2016 SAUPO Atlanta

The 2016 Symposium on ASIA-USA Partnership Opportunities (SAUPO) took place on Friday, April 22, 2016 at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center in Atlanta, Georgia.


  • Mr. Greg Agvent, Sr. Director News Operations, CNN

    Mr. Brian Bieron, Executive Director, Public Policy Lab, eBay Inc.


    Mr. Raymond Cheng, President & CEO, SoZo Solutions (Huawei VAP)


    Ms. Estrella Cramer, UPS Global Procurement Finance Manager & Asian American Business Resource Group


    Dr. Thomas Currin, Professor & Dean, Southen Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology


    Mr. Sandeep Dadlani, Executive Vice President, Infosys Global Ltd


    Mr. Yoshi Domoto, Executive Director, Japan-America Society of Georgia


    Dr. Robin Dorff, Dean, CHSS, Kennesaw State University


    Dr. Ken Harmon, Provost and VPAA, Kennesaw State University


    Mr. Paul Jenkins, Marvel Comics


    Mr. Adil Kabani, Private Equity Associate, Overseas Private Investment Corporation


    Mr. Alan King, VP of Sales, Eastern Region, Yingli Green Energy Americas


    Mr. David Kirk, President & CEO, Murata Electronics


    Mr. Patrick Kirwan, Director, Trade Promotion CC, U.S. Dept. of Commerce


    Ms. Lola Kress, White House Initiative on AAPIs regional network


    Ms. Lucy Lu, Global Managing Partner, Lucy Lu & Associates


    Mr. Jim McGee, Sr. Director Government Relations, Huawei Technologies USA, Inc.


    Mr. Norikazu Mori, Chief Executive Director, Japan External Trade Organization


    Mr. Michael Mylrea, U.S. Dept. of Energy & Pacific Northwest National Lab


    Ms. Julia Nesheiwat, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. State Department


    Mr. Brett O'Brien, Managing Director, The Glover Park Group


    Ms. Masae Okura, Partner, Fisher Broyles


    Ms. Natalie Oldfield, President, Success Through Trust (Canada)


    Mr. Dan Ponder, Mayor, City of Donalsonville, GA; Former State Rep of GA


    The Honorable Li Qiangmin, Consul General of China in Houston


    Ms. Cyrstal Rhodes, Director of Operations, Kids’R’Kids China


    Dr. Kat Schwaig, Dean, Coles College of Business, Kennesaw State University


    The Honorable Takashi Shinozuka, Consul General of Japan in Atlanta


    Ms. Marcy Sperry, Trademark/IP Attorney, The Sladkus Law Group


    Mr. Michael Sullivan, Managing Partner, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP.


    Mr. Phil Thompson, Partner, Moore Ingram Johnson & Steele, LLP


    Mr. John Wheeler, Global Leader for Security Service, IBM


    Mr. Henry Yu, Executive Director, Asian Investors Consortium


  • Dr. May Gao, I can't thank you enough for inviting me to SAUPO this year. This is a first rate conference and I was happy to be a part of it. Your energy is infectious and your passion is contagious. Please let me know if I can be of help and I am very much looking forward to seeing you at SAUPO 2017, if not sooner. ---- Brendan Tate, International Affairs Specialist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Interior

    It was an honor to be part of the SAUPO conference and a speaker on the Global Branding panel with May Gao, Brian Bieron, Marcy Sperry, Brett O'Brien, Norikazu Mori, myself and moderator Kat Schwaig. ---- Natalie Doyle Oldfield, President, Success Through Trust

    May, Just a quick note to thank you for your outstanding hospitality during SAUPO. I am really impressed with how far you and your team have moved SAUPO. This year's lineup of panelists and speakers was outstanding and what a great variety of experiences. Looking forward to seeing where this program goes in the next five years. Thanks and again, excellent job!! ---- Jim McGee, Sr. Director Government Relations, Huawei Technologies USA, Inc.

    UPS is a long-time supporter of SAUPO and we congratulate Dr. May Gao and her team for the success of the 2016 SAUPO Conference in Atlanta.  It is a privilege to be inducted as a Kennesaw State University Asian Studies Advisory Board New Member during the afternoon ceremony.  The 2016 SAUPO conference lived up to being the largest Asia business conference in the U.S. serving as a global platform for dialogues among its attendees of business leaders, scholars, diplomats, policymakers and community leaders.  Looking forward to the 2017 SAUPO conference on April 14, 2017. ---- Estrella Cramer – UPS Supplier Diversity Director, GBS Procurement Group - United Parcel Service

    May, Congratulations, another great year and event, sorry I could not stay till the end. In addition let’s connect sometime in June so we can chat about some connections. Next year we can bring someone down as a speaker from our GT China/Japan desk in the US. ----Vikram Das, Managing Director, Grant Thornton LLP

    Dear Dr. Gao, I had the pleasure to talk to you during the SAUPO conference last Friday. Dr. Ying Zhu recommended me to attend the SAUPO. I want to thank you for the eye-opening opportunity. ---- Yuan (Onon) Lu, Intern at the Carter Center, Greater Atlanta Area.

