The Stevie Awards Blog

The Competition is Always Getting Tougher, according to an Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards Judge

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 @ 02:08 PM

Richa Ramola is Vice President Human Resources at Radius Global Solutions in Mumbai, India. As one of the more active judges in the 2016 Asia Pacific Stevie Awards, she contributed to judging submissions in the Company, Management, HR, Customer Service, and Creative Awards categories.

See the full list of Asia-Pacific Stevie-winners here.  

We asked Richa about the judging process, what she thought about the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, and what most interested her about her own work.

1604RadiusGS.jpgJudging the 2016 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, Richa told us, had been an enriching experience. “I have enjoyed judging each entry for the awards. There is so much learning and so much innovation that has been shared by the participants, and that gives us insight to intelligent processes and work being done across a variety of organizations in different countries.”

Apply here if you would like to be considered as a judge for the 2017 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.

As someone who judged entries in multiple categories this year, we asked Richa for her overall impression of entries to the 2016 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.  “I can see organizations competing amongst each other for this coveted award, and there are so many more entries this year,” she commented. “The competition is getting tougher!”

This year, the judges were divided into committees by category group and by language.  The judges who participate in the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards have their own competition: two of them will win a pair of tickets to attend the Awards Presentations in Sydney, Australia, at the end of May.  Richa is hoping she will be one of this year’s contenders. “Sydney is such a beautiful city and I would love to visit it! And being part of the Awards Ceremony would make it all the more exciting,” she told us.

Richa works in the Mumbai office of Radius Global Solutions, which has its corporate headquarters in Ambler, Pennsylvania, USA. The company is hoping to expand into the Asia Pacific region in the near future.

As Vice President Human Relations at Radius, Richa loves her work. “People are our most valued assets, and our HR department has a very important role to play in creating a strong culture where our employees enjoy coming to work each day,” she explained. “Developing our people and seeing them grow in their work makes me happy and inspires me to continue to build a culture where people love to work and want to grow.”

About Richa Ramola:

Richa is currently the Vice President HR for Radius Global Solutions' India site. Prior to this role, she had 19 years of experience across well-known organizations such as ITC Hotels, SITEL, and IBM. She has work experience across functions including Customer Service, Operations, Quality, Training, and Human Resources.

In her current role, Richa is responsible for leading HR strategy for the India site and executing it successfully. She acts as a business partner to the organization’s senior management, sharing best practices, HR support, guidance, and advice with the India leadership. She manages all HR activities across the site, developing, implementing, and communicating HR practices, policies and programs.

About Radius Global Solutions:

Radius Global Solutions, headquartered near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, is a leading provider of accounts receivable, customer relations, and revenue cycle management solutions. Radius was established on the principle of innovation. The company attracts the best people, empowers them with a progressive business culture, and enables them with next-generation technology. Radius is at the forefront of compliance. Its commitment to meeting the challenges of an ever-changing regulatory environment provides tangible and measurable benefits to its clients. With more than a century of experience in the industry, the Radius team has the knowledge and expertise to provide reliable, consistent service. Radius delivers the results its clients expect and deserve. For more information go to

Tags: awards judging, judges, Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

Winners in 2016 Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards Announced

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 @ 09:56 AM

Honorees for Innovation in Business to Be Recognized in Sydney on 27 May

Winners in the third annual Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards, the only awards program to recognize innovation in business throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region, were announced today.  The list of Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners is available at

The Stevie Awards are considered to be the world's premier business awards, conferring recognition for achievement in the workplace over the past 14 years in programs such as The International Business Awards and The American Business Awards. 

APSApic2-2.jpgThe 2016 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards have recognized organizations in 17 nations including Australia, China, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Qatar, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the U.S.A., and Vietnam. More than 600 nominations about innovative achievements in the 22-nation APAC region were considered by the judges this year.

This year’s top overall winner, with five Gold, eight Silver, and six Bronze Stevie Award wins is Telkom Indonesia.

Atomic 212 of Australia has won eight Gold Stevie Awards, more than any other organization this year. Telkom Indonesia and The Spaceship (Australia) are runners up, each with five Gold Stevie wins. Winners of two Gold Stevies include KoROAD (South Korea), PT PETROKIMIA GRESIK (Indonesia), Singapore Airlines, Songpa Gu Office (South Korea) Strategic Public Relations Group (Hong Kong), and WardrobeTrendsFashion (Singapore).

Stevie winners will be presented their awards at a gala banquet at Westin Sydney Hotel in Sydney, Australia on Friday, 27 May.  Tickets for the event are now on sale.

More than 50 executives around the world participated in the judging to determine the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners. 

Details about the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards and the list of Stevie Award winners are available at

About the Stevie® Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at

Tags: Asia Awards, Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, stevie winners

Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards 2016 Judging Chairs

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Apr 18, 2016 @ 04:34 PM

The Stevie Awards are delighted to announce the eight distinguished professionals who will chair the judging committees of The 2016 (3rd annual) Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.

The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards are the only business awards program to recognize achivement in innovation in the 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region.

The eight committee chair selections are based on the categories that will be judged and the language in which nominations were submitted. Judging chairs helped to form their committees, each of which will be comprised of 5-20 other executives. 

Winners in this year's Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards will be announced on
April 20. Judging took place through April 17. Winners will be celebrated at an awards banquet in Sydney, Australia on May 27.  Tickets are on sale now.

Here are this year's final judging committee chairs.


Margaret Manning, OBE, CEO and Founder
Adelphi Digital Consulting Group, Singapore

16-APSA-Creative-Chair.gifMargaret Manning is the CEO and Founder of Adelphi Digital, a U.K. digital consulting company trading mostly in Asia Pacific. It was set up through an MBI of the Singapore and Australia offices of Reading Room, one of the UK’s largest digital agencies.  The company now has offices in Australia, Thailand, and Singapore and works with clients from the USA, the Middle East, and across the Asia Pacific region. Clients range from large multinationals such as Fuji Xerox and BHP Billiton to boutique brands such as Banyan Tree and Anantara.

Outside of work, Margaret Manning adores red wine, and is a self-confessed geek.  Her fascination with programming and gaming started at University, and now manifests as a deep and unbreakable bond with her iPad.  Margaret’s lifelong pursuit of online gaming, a degree in psychology (specializing in artificial intelligence), and a management-consultancy background with PwC, have together led Margaret to a special interest in online communications. She particularly enjoys exploring how new forms of communication are changing the way business works in fundamental ways and sees the increasing acceptance of agile business is one clear example that the old ways are changing.

