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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, August 13, 2001

Business leader moving to China

By Susan Hooper
Advertiser Staff Writer

Phil Bossert, a former deputy director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, is moving to Shanghai, China, at the end of the month to run a consulting business with his wife, ChaoYing Bossert.

The China Hawaii Investment Corp. will assist Hawai'i clients with everything from translation services to business development advice, Bossert said.

The Bosserts also will work with Chinese businesses interested in Hawai'i.

The firm has about 13 Hawai'i clients, including the University of Hawai'i and the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

ChaoYing Bossert is from Xian, China. Bossert said the couple has talked for several years about living in China so their 7-year-old daughter, Lian, could experience the culture there.

Bossert, 57, a native of Kansas City, Mo., has lived in Hawai'i for almost 30 years. A former Fulbright-Hayes scholar with a Ph.D. in philosophy, he arrived in 1972 on a six-month teaching contract at what was then Hawaii Loa College, replacing a philosophy teacher on sabbatical.

Since then he has had a variety of positions in education, government and business.

He was president of Hawaii Loa College (now Hawaii Pacific University) from 1978 to 1986, strategic information systems manager for GTE Hawaiian Tel from 1987 to 1991, and assistant superintendent for information and telecommunications services with the state education department from 1991 to 1994. Bossert then ran his own computer systems integration firm, Strategic Information Solutions Inc.

He closed that in December 1999 and then went to the state business department. From August 2000 to May, he was vice president for business development with Ohana Foundation, a Honolulu nonprofit institution developing educational digital video discs.

ChaoYing Bossert, 43, who has an M.B.A. in international business from Hawaii Pacific University, founded the China Hawaii Investment Corp. in 1994. In Shanghai, she also will be working with a Chinese partner to franchise American business in China. China Hawaii Investment Corp. will maintain a Hawai'i office, and the Bosserts expect to be returning every two or three months.

Still, Phil Bossert acknowledges, there will be a sharp learning curve in moving to a place where, as he puts it, "You don't speak the language and don't know anybody.

"I can say 'Good morning' and 'beer,' so I will have to take lessons when I get there," Bossert said of his facility with Mandarin. "I'm relying on my wife and my daughter to be my interpreters."

Reach Susan Hooper at shooper@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8064.