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UIC News Tips
University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
601 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607-7113, (312) 996-3456, www.uic.edu/depts/paff

July 20, 2001 Contact: Jeffron Boynés, (312) 413-8702, jboynes@uic.edu


For two days this week (July 25-26), 17 Chicago CEO's will meet with 31 Chinese government officials enrolled in a one-year MBA program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The officials, from the Chinese province surrounding Beijing, had complained about "not meeting real businessmen and learning about real business problems."

Jim Liautaud, a prominent Chicago entrepreneur, and Wim Wiewel, UIC College of Business Administration dean, had an idea. They came up with a list of entrepreneurs-members of UIC's Family Business Council-and invited them to meet with the Chinese students and talk about major problems they have confronted in their companies.

"We were amazed at the response," said former Con-Tech Lighting founder and retired CEO, Alan Grossman. "More than half of the council called or wrote to say 'count me in'."

Bill Stringfellow, CEO of Genesis, not only volunteered to help with the program, he invited the whole class to tour his company's operations and join him for dinner.

China, in the midst of transforming its debt-ridden, state-owned industries, is sending its young leaders to the United States to see first-hand how small businesses work. The nation knows its economic future lies in small business growth, but getting from a centrally controlled economy to a market-driven economy is a big step. It is hoped that meetings similar to this week's gathering at UIC can help China create a new wave of economic development.

The two-day meeting, hosted by the UIC College of Business Administration's Family Business Council, will be held in Room A of the Chicago Illini Union, 828 S. Wolcott Ave. The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is open only to the media.

Detailed information about the event, including speakers, topics and a schedule of events, is available from Julia Curry of the U.S./Asia Executive Development Program at UIC, 996-2995.

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