Monday, June 9, 1997

Name: Wesley F. Fong
Age: 53
Education: University of Hawaii, University of Illinois School of Law
Occupation: Attorney
Relaxation: Golf, tennis, skiing

Emphasizing the Cs

The 61st president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce likes to describe himself as a soldier-lawyer.

Wesley F. Fong, currently with the law firm of Koyonagi & Fong, retired in 1995 from the Army Reserve as colonel and supervising deputy attorney general -- a post he held for 10 years. He also served as deputy corporation counsel from 1972-85.

After serving in Vietnam as a combat medic in 1970, Fong joined the Army Reserve and retired as the staff judge advocate general for the U.S. Army in Japan at Camp Zama.

Fong says his stewardship will revolve around a four-point program -- "three Cs plus membership: commerce, culture and civic."

"I hope to put more meaning into the word commerce in the title Chinese Chamber of Commerce," Fong said. "I want the Chamber a more viable force in commerce, culture and community affairs."

This he hopes to do by:

Expanding the chamber's management seminars to other cities in China in addition to Pudong and Shanghai.

Coordinating with the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism to help expand opportunities for Hawaii businesses in Asia.

Being more of a facilitator in providing business opportunities for businessmen and professionals in the Chinese community and Hawaii.

Working with the more than 100 Chinese organizations to promote Chinese culture.

Helping Chinese immigrants become U.S. citizens and getting them jobs especially in light of new federal welfare restrictions.

Increasing membership by 10 percent, developing more activities and providing membership bonuses such as discounts on merchandise and services. The chamber reports a membership now of nearly 400 businesses.

Fong was installed in office May 29 as president of the 86-year-old chamber.

"On the international scene, with the increased opportunities of Asian trade in Hawaii," Fong said, "it is only natural that the chamber should take a lead role as a facilitator in promoting business between Hawaii and China and Taiwan and other Southeast Asia countries."

Fong also has been president of Rotary Club of West Honolulu and the Hawaii Department of the Reserve Officers Association; director of the Hawaii Arthritis Foundation; chairman of the Maryknoll School Advisory Board; and a member of the Elks Lodge, Hawaii Council of Campfire, Hawaii State Jaycees and Honolulu Chinese Jaycees.

Gregg K. Kakesako, Star-Bulletin

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