Candidates for Board of Governors 2020

The Nominating Committee of AmCham Vietnam-HCMC announces the following nominees for the AmCham Vietnam HCMC Board of Governors election for the Jan. 2020-Dec. 2021 term. Nine governors will be elected from the below-listed candidates in on-line secure voting starting the evening of November 11, 2019. The election results will be audited and verified by KPMG, and the elected Governors will be announced at our Annual General Meeting on December 10, 2019.

Hang Nguyen, Candidate for Board of Governors 2019

Hang Nguyen

Partner, Baker & McKenzie

Hang Nguyen is a partner at Baker McKenzie and the current head of the Employment and Labor practice in Vietnam.

Hang’s practice focuses on Employment and Labor, M&A as well as Corporate and Compliance matters. Her diverse working experience, broad knowledge in various areas of law, and business management qualifications allow her to provide clients with practical and commercially savvy legal advice in order to create effective, strategic and innovative solutions to navigate the ever-changing legal landscape of Vietnam. As head of the Employment and Labor practice, Hang is responsible for developing and providing strategy for the practice as well as for training and coaching team members and coordinating the global and regional employment practices in relation to Vietnam. She is also a member of the Steering Committee for the Firm’s Asia Pacific Employment Practice Group and the Global Immigration and Mobility Group.

Hang received her legal education in both Vietnam and the U.S., having obtained a bachelor’s degree in International Law from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, an LL.M. from the Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, and an Executive MBA from the University of Hawaii’s Shidler College of Business. Hang is one of the few lawyers dually admitted to practice law in New York State and Vietnam. During her almost 14 – year tenure at Baker McKenzie, Hang has worked at the Firm’s Vietnam, Barcelona and London offices.

Hang has been an active member of AmCham since 2006 and has represented AmCham as well as the broader business community at numerous expert working groups, seminars and conferences. She has also worked face-to-face with Vietnamese Government agencies for more than a decade on employment and labor law issues, including in the overhaul of the Vietnam Labor Code in 2012 and the adoption of various implementation decrees and circulars and the ongoing revision the Labor Code. In 2013, she was nominated to become the Chair, and since 2017 Co-Chair, of AmCham HR/Labor Committee and has held this position ever since. In her capacity as Chair/Co-Chair, she has revived the committee through organizing successful events and activities for the benefit of AmCham members and administering the AmCham scholarship program. Hang is also the point of contact for the Board of Governors and other Committees when it comes to employment and labor issues. She has been deeply involved in policy discussions on labor and employment issues arising during the negotiation of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, and other issues that affect the business community in Vietnam, frequently acting as an adviser to US Government agencies and industry stakeholders on Vietnam employment and labor law.

Hang was elected as a Governor of the Board of Governors in 2017. She is a member of the Executive Committee-plus, being in charge of Committees and advocacy. Hang has been a very active Governor, and played a key role in driving advocacy activities of the Chamber. In July 2019, she joined other Governors to represent Ho Chi Minh City Chapter in the 2019 Doorknock mission of Amchams of Asia Pacific to Washington D.C. to meet with the US Administration and Congress on trade and investment issues between the US and Asia Pacific region. During the mission, she also arranged a meeting between AmCham Vietnam and Vietnamese Embassy to the US and Trade Office to discuss US-Vietnam bilateral trade and investment issues.

Statement of Interest

If re-elected as a Governor, my primary goals during the term are to increase the advocacy voice of the Chamber and its members in policies that shape the legal and policy reform in Vietnam. By working with the Vietnamese Government to develop more transparent and sensible legislation and policies, more effective implementation of the rules of law, improving cost competitiveness, increasing productivity, and providing better programs for workforce development, we will improve the business environment and make Vietnam a more attractive investment destination. This will benefit our members and eventually promote trade and investment between Vietnam and the US.

I will continue identifying and engaging key Vietnamese Government stakeholders in these endeavors, and will have the Chamber participate more actively and effectively in policy discussions with Government agencies. To this end, I plan to organize more frequent dialogues between the Chamber, its members and the US and Vietnamese Governments, both at the central and local levels.

