Executive Director’s March-April Top 10 List

I hope you had a wonderful celebration to welcome the Lunar New Year in February. What felt like a typical month of February and March for our business community was met with a few major developments: President Trump announced new US tariffs on steel and aluminum which will undoubtedly effect the global economic and trade landscape; 11 nations signed the new TPP deal without the US; and the imminent departure of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Given these developments, it is very timely that we’ll be hosting a breakfast fireside chat on 22 March with Ambassador and former US Assistant Secretary of State John Negroponte.

So all in all, things are moving faster than ever and we at AmCham are too. As we look to wrap up Q1 with a bang, below is my Top 10 List to keep you updated on the Chamber’s happenings:


1. International Women’s Day Signature Event: our IWD signature event “Making Change Happen: A C-Suite Perspective” will be held on 26 March from 11:45-2pm at the Conrad Centennial Hotel featuring a dynamic line-up of panelists: Ralph Haupter (Microsoft Asia), Sophie Guerin (Dell), Harvinder Singh (Abbott Laboratories), Lisa Williamson ( Marina Bay Sands), and Simon Kahn (Google). The panel will be moderated by Theresa Goh of the Centre for Creative Leadership. Thank you to our event sponsors Visa, Centre for Creative Leadership, Medtronic, Courtyard Marriott, Novena, and the Singapore American School.


Something New: we’ll also be featuring a “Learning Village” outside the ballroom of the IWD event. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about change management and leadership via experiential learning. The “Learning Village” is being generously sponsored by the Singapore American School. If you haven’t yet registered, please do so soon as we’ve already sold most of the corporate tables and spaces are limited. To purchase a corporate table ($320 for 10 pax) please contact Nathan at psivarajah@amcham.org.sg.


2. Young Professionals Forum Launched: we’re thrilled to have officially launched the AmCham Young Professionals Forum on 1 March. The launch reception was held at Oakwood Studios. Thank you to Adam Click (Google) for his leadership and engagement in getting this off the ground and to all those that attended this stylish event (I wouldn’t expect anything less from our YPs!). We have more fabulous events lined-up, so please contact Morgan at mhughes@amcham.org.sg if you’d like to be engaged with the Young Professionals Forum.


3. AmCham Policy and “Point of View” Papers: we are ramping up our advocacy portfolio and a major part of this is to articulate AmCham’s policy position and a point of view on priority issues. Drafting these papers is a heavy lift, but we already have 3 drafts approved by the Board: (1) E-Commerce – ASEAN and the Digital Economy, (2) An Overview of Shipping and Supply Chain Trends between the U.S. and Singapore, and (3) Policies Empowering Corporate Compliance Programs. We truly appreciate the efforts of our committee co-chairs and committee members for pushing this rock up the hill.


4. Next Generation of Leaders Program Kick-Off: we rolled out our NextGen program in February with the biggest cohort ever with over 80 participants. Thank you to Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, the Chargé d’affaires, a.i., U.S. Embassy for hosting the NextGenners at her home for an exclusive reception. Thank you to the AmCham Chairman Dwight Hutchins, board of governors and the program speakers for attending to highlight the importance of this program. We are also extremely thankful to the sponsors for the NextGen ProgramCiti and Rutgers Business School Asia Pacific – for their support in shaping the leaders of tomorrow.


5. Welcoming 7 New Committee Co-Chairs to AmCham Leadership Circle: we are thrilled to announce our newly appointed Committee Co-Chairs this month: Aerospace & Defense Committee – Victor Chin (Bell Helicopter); Energy Committee – Darren Murphy (Jones Day); Financial Services Committee – Allison Cheung (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and Dann Sim (Citi); Legal & IPR Committee – Cindy Owens (Baker McKenzie, Wong & Leow) and Josephine Wan-Wen Hadikusumo (Texas Instruments); and Property Committee – Manish Kushyap (CBRE). We are grateful for their commitment and time in sharing their subject matter expertise to drive the Chamber’s thought leadership efforts. If you’d like to be more active in our Committees, please contact Stella at ssoh@amcham.org.sg about being part of AmCham’s Committee Network.


6. Join us for 2018 APCAC Conference in Kuala Lumpur: the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) which consists of 28 AmChams in Asia Pacific region will hold its annual conference on April 4-5 in Kuala Lumpur hosted by AmCham Malaysia. The theme for this year is “Charting a Bold Future: US Businesses in the Asian Century”. This high-profile annual summit attracts over 300 participants including senior government and private sector leaders from the US and the Asia-Pacific region. We hope to see you in KL! Click here for more information and to register.


7. AmCham Board of Governor Nominations and Election: board nominations closed on 9 March. I’m extremely proud that the Chamber has received overwhelming expressions of interest and submissions. It truly reflects the strength of the Chamber. A big thank you to our Nominating Committee Members: James Andrade, Chair (Lijan Co), Courtney Lutterman (UPS), and Laurence Chin (United) for their time and efforts in facilitating this process. If you have AmCham voting rights, please check your inbox for an electronic ballot. The new board members will be announced at our Annual General Meeting on 19 April.


8. AmCham’s Annual General Meeting and AmCham CARES Awards: mark your calendar to attend our 45th Annual General Meeting on 19 April from 11:45-2pm at the Grand Hyatt. As mentioned above, new Board of Governors will be announced and AmCham CARES Award recipients will be recognized for their excellence in corporate social responsibility. If you’d like to sponsor the event, please contact Kelli at klane@amcham.org.sg.  To purchase a corporate table ($320 for 10 pax) please contact Nathan at psivarajah@amcham.org.sg.


9. Manpower Survey: every year, we conduct a survey of our members to gauge the sentiment of American businesses on the key issues that impact talent recruitment and retention. The results of the 2017 Manpower Survey results will be released next month. We’re also looking to conduct a focus group survey in partnership with other international chambers in Singapore. If your company is a polling and research firm interested in working with us on this important initiative, please contact Ashley at amcinerney@amcham.org.sg.


10. AmCham Strategic Plan: rapidly changing environment and drivers that impact our business community compel us to continuously review and re-assess the Chamber’s strategic priorities. As part of this effort, we will conduct a strategic review of AmCham’s strategic plan (2015-2020). I will be working closely with AmCham Chairman Dwight Hutchins (Accenture) as well as the members of the Board of Governors on this effort. If you have comments and thoughts on the current strategic plan, I encourage you to share them with me and look forward to hearing from you!

All the best,



This blog features event recaps, updates on the latest happenings at AmCham, and commentaries from the AmCham staff