February 23rd, 2015

California Center Vice President, Gordon Hinkle with BRIAN WONG, Alibaba Vice President, Office of the Chairman

1990 Institute Special Event – Globalizing China’s Largest Internet Company (San Francisco, Monday, February 23rd, 2015)


Gordon Hinkle(right), VP of California Center with Brian Wong, Alibaba Vice President
Alibaba, often dubbed the Amazon and eBay of China, is one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies and is best known for completing the world’s biggest initial public offering, having raised $25 billion in 2014.

During a special fireside chat with Alibaba Vice President Brian Wong – a 1990 Institute board member who works with Jack Ma in the Office of the Chairman, shared his firsthand experiences inside Alibaba and its early globalization efforts – with the lens of being one of the early Americans in the company.

A Palo Alto, California native who moved to Hangzhou in 1999 during the early dot-com days, Brian spent nearly decade at Alibaba, helping it grow from a small apartment startup to a behemoth with billions in revenues. He has held a myriad of Alibaba roles, from Chief Web Producer to head of International Marketing, Senior Director of Strategic Business Development, VP of Global Sales, and VP of Supplier Development. During that time, he established and managed numerous teams and business groups within China and beyond China’s borders — from India and the United States, to Southeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

“It was a very informative evening hearing from one of Alibaba’s pioneer executives.  Brian’s personal story of perseverance and determination was inspiring,” Gordon Hinkle, Vice President of the California Center.

During the event, Brian shared several anecdotes and discussed:
• The hard lessons learned with Alibaba’s early global expansion efforts
• The journey of a Chinese company going public in the U.S.
• Shaping Alibaba’s unique company culture with talent recruited outside of China
• The challenges of working, living and assimilating in China as a foreigner
• Opportunities for young American professionals heading to mainland China

February 17, 2015

Sacramento, CA – California Center was invited to join Business Forward and the U.S. Small Business Administration for a White House Business Council briefing with Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. During the event, Ms Maria discusses with all the participants about on how international trade policies affect local business and the economy as whole.

California Center Joins Maria Contreras-Sweet

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet (In Red)




January 29th, 2015

UCLA Extension Announces 2015 Program Launch at California Center Campus in Shanghai, China

UCLA Extension to provide quarterly business training courses and certificate programs

Home of California Center and UCLA Extension in Shanghai (Jiading)

Home of California Center and UCLA Extension in Shanghai (Jiading)

SACRAMENTO – UCLA Extension, one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most comprehensive continuing higher education providers, is now expanding its program offerings in China through the California Center (CC) in Shanghai. UCLA Extension is one of the newest Platinum Members of CC and aims to launch its first course in “Business Innovation,” at the state of the art CC education/training facility located in the special industrial/economic zone of Jiading, Shanghai, during the second quarter of this year.

 “UCLA Extension is proud to announce the launch of our new program at the California Center campus in Shanghai, China,” said Van Anderson, Director of Corporate Education and Custom Programs.  “California Center shares many goals with us…including, the concept of working to better equip individuals in the dynamic and continually changing international business communities to meet their goals for success.  Additionally, we are pleased to have a permanent state-of-the-art facility to call our own in China,” added Anderson.

UCLA Extension specializes in creating custom-designed programs that are tailored to meet the specific needs of a particular domestic or international group of participants.  Requests for these group programs typically come from private companies, governments, universities, or community organizations.  Many custom-designed programs are adaptations of other courses and programs from UCLA Extension’s vast number of current offerings or individually crafted to fit the needs of the client.  UCLA Extension plans to utilize its new locale to expand on these programs as well as their other international educational offerings in China.

UCLA Extension’s broad international courses include: English Language, Professional Certificate Programs, Pre-Master’s Programs, Studying Abroad, Online Courses, Group and Individual Custom-Designed, and numerous Short Course Programs. Content areas span from business, management, engineering, entertainment studies and information systems.

California Center has been working to promote educational and cross-cultural opportunities between California and China since its inception.  Some of its existing collaborative educational partners and members include:  UCLA Extension, California Health Science University (Fresno), UC Davis, and the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Beijing.


December,  2014

Shanghai, China – The California delegation led by Fiona Ma, who recently won election to California’s Board of Equalization district 2, visited California Center in Shanghai. Among the participants in the delegation include Senetor Bob Huff who represents the Senate’s 29th District and  Assemblymember Marc Levine  who represents the 10th California Assembly District.


Fiona Ma

Fiona Ma


Assemblymember Marc Levine (Left)

IMG_8996 -Edited

Senetor Bob Huff (Left)

December, 2014

Shanghai (China) – John Chiang, California State Treasurer, visited California Center in Shanghai.


John Chiang-California State Treasurer (right), Edward Zhu – President of California Center in China ( left)


November 12th, 2014

San Francisco (CA) – California Center recently held its Member/VIP event for the month of November at the Port of San Francisco on Wednesday the 12th, 2014. Jim Maloney, the Maritime Marketing Manager of the Port of San Francisco, delivered the opening remarks and talked about the Port’s coming new terminal and its proud partnership with the California Center.