In June 2015, Margaret received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for her services to export to Singapore and the wider Asia-Pacific region. She remains committed to helping SMEs from any region to expand both nationally and internationally.   In Margaret’s own words: “I was lucky enough to have great mentors over the years and it’s a favor I would like to pay back to young business leaders.”


Kuldej Sinthawanarong, CEO
JARKEN, Bangkok, Thailand

16-APSA-CO-Chair.gifKuldej Sinthawanarong is CEO of JARKEN group of companies, a multi-disciplinary design and professional business. Over the last fifteen years, Kuldej and his team have grown JARKEN into an international, multiple award-winning consultancy through his core competency in creativity and top-notch design expertise. JARKEN is now one of Thailand’s top architectural, interior design, and branding agencies. The firm aims to become the first ever design-driven organization to be listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

Kuldej has maintained an unwavering attitude toward the design and construction of buildings during his career in construction and architecture. While his later projects may show more refinement than his earlier projects, he clearly authored both as they are based on the same design concepts. His consistency and dedication are admirable in the ever-changing fashion trends of modern architecture. He now shares this passion with his staff as he expands his creative business into the marketing and branding professional service industry.

Kuldej loves his work, adores his family, and feels very lucky to have such a great team around him. He told us: “Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try, and once you have achieved your success, it should be seen.”


Stephen Gill, President
Stephen Gill Associates, Bang Kruai, Nonthaburi, Thailand

16-APSA-CS-Chair.gifStephen Gill is an experienced, award-winning international business development consultant and company director with a strong engineering background, having gained much of his experience at senior management or board level.  His active involvement in Asia began more than a decade ago when he was brought in to turn around a struggling joint-venture company in Shanghai.  He has experienced at first-hand the highs and lows of doing business in China and, more recently, in Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific.  Stephen now spreads his time equally between Asia Pacific and Europe, with bases in Bangkok, and Nottingham, UK. 

With a focus on helping individuals to excel, and organizations to grow and thrive, Stephen is a trusted advisor, mentor and strategist to executives and businesses.  Stephen is a high-profile figure in the refrigeration engineering field, serving as President of the Institute of Refrigeration. As a refrigeration expert consultant, Stephen has worked on many prestigious projects around the globe.  He is known for providing energy-efficient, sustainable cooling solutions that are practical and affordable.  Stephen won two Gold Stevies at the 2015 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards in Shanghai for a refrigeration industry awareness poster campaign. These posters have since been translated into 8 languages. 

Stephen is a regular contributor to business and technical magazines and books, as well as a conference speaker.  He has an MBA from Loughborough University and an LLM (Business Law) from De Montfort University.

Stephen is honored to have been appointed Chair of the Customer Service Judging Committee. As he told us: “The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards bring focus to the sheer passion, energy, professionalism, and fun of doing business in the region.”


Jimmy Lam, Group Chief Creative Officer
LEO Digital Network
, Shanghai, China

16-APSA-PR-Chair.gifIn January 2016, Jimmy joined the LEO Digital Network as Group Chief Creative Officer. He also started Jimmy+Amber Communications, a hot shop creating media-neutral ideas integrated with technology to provide creative business solutions to brands and products, as a member company of the group.

From 2012 to 2015, Jimmy was Vice Chairman and Chief Creative Officer for DDB China Group, where he took the group's acclaimed creative achievements to an even higher level. In the same year, Jimmy was honored at the China Communications Leadership Forum as one of the 20 most influential marketing communications leaders, for his contribution in setting high creative standard as well as nurturing young talent for the industry.  In 2014, Jimmy was honored by the China 4As as Ad Person of the Year. In 2015, Jimmy was a Direct Lions jury member at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, and was Jury President of Brand Content & Entertainment and Sports Marketing for the 2015 Cristal International Awards.

Since 2005, Jimmy has been appointed as President of the Asia Pacific Advertising Festival, and is one of the four founders of the LongXi International Chinese Creative Awards, and Chief Editor of the Longyin Review Magazine. Between 1995-1999, Jimmy took a sabbatical to get his fix as a TV commercial film director. As one of the most awarded creative directors from Hong Kong, Jimmy was the first Hong Kong creative invited to judge at the Cannes International Advertising Festival.  Jimmy started his career as a Chinese-language copywriter, rising through the ranks in seven international advertising agencies in Hong Kong and China to become Asia Pacific Executive Creative Director, Greater China Chairman, and Creative Advisor to Dentsu Inc. in Tokyo. Author of three Chinese language books on advertising, Jimmy is frequently invited to speak at industry forums and universities in China and Hong Kong, and to be their curriculum advisor.

Jimmy graduated from the Hong Kong Baptist University in 1976 and has been named one of 40 most distinguished alumni by the School of Communication. Jimmy was born in Hong Kong and is currently based in Shanghai.


Danny Maher, CEO

Opmantek, Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia

16-APSA-NP-Chair-NEW.gifDanny Maher is the CEO of Opmantek, a multi award-winning Australian Software Company operating in the field of Infrastructure Management and IT Audit. Danny is an industry-recognized, professional commercializer of innovation with over 25 years experience in the IT industry in technical, sales and marketing, management, and executive roles. 

Opmantek products are used by over 90,000 organizations across 130 countries worldwide. With a new software implementation occurring every 6 minutes, Opmantek is one of the fastest growing enterprise software companies in the world. Opmantek was named Australian ICT Exporter of the year in 2014 and has been the Queensland ICT exporter of the year for the past 2 years. Danny won the Gold Stevie for Australian Executive of the Year in the 2015 Asia Pacific Stevie awards.

Danny is a passionate supporter of the IT industry, serves on a number of Boards, and is an Angel Investor.  He was the only executive investor in the NetStar Group - alongside VC’s Allen and Buckeridge and Baring Private Equity Partners - where he founded the managed service business in Sydney, growing it to service customers in 42 countries across the globe. During this time Danny traveled extensively through Asia, designing and establishing new businesses and partnerships. NetStar was acquired by Logicalis in January 2011. Danny has held executive management and senior engineering roles for companies including IKON in Washington, DC, U.S.A., UBS Warburg in London, U.K., ICL in the U.K., and The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Australia.

Danny enjoys the beach, restaurants, and is an owner of a number of successful racehorses with the Gai Waterhouse stable. 


