Board of Directors
Anne Ferri, Executive Director of Community Center Shanghai since September 2021
An expat for a lifetime – Anne has 18 years’ experience in international project management, sales & marketing, recruitment and consultant roles in 6 countries. She spent her first years out of university in Afghanistan working for higher education and NGO’s rebuilding schools, institutions and urban communities. Anne graduated with a Master of Science in Architecture from Technical University Berlin and Master of Business Administration from Hult International Business School in London. Today she is a trained co-active coach specializing on leadership, performance and positive intelligence. Since 5 years in China she has been an executive search consultant, lecturer at Emlyon/ East China Normal University Shanghai and intercultural coach for expat families. Anne and her husband live in Shanghai, which has become their home away from home with their 6-year-old son, who is attending Dulwich International School. Anne intends to bring her passion for lifelong learning, sharing diverse culture and building successful partnerships to serve the CCS community.
Anne is honored to continue to build on the great work and foundation that the outgoing Executive Director, Senait Petros Tekeste, has developed.
Tess Robinson, Chair of the Board
It is the Fit the Counts! Tess Robinson is the Founder and Managing Partner of TEAM Education Consulting Company. Tess has been assisting students in preparing for and applying to boarding school, college and universities in the U.S since 1998. Due to the unique circumstances of college admissions for international students, Tess developed a family-based counseling practice in Shanghai in 2011. Student admissions since then include, Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Amherst, Swarthmore, Pomona, UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Pennsylvania and many others. Prior to TEAM Education, Tess worked professionally in the fields of finance, marketing and consulting. She has worked as a tutor and volunteered in schools in the US to help students achieve their personal bests since her college days. Tess is a graduate of Harvard Business School where she earned a M.B.A. and Stanford University where she earned an AB in International Relations. She has also earned her certificate in College Admissions Counseling at University of California, Los Angeles. Tess speaks English, French and Spanish and is conversant in Mandarin Chinese.
Tess has served as the Chairman of the Board for the Community Centre Shanghai for five years. She served as the president of the Yew Chung International School parent organization (POP) for 9 years. She is a member of both NACAC (National Association of College Admissions Counselors) and IECA (Independent Education Consultants of America). She has lived in Shanghai for over 13 years with her husband and three sons, who attend Pomona College, Stanford University and Yew Cheng International School, respectively.
Jon Brantingham, Executive Committee
Jon Brantingham was born and raised in Taiwan and is the fourth generation in his family to live and work in China. As CEO of Brantingham Manufacturing (China), he has developed a thriving business that exports to markets in three continents. He and his wife Judy, are parents of four active boys and one daughter. Jon plays basketball and golf when time allows. Jon serves on the board of Concordia International School Shanghai, and relates to prison ministry project in Taiwan that he helped to start and develop.
Jon has served on the CCS board since 2003. As the longest board member for CCS, he has assumed different roles, including chairman, Vice chairman, and Executive Committee.
Steve Winkelman serves as the Head of School at Concordia International School Shanghai. Since July 2021. Steven Winkelman is a U.S. citizen who graduated from Concordia University Texas with a degree in Secondary Education specializing in Science and Physical Education. Early in his career, he worked in several private schools in the U.S. as a middle school Science and P.E. teacher. He received a Masters of Education from Saginaw Valley State University in Educational Leadership. Steve has served as the founding Head of School at Concordia International School Hanoi from 2009 – 2021.
Over the past 27 years Steve has served as a teacher, administrator and new school developer in both the United States and Vietnam. As the founding head of Concordia Hanoi, Steve was intimately involved in all aspects of the school’s development including the design and construction of a purpose-built campus, recruiting teachers and staff, developing curriculum and programs, and strengthening community and government relations. He has extensive experience in school development, educational consulting, government relations, and strategic planning in both the United States and Asia. Throughout his career, Steve has served on multiple not-for-profit boards including the past seven years as a board member for the American Chamber of Commerce.
Steve married Amy Black 26 years ago and the couple has two college age children, Joshua and Elizabeth. The family enjoys traveling and hiking in the mountains of Colorado during the summer. During his free time, Steve enjoys training and participating in triathlons. He has completed multiple short and Olympic distance events and is hoping to complete an Ironman 70.3 in the next year.
