AmCham Shanghai hosted its fifth annual Future Leaders of the Year awards on August 11, recognizing some of the city's most innovative young professionals. This year's awards recognized individuals who have made unique, socially conscious, and exciting contributions to Shanghai's business community and who have shown a dedication to using their talents to improve the world around them. We are excited to announce that our 2020 winners are Li Zhang of RADII China for the Future Leader Award, Jill Tang of Ladies Who Tech for the Social Impact Award, and Weiqi Zhang of Blue Oak Education Group for the Entrepreneurship Award.
Our three winners were chosen out of nine finalists, and in three categories: Future Leader of the Year Award, Social Impact Award, and Entrepreneurship Award. Chamber members and non-members were invited to apply and nominees were accepted from both self-nominations and those submitted by colleagues, supervisors, or others. Nominees were accepted from any industry, but were required to be under the age of 41.
Finalists for the Future Leader of the Year Award included Jacob Thomas, Founder and CEO of Maker Sustainability Consulting, Howard Wang, Managing Director of Hill & Associates (PRC) Ltd., and Li Zhang, President of independent media platform RADII China. Social Impact Award finalists included Paddy Robertson, CEO of Smart Air Filters (Beijing) Technology Ltd., Jill Tang, co-founder of the organization Ladies Who Tech, and Ana Teresa Pereira Terra, Managing Partner of fresh food supplier Goma Greens. The finalists for the Entrepreneurship Award were Chen Ling, founder and Design Principal of Studiolite Design Consultant, Neo Nie, CEO of HEYTEA / Shenzhen Meixixi Catering Management Co., Ltd., and Weiqi Zhang, founder and CEO of Blue Oak Education Group.
This year's nominees included individuals from an exciting variety of backgrounds, each deeply involved in cutting-edge work within their industries. The judge's panel consisted of five individuals: AmCham Shanghai Chairman and NYU Shanghai Vice-Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman, Citibank CEO Christine Lam, James Chou, Managing Director and CEO of Microsoft for Startups Shanghai, Hongfei Zheng, Managing Director of Cargill Animal Nutrition and Health, and Amanda Zheng, Founder and CEO of Impact Bread.
Nominees were judged on detailed criteria, ranging from their leadership skills and vision for their long-term professional goals to the scalability of their business designs and commitment to give back to their communities. The nine finalists had the opportunity to present their work before the AmCham community on August 11, describing their backgrounds and passion for their careers. Chamber members then voted in real-time to decide the winners.
Winners are granted two complimentary tickets to any AmCham Shanghai conference, a 10,000 RMB AmCham Shanghai training credit and recognition across AmCham's online platforms as well as in Insight magazine. This year's winners represent the very best of Shanghai's vibrant young business community, and we are thrilled to celebrate them as Future Leader Award winners.
As the president of independent media group RADII China, Future Leader Award winner Li Zhang works to authentically amplify Chinese voices. Serving in her role since November 2019, Zhang aims to build a bridge between China and the world, a goal she's achieving at RADII, which reaches roughly one million users each week. Zhang hopes to use storytelling to change the world's perception of China and to recognize the country's vibrant and diverse culture.
Social Impact Award winner Jill Tang is the co-founder of the social enterprise Ladies Who Tech, an organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in the STEM industry. Ladies Who Tech uses recruitment, education, and events to build a community of women working in a wide variety of STEM professions and to celebrate gender diversity. With over 30,000 members throughout China and Southeast Asia, the organization aims to change the status quo in the industry and bring women together.
Entrepreneurship Award winner Weiqi Zhang founded Blue Oak Education Group as a way to bring international education resources and opportunities to students and their families across China. Blue Oak's social network platforms reach nearly one million parents daily, and the group also offers three international education programs to students in Shanghai and Chongqing. At Blue Oak, Zhang's goal is to help Chinese students seize educational opportunities and prepare them to succeed in the professional world.
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