Beom-Seok Seo, Ph.D., Professor of Advertising & PR
Se-Myung University, Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea

16-APSA-Korean-Chair.gifBeom-Seok Seo has been Professor of Advertising & PR at Se-Myung University since 1995, and began his academic career as a Lecturer in Advertising & PR at Chung-Ang and Kyung-Hee Universities in 1985.

In addition to being Chair of the Korean Judging Committee in the 2016 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, Seo has also been Chief Judge for the Best Product of the Year Awards for the Kyungin Daily for the past 9 years; and for the Maeil Advertising Awards, run by the Maeil Economic Daily, for the past 12 years.  He has been a member of several academic and professional boards and committees, and has published numerous books on advertising, including most recently “The History of Korea Advertising” in 2015

Between 1997 and 2010, Seo was a consultant to a range of companies including Welcomm Publicis Advertising Agency, Seoul City Marketing, Media Bank Co. Ltd., Daehan Pulp Co. Ltd., and Dawoo Cables.  From 1981 to 1990, Seo was Deputy Manager, Advertising and Director of Marketing at LG Chemical Ltd.    He has a Ph.D. in Advertising from Kyung-Hee University and an M.A. in Advertising & PR from Chung-Ang University.


Hideki Saito, Director
Contemporary-Tech, Inc., Tokyo, Japan

16-APSA-Japan-Chair.gifHideki Saito is a director at Contemporary-Tech Inc. Working exclusively in temporary staffing since 1970, he has become one of the most experienced individuals in the industry in Japan. His approach to matching both skills and personality in order to improve staff retention and work enjoyment has been a welcome contribution to society.



Dr. Richard Huzhaoyang, Senior Editor

China Advertising, Shanghai, China

16-APSA-Chinese-Chair.gifDr. Richard Huzhaoyang is a Senior Editor at China Advertising. With more than 18 years experience working in telecom engineering, media, and marketing, Richard has run projects for Volkswagen, Coca-Cola, and Dutch Satellite TV, and has more than 2,000 apps published on the CMAC platform.  During the Beijing Olympics, Richard contributed to programming for CCTV and Dutch National TV. He continues to work for Korea KBS and MOT, and carries out research for the video industry through the Global Communication Research Institute. Richard has a Ph.D. from Jiaotong University in Shanghai.







Tags: Asia Awards, judges, Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

Powering the Nation: How Stevie Award Winner Singapore Power Inspired its Employees and Stakeholders

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 @ 11:31 AM

Singapore Power won the Gold Stevie Award for Best PR Campaign: International Communications in the Communications/PR Awards categories of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.

The final entry deadline for the 2016 Asia-Pacific Awards has been extended to Wednesday, April 6.


We asked Amelia Champion, Head of Corporate Affairs at Singapore Power, what the Stevie award has meant for her team, and for some insight into how Singapore Power plans to continue to Power the Nation.

1603-SingaporePower.gifSingapore Power embarked on a corporate positioning exercise in 2013, with a focus on the company’s role as a reliable and efficient power utilities provider, an employer of choice, and a proactive developer of engineering talent. The journey covered a perception audit among consumers, employees across different employee strata and engagement with the Board and Senior Management.

The result was a corporate position—centered on the aspiration of “Powering the Nation”—adopted as the positioning statement. This position is supported by the three pillars of Trust, Technology, and Talent.

The main target audience included employees and prospective employees, customers, and the public.

As Head of Corporate Affairs at Singapore Power, Amelia Champion was delighted that her company’s campaign won a Gold Stevie Award. “This award is a boost to Singapore Power’s 3,500 employees,” she told us. “These are the people who have enthusiastically participated in telling their story of powering the nation 24/7, and of upholding high standards of reliability and efficiency to improve quality of life.”

Added Amelia: “The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards are a solid pulse check and independent benchmark for companies as they build their track record, alongside respected peers.”

The Launch

Engaging employees in this journey was an essential component for the campaign’s success. Singapore Power (SP) launched the “Powering the Nation” positioning internally among its employees at the annual staff convention, and through decentralized road shows using parallel simulcast streaming. A commissioned video featuring SP’s role in supporting nation building was screened at these events. The theme and key pillars were also delivered through 27 Group CEO dialogue sessions with staff between September 2013 and October 2014.

SP introduced a new suite of internal communications channels named spectrum. These included a revamped staff portal featuring up-to-date information and important messages, fortnightly corporate news updates, a bimonthly spectrum magazine distributed to all 3,500 staff, and the “Power Talks” quarterly employee lunchtime platform to introduce the spectrum channels and enable staff to pick up useful information for professional and personal growth.

Branded “Powering the Nation” collaterals and gifts such as notebooks and coasters were produced and distributed to all staff. To inspire organizational pride in all staff, SP also put up National Day celebratory banners with the “Powering the Nation” statement at central locations around Singapore.


Results from the annual staff convention post-event survey revealed that the “Powering the Nation” statement resonated well with staff, who also exhibited high recall and receptivity to the key messages. As high as 96% of 530 staff who participated in the plenary session said that they felt proud of the company’s role in powering the nation. About 91% agreed that “I Power the Nation” accurately described their roles at SP.

Not only has “Powering the Nation” been well-received by staff, they have spontaneously adopted the positioning statement within their own programs and presentations and now regularly use the it when introducing Singapore Power to local and overseas stakeholders.

Powering the Future
Amelia told us some of the activities planned by Singapore Power for 2016. “We aim to establish and enhance more channels of engagement with our customers and employees, in tandem with new ways of staying connected in the digital age. We will also focus on community service and staff volunteerism, continuing our commitment to powering the nation in more ways than one.”

Amelia looks forward to the year ahead. As she told us, she is motivated by “the pride and fulfillment of being part of a team that keeps the lights on round the clock, contributes to Singapore’s economic growth and quality of life, and drives sustainable solutions to serve future generations.

About Amelia Champion:

Amelia Champion is Singapore Power's Head of Corporate Affairs, overseeing corporate positioning, reputation management, internal communications, and corporate social responsibility. She built her career in healthcare and community service organizations. At the SingHealth Group, Amelia was Director, Group Communications, driving programs and initiatives to unify employees and to reinforce the Group’s standing in Academic Medicine. Prior to that, Amelia headed Public Relations, Patient Relations, Events, and Promotions at the National Kidney Foundation in Singapore. She was responsible for running nation-wide campaigns to promote organ donation; international healthcare conferences with marketing efforts in the US, Europe and Asia; policy-making; and for creating holistic self-help programs for patients. In her spare time, Amelia contributes to her school's alumni association as an executive committee member, and volunteers her services in her local parish.