Ioana has been based in Shanghai since June 2003. She joined the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (European Chamber) in 2004 and served as General Manager of the Shanghai Chapter from October 2009 to October 2022.
She was responsible for implementation and development of European Chamber objectives, visibility, membership and advocacy activities on a regional level in Shanghai and neighbouring regions on behalf of the Chapter’s over 600 member companies. Ioana was also a member of the Management Committee of the European Chamber and involved in the overall strategic planning of European Chamber Government Affairs activities at national level, including annual Position Papers, Business Confidence Surveys and other Chamber publications.
Emeritus Board Members
Patrick Hopkins came to Shanghai nearly 20 years where he founded a health insurance service company with his wife. It was a pioneer in the field in China. The firm merged with a Paris based MSH International in 2009 and became MSH China. Patrick continues to serve MSH as a Senior Advisor.
Patrick might be best described by the moniker of the “Old Asia Hand”. He studied in the early1970’s in Tokyo at Sophia University where he received both his Bachelor and Masters degrees in East Asian Studies. He has been in Asia ever since. First with an NGO in Indonesia and later Pakistan doing economic development and refugee work. In the late 1980’s a career change landed him in the financial services industry where he earned the CFP designation while base in Manila.
Patrick is an active Rotarian. He was a Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Shanghai and was a Past President of the Rotary Club of Pudong Lujiazui where he is a Board Member. The Rotary International motto of “Service Above Self” is his guiding principle. Patrick’s wife Céline and 13 year old son are with him in Shanghai. His 2 older children are studying at Universities in the United States. Patrick has been on the board of Community Center Shanghai since 2016.
Emily Sargent-Beasley serves as the Shanghai American School, Pudong Head of Campus. Her professional life here in Shanghai brings her great joy as she engages in a community that is passionate about learning. Her international career includes serving as the Assistant Superintendent at the Walworth Barbour American International School in Israel and as the Curriculum Coordinator at the American International School Chennai, India. Prior to her international move, Emily served on the faculty of James Madison University in Virginia. And, like many educational leaders, began her career in the coveted role of classroom teacher.
Zhen Zeng-Liao is currently Director of Marketing and Operations for a startup agricultural company, Innosus Technology Shanghai. From 2016 to 2019, Zhen served as Executive Director of Community Center Shanghai.
Born and grew up in China, Zhen pursued graduate study at The University of Michigan with a Master’s Degree in Materials Science and Engineering. Driven with purpose living principle, Zhen’s professional life spans in many different industries and roles. She worked at Fortune500 companies such GE Plastics, The Dow Chemical Company, and Dow Corning Shanghai; Zhen also has years of NGO and volunteer management experiences.
Zhen is a mother of 3 children. Zhen appreciate whole-child education philosophy, she believes the best education is to inspire children to thrive in their own strength and take action to better our society.
Mark Fischer has been building successful sports and media businesses in Asia for more than 25 years.
He is currently CEO of Eastbridge Sports Management, a Shanghai-based agency providing sports marketing, management, and advisory services to brands, rights holders, and related entities seeking growth opportunities in China and other key markets in the region.
Mark has long been a pioneer in bringing global sports properties to Asia. His leadership in this area has included the following roles:
- NBA China Managing Director: built from a two-person office to a valuation of $2.3 billion in less than five years.
- UFC Asia EVP & Managing Director: created the promotion’s regional footprint and grew audience and revenues each more than 10-fold.
- East Asia Super League (EASL): established commercial operations for this emerging regional basketball club championship.
Prior to joining NBA, Mark spent nearly a decade in sales and marketing management roles in Asia, first in Taiwan and later in Beijing, for several electronics and media entities.
Proficient in Mandarin, the Boston native earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelor’s in History from the University of Michigan. Mark is passionate about creating value, not only for his business constituents, but also for charity and community initiatives. He currently serves as board member or advisor for a half-dozen community service organizations.
Dean Larson is a multinational senior executive with over 25+ year’s international experience concentrated in the finance and strategic leadership areas. He is currently Group CEO of Modern Chemical Group in Bangkok, Thailand after previously serving as President and Co-Founder of a global executive management consulting firm and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) across multiple organizations, industries, and geographies. Dean, an avid Huskies fan, received a BA from the U. of Washington and an MBA from The Wharton School at U. of Pennsylvania. He and his wife of over 30 years have raised 3 global daughters who reside in the U.S. A principle-centered leader, Dean’s focus is on teaching and mentoring others while expanding the gospel of Jesus at every opportunity.
