Mark Wen: Keeping health on a par with profit
Updated: 2014-05-02 10:53
By Linda Deng in Seattle (China Daily USA)
"I have always wanted to go the extra mile in order to contribute to the local Chinese community, and half of my time and expertise goes to the good health of our community and the other half to promote global business," said Mark Wen, an experienced global business expert and present president of the Washington State China Chamberof Commerce.
After graduating from university, Wen found a position at the ministry of machine building of China in Beijing. "As foreign affairs director, I became more and more fascinated by international business and trade and decided to apply for an MBA program in the US," Wen said, recalling how he gave up a decent career and life in Beijing to come to the US in early 1980s.
Educated both in the US and China, Wen has been actively involved with international medical services and global healthcare for more than 20 years.
In the early 1990s, Wen helped Virginia Mason Medical Center establish an international health clinic, providing language and culturally sensitive care to Greater Seattle's Asian population and patients from foreign countries.
Wen also served as executive director of Stanford University Hospital International Medical Services. In this role, he was responsible for all of Stanford University Hospital's international patient services, medical exchange programs, international intern/observer programs and global patient referral networks.
As an international healthcare consultant, Wen has also been a resident consultant for the Swedish Medical Center since 1998 after he moved to Seattle the same year.
Wen is passionate about cross-culture healthcare and often volunteers his time at Seattle International Community Clinics, where he has served on the board since 2002 and is a member of the board's executive committeefor international community health services, a nonprofit community health center that offers affordable healthcare services to Seattle and King County's Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. The organization began in 1973 as a small storefront clinic in Seattle's international district. Today it is the largest Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community health center in Washington State.
Now Wen is responsible for the Port of Seattle's commercial strategy with a focus on exports in the agriculture and food industry.
As an expert in global business and trade, Wen is very optimistic about Washington State's strong business ties with China.
"Boeing's airplanes account for almost 35 percent to 40 percent of Washington's exports. However, more than 50 percent of our containerized exports by sea are our agricultural commodities, such as hay, apples, soybeans and wheat, plus timber, fish and vegetables. In 2012, hay (alfalfa only) exports to China exceeded 30,000 TEUs with an estimated value of more than $130 million. The state's exports are strongly tied to China," Wen said.
Wen was CEO of AMMEX CHINA/COO Global Sourcing from 2004 to 2007 in Shanghai, managing more than 1,000 employees with a total of 400 million yuan in annual sales. He also founded a number of joint ventures and wholly owned enterprises in China, covering different industries from import and export, wholesale products, to consulting services. In 1993, he started the first Sino-US joint healthclub inShenzhen.
With his knowledge and networking in China, Wen has for a long time been planning to build a platform to promote global businesses, especially between China and Washington State.
"I am really dedicated to promoting the bilateral business and trade relationship between Washington State and China, and will finally make the plan a reality," Wen said.
Wen founded the Washington State China Chamber of Commerce, a business organization in 2012. Now the chamber has more than 2,400 registered members from the Greater Seattle area.
The chamber provides a wide range of resources and a platform for all of its members to develop business relations and formbusiness alliances with China. Their recent meet-up called "B2C E-commerce Revolution in China: Opportunities for US Exporters" in February featured two global business development team leaders from Tmall and drew large crowds from local business circles and the state government.
Wen never hesitates to contribute his time and resources to all kinds of community programs and activities.
"My personal experience integrating into American society made me think of how to help new immigrants and investors gain business success. On the other hand, I hope to help local businessmen understand the Chinese market and culture better, connecting with the global business world," Wen said.
During the WTO ministerial conference hosted in Seattle in 1999, which was to be the launch of a new millennial round of trade negotiations, Wengot actively involved in volunteer services, recruiting, training and managing more than 2,700 volunteers and hosting VIP delegations.
He has served as a guest lecturer and speaker at the Seattle University Global Business Center and University of Washington since 2009, been a board member of the Seattle Chinese Garden since 2010 and was a member of the International Trade Club from 1998 to 2010.
Wen also donates regularly to the Seattle Chinese Garden, the Hong Kong Association,Seattle Children's Hospitaland other local services dedicated to improving community health.
Mark Wen and his family. From right: Mark Wen, Wen's song Andy Wen and Wen's wife Diana Sampson. Provided to China Daily
(China Daily USA 05/02/2014 page11)