About Singapore Power:

Singapore Power Group (SP) is a leading energy utility group in the Asia Pacific. It owns and operates electricity and gas transmission and distribution businesses in Singapore and Australia, and district cooling businesses in Singapore and China. More than 1.4 million industrial, commercial, and residential customers in Singapore benefit from SP’s world-class transmission, distribution, and market support services. The networks in Singapore are amongst the most reliable and cost-effective worldwide. For more information, please visit and follow us on Facebook

Tags: business awards, PR awards, communication awards, Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards Final Entry Deadline has been Extended

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

The Stevie® Awards, organizer of the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, announced today that the final entry deadline for the third annual competition has been extended to Wednesday, April 6.

No additional late fees will be charged. Entries submitted through April 6 will not be disadvantaged in the judging process. Complete entry details are available at


APSA-smiling-group-2015.gifThe Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards are open to all organizations in the 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region. The categories have been redesigned to focus on recognizing innovation in all its forms, wherever and however it is achieved in the workplace. Nominations will be accepted and judged in seven languages – Chinese, English, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay and Thai - in the following category groups:

Judging of nominations will be conducted through April by more than 100 executives around the world. Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners will be announced on April 20. The winners will be celebrated during a gala banquet on May 27 in Sydney, Australia. Some of the Asia-Pacific region’s most distinguished companies have won Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards in the past two years including Cisco Systems, Crocs Singapore, Delta Airlines, DHL Express, Ford China, Globe Telecom, MetLife Asia Ltd., Sony, and SYSPRO Software, among others.

About The Stevie Awards
The Stevie Awards are conferred in six programs: The American Business Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, and the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards. A seventh program, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, will debut this spring. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at, and follow the Stevie Awards on Twitter @TheStevieAwards

Tags: marketing awards, innovation awards, Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

Identifying Challenges in the Asian Century: Profile of a Stevie Awards Judge

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Jan 12, 2016 @ 02:55 PM

Jim Wagstaff is the Managing Director of Jam Factory Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based consulting and education technology firm. He is also an active judge for the 2016 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. In 2015, he participated in judging for the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.

The 2016 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards is currently accepting entries. Find out how to enter here.

We asked Jim about the Stevie Awards judging process, what it is like running a business in Singapore, and for his insight into the contrasts between working in Asia-Pacific and the West.

1512jamfactory.jpgA Strong Endorsement

Jim would most definitely recommend being a Stevie Awards judge to others. As he told us: “I was initially invited to be a judge by someone who is a friend and colleague. The judging process really gives you a sense of the variety and creativity in how companies are approaching business challenges and opportunities in various parts of the world.”

Jim Wagstaff has called Singapore home since 2007. He had been living and working in Shanghai for a number of years when an opportunity to relocate to Singapore with Hewlett-Packard came up. Since 2010, he has been the Managing Director of Jam Factory in Singapore. We asked him about his decision to relocate to Singapore.

There were a number of professional reasons I chose to move to Singapore,” Jim explained. “The job, the breadth of the role, and a promotion … but also, from a personal perspective, I really enjoy the quality of life in Singapore: the year-round warm weather, the food, the location, and the concentration of so many businesses’ regional headquarters in one city.”

The Asian Century

Jim is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in business administration with a research emphasis on cross-cultural leadership and organizational development. We asked him if he could provide us with some insight into differences between the ways companies operate in the Asia-Pacific region that Western businesses should be aware of (and vice versa).

Commented Jim: “As an American who has spent half my career in various cities in Asia, the need for cultural intelligence and cross-cultural leadership skills has been close to my heart for quite some time.”

“As a source of research, study, and practice during my doctoral studies, there are a few important points for anyone looking to do business internationally … but especially in Asia, or moving out from Asia,” continued Jim. “The twenty-first century has often been characterized as the ‘Asian Century.’ Rapid economic growth in East Asia has created opportunities and challenges for multinational corporations, particularly Western multinationals. Western businesses have largely been predisposed to using a “one-size-fits-all” approach to management in their international locations. This strategy can pose a number of particular cultural contradictions for team members in East Asia.”

Working Outside the Cultural Comfort Zone

“My research has uncovered a number of specific areas that can be used as a model for leadership development by local, regional, and global managers,” Jim explained. “The model centers on the knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to align, relate, and communicate more effectively by anyone who needs to work within and outside their own cultural ‘comfort zone’ in a multinational environment–particularly as a local subsidiary of a Western multinational company.”

Solving the Tough Issues

With the start of a new year, we asked Jim what he most looked forward to in the year ahead. “I love working with my clients,” he told us. “Since moving out of HP, I have become an entrepreneur and an active board member in a number of companies. The variety of work and its challenges really keeps me motivated. I am constantly looking for opportunities to help my clients solve their toughest issues … cost, complexity, process, organization, leadership … and to put them in a better position to be successful in their markets.”

About Jim Wagstaff:

Jim Wagstaff is the Co-Founder, Managing Director, and Content Guru of The Jam Factory in Singapore. Jim leads the consulting part of the business, and has a wealth of experience in executive roles in various companies. He loves working with clients to help them identify their learning needs and map their plans so as to positively impact their business. He also leads content development, and has designed many training programs for different customers and industries.

Jim also serves as Managing Director of Renewtrak Asia, a fully managed, white-label renewals platform-as-a-service where the business model is 100% focused on helping clients increase their service contract renewals at no additional operational cost to the client. In addition, Jim is an active board member at Up 2 Speed Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based organization focused on crafting customized learning and development approaches for multinational and global companies.

Jim was previously Vice-President and General Manager of the StorageWorks Division for Hewlett Packard in Asia Pacific and Japan. His responsibilities while leading this business unit encompassed all aspects of the organization including sales, marketing, finance, operations, public relations and analyst relations, delivering around $800 million in revenue annually.

Prior to HP, Jim was at Dell in Shanghai, where he was General Manager of the server and storage business for China and Hong Kong. Jim was also responsible for Dell's alliance with EMC across Asia Pacific and Japan.

Jim has a BSc, an MBA, and is currently a doctoral researcher in the management school at the University of Liverpool with emphasis on the practical application of cross-cultural leadership approaches in multinational corporations. He is a runner and loves to travel.