I will also focus on understanding the specific needs and demands of our diverse members through tailored and relevant events and initiatives. Our member demographics have evolved over the years to include young and dynamic individual members as well as more diverse corporate members ranging from large MNCs to SMEs and start-ups. We should therefore expand our traditional approach to encompass more creative programs, which will offer better opportunities to all members for networking, information sharing and creating business solutions.

I will also prioritize my efforts in promoting development, collaboration and cooperation among the Chamber Committees with a focus to creating synergies among the Committees in order to help achieve AmCham’s overall objectives and address common issues that our members face.

Soren S. Pedersen, Candidate for Board of Governors 2020

Soren S. Pedersen

Vice President, SSA Marine, Seattle USA

I’m a Danish national and have worked in Asia for more than 25 years. I’m today heading up SSA Marine’s regional activities. SSA is an international port operator headquartered in Seattle USA. The company is active in more than 250 locations across 5 continents. SSA’s activities span cruise, bulk and container handling. We employ about 17,000 staff globally.

Here in Vietnam, SSA owns and operates two seaport joint ventures employing about 400 staff. The companies represent investments of around USD 400 million. Our port facilities in Cai Lan (Ha Long) and Cai Mep (Vung Tau) are equipped with the most modern and technically advanced cargo handling machinery available. Both terminals are deep water facilities capable of accommodating the largest cargo and passenger ships.

SSA’s cruise terminals serve 6.6 million passengers annually.

Maritime transport is essential to the world’s economy as over 90 % of the world’s trade is carried by sea (*). Ships need effective port facilities to load and off load cargoes. SSA Marine is among the world’s largest privately held port operators.

Vision for AmCham

Vietnam’s logistics costs currently account for more than 20 % of GDP, double that of developed economies and much higher than the global average of 14 % (+). Marine port facilities provide a connecting point between multimodal domestic transportation and long-haul shipping.

I believe that AmCham has a role to play addressing Vietnam’s high logistics costs. If elected, I will endeavor to enhance the advocacy agenda through a dialogue with government agencies and relevant industry stakeholders. Our aim should be to unlock efficiencies in the logistics chain through a streamlining of processes. Vietnam has already made considerable investments in transportation infrastructure. Let us find ways to try and use these resources better. This will in turn stimulate trade growth between Vietnam and her trading partners, notably the USA.

* International Chamber of Shipping, London

+ Vietnam Logistics Business Association

Sai Ponugoti, Candidate for Board of Governors 2020

Sai Ramana Ponugoti

General Director, P&G Vietnam

Sai Ramana Ponugoti (Sai) leads P&G’s Vietnam operations since 2019, serving Vietnam consumers through leadership brands across all P&G categories: Baby Care, Hair Care, Fabric & Home Care, Skin & Personal Care, Feminine Care, and Oral Care. He works with distributors and retail partners to create value for consumers through defining Commercial strategies, leading Business Operations and building Go-to-market strategies – to ensure joint category growth.

Sai joined P&G in 2001 as an Account Executive in India. In his various leadership roles in P&G, he has got extensive experience in leading diverse businesses across trade channels spanning different consumer goods categories. He has demonstrated expertise on developing markets, having worked across Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa markets and by leading P&G’s Global Innovation center for low-income-markets. He also has extensive experience on ‘Shopper-centric retail innovation’ and partnering with retailers to create category value.

He is passionate about making a difference to the lives of consumers in developing markets through P&G brands. A strong advocate for talent development, Sai has worked across diverse cultures through his P&G career and lived in India, Singapore and Switzerland. Before being appointed General Director for P&G Vietnam, Sai was the ‘Sales Head of India-Middle East-Africa’ for Baby Care and a key member of the Regional Business Unit leadership team based in Geneva, Switzerland for the period 2016 – 2019.

Sai graduated with a Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Calicut, and holds an MBA degree in Marketing & Operations from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Lucknow.

Sai is married to Swetha and has 2 children: Anshul, 11 years old and Aditi, 7 years old.

