Release Date : September 21, 2012

Story by: Jessica Wallace

Photos by: Luke Sather

Armed with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan and five years of experience working in the North American transportation field for International Road Dynamics, Nancy Pon crossed an ocean to pursue her global ambitions. Arriving in Beijing, China in 1999 opened a new world of possibilities for the small-town Canadian who proudly calls Turtleford, Saskatchewan her hometown. 

Pon made a special visit to the Edwards School of Business during her annual family reunion in Saskatchewan as a guest lecturer upon the invitation of the Hanlon Centre for International Business Studies.  She presented to a classroom full of Edwards and University of Saskatchewan students eager to learn more about her insights about business careers and how to succeed in China. Pon spoke on the realities of business in China, the importance of maintaining a good reputation and staying on top of the fast paced Chinese business world. She had given a similar lecture a few months prior to the Edwards MBA students before their International Business Study Tour in China.   

Moving to Shanghai in 2000, Pon joined the pioneering wave of events, entertainment and business in China contributing to activities such as the Special Olympics World Summer Games, Rolling Stones and Elton John concerts, and Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai.  Pon was an elected Board Member of the Canada China Business Council Shanghai Chapter in 2007 and one of the founding board members of Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai in 2008.  Outside of business, she staged three major solo exhibitions as a professional artist, including her first at the U of S St. Thomas More Gallery in 1998 and two in Shanghai in 2002 and 2008 (www.nancypon.com). 
Keen to explore the world, Pon has also traveled to over 25 countries since she moved to China. The student audience was quite intrigued with the idea that someone from small-town Saskatchewan on her way to a career in engineering and a solid income would suddenly give it all up to travel the unknowns of China. They asked questions about her struggle, especially as Pon knew little of the Chinese language, and about Pon’s strategies to get herself established.  Students were very entertained by her stories and examples.

Currently, as the General Manager of Touchevents, a subsidiary she created in 2008 for parent company, Touchmedia, she leads her team in creating and building nationwide lifestyle properties that promote social themes such as environmental protection, public health, beauty and charity. These campaigns have attracted widespread public attention and received professional accolades. In 2011, Eco-Art China won a China Advertising Association Innovation Award and a Silver Award for China’s Best PR cases. Mr. and Miss WOW won a Special Health Education Award from 39.net, a China Business News Marketing Effectiveness Award, a China Outdoor Advertising Award of Excellence and the coveted Campaign Asia Pacific PR Award for Best Promotional Activity of 2011.Pon was recently labeled a celebrity by state-run Chinese newspapers after acting in a series of in-taxi workout videos for the Mr. and Miss WOW campaign. She was profiled in numerous newspapers, TV features and magazines, including Cosmopolitan China's November 2011 and June 2012 issues. She was voted ‘Inspirational Superhero of the Year 2012’ at the China Women in Business conference and is the China ‘Excellent Maker’ in a global ‘Let’s Make Excellent Happen’ campaign for 2012.

The Hanlon Centre for International Business Studies serves the Edwards School of Business to help build and provide global business awareness and related skills training opportunities for its commerce students.  For more information, contact Nicholas Kokkastamapoulos (Hanlon Director) or Jessica Wallace / Brandon Ziola (Hanlon Media & Communications) by email at hanloncentre@edwards.usask.ca or telephone at (306) 966-1837.