About Jam Factory:

The Jam Factory enables businesses to enhance their workforce through training and development. Jam Factory provides learning and enablement solutions to businesses and professionals. The company believes in an integrated learning approach that is interactive and engages learners. It enables businesses to leverage technology to enable employees to learn, experience and engage. For more information, go to:

Tags: best customer service, customer service awards, technology awards, sales awards, judges, Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

Realizing China’s Initiative Towards Innovative Medicines, From a Stevie Award Winner

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Dec 22, 2015 @ 05:12 PM

Mireille Gillings, Ph.D., President, Chief Executive Officer, and Executive Chairman of HUYA Bioscience International in San Diego, California, USA, won a Gold Stevie Award in the Management Awards categories of The 2015 American Business Awards. HUYA Bioscience International also won the Bronze in the Company/Organization Awards categories of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.

We asked Mireille what winning her Stevie Awards has meant to her and her company.

“Winning a Stevie Award was a resounding endorsement of HUYA’s business model,” Mireille told us. “Our aim is to enable and accelerate global development of innovative biopharmaceuticals originating in China.”

1512HUYA22.jpg“This prestigious award, with its recognition of outstanding performance in the workplace, came at a pivotal point in HUYA’s evolution,” added Mireille. “Our novel anticancer therapy, HBI-8000, had entered clinical trials in Japan, plus it had been approved as Epidaza® by the Chinese FDA. HUYA’s drug has immunomodulatory properties, which are important to the clinical development of immuno-oncology therapeutics. The Stevie award was a much-appreciated affirmation for our team, and represented another stepping stone towards HUYA’s future success.”

The 2016 American Business Awards will be accepting entries through February 18 and late entries (with payment of a late fee) through March 16. Find out how to enter here.

The 2016 Asia-Pacific Awards is now open and will be accepting entries through March 23. Find out how to enter here.

The Benefits of Additional Exposure

Mireille was also appreciative of the broader awareness a Stevie Award can provide. As we continue to build our presence in the Asia-Pacific region, the additional exposure that the Stevie award has given HUYA continues to be extremely helpful,” she told us. “Since receiving the award, HUYA has opened new offices in South Korea, taking our proven business model to that country. The recent agreement between HUYA and the Korean Drug Development Fund (KDDF) will facilitate partnerships with local companies and research institutions to accelerate the development and commercialization of Korean pharmaceutical discoveries for global markets.”

“This expansion into South Korea adds to our presence in the U.S., Japan, and eight strategic locations throughout China,” continued Mireille. “This builds on HUYA’s overall strategy to be the partner-of-choice for innovative pharmaceutical companies in emerging centers of excellence worldwide.“

Wellspring of Innovation

We asked Mireille what new areas of biopharma innovation her company would be working on in the coming year.Looking ahead, we see China and other Asia-Pacific countries as a wellspring of innovation. In the coming year, HUYA will continue to implement its uniquely cost-efficient, reduced-risk model for drug development to advance promising molecules from this region,” she explained. “This model includes using preclinical and clinical results from tests carried out in China to create the most time, cost, and risk efficient therapies to be brought to the United States and other major markets. We will also continue to expand our activities in other Asian centers of biopharma research excellence, including South Korea and Japan, to source and add value to promising molecules.”

Continuing Success

In addition to her successes at the beginning of the year, Mireille went on to win two Silver and one Bronze Stevie Award in the 2015 International Business Awards, presented in Toronto, Canada, in October; and two Silver and one Bronze Stevie Award at the 2015 Stevie Awards for Women in Business in November.

Warmest congratulations to Mireille on this well-deserved recognition," said Clem Gingras, HUYA’s Chief Technology Officer & Chief Operating Officer Asia. As the first person to identify China’s potential to meet global demand for innovative medicines, Mireille founded HUYA to increase the speed of development and value creation for China sourced innovations in worldwide markets. These awards acknowledge several major recent milestones that have been achieved by HUYA.”

Accelerating & Streamlining Global Development

Mireille founded HUYA to accelerate development and value creation for China-sourced innovations worldwide. Many such compounds have been validated through a rigorous discovery, selection and development process in China, so this model streamlines and accelerates development globally, while lowering risk. HUYA has:

  • A database of ~14,000 China-sourced compounds–the world’s largest;
  • 110 agreements with Chinese academic & commercial organizations;
  • 80 scouts in China, more than top 5 global biopharma firms combined;
  • Access to 55% of the biopharma innovation in China;
  • Eight strategically located offices across China (Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, China Medical City [Taizhou], Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, and Wuhan);
  • Joint headquarters in Shanghai and San Diego, California.

HUYA opened an office in Japan in September 2014 to support future expansion in that country.

The Value of Cooperation

Looking ahead, Mireille will lead HUYA’s efforts to continue building relationships to make candidate compounds more accessible internationally, bringing value for both innovators and developers. Mireille and HUYA aim to be recognized as a main driving force that brings out the value of the Tripartite Cooperation between China, Japan, and South Korea in developing novel therapeutics to benefit patients in the three countries and worldwide.

Building Momentum in the Asia-Pacific Region

“I am inspired every day by the talented people who surround me, including HUYA’s dedicated employees and the world-class advisory boards who share their passion and talents,” explained Mireille. “In future, it will be exciting to watch as biopharma R&D continues to build momentum in the Asia-Pacific region. The HUYA teams in San Diego, Tokyo, Seoul and our eight China offices remain committed to globalizing Asian innovation.”

Concluded Mireille: “By building relationships and employing approaches such as in-licensing, alliances, co-development, research funding, and creative financial partnerships, HUYA is poised to bring pharmaceutical discoveries to benefit patients around the world.”

About Mireille Gillings:

Mireille Gillings, Ph.D., a visionary leader with 22 years of scientific and operational experience in the biotech sector, has been the driving force in establishing HUYA Bioscience International. At Quintiles, a Fortune 500 company, she was the first woman to be appointed to the Board of Directors since the company’s privatization and subsequent IPO. Mireille is Co-founder of GHO Capital, a private equity fund specializing in global health opportunities. She serves on the Board of Senté Inc., a science-based skincare company, and is a member of the U.S. Pasteur Foundation Board. Mireille has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and has held post-doctoral fellowships at Bordeaux University and Scripps Research Institute. She speaks fluent English, Dutch, French and Spanish.