Statement of Interest

In the long-term strategy of leading P&G Vietnam, I will not only focus on internal company business affairs, but also actively work the external business environment. My personal action plan includes to (i) actively promote mutually beneficial US/Vietnam trade and investment relations, (ii) intensify and elevate the support to the American business community, (iii) work key areas of business development with local and national authorities and (iv) imprint corporate social responsibilities. My emerging country experience, leading large organizations in UAE-Dubai, China, India and Eastern Europe, can and will serve as an asset.

Milton Hagler, Candidate for Board of Governors 2020

Milton D.Hagler

General Director, Fluid Power & Controls, Co. Ltd.

Milton is the General Director of Fluid Power and Controls and has been providing leadership since 2018. Established in late 2007 and located in Binh Duong outside of Ho Chi Minh, Milton is the legal representative and responsible for all manufacturing operations. FPC is a wholly-owned manufacturing division of Deltrol Corporation from Milwaukee, Wisconsin a world leader in the development and manufacture of electromechanical controls, valves, hydraulic systems and components. Prior to joining FPC, Milton was the General Director of BriskHeat Vietnam for 5 years manufacturing flexible cloth heater jackets for the semiconductor tooling industry. BHV is a subsidiary of BriskHeat, Corporation, of Columbus, Ohio, a worldwide leader in industrial heating products. During Milton’s tenure, both Vietnam investments have successfully allowed the companies to significantly grow market share, enhance customer support, while growing Vietnam’s operations, production and engineering capacity, and expanded responsibilities.

Previously, Milton worked in software engineering at Autodesk in California before moving to Vietnam in 1998, where he has been living continuously since. Upon arrival, he helped establish VietCAD as a Partner and Development Director before founding Corigo and worked as its Chief Technical Officer to architect specialized web-based enterprise level software for corporate, HR and project management.

Milton first visited Vietnam in 1992 and returned in 1995 to live for several months while working in the CAD industry and studying Vietnamese. Early exposure to Vietnam has provided invaluable insight and understanding of the business and cultural climate of Vietnam, the challenges and opportunities it presents in a very dynamic and rapidly developing country.

Milton has been an active member of the AmCham Manufacturing Committee since 2014 and its Chairman for the last few years where he has aspired to expand the Committee’s mission to create a vibrant manufacturing community. Monthly meetings include expert presentations and information exchange on important topics around regulatory compliance and issues impacting manufacturers, organizing opportunities for networking and collaboration, and proactively building the local supply chain with the Manufacturing Committee hosting the annual AmCham Supplier Day event. Year-onyear Supplier Day has grown in importance with more companies taking part, increased corporate sponsorship and involvement of government and other business associations as they recognize the benefits and importance of the event for Vietnam. Milton has been a member of the Vietnam Trade Facilitation Alliance, and has participated in the ICT Committee, and as a panelist at HR Committee events.

A native of San Francisco, California, Milton earned an MBA from the University of Hawaii and a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Sonoma State University (California).

Vision for AmCham

It has been a privilege to work with AmCham and its wonderful team and business leaders to help grow the Chamber and contribute towards making Vietnam the most attractive investment destination in South East Asia through advocacy. The lessons learned by overseeing and managing all aspects of business operations, along with active participation in the Manufacturing Committee, has provided valuable comprehension and enhanced awareness into manufacturing and doing business in Vietnam.

By bringing understanding, compassion, and thoughtfulness, the Vietnam/U.S. relationship shall continue to grow and foster closer ties together for a bright future for the benefit of all. There are specific challenges in Vietnam’s development which I hope to promote, such as: improved modern and transparent policies, enhanced development of and communication with the business community and governments, stepping into the 4th Industrial Revolution with workforce development, while leaping into clean energy and modern transportation systems, and effective management of natural resources and the environment.

Towards these ends, I will continue to advocate for the manufacturing industry and its leaders via the Manufacturing Committee, continue to pursue increased transparency and simplification of the legal and regulatory environment aligned with the OECD. While striving for more open and flexible labor laws that benefit both employees and businesses, simplification and flattening of rules and regulations to streamline and reduce compliance costs, and proactively build the Vietnam supply chain for both manufacturing suppliers and services.

As part of AmCham’s Board of Governors, be an ambassador for visiting US delegations exploring investments in Vietnam while championing the business community for Vietnam as the best investment destination in South East Asia.

Michael Kelly, Candidate for Board of Governors 2020

Michael Edward Kelly

Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, Board Member, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Ho Tram Project Company (The Grand) 

Relocated to Vietnam in 2015, the Philadelphia-native has full responsibilities for the company’s $4.2 billion (USD) development including its award winning integrated resort and casino, The Grand, its championship golf course ranked #35 in the World, and its multiple residential and hotel developments.

Kelly’s experience in capital markets has seen him raise in excess of $1.5 billion USD, while his proven leadership qualities have seen him hold positions including CEO, President, COO, CFO and BD of some of the most recognized casino/hospitality companies.

In 2016, Kelly was named Chairman of the Tourism Committee and in 2017 was elected Vice Chairman and in 2018 was elected the Chairman of AmCham Hanoi, as well as National Chairman of AmCham in 2018, he has also served on the Board on AmCham Vietnam (HCMC) since 2018.

A graduate of Villanova University, Michael holds a BSBA degree.

Statement of Interest

I, Michael Kelly, am a current Board Member of both AmCham Vietnam (HCMC) and AmCham Hanoi and respectfully request your support to serve on the Board (HCMC) for the 2020/2021 term.

I currently am a business executive responsible for the largest USA private equity investment in Vietnam. In my capacity as Chairman & CEO of HTP (The Grand) I oversee several billions of dollars (USD) of investment and thousands of employees. I strive each day to promote good business values to the community and advocate for level playing fields and transparency in government rules and regulations.

I and my company are both strong supporters of AmCham and I have seen first-hand the positive contribution AmCham has and can make to the community. I have over 30 years of business experience and have recently served (2018) as National Chair of AmCham. I am prepared to use my experience to promote American brands, continue to foster and expand the bi-lateral relationship, and advocate for fair and transparent tax and government regulations.

Again, I’m Michael Kelly, the Chairman & CEO of Ho Tram Project Company (The Grand) and I respectfully seek your support to be elected to the Board.

Michael Beckman, Candidate for Board of Governors 2020

Michael Beckman

Managing Partner, EY Law Vietnam

Michael currently leads the newly launched law firm of EY Indochina, a fast growing team of 15 corporate lawyers based in Ho Chi Minh City.  EY Law Global has over 4,000 lawyers in 85 offices around the world, and now intends to expand quickly throughout ASEAN.  Michael will head this expansion process in Indochina.

Michael has over 20 years’ experience in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and corporate law.  Prior to joining EY, Michael worked as a corporate attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York, London and Los Angeles, as well as Debevoise & Plimpton in New York, focusing on international corporate bankruptcy, securities and M&A work.    He is a member of the bar of New York and California and is a licensed foreign lawyer in Vietnam.

Outside of law, Michael worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in their pharmaceutical practice group and managed his own hedge funds for a decade.

Michael graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University, received his M.A. from Princeton University and his J.D. from Yale Law School.  He also studied at both Cambridge University in the UK and Georg-August University in Germany.

Participation and Support of AmCham Vietnam and Vision for AmCham Vietnam

Michael currently serves as one of the two Vice Chairs of the Board of Governors of AmCham Vietnam, a position which allows him to support actively and closely Amanda Rasmussen in her many activities as Chair.

Michael served as the chair of the Search Committee for the new Executive Director, which culminated with great success in the hiring of Mary Tarnowka, former US Consul General.  Michael feels highly confident Mary is the right person to lead and grow AmCham Vietnam into a bright new future.

He also served as the chair of the Nominating Committee in 2018.  He actively recruited women to run for the Board and felt real satisfaction when every woman that ran won the election, bringing the total number of women on the Board to an all-time record high of 6 (up from 2 at the end of 2018!).

With a woman as Chair, a woman as the other Vice Chair, a woman as Executive Director, and six women on the Board, AmCham Vietnam has never been more gender inclusive.  At the last Board meeting, Michael noted with no small astonishment that the women present in the room actually outnumbered the men.

Michael founded the new Agriculture Committee in May 2019, which continues to meet regularly and to add members.  He has also been actively involved at various stages with the Women in Leadership, Education and Healthcare Committees.

Michael’s vision for AmCham Vietnam is to create a more inclusive, diverse, younger and more dynamic Chamber, focused on bringing the members together in meaningful ways, holding content-rich events that about issues members care about, and providing effective advocacy for the members’ needs.

Kevin Moore, Candidate for Board of Governors 2020

Kevin Moore

Managing Director, Vietnam Waste Solutions

Kevin has been the Managing Director for Vietnam Waste Solutions (VWS) since 2006. Prior to that he worked as a private consultant for Veolia Environmental Services/Onyx in Hong Kong for 6 years. In the 12 years preceding that, Kevin worked at Waste Management Inc., in California. Previous employment included 7 years at PSE&G in New Jersey. Kevin has previously served on the Vietnam AmCham Board of Governors.

VWS is a subsidiary of California Waste Solutions, a private firm with recycling operations in Oakland and San Jose, California. His position here in HCMC requires direct interaction with HCMC leaders and Departments as well as various Ministries in Hanoi. VWS represents the first privatization of a public service enterprise and one of the larger environmental services investments into Vietnam. This investment project valued at over $150 million is based upon a 50-year contract with the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to effectively manage waste delivered by the City to the Da Phuoc Waste Management Facility. VWS is expanding their services with a new project in Long An province that will move beyond landfilling to waste transformation, developing “waste to energy” and “waste to feedstock” solutions.

Kevin has worked in the waste management and environmental industry for 31 years. Raised in Northern New Jersey and a graduate of Rutgers University.

Vision for AmCham

I welcome the opportunity to support the success of American interests within Vietnam. Of special interest are the advocacy efforts put forth by AmCham to insure that messages from the business community are brought to the tables of the leaders of Vietnam, especially in regards to the environment, labor, taxes and changes to regulations. Any mutual interests, whether it be through investment, trade, contributions or cultural sharing will be beneficial to the peoples of both Vietnam and the United States, and worth our efforts as American Chamber of Commerce representatives.

Jonathan Moreno, Candidate for Board of Governors 2020

Jonathan Moreno

General Director, Diversatek Vietnam

Jonathan is the General Director of Diversatek Vietnam (formerly Sandhill Scientific and Medovations), a member of the Diversatek group of medical technology companies. Diversatek opened its Vietnam manufacturing operation in Binh Duong, December 2010, representing a US high-technology investment, and continues to expand.

In 2012, Jonathan helped form AmCham’s first Manufacturing Committee. The committee was established to increase value for AmCham’s manufacturing sector members, including the supporting supply chain, by providing networking opportunities and collaborative solutions which cannot be achieved as effectively by individual member companies. Key initiatives included advocacy related to trade facilitation and the annual “Supplier’s Day.”

Currently, Jonathan provides leadership for AmCham’s Healthcare Committee.  The Healthcare Committee is a critically important network uniquely representing AmCham companies across all healthcare sectors such as pharma; medical devices; hospitals and clinics; physicians; pharmacies; diagnostics; and supporting services.

Jonathan also served on the AMCHAM HCMC Board of Governors from 2013-2018. He served as Vice Chair in 2016 and Chairman in both 2017-2018.   Additionally, he served on the Vietnam Business Forum Management Board.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of South Carolina and a MBA from the University of Hawaii.

Statement of Interest:

Background: Since first moving to Vietnam in 2011, I have appreciated the platform for information sharing, networking, and advocacy that AmCham HCMC provides.  My medical device company has found involvement in AmCham to be an important and valuable network assisting our development of a successful Vietnam investment.

A company’s membership in AmCham becomes more helpful and valuable when its representatives invest their time and efforts in AmCham leadership.  I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve in various leadership roles including: Founder & Chair of the Manufacturing Committee; AmCham Representative to the Vietnam Business Forum Management Board; Member of the Board of Governors from 2013-2018; Vice Chairman of the Board in 2016; and Chairman of the Board in both 2017-2018.

During my past season of AmCham leadership, I had the privilege of playing a role (along with others) to facilitate AmCham’s growth in terms of membership, revenue, events, membership value, committees, diversity, and organizational governance.  It has been extremely gratifying to see this continue under the direction of the 2019 Board led by Chairwoman Amanda Rasmussen and with our new Executive Director, Mary Tarnowka.

Statement of Interest: I would be honored to have the opportunity to rejoin the Board of Governors to continue these growth efforts especially during this season whereby Vietnam is a worldwide rising star for trade and investment.   I believe my institutional knowledge of AmCham Vietnam and continued vision for “greater things ahead” would be a compliment to the wonderful new and recent additions to the Board of Governors.

Vision for the future:  Currently and into the near future, I intent to invest significant leadership efforts to develop the AmCham Healthcare Committee.  This committee provides an amazing opportunity to leverage AmCham companies to engage and grow Vietnam’s underdeveloped and underserved Healthcare system.   This committee is unique because it is represented by all healthcare sectors (ie pharma, devices, hospitals/clinics, etc.).  I believe we will develop this committee to become the “go to source” for healthcare issues by both the Vietnamese and US governments.  This committee will hopefully become the leading edge for trade, investment, and overall development of Vietnam’s healthcare domain.

Additionally, I am very interested in helping develop AmCham HCMC’s advocacy capabilities ensuring that AmCham HCMC members will be fully serviced with their advocacy needs whether in HCMC, Danang, Hanoi, or Washington DC.

Finally, I believe there are many creative ways that AmCham can grow revenues and better serve members which have not yet been developed.  One such idea would be for AmCham to partner with and/or directly invest in a co-working space which would not only provide better meeting space for AmCham committees and meetings… It could also serve as a business launching pad for new AmCham companies investing in Vietnam.

Thank you very much for your consideration of my candidacy for the 2020 Board of Governors.

Jahanzeb Khan, Candidate for Board of Governors 2020

Jahanzeb Qayum Khan

CEO & General Director, Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage

Jahanzeb is the CEO & General Director of Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage Company. Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverages ( is a strategic alliance between PepsiCo Inc and Suntory Holdings Limited, a Japanese beverages giant After more than 25 years of operations in Vietnam, SPVB is one of the leading beverage companies with 5 manufacturing facilities nationwide, 5 sales offices and 1 Head office The company now provides direct employment for more than 2 800 employees and thousands of indirect employees It has 13 brands in market, playing in 7 categories, which are backed with a strong Go To Market strategy.

We have almost 400 Distributors as our partners and more than 1 900 Salesmen who work everyday to make sure our products reach 400 000 outlets through direct service and 700 000 outlets through wholesalers As part of our Sustainable Development agenda, we believe in being responsible towards the community we operate in Therefore, alongside providing high quality products to meet the needs of consumers, SPVB carries out series of activities to support clean water and education This is living our company Value of “giving back to the society SPVB is one of the top employers of choice in Vietnam and has recently been awarded 1 st place amongst the Top 10 Most Trustworthy beverage companies in Vietnam (Non alcohol sector)*

Jahanzeb has close to 30 years of working experience in MNCs His last 19 years in PepsiCo saw him working extensively in Asia Middle East and Africa, namely Pakistan, South Africa, Nigeria, Iran and Thailand Prior to joining SPVB, he was based in Bangkok as Vice President, Business Development and Transformation Asia Pacific Before the Transformation role, he was the General Director for Pakistan and Afghanistan, leading both Snacks and Beverage portfolios From July 2019 Jahanzeb assumed the charge of CEO General Director of SPVB.

Jahanzeb is a graduate in Electrical Engineering with a degree from the University of Maryland, USA Jahanzeb plays golf, loves hunting and reading books He also likes spending time with his wife and children and strives to achieve a good work life balance.

Vision for AmCham

I would look to work with the Governors and members of AmCham to firstly enhance the overall profile and reputation of this organization Secondly, I would want to specifically work to promote trade and to develop a transparent investment environment in Vietnam Leveraging my international and cross cultural experience I believe I can add value to very specific business issues that would help support growth of the Vietnamese economy I would look to enhance the advocacy agenda and help achieve the main objective of AmCham i e promoting trade and investment between Vietnam and the U S AmCham has made a positive impact on Vietnamese society over the last 25 years Let’s build on that legacy.