations who have achieved exceptional achievements and dedicated steadfast commitment to supporting female leadership in business.

Corresponding with this year's theme "Leading Change: Transforming ourselves, our organizations, our society", AmCham was delighted to have Dr. Rosanna Wong, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, as the event's opening keynote speaker, and Ms. Teresa Ko, Partner of the Hong Kong Office and China Chairman of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as the luncheon keynote speaker.

Dr. Wong remarked that inspiring leadership comprises elements of humbleness, trust and passion, and emphasized the importance of the expatriate community's commitment in making Hong Kong a truly metropolitan city with diversity and generosity. She added that building trust among people is essential for youth to nurture leadership in themselves. Ms. Ko noted that women should venture into their own areas of excellence despite multi-responsibilities between work and family for their contribution and influence to the community can be equally significant.

Concurrent breakout sessions were led by 14 business and thought influencers who shared their challenges and success stories on three themes: (1) Ourselves -- Increasing our self-awareness and leadership effectiveness (workshop) (2) Our Organizations -- Leading through complexity, and (3) Our Society -- Influencing wider societal change to enable opportunities for women and others.

The following outstanding awardees in eight categories were announced at the awards ceremony:

Professional of the Year
Stephanie Hui
Head of Merchant Banking (APAC Ex-Japan), Goldman Sachs

Stephanie plays a key influential role at Goldman Sachs, overseeing and driving the firm's strategy and leadership decisions by actively serving on multiple committees across the Asian Region. As one of the few women globally leading a multi-billion dollar private equity business traditionally dominated by men, Stephanie is an influential and leading professional and a true champion for women both at Goldman Sachs and in the broader community in Hong Kong. Under her leadership, the team has made significant long-term private equity investments in leading companies across Asia. Outside of her work she serves as mentor to many young talented women and advocates for diversity in the workplace.

Entrepreneur of the Year
Lori Granito
Managing Director, Go Gourmet Group of Companies
Culinary Incubator, Kitchen Sync

Lori Granito is the co-founder of Kitchen Sync, Hong Kong's first culinary incubator for startup food entrepreneurs. The ongoing success of her companies is directly attributable to her vision, energy and skills. In her previous experience, she was a food consultant for five-star hotels in the Asian region and was the owner of innovative restaurants in the US and Hong Kong. She was featured on a TEDx talk about being a mother and entrepreneur and is being recognized as a real community leader not only with recognized achievements but also one whose work with people in real need of help is unprecedented.

Non-Profit Leader of the Year
Jenny Bowen
Founder & CEO, OneSky for All Children

Jenny Bowen's efforts in serving orphaned and abandoned children in China and other countries can be seen through her leadership at OneSky, a global NGO providing innovative programs offering cost-effective, scalable models for providing nurturing family like care and enrichment opportunities for the world's most vulnerable children. OneSky works closely with government partners at all levels and its Model for Children in Orphanages has had a far-reaching effect on China's social welfare system. Jenny is committed to training and promoting women from local communities; since 1998 OneSky has trained 13,000 women and continues to provide them with professional development opportunities. OneSky's programme has become the gold standard for care of initialized children and Jenny has been recognized as the most inspirational and impactful social entrepreneur working today in China.

Master of the Arts
Sandra L. Walters
Director, Sandra Walters Consultancy Ltd.

Sandra Walters has been active in the arts scene of Hong Kong and South East Asia for more than three decades. As owner and director of Sandra Walters Consultancy, she has worked for more than 20 years to implement comprehensive art programs for five-star hotels and leading financial institutions across the Asian continent. She served as the first female president for the Rotary International Club in 2001-02. She also published numerous catalogues and was invited as guest speaker and panelist to many events. In 1988 she was the recipient of the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, presented by the Ministry of Culture of the French Government June.

Young Achiever of the Year
Sandra Leung
COO, Market Development Division, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd.

