May 2006 Board meeting

Maria Trombly
New SEG president Maria Trombly


Five SEG volunteers met on Friday, May 19, to discuss the future direction of the club. The board will regularly meet the third week of each month, and the meeting is open to all interested in club business.

Attendees included Paul Qu, founder and president emeritus, Melissa Rollins, Dani Cao, Johnny Zhao, and new president Maria Trombly.

Matthias Heller, Gemme VanHasselt, Twinsen Wu, Daniel Benefield, Joyce Gu, Gary Shaben, Felix Lai and Leah Jiang could not attend or were not reached in time. I sincerely apologize to anyone I didn't contact in time, and we hope to see you next time.

Dani Cao volunteered to handle administration and member communications as well as logistics for events. You can contact her at with questions about times and locations or if you have problems getting announcements. Dani is the coordinator for the Shanghai Foreign Correspondents Club, a group of approximately the same size and scope as the SEG. She is well versed in Shanghai venues.

Melissa Rollins volunteered to handle the second Wednesday events. If you have suggestions for speakers and topics, you can contact her at Melissa was a small business owner in Canada before coming to Shanghai a month ago, and she is currently working as a freelance business consultant. One of her areas of expertise is helping startup businesses write business plans.

Johnny Zhao volunteered to survey our members about their interests and goals for the club. If you have suggestions for the survey, you can contact him at <> . He is a customer solutions executive with CIEL, a company focusing on leadership, communication and technology skills training. He is also active with Toastmasters and is willing to share the expertise he gained volunteering with that group.

Paul Qu volunteered to moderate next week's Coffee Bean gathering, with Melissa's help. He will also be interviewing individual members about their visions for the SEG. If you would like to discuss this topic with him, you can email him at

Maria Trombly is the bureau chief for Source Media here in Shanghai. She writes for more than a dozen US business publications, including Computerworld, Managing Automation, Furniture Today, and Securities Industry News. She is also a regular contributor to local business publications, including China Economic Review, Shanghai Business Review, and the AmCham's Insight magazine. She is now in the process of launching her own business magazine. If you have any questions, suggestions, gripes, or compliments, please email her at

Other topics of discussion included created a formal board of advisors, in addition to the team of volunteers who help make the club a success. Paul Qu and Gary Shaben, as former presidents, are the first invitees to the board.

We also discussed holding a holiday party in January, and bringing in venture capitalists to help us run a business plan competition. If you're interested in working on either of these projects -- or any others -- please get in touch with us!



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