About HUYA Bioscience International:

HUYA Bioscience International is a leader in enabling and accelerating the global development of novel biopharmaceutical product opportunities originating in China. HUYA has established extensive collaborations with Chinese biopharmaceutical, academic and commercial organizations to speed development and value creation in worldwide markets for China-sourced product candidates. With the largest Chinese compound portfolio covering all therapeutic areas, HUYA has emerged as the partner of choice for building and maximizing the value of biopharmaceutical innovation in China. HUYA has offices in the U.S., Japan, and eight strategic locations across China, with joint headquarters in San Diego and Shanghai. With the largest team of scientists working with Chinese innovators, HUYA identifies and advances promising drug candidates globally. For more information, go to

Tags: American business awards, women awards, company awards, management awards, Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

Reviving Traditional Culture in a Modern World, from a Stevie Award Winner

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 @ 02:20 PM

TORII HALL in Osaka, Japan, won the Silver Stevie Award for Services Company of the Year–Japan in the Company/Organization Awards categories of the 2014 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.

The 2016 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards is now open for entries.  Find out more here.

We talked with Torii Kosho, the Founder of Torii Hall, about winning a Silver Stevie, his views on the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards; and what plans the management of Torii Hall had for improving awareness of Japan’s traditional culture in 2016.

1511ToriiHall.jpgAs Torii Kosho explained to us: “Our ‘Kamigata Culture Revitalization Forum,’ which received the 2014 Stevie Award, has been promoting traditional Japanese cultures of the Osaka region, both domestically and internationally, for some time, and will continue to delve deeply into this culture until the end of this year.”

Editor’s Note: Kamigata is a region of Japan including the cities of Kyoto and Osaka; it is also the term used to describe a prolific period of urban culture in that region from the 17th-19th centuries.

Kosho further explained: “The Forum is a cooperation between enterprises, the government, and the people of Osaka; and includes Waseda University in Tokyo, which has the largest theater museum in the East. The aim is to revitalize and preserve the cultural power of Kamigata, which in the past has originated several forms of traditional Japanese entertainment, such as kabuki theater.”

Introducing Traditional Japanese Culture to Paris

We asked Kosho what benefits his organization had experienced through its efforts to heighten international awareness of these traditional cultures.

Kosho explained that members of Torii Hall were invited to a jazz concert in Paris, France, in March 2014, shortly before the Asian-Pacific Stevie Awards ceremony the following month in Seoul, South Korea. “I have been thinking since then that Montmartre in Paris and Minami in Osaka have a lot in common: they are both downtown areas and cradles of culture and art,” he explained. Following the trip to Paris, an exchange of video letters started between elementary school children in Paris and Minami, Osaka. Consequently, Kosho told us, “We are planning a special performance of Bunraku (a traditional form of Japanese puppet theater, which also originated in Osaka) for the schoolchildren in Paris in 2016 to commemorate this interaction.” This gesture takes on even more significance in light of recent events.

Kosho feels that the Kamigata Culture Revitalization Forum has been successful in raising awareness of such art forms as Bunraku and Kabuki theater, both of which are now registered as a cultural heritage by UNESCO.

Editor’s Note: UNESCO established its lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage with the aim of ensuring the better protection of important intangible cultural heritages worldwide and the awareness of their significance.

International Friendship

Osaka Minami, which is where Torii Hall is located, is an international area, and 42% of students at the South Elementary School nearby are foreign, coming from 15 different countries. The country with the largest number of students is the Philippines, with more than 30 students.   2016 marks the 60th anniversary of friendship between Japan and the Philippines. On March 30, 2016, in cooperation with the consulate of the Philippines, the children will travel to an elementary school on the Philippines’ Bataan Peninsula.

“I met some people from the Philippines who were attending the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards ceremony in Seoul, and when I mentioned to them that I support Filipinos, especially single mothers, in Osaka, I received a lot of praise,” said Kosho. “The feeling that this gave me at the time made me realize the value that this friendship event in March 2016 will have for our two countries. I would now like to plan a Bunraku performance in Manila to commemorate the anniversary.”

Continued Kosho: “The people who live or work in Osaka are largely unaware of the fact that the popular tourist destination of Dotonbori is the place where Kabuki and Bunraku first started. I think that winning our Stevie Award has been effective in letting those people know that.”

Another Anniversary

2015 is also the 400th anniversary of one of the main attractions for visitors to Osaka, the Dotonbori Canal, that was completed in November 1615. This November, Torii Hall held a special multi-religious memorial service to commemorate the event.

“We forget the differences between Shinto, Buddhism, and Christianity,” Kosho commented. “We ride together on a boat and pray for those who sacrificed their lives during open-cut construction of the Dotonbori canal, yet some of them might have been workers who had apostatized Christianity. I believe that we stand today upon foundations that were built by those who lived here during the past 400 years, including both Japanese and Europeans, and upon the traditional cultures such as Bunraku and Kabuki that flourished here. We should give thanks for that.”

Heightening Awareness of a Rare Disease

“Torii Hall will continue its role as a traditional cultural platform in 2016,” Kosho concluded. “At the same time, we also have plans to reach out to the community. We will launch a Kansai Branch of the Sakura Association to support the patients and families of an incurable form of porphyria that has recently been discovered. There is, as yet, no known treatment for this rare disease, but we can express our deep compassion for those who suffer from it–and help them avoid becoming isolated–by encouraging people with this disease to come and talk about their experiences.”

About Torii Kosho:

Torii Kosho was born in Osaka. He grew up as an heir to the traditional ryokan hotel Kamigata in Sennichimae, Osaka. After graduating from Konan University, he worked for a department store before starting work on the Torii building in 1989. With the completion of the Kamigata building in 1991, he opened TORII HALL, of which he is now the director. Kosho entered the Buddhist priesthood in 1994. He founded the Sennichizan Kosho temple of the Shingon Yamashina group in 2012 and became a chief priest.