    Hi May: GREAT SAUPO!! We’ll need to see if we can set up some follow-on contact with the Chinese investor who came to SAUPO. My guests really enjoyed the time at SAUPO, and they are already in conversation with connections they made. ---- Robin Dorff, Ph.D., Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, Kennesaw State University

    May, Thank you so much for inviting me to the conference today. It was great. I'd love to be involved next year.  I met several people and am excited about the connection. ---- Beth Wright, Director of Admissions, North Cobb Christian School

    Dear Professor Gao, Thank you so much for inviting me to attend today's SAUPO conference. I was so impressed with the variety of topics presented, and the speakers were all so engaging. I am glad that YKK's name was associated with this event, and I wish you every success going forward! ---- Jessica Kennett Cork, Director of Public Relations and Corporate Communications, YKK Corporation of America 

    Dr. Gao, The global Asia business platform of SAUPO is very helpful for my business. The conference has provided me critical business connections, as well as convenience in hiring your students. ---- Frank Su, President, Kids’R’Kids China

    Dr. Gao, Working for SAUPO was very enjoyable, and I met several individuals whom I hope to learn from. It was truly a great experience and I am very thankful and fortunate to have attended. ---- Paymon Kashani, MA in Integrated Global Communication graduate student, Kennesaw State University

    Good morning, Dr. Gao, Congratulations again for the successful SAUPO event! I stayed at 2016 SAUPO from the morning till night and enjoyed a lot. Thank you for the nice event and time. ---- Yuni Park, Asian Studies Instructor, Kennesaw State University

    Dear Dr. Gao, Well done!  I thoroughly enjoyed the program and made some good connections with decision makers from companies that are doing business all over the world.  I look forward to participating in next year’s program. Thank you for an excellent job in pulling together a top-notch program.  I know it is not as easy as you make it look! ---- Catherine K. Garces, Senior Sales Executive | Southeast US, Fly Emirates

    Dear Ms. Gao, My name is Randee Comstock and I am a senior at KSU studying international business. I just wanted to thank you for all of the hard effort you and your committee put into creating a wonderful event. I am studying Japanese and am interested in doing business in East Asia so I found the days activities to be invaluable and enlightening. I particularly enjoyed all of the time dedicated to meeting business professionals and the wonderful catered lunch. Again, thank you so much for your time and talents. ---- Randee Comstock, undergraduate student at Kennesaw State University

    Dear Dr. Gao, Hello! My name is Suporna, and I'm the IA major (minoring in Asian Studies) whom you ran into a few times today during the SAUPO conference. I just wanted to thank you for spearheading such a remarkable symposium and providing even a student like me such wonderful opportunities to network and grow. I eagerly look forward to communicating with you as I progress with my degree, and I also cannot wait for next year's conference! Thank you so much again! ---- Suporna Chaudhuri, Sophomore student, Kennesaw State University

    Hi May, Congrats on another successful conference. Most of the attendees enjoy the panels and learn from the conference. Your hard work pays off. ---- Li Wong, Publisher & CEO, Georgia Asian Times

    May, If you would remember, we met at the SAUPO networking reception last week.  I was there as  Robin’s guest and thoroughly enjoyed the conference and appreciate being invited.  Of course, I believe that there are many opportunities for our countries to work together in a mutually beneficial partnership.  I had the chance to meet with Cinderella and Frank both of whom were very gracious to me.  I felt like we made a connection that could be valuable in the future.  Both of them invited me to come to China to see their country and organizations and see how we might work together.  I think that would be most interesting but would have to see how that might be arranged given work and travel schedules. Bill Beddingfield, Partner, Redemption Partners LLC

    Hello Dr. Gao, It was such a pleasure meeting with you today at SAUPO. Thank you for hosting this wonderful event. This was my first year attending and it was my privilege to be a part. I would like more information about enrolling into the Doing Business with Asia Certificate. Any information that you can provide would be greatly appreciated. ---- Tia Boone

    May, I enjoyed the SAUPO although I couldn’t stay the entire time. Another terrific conference! It’s great to see new relationships being forged between the US and Asia, and particularly, relationships based in Atlanta. ---- Tri Phan, AT&T Mobility