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Talent Beyond Borders, Human Resources in Cross U.S. – China Business

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John Hagen, President and Managing Partner of Washington Search Partners, moderated a 5 person panel “Talent Beyond Boarders” for the Washington State China Relations Council in June.

Sponsored by Davis Wright Tremaine, Washington State China Relations Council, WASERPA and working closely with Kristi Heim, President of the WSCRC, Matt LeMaster and Barrie Handy of Davis Wright Tremaine, a panel was selected whose experience and expertise in China Business, Relations and Culture and U.S. Human Resources and Employment Law would be most helpful and accurate in addressing cultural and legal answers for the many questions both China employers and Chinese people and candidates in the U.S. (and vice versa) have.  Whether becoming employed or starting a business in the U.S., navigating the unique U.S. legal and cultural landscape as well as hurdles and challenges presented by the current U.S. talent environment and culture, business and employment laws are fundamental problems and questions most Chinese employment candidates, start-up businesses and/or branch developers have little access to comprehensive information and/or answers.

John introduced each panel member and their respective bios. He set the topic and stated the reason for the panel was not to lecture and train the attendees in the very complex topics of U.S. culture and employment law, normally taking days or weeks.   The introduction of each panel member’s background and expertise was designed as a means of soliciting as many questions from the audience as possible within in the time limit. Moderating the panel discussion with select questions pertaining to the panelist’s unique experience and qualifications, the Q&A response was so overwhelming and gratifying it ran out of time due to another event starting in the same space later in the day.


John Hagen, a national / global C-Leader and Culture, HR, ER, Talent, OD, Recruitment and Employment authority.

Panel Members

Michelle Zou, CEO Pacific Technologies Consulting Group, now a U.S citizen providing bi-cultural training and consulting.

Laurie Arnold, is the HR Director Amazon Kindle Content, a 5 year China resident with Amazon China Experience.

Gillian Murphy is a U.S. Employment Law Attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine.

Joseph Havlin, Tatum Engagement Partner and 15 year resident of China providing interim CFO and Financial consulting.

Catherine Pierce, Sr. Partner for Washington Search Partners, is a legal China resident recruiting best in class leadership.

Thanks to:  Matt LeMaster, Gillian Murphy, Barrie Handy and Davis Wright Tremaine;  Kristi Heim, Frances Chen, Collin Wang and the entire staff of the Washington State China Relations Council; and a special thanks to Michelle Zou, Laurie Arnold, Joseph Havlin and Catherine Pierce for all their help and expertise in making this a great venue and success.





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