I am a public relations (PR) practitioner in St. Louis, Mo., USA. www.linkedin.com/in/donnajgamache

I have a lifelong interest in China, and I hope to hear from others working in & with China, who are interested in sharing resources and ideas. This is a photo of me at the entrance to the Forbidden City one cold evening a few years ago. Above the archway, on the outside, is the iconic picture of Chairman Mao Zedong that I have seen in magazines and on the news my whole life. China is full of those incredible moments of recognition.  
I named my blog after the “English Corner” tradition in China, where people gather informally to practice their language skills together. I am part of an international business venture for a company in St. Louis, Mo., doing business in China. Welcome here to business people, students and everyone interested in respectful cross-cultural exchange and being a resource for other members. My focus is higher proficiency in putonghua (Mandarin) and making contacts for international marketing in China.

A different Chinese character is featured every few minutes on my blog, thanks to Zongwen.com. Please come back often to add to your language skill:

丹哪 歌玛

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St. Louis Chinese Corner © 2008 Donna J Gamache
St. Louis, Missouri, USA

The views expressed here are mine, and those of my readers and contributors, and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer, or any organization with which I am affiliated.

15 Responses to “Ni hao? 你好”

  1. donnajgamache Says:

    I became interested in Chinese culture in 1971, when I made my first Chinese friend in my home town of St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Over the next few years I socialized with my friend’s family, went to events sponsored by the Louis Chinese Society and realized I had a modest facility for Mandarin language.

    At that time there were not a lot of resources in St. Louis to learn about Chinese culture and language. I learned what I could, as I could. I moved to Los Angeles in the mid 1970s, and there were more resources there, plus a bigger Chinese population. It enabled me to expand my own knowledge, use the language more often, and eat lots of great Chinese cooking! I have always enjoyed sharing my knowledge and interest of the language and culture with my own friends and family.

    I made my first trip to Asia in 1973, as a partner in a small import/export business called Middle Kingdom Company. Our business was importing gift items from Asia to the USA. In the last few years, opportunities have opened up in a big way to do business in China, and I wanted to part of that.

    Today I am a public relations practitioner with a strong interest and experience in multi-cultural & international business communications. I am part of a team with Lawrence Group in St. Louis, whose international business activity is lead by Austin P. Tao, FASLA. The company has an office in Beijing, China.

    I was privileged to be on the Lawrence Group’s first trip to China in November 2005 to introduce our company to other firms in our industry and make business contacts. Today we have several projects underway in several Chinese cities, and members of our company make regular trips there. I hope to go back at least twice a year.

    I hope to hear from others who work in & with China, who are interested in sharing resources and ideas.

  2. Wendy Says:

    Hi Donna,

    I was just review your information.

    Wendy

  3. donnajgamache Says:

    Thanks for checking out my Web site, Wendy!

  4. Chris Says:

    Donna,

    Thanks for the website. I have been searching Saint Louis for possible Chinese-related jobs. I have about 16 college credits worth of Mandarin. My background is BS in physics and math, with 1yr manufacturing experience. I havn’t come across anything yet, so I’m starting to think my ticket to China will come through TESOL.

    Any thoughts?

    -Chris

  5. donnajgamache Says:

    Chris, I’m so happy you found my website. The economic catastrophe has so many companies cutting back here that even my employer has laid off and cut wages for all staff temporarily in the last week. That said, there is always opportunity somewhere. Two resources I can share–the World Trade Center of St. Louis and LinkedIn. The World Trade Center is under my Resources category, and their Website address is http://www.wac-stl.org/. They have a scrolling list of St. Louis member companies doing business in China. Then on LinkedIn, there are several China related groups to which I belong, and I have seen recuiting messages on there regularly. You can join LinkedIn for free and once you have a good profile set up on it, ask to join some of the groups and see what’s buzzing on there. Check in with me again to let me know how those resources work out, and if you need more input, I’m glad to provide it!


  6. dear donna

    your note to me arrived at a great moment–less because today is my 55th birthday than because of the great gift the voters of the US gave us all in my opinion, last night.

    what a terrific blog you’ve got going. i’ve got a longtime interest in china, ever since travelling there as a teacher in 1982 (with my then three month old son.) I’ve always hoped to return there one day, though as you might guess from my own website, the country that occupies my energies most, outside of our own, is guatemala. (come there to my writing workshop, donna! i’d love to work with you.)

    meanwhile, I’ll bookmark this. and thank you for taking the time to write to me this morning.

    with friendship

    joyce maynard

  7. steve smith Says:

    Hi Donna,

    Also thanks for your website! I met a wonderful woman from Jilin, China, named Naigeng Yang who taught Chinese in Jilin, but who has been in St.Louis for the past year checking on job possibilities. She is a very young 57, and her first choice for work in St. Louis would be to teach Chinese, but first she is rapidly learning the english language. Her visa is up and she is in the air back to China as I type this, but plans to return to St. Louis around July 1st. She will study her english while in Jilin. I am pretty sure she wants to work in St. Louis while she is improving her english to a level she feels is sufficient enough to pursue her teaching career, so I thought I would write you about job ideas for Naigeng. Her current level of english is about a two on a scale of one to ten, but will be improved when she returns. She has the most wonderful, light spirit about her, and is ever so gracious.
    If you have any job thoughts for Naigeng, I will relay them to her. She feels she will need a year or two before she is versed in english, so she is looking for somthing in that time frame.
    Thank you for your input,
    Steve.


  8. Donna, what a wonderful blog you have here! Very informative and I think one of the few written by a laowai who understands China, or at least of the ones I’ve seen. Keep it up!

  9. Jeff Says:

    Donna,
    It was great to find your website.

    I was born in China and came to the States 20 years ago. My family has many businesses in China, including manufacturing, distribution and public relations. We own or have significant investment in 26 manufacturing facilities, have 10 product categories, over 1,000 items and ship 10,000 containers per year. I have lived in Chicago and am splitting my time between China and the States.

    I was excited to learn the St. Louis / China Cargo Hub Plan. I always believe there are many opportunities in St. Louis and the surrounding areas. I am looking forward to meeting new business partners, buyers or anyone who is interested to explore the China market. I’d like to create and share the success.

    Jeff

  10. Abby Huang Says:

    Hi Donna,

    Thank you for the website and your articles! I am orignianlly from China and am currently a MBA student at Washington University. I also keep an close eye on the development of St. Louis/China Hub and would like to be a part of it! I would like to see it happen that one day we can fly from St. Louis directly to China by passenger planes!

    Thank you for your blog and all your efforts!

    Abby


  11. I love your site. Keep it up !


  12. very good site Donna,
    just added you on mine as interesting link!
    Best,
    Phil

  13. angie Says:

    Dear Donna,

    It is very nice to see your website, I just moved in st louis last week and can not wait to know more about this city and meet more
    people and friends here. I am from china, ever worked in sales for years.

    have a good weekend

    angie

  14. ray johnson Says:

    We produce a hand washing monitoring system to make sure that foodhandlers wash their hands. We would like to find an agent to produce our enclosure in china. See http://www.cleanhands.us. Size is about 4x6x8″ . It would include a microphone, microprocessor, small LCD, and a speaker.

  15. donnajgamache Says:

    Ray, I will have information for you this afternoon.


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