Billy Hong

Peking University, Research Center for Market Economy

Mr. Hong spent 16 years in the commercial and investment banking industry with Bank of America, City National Bank, Premier Bank, and Redwood Securities Group. He sat on the Board of Premier Bank, and also headed up the Asian Markets Division for Redwood Securities, an investment bank, before leaving the banking industry in to devote full time to develop the China market for US-based companies and to identify investment opportunities in the China market.

For the past decade, he has developed extensive networks in China and the US. He has been advisor to numerous multinational companies wishing to gain entrance into the market place in China. Mr. Hong has successfully coordinated ventures in the following industries: exportation of agricultural commodities; funding for environmental projects; and the formation of new VC fund. Other accomplishments include the successful sales of multi-million dollar automated warehousing systems and the procurement of government-funded wastewater treatment projects.

Through his efforts China Global Advisory is now working with the Ministry of Agriculture of China. This collaborative effort will encompass areas such as technology transfer, market entry strategies for international firms, and investment and M & A opportunities in agribusinesses. This plays well in the governmental policies of promoting the cooperation of private and public sectors of both the US and China.

Edward C. Normandin

Partner, Pryor Cashman LLP

Mr. Normandin devotes his practice to counseling clients on general corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, public and private debt and equity financing transactions, joint ventures, securities law compliance, venture capital financing, corporate formation and governance. He has handled complex domestic and international transactions for Pryor Cashman’s diverse client base that includes China, South America and other Pacific Rim countries.

Mr. Normandin has represented clients at every stage of development, with such clients ranging from start-up ventures to publicly traded corporations engaged in a wide range of industries, including  pharmaceutical, advertising and media, entertainment, energy, manufacturing software and health services, among many others.

Prior to joining Pryor Cashman in 2000, Ed practiced law with a New Jersey firm where, in addition to his current areas of focus, he represented corporate borrowers and financial institutions in bank lending transactions and counseled clients in technology-related transactions.

Before he became an attorney, Ed served as an active-duty officer in the United States Army and held finance-related positions at several large corporations.

Ed is a 1998 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, where he also earned a Certificate of Concentration in Financing Transactions. Ed has a B.S. in Economics from Siena College and an M.B.A. from Bryant University, where he had a concentration in finance.

Donald Baker


Mr. Baker is CEO of BWL, LLC, an investment company focusing primarily on real estate related investments and private equity investments in the United States.  He is also the Chairman and CEO of CDI Capital Funds USA, Ltd., and CDI Capital Funds, Ltd, a company sponsoring funds to invest in real estate development in India.

In July 2007, Mr. Baker retired as a partner of the international law firm of Latham & Watkins.  He joined the firm’s Los Angeles office in 1973 and became a partner in 1981.  He practiced in the areas of real estate development, land use entitlements and foreign investment transactions and his clients have included individuals, corporations, non-profit organizations and universities.

 Mr. Baker’s land use entitlements practice has included strategic planning and community and political relations.  He has represented The J. Paul Getty Trust in development of the Getty Center in Brentwood and the master planning and development of the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades; the University of California in connection with campus planning and building projects at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and UCLA; numerous schools, churches and temples in school and temple expansion projects, including Stephan S. Wise Temple, Sinai Temple, Curtis School and Chadwick School; the Santa Catalina Island Company and the Santa Island Conservancy in the formation and initial operations of the Conservancy; and community institutions, including the Kidspace Childrens Museum and the Western Justice Center Foundation in Pasadena, the Latino Theatre Company and the Westside Childrens Center.  His practice has also included representation of developers in significant commercial, office and residential projects.

 Mr. Baker served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Claremont Graduate University and continues to serve on its Board of Trustees.  He is currently Chairman of the Board of the California Art Club.  He has served as the Chairman of the Japan America Society of Southern California, President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and President of the Western Justice Center Foundation. He is currently a member of the Boards of Directors of the Latino Theatre Company, the Japan America Society of Southern California, and the Western Justice Center Foundation.  He is a recipient of the prestigious Shattuck-Price Memorial Award given by the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Mr. Baker also received a commendatory Resolution for service to the community and the legal profession from the Los Angeles City Council.

Kurt Kawafuchi

Hochman Salkin Rettig Toscher & Perez, PC

Mr. Kawafuchi has focused on advising and representing international individuals and businesses on cross border transactions with emphasis in Asia since the mid-1980s.  In addition to business and real estate transactions, he has specialized in advising and representing high net worth and prominent individuals in U.S. estate and gift tax planning and international tax reporting issues.   Prior to joining Hochman Salkin Rettig Toscher & Perez, PC, a Beverly Hills, California tax, business and estate planning and tax representation boutique law firm as a principal (i.e., partner), Mr. Kawafuchi served in the Governor’s Cabinet as the Director of Taxation (i.e., state tax commissioner) of the State of Hawaii.  His other former government experience includes Supervising Attorney of the Hawaii Attorney General’s Tax (and Charities) Division including the Tobacco Tax and Enforcement Unit, and trial attorney of the United States Department of Justice Tax Division in Washington, DC, representing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in federal and state courts in California, Hawaii, and Guam.  His private experience includes tax attorney at one of Hawaii’s largest law firms and at the tax department of one of the four largest U.S. based international Big-4 public accounting firms.  Mr. Kawafuchi is currently the Chair of the Hawaii Council of Revenues, which estimates the growth and revenue stream and wage level for Hawaii.

In 2008, Mr. Kawafuchi was recognized by the American Institute of CPAs and Hawaii Society of CPAs as its Outstanding CPA (Government).   He is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and a Certified Specialist, Taxation Law, State Bar of California.  Among other leadership positions, Mr. Kawafuchi was the President of the Western States Association of Tax Administrators (WSATA), Chair of the Hawaii State Bar Association Tax Section and the Hawaii Society of CPAs (HSCPA) Tax Committee, and also a director of HSCPA.   Mr. Kawafuchi is regularly invited to speak at national tax conferences including New York University’s State and Local Tax Institute and the Hawaii Tax Institute.  He has taught over fifty graduate and law courses, primarily in taxation (e.g., international tax, state & local tax, advanced corporate tax, partnership tax, and estate & gift tax), including at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Richardson School of Law and Shidler College of Business, School of Accounting.   Mr. Kawafuchi earned his graduate law degree in taxation (LL.M. in Taxation) from the Georgetown University Law Center.

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