Charlotte Leaders Take Business Trip To China

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mayor Anthony Foxx and other Charlotte leaders are currently in China as part of an eleven-member delegation of city officials and local business people.

The delegation will spend the 10-day trip meeting with business and political leaders in Beijing, Shanghai and Charlotte’s sister city of Baoding.

Two city employees are on the trip: Tracy Montross, special assistant to the mayor and Rob Phocas, energy and sustainability manager, as well as three members of the Charlotte International Cabinet which is funded by the city to foster international relationships.

A city spokesperson says the delegates are paying their own way – or their expenses are being covered by corporate donors – except for Mayor Foxx and Rory McNicholas who is the chairman of the Charlotte International Cabinet’s Chinese Sister City Committee.

Travel expenses for Foxx and McNicholas will be paid by the city and are expected to total $10,000, the spokesperson says.

Duke Energy has two employees on the trip: Heather Quinley, director of energy and environmental policy, and Duke Energy China director River Lu.

Corporations helping to cover expenses include Shaw and Celgard – both companies interested in the delegation’s emphasis on the Chinese energy sector.

The group will visit Baoding – a Charlotte sister city – where an energy hub is developing. Other stops on the week-long trip include Beijing, Shanghai and Langfang.

This is Mayor Foxx’s first international visit since taking office in 2009.

Other members of the delegation are:
-Eileen Cai, Director of Asian Economic Development, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
-Benjamin DeSollar, Chairman & CEO of Sumter Packaging Corporation
-John Zhang, Business Director, Carolinas Asian-American Chamber of Commerce
-Charles Lansden, Vice Chair, Charlotte International Cabinet and partner with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
-Ron Zurinskas, International Business Committee Chair, Charlotte International Cabinet and employee at Bank of America

Corporate donors covering travel expenses for city employees on the delegation:
Globeexpress services
Springs Creative
Sumter packaging
Dixon Hughes Goodman

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