Maritime Executive Angela Chao hosted by IMB Center

Instructor teaching a class in lecture class room

Foremost Group's Angela Chao addresses IMB Cadets ---------- by 2/c John Gallagher (28 April 2014)

Today Angela Chao, Deputy Chairman of Foremost Group, graced us with her presence at the Academy to discuss the growth of Foremost Group and her involvement in the company. She began with very informative technical explanations of the dry bulk shipping company explaining vessel size and cargo transported. 

The American Dream
Shortly after this introduction, Ms. Chao told an impressive and inspiring story about a young Dr. Chao, her father.The emotional change in her voice was apparent as she passionately told the story of how her father came to this country and built Foremost Group. Because immigration laws were strict in the 50s, Dr. Chao had to leave his wife and kids in China in order to start his life in the States. His wife Mulan Chao supported his decision, as she knew they would not be long apart. After 3 years they were reunited in the US and continued to build their family along with Foremost Group. The way he and his wife built a company from nothing was truly an inspiring story. 

Working with Angela Chao as an Intern
Angela Chao and Dr. Chao are both amazing people that I have had the opportunity of working with last winter and I will continue working with this summer. They have an amazing team behind them that believes in them and anyone who was in the room today knows why. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to intern with them for a second time and continue to learn from the people at Foremost Group. Angela Chao continued to captivate the audience of IMB students and faculty as she discussed her childhood memories of climbing around her father’s ships along with her five older sisters, and how her fascination with the shipping industry began to grow. She humbly referred to her college experience as graduating from a “liberal arts” college in three years. What she failed to mention was that this college was Harvard. After graduating she worked in the financial industry before entering Foremost Group. 

A Moral Takeaway
Woven into these heart-warming stories were lessons and morals that are so important in any businessperson. She relayed a message about how important it is to be honest and hardworking, and to treat your employees with respect and admiration, because as Angela said they “are on the front line working for your company.” She emphasized the importance of being inventive and forward thinking. In our industry if you are keeping up with everyone else you are already behind. She explained how ships take three years to build and because of this you must think ahead. Similarly when times are good you must save and plan for the bad times, and when times are bad you invest and look ahead to the good times. The wisdom that she bestowed on us today was greatly appreciated by all who attended. 

Angela Chao patiently answered all questions raised by students and was particularly delighted to meet the exchange students from SMU and DMU. Interestingly enough, Ms. Chao did not use a Power Point presentation for her lecture. She said that she will speak from her heart….and she did.