TORII HALL is a theater with 100 seats on the fourth floor of the Kamigata building. It retains the atmosphere of yose (a Japanese style of comedy theater), and is designed like a traditional storyteller's house so that microphones aren’t needed during performances. ‘TORII yose’ is a showcase held on the first day of every month. It provides a place to train young rakugo (a traditional Japanese sit-down comedy) artists. It is also used as a venue for seminars, plays, and music events. To find out more, go to

Tags: company awards, Asia-Pacific, Japanese Awards, Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

How a Stevie Award Winner Is Helping to Clean Up Emissions in Asia

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Jul 02, 2015 @ 01:06 PM

The Chief Representative for Clean Air Task Force in China, Dr. S. Ming Sung won the Bronze Stevie® Award for Executive of the Year - Non-Profit or Government in the management awards categories of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards.  The edition of the 2016 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, which are open to all organizations operating in the 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region, will open for entries in October 2015. Find out how to get more information here.

Dr. S. Ming SungClean Air Task Force (CATF), a nonprofit environmental organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, believes that partnerships between companies in China and the West are crucial to accelerating the commercialization of low-carbon, coal-based energy generation. To that end, CATF is working in China and elsewhere in Asia to facilitate the development of joint business ventures between innovative energy companies and research institutions.

CATF is represented in China by Dr. S. Ming Sung, its Beijing-based Chief Representative for Asia-Pacific. CATF and Sung’s efforts in China focus on developing partnerships and knowledge-sharing that build on the country's current leadership in low-carbon coal technologies essential to addressing climate change and energy security.

Working Together

Beyond simply importing Western technologies, Chinese firms are working side-by-side with U.S. companies to learn how to adapt technologies to their needs and train new workforces. “The United States is more innovative,” said Sung. “But China tends to execute projects faster and cheaper than anyone else. So, if we can get the United States and China working together, everyone will benefit, and those concerns will also make a lot of money.”

Sung is profoundly aware of the importance of his work. As he put it: “CATF has a unique role to play in protecting the environment and addressing global climate change by catalyzing these business-to-business collaborations between the U.S. and Asia.”

Averting the Worst Consequences of Climate Change

Reliance on coal creates many challenges—along with some critically important opportunities. Energy companies in North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia have enormous experience and expertise working with coal, and are similarly motivated to develop technologies and techniques that will preserve a role for cleaner coal in a carbon-constrained world economy.

Business-to-business collaborations hold the potential to:

- Mitigate the cost of developing highly advanced clean energy technologies;

- Shorten the deployment time of clean energy systems;

- Decrease the world's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The environmental and economic benefits of transitioning to clean energy will be smaller and slower to materialize if western and Asian companies do not work together. Investments by both countries will reduce the cost of that technology worldwide, increasing the likelihood that low-carbon technologies such as carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) will be widely deployed in time to help avert the worst consequences of climate change.

Developing Partnerships in China

Together, the U.S. and China account for about 40% of the world's CO2 releases. Both countries are heavily reliant on fossil fuels, so the challenges they face are the same: How to cut CO2 emissions without harming economic growth and national security. CATF therefore believes that in developing climate change solutions, the U.S. and China are natural partners, not rivals.

Dr. Sung has helped CATF to facilitate several joint ventures between U.S. and Chinese technology companies to get low or zero carbon coal deployed quickly. (Find out more about these projects on the CATF website.)

Dr. Sung has worked with Chinese energy industry leaders to draft energy proposals. He serves as the Senior Economic Advisor to the Chinese city of DaQing, and has been a keynote speaker/moderator at many international conferences.

China’s giant state-owned companies are taking the lead on these projects, and many also involve major international partners. “If CCUS is to succeed, the U.S. and China must share more technical information on clean-coal technology,” says Sung.

A Thirst for Cleaner Energy

China's thirst for cleaner energy and the targets established in its 12th 5-year plan are pressuring the major companies operating in China to ramp up their efforts to explore for natural gas in shale formations and rapidly scale up production. But haste may risk environmental degradation and adverse human health impacts as reported in the press (e.g. The New York Times article "China Takes On Big Risks in Its Push for Shale Gas" from April 11, 2014).

CATF's vision is that by learning from the experiences of modern shale developers, China can leapfrog to more advanced, cleaner, safer practices proven in the U.S.

Moving Forward on Solar, Nuclear and Renewable Energy

Taking the "all of the above" approach to clean energy, CATF has also worked on helping China’s industry develop nuclear and solar capabilities. For example:

  • As part of U.S.-China collaboration on nuclear energy development, CATF is helping Chinese nuclear operators receive training in U.S. facilities run by Duke Energy and Southern Companies. Trainees shadow U.S. nuclear operators for a 3-6 months program;
  • Working with Duke Energy, Huaneng Group, and others, CATF is evaluating and validating the technical and economic feasibility of advanced small modular nuclear reactors for the global market, including China;
  • CATF recently held a solar thermal technical conference in China for potential Chinese market development, and facilitated a meeting between Huaneng Group and a major solar thermal plant operator in Nevada;
  • This past year, CATF helped General Compression, an energy storage company based in Massachusetts, to partner with Huaneng CERI to develop a commercial demonstration facility in China.

About Dr. S. Ming Sung:

Dr. S. Ming Sung joined the Clean Air Task Force as its Chief Representative for Asia-Pacific shortly after the 2008 ACEII Roundtable event in Beiijng. An American citizen, Dr. Sung was born in Shanghai and is fluent in all three major Chinese dialects. He is well connected with China energy companies and relevant public officials, and has deep ties to the global coal gasification and large chemical/energy project development communities. Dr. Sung's experience and connections have proven a perfect fit with CATF and he has immeasurably expanded ACEII's ability to achieve its objectives.

Dr. Sung's professional experience extends over 40 years in the energy and IT industries. He has worked for a handful of the world's leading companies and institutions, including Shell (where he spent 25 years), AspenTech, BASF, Monsanto, US DOE, and XinAo Group (a division of China's ENN Group). His experience covers management, engineering, operations, and marketing in coal, oil, chemicals and related areas.

Dr. Sung earned his BS and MS in Chemical and Petroleum Refining Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. His Ph.D. research was in asphalt rheology at the University of Florida.

About Clean Air Task Force:

Clean Air Task Force is a nonprofit environmental organization with offices across the U.S. and in China. CATF works to help safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid global development and deployment of low carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies through research and analysis, public advocacy leadership, and partnership with the private sector. For more information, please visit

Tags: Asia Awards, Asia-Pacific Business Awards, Asia-Pacific Market, Asia-Pacific, Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, AsiaPacificStevieAwards

Delta Reaches New Heights with The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 @ 04:54 PM

The Delta Air Lines Customer Engagement and Sales Support Center won a Gold Stevie® Award in the Customer Service Awards categories in the 2014 Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards.  Delta Air Lines also received a Grand Stevie® for having one of the five highest-scoring Deltaentries in the competition.

