USHCA Committees

Organizing Committees

As part of the US Heartland China Association’s goal of putting a regional face on economic development opportunities in the Heartland, the following committees have been created to make intraregional connections, share news and information, and drive regional-level initiatives in their areas.

  • Agriculture, Chair: Jim Schultz
  • Economic Development
  • Education
  • Environment, Infrastructure & Energy
  • Finance
  • Healthcare*
  • Heartland Chinese Companies
  • Heartland Chambers of Commerce*
  • Manufacturing*
  • Policy, Chair: David Firestein
  • Research, Chair: Dr. Yawei Liu
  • Service & Retail
  • Technology
  • Tourism-Sports/eSports-Entertainment

* Committees in which the chair position is available

Interested in joining a USHCA committee? Please contact us for more information.


Chairperson: Jim Schultz

The agriculture committee combines resources from business, government and academia to create cross-border opportunities in this very important part of the Heartland’s economy and identity.

Members: Ken Quinn, Kirk Merritt, Jim Schultz, Larry Baker, Josh Campbell, Megan Botha, Dr. Wendong Zhang

Click here to join the Agriculture Committee


Economic Development

The Economic Development Committee works with stakeholders in government, business and education to foster the environments needed to create and maintain jobs.

Members: Jim Schultz, John Austin, Jennifer Zhang, Dan Wright, Adrian Micu, Mike Marshall, Josh Campbell, Justin Kocher, Fanfu Li, Tom Watkins

Click here to join the Economic Development Committee


Chairperson: Blaine Brownell

The Education Committee brings together resources in K12 and higher education to apply research, expertise, and new entrants to the workforce to US-China collaboration.

Members: Chris Nicastro, Jim Baker, Dan Johnson, Larry Lifson, Adam Hott, Jim Smith, Cathy Geppert, Josh Campbell, Greg Robbins, Tom Watkins, Quanyu Huang, Pat McAloon

Click here to join the Education Committee


Chairperson: Amos Smith

The Finance Committee connects the USHCA with individuals and organizations that are passionate about engaging China for mutual benefit and want to support the Association’s mission.

Members: Gary Kellman, Terry Turner, Michael Froy


Chairperson: David Firestein

The Policy Committee applies its collective expertise on public policy and international relations to defining how national and sub-national actors should perceive and act within the US-China relationship.

Click here to Join the Policy Committee


Chairperson: Dr. Yawei Liu

The Research Committee reviews news and research relevant to US-China relations in our Heartland region, and produces original research for USHCA members.

Click here to join the Research Committee

Tourism - Sports/Esports - Entertainment

Chairperson: Perry Jeter Jr.

Tourism, sports, and entertainment are global and US-China cooperation in these spaces can bring out the best in us.

Click here to join the Tourism – Sports/eSports – Entertainment Committee 



Chairperson: Steve Chu

The Technology Committee focuses on the role of technology as a key component for a more prosperous and equitable Heartland Region across multiple industries and sectors.

Click here to join the Technology Committee


Service and Retail

The Service and Retail Committee serves Chinese and American organizations in the food service, retail sales, franchising, and hospitality industries. For many members, there will be natural synergies with the Manufacturing and Tourism-Sports/eSports-Enterntainment Committees.

Click here to join the Service and Retail Committee



Manufacturing is an important part of the Heartland’s economic vitality: as the region has moved from labor-intensive production to advanced manufacturing, regional manufacturing companies have much expertise to share in the areas of process management, HR, and logistics.

Members: Amos Smith

Click here to join the Manufacturing Committee


Environment, Infrastructure & Energy

The Environment Committee focuses on leveraging expertise and technology in China and the US to create sustainable living environments for people, flora and fauna.

Members: Steve Mahfood, Josh Campbell, Jim Curran, Josh Campbell, Nicole Adewale, Tom Werdenhause

Click here to join the Environment, Infrastructure & Energy Committee

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