AmCham Shanghai announced the winners of the 2018 Future Leaders of the Year Awards, held at the Four Seasons Hotel on August 7.
This is the third annual Future Leaders of the Year Awards, which recognizes young trailblazers in the community, whether through contributions to the community, success in their professional careers, or starting their own entrepreneurial ventures.
The awards were launched back in May, followed by a two-month nomination process, where we accepted applications in three main categories: Future Leader, Entrepreneurship and Social Impact.
We accepted candidates both through self-nominations as well as nominations from supervisors, employers, colleagues and friends. We invited both members and non-members of AmCham Shanghai to participate. Our only criterion was that nominees be young professionals, under the age of 39.
The online nomination process gave applicants the opportunity to share their bios, LinkedIn profiles, and cases for why they thought they fit the criteria of the award they were applying for. We were excited to receive so many highly qualified applicants!
Our judges spent hours and hours evaluating all nominees and scoring them according to detailed criteria to select the winners. They said it was “a tough job selecting winners from all the competitive candidates they had received.” Here are the three winners of the 2018 Future Leaders of the Year Awards:
Liang Sun, Founder and CEO, Generate Ltd/ Snackeroo Ltd
Liang has been the Founder and Owner of Generate Ltd., a managed network of independent sales associates that serves medium-sized European companies generating sales and extending market reach in China, and it also facilitates blue chip Chinese companies on their expansion in Europe. In addition, Generate has its own trading company which specialises in creating and managing distribution networks through independent proven sales performers based on success only.
Generate is experienced in the environmental, new technology, new materials, new process, information and communication technology, food and other high-growth sectors.
As Generate grow, requested by his Chinese and European clients, Liang is currently in the process of setting up a new trading company in Brussels, Belgium – Generate Bvba., for business development, project delivery, and liaison with Generate’s representatives in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Frankfurt and Zurich.
Born and raised in Shanghai, Liang is English- Mandarin Chinese bilingual, and he holds master degrees holder from Fordham University in New York, Antwerp Management School and Shanghai Maritime University. He has been a Corporate Member at the Benelux Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai; Mentor Support – Shanghai Jiaotong University International MBA Program; Chairman, Antwerp Management School Alumni Shanghai Chapter; and Member - Shanghai Overseas Returned Scholars Association.
Yinan (Amanda) Zheng, Principal, China Impact Ventures
Amanda Zheng is Principal of China Impact Ventures (CIV), an impact investment fund focusing on energy innovations, sustainable mobility and smart agriculture, with the vision to leverage China’s innovations to impact the entire developing world.
Amanda is a critical founding member of China Impact Ventures, which was transformed and upgraded from China Energy Incubator (CEI), an initiative co-founded by Transist Impact Labs and Shell Foundation; and she was the lead manager of CEI while serving Transist Impact Labs as Director. Transist Impact Labs is a pioneering impact investing firm managing portfolios in China, the U.S. and Israel.
Amanda started her career at Morgan Stanley IBD in Hong Kong. En route to realizing her passion and aspiration to develop China’s impact investing ecosystem, she served at multiple impact investment organizations in East Asia. Amanda holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard Kennedy School and was awarded the Dubin Emerging Leaders Fellowship from the Center of Public Leadership of the Kennedy School.
Marina Kalnitski, Senior Director, Head of Project Development Service East & Central China, Taicang Inclusion Factory
Marina is a social activist focusing on the empowerment of individuals with disabilities through education, skills development and occupational therapy. Marina’s longtime passion and goals in life are to show that people with disabilities deserve an equal and respectful place in our society.
Marina has been active in promoting this ambitious goal of providing people with disabilities the support and platform to exhibit their skills using employment as a tool for re-integration into society.
For the past three years, Marina has managed a pioneering China-wide social project: The Taicang Inclusion Factory. The inclusion project provides real and meaningful vocational training and employment for people with intellectual and mental disabilities. Marina’s latest achievements include:
- 22 people with intellectual and mental disabilities have been recruited at multinational companies.
- Drawing attention from political delegations visiting the project with the aim of exploring opportunities for opening similar factories within other provinces.
- Lobbying for a legislation change which will secure governmental support and funding to similar projects.
- Facilitating unique awareness-raising seminars among middle management and members in multinational companies, with the aim to prepare the ground for their companies to become an “inclusive operation.”
Marina also started and is currently leading the Social Inclusion Academy [SIA], a three-month training program for the certification of Social Workers to support the integration of challenged individuals into China’s workforce and consequently into the Chinese society.
The Social Inclusion Academy is currently conducting yearly training for students from the Nanjing Special Education University, working in cooperation with Tongji University, East China Normal University, and many more supporters, for the professional training of young Chinese students, who will help turn a dream into a reality. [more info on the Academy could be found here - http://social-inclusion-academy.com]
It is worth mentioning that in order to create a program at the highest level, Marina has decided to pursue deep understanding of the relevant theoretical knowledge, which will enhance her practical expertise; and is therefore graduation these days her Ed. M in Diversity and Equity in Education from University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.
That is Marina in a Nut-shell a super dedicated social entrepreneur, which has a proven social impact behind her, and a bright future ahead, as she continues to influence more and more lives in her quest to make this a better world – for all of us.