Dr. Nathan D. Showalter
Nate is an American who has lived half of his adult life in Asia (Hong Kong, Taipei, and Shanghai). Previously, Nate has worked in community and leadership development roles in Africa, Asia and North America, and has worked and traveled in more than 50 countries and six continents. He enjoys biking, reading, writing, learning about the history and culture of China, and traveling to new places with family and friends. Nate and Chris are parents of Eli who graduated from Concordia International School Shanghai in 2007. Nate served as Executive Director of Community Center Shanghai from 2003 – 2009 and later served on the board until 2017. He now lives in Hong Kong.
Dr. Christina Showalter
Chris and her husband Nate moved to Shanghai in 2003 and served as co-Executive Directors of Community Center Shanghai until 2009. During these years they grew the Center beyond Pudong, and expanded its reach into counseling, charity projects, newcomer orientation, and various fundraising initiatives. Chris served on the Community Center Board from 2003 to 2009. Earlier Chris worked for World Vision in Asia and the US and after moving to Hong Kong with Nate in 1988, she pioneered World Vision’s first development projects in China. After leaving World Vision, she developed a private practice in training, consulting and executive coaching. She holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University in the US. Chris currently continues her leadership development work in China and Asia from the Showalter home in Hong Kong.
Dr. Mary Scott
Dr. Mary Scott is the Head of School at Concordia International School Shanghai. Mary, her husband Dan, and daughter Anna moved from Irvine, California to Shanghai in 2016. Previously Mary served at Concordia University Irvine. During her career in education Dr. Scott has taught courses in exercise and sport science, education, health and leadership. She has mentored student teachers and built university academic programs in athletics, leadership and international studies. Mary held several administrative positions in Irvine including Athletic Director, Vice President of Administration and Executive Vice President of the University. Dr. Scott holds a Bachelor’s degree from Concordia University Chicago, a Master’s degree from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York and an Ed.D from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She has written chapters in several books on higher education and women’s leadership. Mary has a passion for learning. She loves working in a school and finds conversations with colleagues and students invigorating. When she’s not in school, Mary can be found with her family. They love to travel, read, play games, and watch movies together. Mary and her husband enjoy golfing and scuba diving together.
Dr. Fenny Ang
Dr. Fenny Ang joined the CCS board in 2019. She is an Associate Certified Coach (International Coaching Federation) and an accredited Cultural Intelligence (CQ TM) Facilitator. She serves clients in Shanghai and across the region in executive coaching, cross-cultural coaching, transition management, leadership development and team development. As part of her coaching repertoire, she also provides life-coaching services to individuals who are interested in personal development or are at the crossroad of life changing events impacting their studies, careers, relationships and self-identities. She is a Path TM leader with the LBJ Ministries, and work with people to find and live their mission and vision statements. Prior to Shanghai, Dr. Ang has lived and worked in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and USA. She has worked in Human Resources and management consulting for the past 20 years. She held senior regional HR positions in Reckitt Benckiser and World Vision, and had senior consultant roles with IBM and Accenture. Dr. Ang obtained her PhD in International Business from University of South Australia and received her M.A. in Educational Leadersihp from Western Michigan University. She currently is a board member of Tirzah International, a Christian NGO, which works alongside local partners in Africa, Asia and South America to champion against modern slavery, oppression and poverty of women worldwide.
Stella Si served as the Executive Director of CCS from July 2011 to December 2015. She graduated from Fudan University in Shanghai with a Bachelor’s Degree in English, and received a Master’s Degree in Communications from Penn State University. She has worked in New York for over 18 years in the fashion, PR and merchandising. Stella returned to Shanghai with her husband’s expat assignment in 2005, and worked for CCS as the Marketing Director from 2007-2009. She initiated the CCS Gala, Spelling Bee, and the Bazaar. Stella then became the General Manager of E&A Shanghai Branch, a Fashion PR Agency that serves luxury brands in China, with clients such as Calvin Klein, Dsquared, Dolce Gabbanna, DKNY, and Armani Exchange. Ms. Si is married to Dr. John Hu and they have two children.