The event also highlighted two existing California Center members, both of whom delivered engaging presentations. Dr. Sharon Shoemaker, Executive Director of the California Institute of Food and Agricultural Research (CIFAR), UC Davis; discussed food safety, with a focus on the impacts of the current processes and food chains in China.  Also, Brian Jacks, a seasoned real estate professional and CEO of Jacks Commercial Real Estate, shared information about opportunities for Chinese investment in California. Jacks highlighted some of his current property listings, which included a winery in the Lodi area as well as a number of properties in the greater Sacramento area.

During the event, Marc Gerome, a Sales and Marketing Representative from Seka Hills, exhibited his high quality wines, olive oil and honey products and provided samples to the attendees. 

In addition, Gordon Hinkle (VP) and Desmond Fang (Director) of the California Center, provided insightful updates on its new E-commerce platforms, upcoming events and also gave a special APEC report to provide valuable information to the attendees on recent news and policies in China.

For more photos, visit our Facebook Page .

Jim Maloney, Maritime Marketing Manager of Port of San Francisco

Jim Maloney – Maritime Marketing Manager of the Port of San Francisco

Dr. Sharon Shoemaker, Executive Director of California Institute of Food and Ag Research (CIFAR), UC Davis

Dr. Sharon Shoemaker – Executive Director of California Institute of Food and Ag Research (CIFAR), UC Davis

Brian Jacks- CEO of Jacks Commercial Real Estate

Brian Jacks- CEO of Jacks Commercial Real Estate

Marc Gerome - Sales and Marketing Representative of Seka Hills

Marc Gerome – Sales and Marketing Representative of Seka Hills

Gordon Hinkle - VP of California Center

Gordon Hinkle – VP of California Center

October 2nd, 2014

San Francisco (CA) – On October 2nd, 2014, California Center took part in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) event called “Exports, What is Beyond?” in San Francisco.  The event was sponsored by PG&E and Asian Inc. and was part of a week-long series of events called “California Minority Enterprise Development Week.”

Gordon Hinkle, VP of U.S. Operations for California Center gave a presentation during a special panel session called “International Trade Enabling Agencies.”  In addition to Hinkle, the panel featured: MBDA Moderator Tony Tang, Business Consultant, San Francisco MBDA Center; Daniel Giavina, International Trade Specialist, U.S. Export Assistant Center (USEAC), Jeanette Benson, Deputy Sector Navigator, California International Trade Development (CITD), Merced; and Steven Ross, District Sales Manager at Expeditors, a worldwide logistics company.

The event also featured a special address on White House International Trade Initiatives from Mr. George Mui, MBDA, Market Access Team Lead, Office of Business Development.  Mr. Mui serves as a Senior Advisor to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders focusing on economic development.


October 1st, 2014

San Francisco (CA) -The California Center held its second Member/VIP event in San Francisco on October 1st, 2014. The event provided a great opportunity for the attendees to network with each other. Also, two special guests, Mr. Eric T. Ashdown and Mr. Bruce Riezenman, delivered engaging presentations.

Mr. Ashdown, the Managing Partner of NorCal Asia Partners, shared his experience on developing and managing business relationships in China.  He has spent a lifetime working on business issues related to China and Asia, having lived in: Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore over the past 20 years. He was previously a security consultant for ICBC, China’s largest bank, was the Chief Security Officer for Microsoft in Asia, and was also a Partner with Ernst & Young’s Security Division in China.

After Mr. Ashdown’s Q&A session, Mr. Riezenman discussed pairing California wine with Chinese cuisine, which sparked a lot of interest among the attendees. He is one of Northern California’s most sought-after chefs and a foremost speaker on the subject of food and wine pairing. Bruce is a restaurateur, an entrepreneur and the author of Pairit!, the highly acclaimed Food & Wine pairing app for iPhones and Android phones.

620 3

620Mr. Eric T. Ashdown(right)

620 2Mr. Bruce Riezenman ( right)

September 19th, 2014

San Francisco (CA) – California Center successfully held a networking event at the Millennium Tower after the 3rd Annual California Asian Business Summit

Summit -Network Event

September 19th, 2014

San Francisco (CA) – The 3rd Annual California Asian Business Summit was successfully held on Thursday and Friday, September 18th and 19th at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.  During the summit, Margaret Wong, the founder of California Center, served as moderator for the breakout session titled International Trade-Skills for Success in Multinational Business. The four panelists who joined the session were Charlie Sweat, CEO and founder of Frequentz, Inc. and former CEO of Earthbound Farm; Steven Schafer, Vice President of Chic Foods Co. Ltd. and former managing director of Tropicana in China; Jennie Garcia, Vice President – Investment Banking and Markets of Union Bank; and Jason Huck, Senior Vice President Head of Americas, HSBC Bank (China).

During the discussion, the panelist mainly discussed doing business in China. Two important takeaways of the discussion were how Guanxi plays a very important role in doing business successfully in China; and how businesses can ensure payment of goods before shipping their products to China.



September 4th, 2014

Gordon Hinkle, Vice President of California Center was interviewed by Patrick Cavanaugh, reporter from California Ag Today on September, 2014.  During the interview, Gordon discussed what the California Center is doing and how it can help California businesses with their exports to China.

