Reporter Ms. Queenie Li/ New York World News- World Journal
If you meet Foremost Group’s Deputy Chair, then you really will believe that people are capable of anything. Both beautiful and intellectual, Angela Chao has taken on many roles: clever and smart, for obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in only three years; business savvy, as she takes the reins at the family business, namely, her parents’ international shipping company; perceptive and insightful, for her ardent love of culture and art; as well as gentle and graceful, for her cherished values of Chinese culture. All of these qualities and achievements together make Ms. Angela Chao among the small handful of young Asian women leaders.
While perhaps, Angela Chao’s stunning achievements could praise the new era of women with extraordinary intelligence, she attributes her success to the success of her family throughout time. Before 1960, Angela Chao’s parents came to the United States, facing living in a foreign land that was not yet their own, and built Foremost Group from scratch. Even through poverty and hardship, shipping tycoon Dr. James S. C. Chao, never forgot to set an example in front of his children by emphasizing the importance of family and education. Angela Chao viewed her parents’ insights, perseverance and hard work as a model for herself.
Dr. James S. C. Chao and Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao had six daughters. The six sisters were praised by the community as the “Six Golden Flowers”, of which Angela is the sixth. Four of the daughters attended Harvard Business School and The Honorable Elaine L. Chao, the eldest. Some of the other sisters also spent some time working at Foremost Group, but later developed their careers in their own fields of interest, except for the youngest, Angela, who wanted nothing more but to take on the family business. She said “If you had asked me as a child what my biggest dream was, I would have said, to be a shipping entrepreneur. I often accompanied my father to his office on my school holidays and worked by his side as his assistant, getting tea, sorting files, etc. I loved going to work with him and watching firsthand my parents work so hard laying the groundwork and I knew I wanted to be the one to continue their legacy.”
For Angela Chao, her family is her greatest source of strength, and drawing inspiration and strength from her close family, she feels that she has more optimism, courage and confidence to pursue her dreams. Ms. Chao said: “My parents always showed their teamwork and full partnership with each other to us, their daughters, and now our whole family is a team”. Her parents insisted on teaching the Chao sisters to appreciate Chinese culture and society. Even as a new immigrant family in the United States, they were encouraged not to forget their Chinese roots, have an optimistic attitude, and have the courage to continue to learn, love learning, and to shine in the United States.
In her spare time, Angela Chao loves to visit New York City’s major museums, galleries and performing arts venues. She said that opera is not only just visual and auditory enjoyment, but its multi-sensory experience – being in the audience and experiencing the actor’s emotions and the rhythm of the story in person – can transport you to another world. She says, “I am in international business, but I enjoy opera and art so I can look at things from a different perspective. Despite the very obvious differences between shipping and arts, art broadens my horizons and makes me better in my career.”