As one of the youngest Senior VPs at HKEX, and COO of Market Development Division, Sandra managed to establish different effective systems and policies, with a great impact on the division and the firm. Outside of the work environment she is involved in mentoring activities and giving back to the community by serving as a Board Member and CFO for Time Auction and a Fundraising Committee Member of KELY. As an amateur chef, she volunteers for Food Angel and Food Link to combat food waste. Her next plans include starting a social venture to tackle elderly issues and give back to the community.

Lifetime Achievement
Anson Chan, GBM, GCMG, CBE, JP
Former Secretary for Administration, HKSAR

Anson Chan reached the pinnacle of achievement in the Hong Kong Government by becoming the first woman and the first Chinese to become head of the Civil Service. During her years as a senior member of the Administrative Service, she demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities, combined with absolute integrity and refusal to compromise her principles. Whilst in the civil service she placed great importance on mentoring younger female colleagues and helping to prepare them for promotion and higher responsibilities. For years after retirement she maintained active acting as a mentor of her former school's students. She speaks regularly in public on women's issues, in particular the importance of equal educational opportunities for girls and the need to support victims of sexual violence.

The following winners for two award categories were also honored:

Champion for the Advancement of Women
Ben Way
CEO, Macquarie Group Asia

Ben Way is a passionate champion of the belief that diversity is fundamental to Macquarie's success. After taking the position of Asia CEO in 2014 he established the Senior Female Leader networking groups across Macquarie's businesses in Asia. He also established employee network groups focusing on gender equality and diversity. He implemented "Unconscious Bias" training and a mentoring program across Asia for female and local talents. Outside of work, he is also member of different organizations that contribute to the advancement of women in the society and is regularly invited to speak to events championing diversity.

Best Company for Women
Marriott International

With its regional headquarters in Hong Kong, Marriott International provides opportunities to create a diverse and inclusive environment to strengthen its company culture and give it competitive advantage. They were the first to establish a Women's Leadership Development Initiative (WDLI). Almost 60% of management positions are held by women. Through its female leaders in Asia, Marriott demonstrates that it has the leadership focus and representation to guide and maintain a gender balance workforce. In addition, its commitment to women-owned businesses in their supply chain shows that its focus extends to its external partners, ensuring that it has a broad effect on the business ecosystem.

This is the thirteenth year since AmCham founded and spearheaded this much-anticipated annual event. This year's event was generously sponsored by Stamford American School, BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs, Thomson Reuters, Harvest Global Investments, PVH, White & Case, CUHK Business School, Dell, Eversheds, JLL, Regal Springs, Deloitte, Pernod Ricard, and HLT. Other supporting organizations include The Women's Foundation, W Hub, Financial Times (Official News Media), Facebook (Official Social Media Partner), PRNewswire (Official Newswire Partner) and HR Magazine.

More than 70 nominations for the Awards were received from June to September this year. A panel of 31 judges reviewed this year's nominations.

Co-Chiefs of the Judging Panel
-          Ms. Abbi DeLessio, Senior Consultant -- Asia Pacific, Triangle Associates
-          Ms. Anne LeBourgeois, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Hamilton Advisors
-          Ms. Anne O'Riordan, Senior Managing Director, Global Life Sciences, Accenture

