Nashville Business Journal - by Cynthia Yeldell Nashville Business Journal

The Tennessee Christian Chamber of Commerce is gaining momentum with 45 members and more than 300 attendees at a recent networking event.

Started by former sales specialist Celeste LaReau, the organization wants to cross social, economical, cultural and denominational lines by reaching out to blue and white collar workers, managers and employees.

"You don't have to be a CEO or wear a suit," LaReau says. "It is for anyone that is Christian."

LaReau says during her research she discovered that the Christian presence was missing from Nashville's business community in its many niche chambers of commerce.

In Middle Tennessee, there are many geographically focused chambers such as the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce and the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, and niche chambers such as the Nashville Area Junior Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce and the Nashville Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.


Name/age: Ming Wang, 47
Titles: director, Wang Vision; Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Tennessee; International president, Shanghai Aier Eye Hospital; founder, chairman, Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration; president and founder, Tennessee Chinese Chamber of Commerce
Company: Wang Vision
Address: 1801 West End Ave, Ste 1150
Revenue: $4-5 million
No. of employees: 20
Education: Harvard & MIT (MD, magna cum laude); PhD, laser physics; Wills Eye Hospital (residency); Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
Recently Read Books: "Selfish Genes," Richard Dawkins; "Third Wave," Alvin Tofler; "Chinese in America," Iris Chang

Nashville Business Journal - by Cynthia Yeldell Nashville Business Journal, July 22, 2007.

Two small publications -- and the publishers who drive them -- are making a big impact on the mood, attitudes and events in Middle Tennessee's Chinese community.

Xingkui Guo started the Tennessee Chinese Times -- the state's first Chinese language newspaper - because he noticed a void for local news in the community when he moved to Nashville in 2003 to become a professor of graphic design at Tennessee State University.

And less than six months ago, a group of Chinese businessmen including Nashville insurance company owner and real estate investor John Wang, started a second Chinese-language publication, The Tennessee Chinese News, which circulates statewide.

Nashville Business Journal - by Cynthia Yeldell Nashville Business Journal

If you're a Tennessee business looking to get into China, the Hong Kong government can help.

This week Michael Rowse, director general of investment promotion for Invest Hong Kong, spoke to the International Business Council of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce's about the benefits of choosing Hong Kong for a China-based operation. Rowse, a government official, travels the globe telling companies that Hong Kong is an easy place to do business and they can be up and running in less than a week.

The government has an office in New York that works with American companies. And one of its programs involves partnering companies with other businesses in their industry that already have operations in Hong Kong.

On the heels of Tennessee's push to strengthen business ties with China, Nashville's Dr. Ming Wang has started the Tennessee Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

The Nashville-based organization is the first in the state and has dual purposes: helping Tennessee-based companies conduct business in China, and attracting China-based businesses to Tennessee.

"I want us to grow our trade in China," Wang says. "We need to be better prepared and better organized."