The 2015 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards is now accepting entries.

There are even more customer service awards categories featured in the 2015 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. The deadline for entries is November 19. GET THAT ENTRY KIT HERE.

We talked with David Clayton, Customer Engagement Center Director – Asia Pacific, in Singapore for Delta Air Lines. He told us what winning the Stevie Award meant to his team.

Our team takes great pride in this type of honor,” David explained. “It further validates Delta as a great place to work, motivating us to continue achieving and living our goals and celebrating successes. Building professional relationships between colleagues and customers with diverse backgrounds is a big part of our success. Affirmation of these achievements spurs us on to keep climbing, which would not be possible without the commitment of a truly dedicated and professional team.”

Broadening Awareness

David outlined the importance of winning in the Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards and its significance in broadening awareness of Delta’s Customer Engagement and Sales Support Center in the region. The Stevie® Awards organization is well known in the customer service industry and the trophy is a symbol of excellence to those honored by the award,” he told us. “Winning the Grand Stevie® in Asia and the Gold Stevie® for Customer Service Leader of the Year in Singapore gave us the opportunity to meet many business partners at the awards ceremony and enabled us to build on our relationships.”

David is also aware of the added-value of the extensive social media network utilized by the Stevie® Awards. “The English-language Stevie® Awards Update newsletter, which I understand is distributed worldwide to some 25,000 subscribers, combined with a further 17,000 views on the Stevie’s social media outlets, provides us with a great opportunity to deliver updates on Delta’s leadership position in customer experience,” David said.

Multinational Team

A unit of Delta’s Global Sales Division, the Asia Pacific Customer Engagement and Sales Support Center, is a multinational team that provides support via phone, email,, and Twitter. The team supports both direct and commercial Delta customers throughout the Asia-Pacific region using various mediums in Mandarin, Cantonese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, and English.

Since July 2012, Delta has focused on improving the customer experience in Asia, employing a variety of strategies to drive satisfaction and establish a reputation of differentiated service.

A Better Experience for the Business Traveler
David gave us details of areas in which Delta was working to improve the business traveler’s experience in the Asia Pacific region. Our focus is on continuous improvement,” he told us.  “We have introduced a number of enhancements to the travel experience:

-   our long-haul, wide-body aircraft are equipped with 180° full flat-bed seats in Business-Elite, which come with the Westin Heavenly in-flight bedding and Tumi amenity kit;

-   we've refreshed in-flight menus, offering more food and beverage selections with a regional flair on both Business-Elite and Economy class;

-   Economy Comfort seats now provide up to 4 more inches of extra legroom, up to 50% more recline, and priority boarding;

-   and our in-flight entertainment, Delta Studio, offers an extensive selection of the latest new-release movies in international languages, popular TV shows, music and games, as well as streaming content through in-flight Wi-Fi.” 

Delta appreciates that staying connected is a priority for business travelers. “In-flight Wi-Fi is available on all US domestic and certain international aircraft,” he told us. “And it will be available on all aircraft by the end of 2015.”

Redefining the Customer Experience

By building on its divisional brand–“Listen. Care. Connect”–Delta has refreshed its incentives program, tying in behaviors that promote customer satisfaction.

The Asia Sales Support Center (SSC) serves as a Business-to-Business customer service center handling phone and email requests from travel agents and corporate travel managers representing Delta’s high-value agency and corporate accounts in China, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Delta has expanded its workforce in the Asia-Pacific region, and ramped up training for its customer engagement specialists. The company partnered with the Singapore Workforce Development Agency to develop an in-house training program which results in employees obtaining their Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) Certificate in Tour and Travel Services upon completion. The company’s accomplishments were recognized by the agency when, in 2012 and again in 2013, Delta was awarded the WSQ Training Excellence Award for the Tour and Travel Category. 


The company’s quality assurance data from 2012 to 2013 shows average favorable scores have significantly increased. Additionally, the Asia Pacific SSC has developed a great partnership with the company’s business-to-business partners. In spite of call volume for the Engagement Center trending upward between July 2012 and November 2013, overall Average Speed of Answer improved year over year—meaning customers get through and receive the service they need much faster.

Best of all, 96% of Delta’s Asia Pacific Engagement team employees responded positively to the internal employee satisfaction question “I am Proud to work for Delta.”

Outstanding Achievements
We asked David what inspired him and made him excited about the future.I believe we have the best employees, not only in the airline business but also in the customer engagement business,” he told us. “We are a diverse team engaging our customers in six languages from all over the world. We handle customer interactions on phone calls, emails, and even on Facebook and Twitter.”

“I am absolutely inspired by the frontline Customer Engagement Specialists for their tremendous capacity for outstanding achievements,” David continued. “I celebrate the successes of my team through all levels and encourage a positive and friendly work environment.  I believe we stand on the shoulders of the great Delta employees who came before us and consider it an honor and duty to uphold only the best in customer service delivery.”

About David Clayton
David Clayton is Delta's Customer Engagement Director for Asia Pacific and is based in Singapore. In this role, he is responsible for approximately 550 employees who support the entire Asia Pacific region in over six different languages, and fulfill backend requests supporting customers across the globe. David’s team works closely with Vivien Khong, the Performance Manager of the Sales Support Center within the Singapore office, to ensure that Delta delivers the highest level of customer service across the Asia Pacific region.

A 28 year airline veteran, David began his career as a flight attendant and has held roles of increasing responsibilities during his tenure. He also serves his community as a member of the board for the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) Tour and Travel Industry Skills and Training Council (ISTC). Under his leadership, the Singapore-based operation has not only increased in size and scope, but successfully partnered with the WDA to support and deliver a developmental program, both for the benefit of employees and customers, and as a means of giving back to the communities they support.

About Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines serves nearly 165 million customers each year. This year, Delta was named the 2014 Airline of the Year by Air Transport World magazine and was named to FORTUNE magazine’s 50 Most Admired Companies, in addition to being named the most admired airline for the third time in four years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 318 destinations in 57 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs nearly 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry’s leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia as well as a newly formed joint venture with Virgin Atlantic. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with key hubs and markets including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Seattle and Tokyo-Narita. Delta has invested billions of dollars in airport facilities, global products, services, and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on, Twitter @Delta,, and Delta’s blog

Tags: customer service awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, sales awards, Delta Air lines, Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

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