Wunderman Receives Prestigious Honor in Shanghai

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For his leadership over more than a decade in building economic ties between the Bay Area and Shanghai, Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman was honored this week with the prestigious Silver Magnolia Award. Established in 1989, the annual award by the Municipal Government of Shanghai recognizes important leaders who have contributed to deepening connections with Shanghai in a variety of areas, including business, academia, government, sports and the arts.

Under Jim’s leadership, the Council opened its first China office in Shanghai’s Yangpu District in 2010 and has worked closely with top business and local government leaders there and throughout the broader Yangtze Delta region to increase bilateral trade and investment. The move was part of a larger strategy to position the Bay Area as the gateway to China for the U.S. The Council has helped dozens of U.S. companies expand into Yangpu, supporting the district’s transition into a powerhouse high technology area, and promoting Chinese investment to the Bay Area. We extend our special thanks to our great partners in Yangpu for nominating Jim for the award.

“Much credit for our move into China and, more specifically, Shanghai, goes to U.S. Senator and former San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, who had the vision in 1979 to establish the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City relationship. That relationship provided a strong foundation for our decision to focus our early efforts on Shanghai and the Yangtze region,” Wunderman said. “This award also recognizes the incredible efforts of the Bay Area Council staff, including Vice President Jennifer Zhou, who have worked tirelessly to make our China program a big success.” Since entering China in 2010, the Council has grown to four offices, including in Nanjing, Hangzhou and Beijing, and is eyeing new opportunities in Guangzhou. The Council also partnered with former Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration in 2013 to open the California-China Trade and Investment Office in Shanghai. To engage in the Council’s China trade and investment work, please contact Global Business Development Chief Del Christensen.

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