Click the radio track to listen to the interview:  

September 4th, 2014

Los Angeles (CA) – California Center’s luncheon event in LA was held at the LA Area Chamber of Commerce.  Among the many companies and organizations that attended this event included: East West Bank, UCLA, California Bank and Trust, Kintetsu International Express, Megaworld International, HKTDC, The Maratom Group, Wilders’ Inc, LA Area Chamber of Commerce and more.

September 3rd, 2014 

San Francisco (CA) – California Center’s Inaugural Member/VIP reception was successfully held on the 51st floor of the Millennium Tower in San Francisco. There were more than 50 guests from various industries who joined for this special event.  Margaret Wong and Edward Zhu, Owners and Founders of California Center, addressed the attendees to provide an overview of what California Center is currently doing to service its members.  

Also, during the event, representatives from the Port of San Francisco and Food and Beverage World (both being California Center Members) shared the latest news from their organizations.  California Center will be offering this monthly networking opportunity exclusively for its members and special guests, so they can get the latest news on China, connect/network with other California Center members, and to share their own stories to highlight new products and services.

SF Event-620 413

September 3rd, 2014

Fresno (CA) – California Center’s Fresno Luncheon was held at the Fort Washington Country Club and was graciously hosted by one of California Center’s premier banking partners, California Bank and Trust.  Among the many companies and organizations that attended this event were: the Office of Assemblyman Jim Patterson, California Bank and Trust, Fresno MBDA, PR Farms, Sun-Maid, American Pistachio Growers, Meridian Nut Growers and many other central valley Ag companies. During the event, the Office of Assemblyman Jim Patterson presented California Center a special Certificate of Recognition for its efforts helping California businesses export to China.


August 14th, 2014 

Shanghai, China – Wang Yinfeng(王银峰), Chairman of Chongqing Grain Group Co Ltd ( (重庆粮食集团) ) , one of China’s largest State-owned grain companies, visited California Center facility in Shanghai on August 14th, 2014.



August 1st, 2014  

Shanghai, China – Zeng Jingsong, vice president of Charoen Pokphand Group, which is one of Asia’s largest conglomerates, visited California Center in Shanghai at the beginning of August of 2014. Charoen Pokphand Group consists of three core businesses that operate in: agribusiness and food, retail and distribution, and the telecommunications industries, with investment in over 20 countries.


June  9th, 2014  

 Sacramento Business Journal : California trade center opens in Shanghai

June 3, 2014

China Daily: “California Center” launched at Jiading 

The California Center Featured in Comstocks Magazine

May 31, 2014

NetEase, Inc., Chinese Top Internet Company, published stories of California Center  on it popular news platform.

Wuxi TV, the most influential news channel in Wuxi, broadcast a one minute news story on May 31st about the Grand Opening of California Center in Shanghai.



May 30th, 2014 

Shanghai, China – The California Center’s Grand Opening in Shanghai was successfully launched. 

Grandopening - 620

Video about the Grand Opening:


May 30th, 2014 

Wuxi, China -The California Center’s  ground breaking in Wuxi, China was successfully launched.

Wuxi Grand Opening -620

April, 2014

California Center was featured in Comstocks Magazine in April 2014 and again in their “Capital Region Cares”(September Special Edition).

The California Center Featured in Comstocks Magazine

Feb 20, 2014

Margaret Wong,  Founder of California Center and  CEO of Golden California Inc, was interviewed by Time Warner.


Edward Zhu, Partner of California Center Shanghai and CEO of Chic Group, discusses California Center Shanghai business initiative between California and China with Time Warner Cable Local Edition Sacramento Report host Steve Swatt.


Jan 22th, 2014

Sacramento (CA) – California Center announced the launch of its new facility with a special reception held in California’s Capitol City of Sacramento on January 22nd, 2014.  The large gathering featured numerous government representatives and business leaders from around the state.

At the reception, representatives from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz); CA State Senate Republican Leader, Bob Huff (Diamond Bar); staff from the office of Democratic Caucus Chair, CA State Assemblymember Phil Ting (San Francisco); CA State Assemblymember Travis Allen (Huntington Beach); as well as representatives from Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s office; made public remarks congratulating the California Center for its efforts to boost the state’s exports and bridge new trade opportunities between California and China.

“California Center presents a unique opportunity for California businesses to come together in collaboration and present their valuable products and services under a unified and highly recognizable California umbrella, that the Chinese consumers want!” said Margaret Wong, President/CEO of Golden California Inc./McWong and Founder of the California Center.

Edward Zhu,CEO for the Chic Group Inc., and China-based partner of the California Center elaborated on the enormous opportunity that the center presents to California businesses, by describing the numerous benefits of having established, on-the-ground experts working on behalf of the interests of the center’s members.

Other notable attendees at the launch reception included: CA State Senator Andy Vidak (Hanford); CA State Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (Sacramento), CA State Assemblymember Donald Wagner (Irvine); representatives from the Office of Congresswoman Doris Matsui; Allan Zaremberg, President/CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce; and John Kabateck, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).

Sac Reception - 620


Video about the reception:

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