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WTCAR Trade Director Elected to Board of Arkansas Association of Asian Businesses

Boon Tan, senior director of global trade strategy at the World Trade Center Arkansas, has nearly 40 years experience in international business development and operations. Boon has led numerous trade missions to Asia and Europe, successfully securing contracts and sales for various Arkansas businesses.

ROGERS — Boon Tan, senior director of global trade strategy at World Trade Center Arkansas, was one of two new members elected Friday, July 24, to the board of directors for the Arkansas Association of Asian Businesses (AAAB).

Tan, who worked for many years in Malaysia as a trade representative for Arkansas and Georgia, said it is an “honor” to serve on the board for the state’s first Arkansas-Asian chamber of commerce.

“The (association) will be a good platform for business exchanges between the global Asian communities and Arkansas businesses,” Tan added.

Katie Thompson, CEO of Rooted Startups and director of the Science Venture Studio at Startup Junkie, was elected as the other new board member.

Thompson also said she was honored to join the board, adding that Yang Luo-Branch, the association’s founder and president, “has done a phenomenal job creating this organization that nurtures the relationships between Arkansas and Asian businesses as well as educate the general public on ways to foster those relationships.”

“AAAB offers businesses a chance to learn from each other, develop meaningful connections, and grow their company across cultures,” Thompson said.

Luo-Branch, who founded AAAB in July 2017 as a 501(c)(6) organization, said the association is the only professional organization in the Natural State that focuses on assisting the cross-cultural business community between Arkansas and Asia. 

“The AAAB has gotten tremendous recognition and support, and our board is determined to stay true to its mission and to ensure the sustainable growth of the organization,” Luo-Branch said.

The AAAB carries out several goals simultaneously, including supporting professional growth of Arkansans of Asian descent; promoting Asian-owned businesses in Arkansas, and providing resources to promote bi-lateral trade between Arkansas and Asia.

The AAAB has seven board members who serve two-year terms. Tan and Thompson will begin serving their terms on Thursday, July 29.

The mission of the World Trade Center Arkansas is to grow trade and increase Arkansas exports by connecting Arkansas businesses to the world through international trade services. The center is part of the University of Arkansas and serves as the trade promotion arm for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. For more information and valuable updates, please follow the center on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to the World Trade Center Arkansas newsletter.