Distinguished Judges
-          Ms. Stella Abraham, National Director, Head of Residential Leasing & Relocation Services, HK, JLL
-          Mr. Brian Brenner, Regional Director & Head of Tenant Representation Hong Kong Markets, JLL
-          Ms. Rachel Chan, Founder and Chief Analyst, InnoFoco
-          Ms. Fangfang Chen, SVP, Chief Administrative Officer, Head of Strategy, APAC, State Street 
-          Ms. Diana David, Financial Times / Sarana Capital
-          Ms. Rachel Farrell, Managing Director, Head of Sovereign and Institutional, Asia Pacific ex Japan, 
           J.P.Morgan Asset Management
-          Mr. Thomas Gorman, Senior Advisor, FORTUNE China, CCI Asia-Pacific Ltd.
-          Ms. Joanna Hotung, Founder & CEO, KG Group
-          Ms. Susan D. Hutchison, Head of Human Resources APAC, KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts)
-          Ms. May Knight, Managing Director, Financial Services, Asia Pacific, Accenture
-          Ms. Kirti Lad, Lead Consultant, Director -- Asia Pacific and Member of the Global Technology and 
           Board Practice, Harvey Nash Executive Branch
-          Ms. Christine Lam, CEO, Citi China
-          Ms. Eunei Lee, Board Director, Asia Art Archive
-          Mr. Ignacio Lopez, SVP, Global Sourcing, Walmart
-          Ms. Belinda Lui, Managing Director, Public Policy, Asia Pacific, Time Warner Inc.
-          Ms. Esther Ma, CEO & Founder, Prestique Ltd.
-          Ms. Shalini Mahtani, MBE, Founder Hospital Advisor & Founder The Zubin Foundation
-          Ms. Adriana Alvarez-Nichol, Founder, Puerta Roja Limited
-          Ms. Annika Payn, Head of Brand Management, APAC, Group Marketing & Communications, 
           Zurich Insurance (Hong Kong)
-          Ms. May Tan, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank (HK) Ltd.
-          Ms. Elizabeth Thomson, Chairwoman and Founder, The Amber Foundation Ltd.
-          Ms. Su-Mei Thompson, CEO, The Women's Foundation
-          Ms. Janelle Tong, Marketing Director, Pernod Ricard Asia
-          Ms. Jennifer Van Dale, Partner, Eversheds
-          Ms. Nancy Yang, Executive Director, Asian Charity Services
-          Ms. Elaine Young, CEO, ECY Consulting Ltd.
-          Dr. Andrew Yuen, Chairman of the Board, Le French May
-          Ms. Catherine Zhu, Partner, Egon Zehnder


Opening Keynote
Dr. Rosanna Wong, DBE, JP, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

Luncheon Keynote
Ms. Teresa Ko, Partner, Hong Kong Office and China Chairman, Freshfields Bruckhaus Designer

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Panel 1: Ourselves - Increasing our self-awareness and leadership effectiveness (Workshop)
-          Divya Ahluwalia, Templar Advisors
-          Rina Hiranand, Strategy Director, social @Ogilvy Hong Kong (Facilitator)
-          Helene Liu, Executive Director, The Beauty Group (Introducer)                  

Panel 2: Our Organizations -- Leading through complexity
-          Vivian Cheung, Deputy Director, Airport Operations, Airport Authority Hong Kong
-          Sammi Cho, Chief Executive Hong Kong Branch, Chief Operating Officer Asia Pacific Region, 
           BNY Mellon
-          Marybeth Hays, Chief Merchandising, Marketing & Supply Chain Officer, Walmart China
-          Christina Ma, Head of Greater China Equity Sales, Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC
-          Daphne Yiu, PhD, Professor and Chairperson, Department of Management, CUHK Business
           School, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
-          Anne O'Riordan, Senior Managing Director -- Global Life Sciences, Accenture (Moderator)

Panel 3: Our Society -- Influencing wider societal change to enable opportunities for women and others
-          Joanna Bowers, Director, Cheeky Monkey Productions Asia Ltd.
-          Kathleen Ferrier, Co- Founder, Bright Hong Kong
-          Shalini Mahtani, MBE, Founder, The Zubin Foundation and Hospital Advisor
-          Vanina de Verneuil, General Counsel, Reliance Communications (Enterprise) & Global Cloud 
-          Alia Eyres, CEO, Mother's Choice (Moderator)

Ms. Queenie Tsui
Assistant Manager, Government Relations & Public Affairs
Tel: (852) 2530 6914


With close to 1,600 members, the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham) is one of the largest American Chambers outside the United States, the largest international chamber in Hong Kong, and one of the most dynamic and influential international business organizations in the Asia-Pacific region. AmCham's mission is to foster commerce among the United States, Hong Kong, and Mainland China; and to enhance Hong Kong's stature as an international business center.

Source: The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong