Here are some of our fabulous distin8uished Women of the Future. Viva thanks them for giving up a lunch hour to meet with their highest bidder. We would also like to thank our restaurant sponsors who have given Viva a free business lunch for two for the mentor and mentee.

Business lunch sponsors: Mosto, Smushi House, Purple Haze, The Bookworm, Hatsune, Alameda, Moment Café and Marriott Northeast.

To register for this event, please visit the event page.

  • Leslie Simpson
  • Position: Founder of Roundabout
  • Please tell us a little bit about yourself, including your background and experience. 
  • My name is Leslie Simpson, I am old enough to know that life is an amazing journey ;  it is what you make it and every second should be treasured.I am mum to 4 wonderful children – 3 older boys and a beautifully spirited 8 year old daughter whom we adopted here in China.  To hear her amazing life story is worth the auction price alone !!!My adorable daughter-in-law is also Chinese so we have really do have China in our blood now !I have volunteered in the charity sector in China for over 8 years, the last 4 ½ taking the role of founder and CEO of Roundabout – mainland China’s first charity distribution store.I have had some tough experiences in life but I believe I was given them in order to have the strength , skills and empathy to do the work I now do. Our charity is not a religious one but I do have faith and pray daily that HE will continue to use me as a vessel to bring hope to those less fortunate.
  • What do you see as your most fascinating quality(ies), which makes you a fabulous lunch date?
  • Oh golly ! You ask tough questions !I think the fact that I have a fiery passion for what I do, am gutsy and go by the mantra “ where there is a will, there is a way” and have packed about 3 lives worth into this one means I have loads of stories to share.Subconciously I propably have a little mission going on and that is to change everyone into a mindful giver as I know first-hand the joy that can bring to not only your life but the lives of those around you.
  • Cindy Jensen
  • Position: Founder / General Manager, Boldmoves China
  • Please tell us a little bit about yourself, including your background and experience.
  • I am a Canadian and have been living in China for over 10 years. Prior to moving to China I worked with Frito-Lay, A division of PepsiCo for ten years and held a number of senior management positions working in the area of HR, Sales and Trade Marketing. I also worked with TELUS mobility, the Canada’s largest wireless carrier as a National Account Manager.When I arrived in China I started my own consulting business. It has been a very rewarding and enriching experience. I work with senior managers and leaders in the area of Executive Coaching and developing talent development programs in particular in the area of Leadership Development.During the past 6 months I have been working with Harrow International as Business Director, Head of Administration. This has been an exciting time given they are opening a new school. I oversee ICT, HR, Finance, Marketing, Purchasing and Facilities.During my spare time I am involved in a number of charitable organizations and have served on a number of boards.In 2012, I was honored to receive the Entrepreneur of the Year, People’s Choice Award with China Women in Business.
  • What do you see as your most fascinating quality(ies), which makes you a fabulous lunch date?

–      My can-do attitude and positive energy.
–      Reliability and commitment to keeping my promises
–      The ability to identify an opportunity and see how my skills can be a fit.-      Understand the value of building a vast network which often translated into life-long friendships

–      Believe in the importance of giving back

–      Having a passion in multiple areas

Professionalism and representing your brand – every single day

  • Alexandra Pearson
  • Position: Managing Director at The Bookworm
  • Please tell us a little bit about yourself, including your background and experience.
  • After completing a degree in Chinese language and literature in London I came to Beijing in 1992 to study at the Central Conservatory of Music. Since then I have established an assortment of businesses and organisations including an 80 piece choir, an experimental theatre, The Poachers, The Island Club, an outdoor management training company, a creative thinking skills training organisation and The Bookworm.
  • What do you see as your most fascinating quality(ies), which makes you a fabulous lunch date?
  • Courage and a keenness for exploration and fun. Having established a few rather unusual organisations in a country that creates hilarious challenges at every step, I have plenty of fodder for lunch conversation.
  • Alex Pearson on LinkedIn
  • Alison Friedman
  • Position: Director/Founder at Ping Pong Productions
  • Please tell us a little bit about yourself, including your background and experience.
  • Alison M. Friedman is the founding director of Ping Pong Productions, a producing and consulting organization headquartered in Beijing with the mission of cultural diplomacy.Clients include TAO Dance Theater, Mark Morris Dance Group, the U.S Embassy in China, the British Council, Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, and Los Angeles Theatre Works

    Ms. Friedman works closely with Chinese and international governments and arts organizations to facilitate collaborations, tours, and lasting artistic relationships.

  • What do you see as your most fascinating quality(ies), which makes you a fabulous lunch date?
  • I have stories that might surprise you.
- You have stories that might delight me.
  • Alison Friedman on LinkedIn
  • Kelly Brantner
  • Position: Senior Partner at Compass Education Group
  • Please tell us a little bit about yourself, including your background and experience.
  • My entire professional career has been in the education industry working and helping individuals achieve their career goals.  In Canada I worked for a leading consulting firm, MICA Knightsbridge, in their corporate innovation and talent management practices.  While at MICA, I was fortunate enough to work on projects with some of the world’s foremost thought leaders such as the late Stephen Covey, Edward de Bono (founder of the Six Thinking Hats concept), Jim Collins (Good to Great) and Malcom Gladwell (The Tipping Point).
  • In 2007 I joined Rutgers Business School in Beijing and in 2009 became the Executive Director of their Asian operations.  Today, I am a Senior Partner at Compass Education Group, a small firm that works with foreign as well as Chinese universities on a number of unique projects related to market development, partnership development, and programming.
  • What do you see as your most fascinating quality(ies), which makes you a fabulous lunch date?
  • Malcolm Gladwell would describe me as a connector.  I enjoy meeting people, learning about what they are doing and what they want to do and you never know how I could help. Also, life is too short so we need to have some fun, laugh a lot and enjoy the pleasure of meeting new people and sharing ideas and experiences.
  • Kelly Brantner on LinkedIn
  • Emma Nordlund
  • Position:  First Secretary, Political Affairs, Embassy of Sweden
  • Please tell us a little bit about yourself, including your background and experience.
  • What do you see as your most fascinating quality(ies), which makes you a fabulous lunch date?
  • Emma Nordlund on LinkedIn
  • Eva Molina Biorck
  • Position: Biorck & Co – Design Lifestyle Accessories for the Individual and their Home;Mosto and Modo Casual Fine Dining Restaurants
  • Please tell us a little bit about yourself, including your background and experience.
  • Born in Australia and brought up in Sweden, I built up my life and career here in Beijing , straight after graduating from Stockholm University. Ying & Yang is now part of my DNA as I built up 2 very different but complementary businesses in Beijing with a Swedish guiding stick in one hand and a Chinese tenacious and patient stick in the other hand.
  • What do you see as your most fascinating quality(ies), which makes you a fabulous lunch date?
  • I understood from a young age that the China opportunity was loaded with incomprehensible challenges and frustrations. It was at this point that I started to travel in China from age 20, on my own, crossing the Chinese countryside by train with a very limited amount of the language…not even liking Chinese food at the time! This country has made my skin very thick but I have never forgotten my Swedish “references” of living, esthetics and organizational culture. I have built up my businesses as horizontal as possible and my private life as balanced as possible. There is a lot on my plate…but it’s great, because I’m still as hungry as the first day I arrived in Beijing!
  • Susie Bates
  • Position: General Manager Talent Q
  • Please tell us a little bit about yourself, including your background and experience.
  • Susie Bates has been living and working in Beijing China since 1981, when she started working for the UK Company, Rolls-Royce; Susie has since worked for multi-nationals covering HR and people management issues, raised two children, played a key role in the early conceptualization and development of an international school in Beijing, and has been a key player amongst the European and US chambers of commerce over the years.  Her 32 years in China has been a wonderful journey of discovery and one of the joys she consistently embraces is living amongst the diverse mix-match of cultures and nationalities that living in Beijing brings.
  • What do you see as your most fascinating quality(ies), which makes you a fabulous lunch date?
  • Susie is a fascinating person and has a depth of knowledge, experience and excitement about China that few people have sustained after three decades of life here.  Lunch with Susie will be filled with laughter, and sharing poignant stories about both herself and her life over the years will be a truly fun and rich experience.Susie Bates on LinkedIn