Bridging Cultures, Building Business

Our Team

Quinn Place, CPA, CMA

Founder and Managing Partner


Born and raised in China, Quinn came to the United States after graduating from Sichuan University in Chengdu, China in 1992.  She is fluent in both Chinese (Mandarin) and English.


Quinn has over 15 years of experience in Accounting and Finance, including 13 years in Financial Management as the Chief Financial Officer of two Information Technology Services companies.  She possesses broad skills in financial accounting, finance, auditing, and cost management.


Quinn received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting with a minor in Business from Rockford College in Rockford, Illinois, USA, in 2009.  She obtained the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designations in 2010.


Quinn currently serves on the Finance and Treasury Management Committee and Task Force of the Illinois CPA Society, and is also a member of the leadership team of a business networking group sponsored by the Society.

Thomas Bailey

Marketing Director


Global Executive fusing high-level strategy with hands-on marketing leadership to define and promote a unique value proposition for international sales.  Proven change manager who globalizes product lines. Tom has taken US manufactured product and exported with repeat sales to over sixty countries. Thirty years experience in taking small to mid-sized companies into the global marketplace.


Tom attended Northern Illinois University Graduate School of Business in Dekalb, Illinois, USA, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History & Political Science from Milton College in Milton, Wisconsin, USA. Tom is a past President of the World Trade Council of Northern Illinois and of the non-profit group the Partnership for Environmental Education.

William J. DeMarco, MA, CMC

Management Consultant

Advisory Board Member


Bill began his career in the early 1970s in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area after holding executive positions with several health plans.


He has since been involved in the startup and management of health care organizations in 33 states and has consulting with ministers of health on 3 continents.


Bill's two companies, Pendulum HealthCare Development Corporation and DeMarco and Associates, fuse information technology and infrastructure with experienced consulting and management guidance to help optimize purchasers relationship with providers of health care.


The end result are successful startup ventures, business intelligence information and "on hands experience" to guide the efforts of communities to become leaders in quality improvement and delivery of high performance medicine.


Bill holds a Masters in Organizational Development from DePaul University Chicago, undergraduate degrees in Behavioral Science and holds several faculty positions with University graduate programs in business and law.

Holly Hanson

Licensed Professional Business Coach

Advisory Board Member


Holly has been a business owner and has coached business owners since 1984, most recently as executive director of Small Business Administration-funded programs including a Women’s Business Center and Small Business Development Center.


Holly has taught hundreds of masters-level business students as a faculty member of the University of Phoenix Online. Her corporate experience includes the aerospace and machine tool industries, having served as president of an international division of a $500 million company, automotive business unit manager, engineering manager, project manager, and purchasing manager. As a financial consultant, Holly earned Series 7 and Series 63 designations.


Holly holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Accounting, and a Master of Science in Management.

Ling Li

Leading Chinese Business Etiquette Consultant and Trainer

Advisory Board Member

 

Since 1988, Ling has been the leading provider of training to government, academic and private sector entities in the fields of relationship building, continuous improvement and cultural exchange.  She has earned recognition as the leader in practical business etiquette training.  Ling’s practice focuses on bridging the gap between eastern and western cultures to promote a cooperative environment in the global economy. As a relationship building expert, Ling works to assist individuals and companies overcome one of the biggest challenges to conducting business in China, creating an effective network.

 

Among a long list of other accomplishments, Ling was named Chinese Women Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009, and Outstanding Trainer for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Kraig Place

Chief Information Officer


Kraig is an experienced IT business and management professional with proven leadership and mentoring skills dedicated to partnering with business owners and managers to maximize efficiencies in their business processes, workflows and data management. Specializing in IT Consulting, Business Process & Workflow Analysis, Strategic IT Planning, Systems Engineering, Database Development, Systems and Software Integration, Enterprise Networking, and IT Management. While technology is the tool of his trade, Kraig's passion is business, assisting companies in automating their processes to maximize efficiency and reduce human error.  He has built two successful IT consultancy practices around this philosophy.


Kraig's expertise includes Microsoft Server platforms (including Hyper-V, SQL and Exchange servers), Cisco networking platforms (including IOS routers, switches and wireless, and ASA security appliances), relational database design, and database migration and conversion.

Kraig also brings management, team building, and team coaching experience to the table, and is a gifted teacher, writer and public speaker.

Fantao Pu

Certified Credit and Risk Management Professional

Advisory Board Member

 

Fantao has over 15 years of in-depth practical experience in overall risk management, internal control, financial risk management, human resource management, and strategic management. He has worked with numerous World 500 firms and large size state-owned firms. He is one of the earliest professionals who started in risk management research and development, consulting and training, and has provided services to firms in various sizes, including some of the biggest companies in China, such as China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, China Airlines Group, Beijing Construction Group, and many more.

 

Currently, Fantao is the President of China Risk Management Institute; a speaker and trainer on internal control; a Senior-level expert at China Management & Research Institute; the Head of the evaluation department of Risk Management training and development Center; and Guest Professor of Capital of Economy and Trade University, China University of Petroleum and many other universities.

Jeffrey J. Smith

Marketing Consultant

Advisory Board Member

 

Jeff currently serves as Senior Vice-President for a Rockford, Illinois based executive recruiting firm, focused on the business development and marketing efforts for the firm.

 

Jeff brings over 15 years of leadership experience, having served in both senior management and business ownership roles. Through his work with small, privately held companies as well as Fortune 500 giants, Jeff has developed expertise in multiple managerial environments, from startups and companies that are experiencing dramatic high-growth surges, to fast-paced acquisition/consolidation and turnaround situations. Specialties include organizational planning and execution, building high performing teams, consultative B2B sales, media sales, customer relationship management, negotiations, development and implementation of integrated marketing strategies as well as market and competitive trend identification.

 

Jeff is past Board Chairman of the Rockford Area Conventions & Visitors Bureau and past member of the River District Board of Directors. Jeff is involved in coaching youth sports in the Rockford area and serves as a literacy volunteer with the Rockford Public Schools District.

Jerry Xie

International Business Entrepreneur

Advisory Board Member

 

Jerry has been actively engaged in US-China business since 2004 as a principal of a high-tech manufacturing company. Currently residing in the US, Jerry travels extensively in both the US and China, and has extensive knowledge of both the US and Chinese markets, cultures, and business practices.

 

Jerry holds a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana, and a Master of Science in Computer Science from Clark Atlanta University.

Jill-Marie Zachman

Certified Etiquette and Image Consultant, Instructor and Speaker

Advisory Board Member

 

Jill-Marie's profession and passion is to equip individuals with the skills needed to be successful within their business, social, and personal lives. After receiving her training at Patricia Stevens Career College and Finishing School, she immediately took a position with a prominent cosmetic company, where she was recognized for her outstanding sales ability, and exemplarily customer service skills. She developed a sales philosophy and training program that she continues to share today, encouraging individuals to raise their personal bar to be successful in business.

 

Jill-Marie focuses on five areas which include; Personal Presentation, Successful Social Skills, Business and Social Etiquette, Image Development, and Ethics and Values Awareness.

 

Whether working with a CEO or a Fortune 500 Company, Jill-Marie has a way of connecting with audiences of all ages and with various social, cultural, and economic backgrounds. Her interactive presentations and valuable training is informative, entertaining, motivating, and often sprinkled with humor. She uses real life scenarios and practical application that all can relate to.

 

Jill-Marie is a frequent guest on area television and radio stations. She writes for several newspapers, and is frequently quoted by The Toledo Blade.