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About Lillian Tsai
Lillian A. Tsai, President
1500 NE Irving Street, Suite 410
Portland, OR 97232
Lillian A. Tsai is founder and president of TsaiComms, LLC, a cross-cultural consulting firm based in Portland, Oregon, that specializes in bridging the cultural gap between East and West.
Lillian has lived and worked on three continents and
her background in marketing and corporate communications
includes more than 30 years of experience as a manager,
communicator, speaker and trainer on multicultural
team and communications issues. She is a sought-after
speaker for local, state and national conferences,
and has conducted training programs for hundreds of
mid- to upper-level managers throughout the United
States, Europe and Asia.
Lillian’s unique skillset is a result of her Malaysian-Chinese upbringing and her extensive experience working with global corporations in marketing, communications, management, presentation skills, team building and employee communications. Combined, her skills and experience benefit audiences seeking training and assistance from a truly multicultural speaker.
She has trained and consulted with global companies
such as Columbia Sportswear, ConMet, ESCO Corp., FedEx,
Intel, Nike, Logitech, Paccess, Pepsico, Rohm and Haas,
Royal Dutch Shell, Tektronix and TriQuint. In 2005,
she trained 150 Port of Portland staff, including CBP,
TSA, airlines personnel, managers and volunteers on “Customer Service for Chinese Travelers.” Her public and academic sector clients include: City of Portland, Housing Authority of Portland, Portland Community College, the Portland Development Commission, Washington County, Multnomah County Library, and Western Oregon University.
She has delivered speeches and workshops to many organizations
including: PDXfx (a women’s executive forum in Portland, OR), Meadows Group, Prudential Northwest, ReMax, University of Idaho’s Frank Church Symposium on China, the office of Portland Mayor Tom Potter, Beaverton Chamber of Commerce, Customs & Border Protection, Tualatin Rotary Club, University of Oregon Law School China Seminar, Mount Hood Community College, MBA programs at the University of Portland, University of Phoenix, University of Washington and Marylhurst University.
EDUCATION & INTERCULTURAL QUALIFICATIONS
- (Summer) Institute for Intercultural Communication,
Portland, OR; July 2005-2008. Courses completed:
- Foundations of Intercultural Communications
- Teaching Intercultural Communications
- Intercultural Teaching and Strategies for Asians
- Marketing Intercultural Programs
- Experiential Tools for Intercultural Learning
- Resolving Conflict Across the Cultural Divide + Administration of Intercultural
- Foundations of Intercultural Coaching
- Certified for the Intercultural Developmental Inventory
(IDI) that assesses personal/group/organizational
intercultural competence based on the DMIS (Developmental
Model of Intercultural Sensitivity) developed by
Drs. Milton Bennett and Mitch Hammer.
- Mount Ida College, Associates Degree, Boston, MA.
Graduated Student of the Year (first ever foreign
student to receive this award).
Founder and President, TsaiComms
LLC, 2002 to Present.
Consultant, coach, and trainer for organizational teams and
executives in global and leadership intercultural
competency, specializing in Asian (Chinese, Singaporean
and Malaysian) cultures, multicultural team building,
diversity and inclusion training, presentation skills,
and leadership coaching.
- Director of Corporate Marketing,
Stuttgart, Germany, 2001-2002
Corporate Communications, Brokat Technologies, Portland, OR, 2000-2001
Marketing and Corporate Communications, GemStone Systems,
Inc., Portland, OR, 1999-2000 (Note: GemStone merged
with Brokat Technologies in 2000)
Marketing Communications Manager, Analogy, Inc., Portland, OR,
- Marketing Communications
Manager, Mentor Graphics Corp., Wilsonville, OR, 1991–1996
- Asia-Pacific Liaison Manager, Mentor Graphics
- Marketing Assistant, Hewlett-Packard
OR and Sunnyvale, CA), 1979-1985
- Past President, Northwest China Council (2005-2008)
- Past President, Asian American Business Alliance
- Past Chair, TriMet’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee on the Budget
- Advisory Board Member, New Leadership Oregon
- Executive Mentor and Coach & Honorary Advisory Board Member, Executive
- Member, Society of Intercultural Educators,
Trainers, and Researchers (SIETAR)
- Director of Diversity & Inclusion,
ASTD (American Society of Training and Development) Cascadia
- May 2004 – Portland Business
Journal’s Top 25 Minority Owned Businesses
- October 2006 – Sweat Equity Award, NW
Minority and Women’s Business Excellence
- January 2007 – World Arts
Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for
- April 2007 – Portland Business
Journal’s Orchid Award – their highest
honor for achievement for women in business
- November, 2008 – Executive
Development Institute (EDI) – 2008 Special
Recognition Award for Outstanding Support as a volunteer
mentor and executive coach
Conversational Cantonese, Mandarin, and Hakka.
Courses and Services offered
Our mission is to bridge the cultural gap
between East and West through intercultural competency
and communications workshops, as well as one-on-one
TsaiComms offers customized business goals-oriented,
value based, intercultural competency and business
protocol workshops geared to your specific needs,
from communications tips to negotiations skills to
gifting and social etiquette. Our workshops offer
highly interactive, fun, experientially based workshops
that usually include simulation, role plays and case
Sign up for our series on how to recruit,
train and retain Asian Americans in your workforce.
- “Working with Asian Americans”
This informative, fun and interactive
one-day workshop will feature: a short history of
Asians in America, differences between the American
and Asian cultures, cultural values, experiential
exercises, case studies, video clips, and business
and social protocol dos and don’ts. This
is a cross-cultural experience for managers and supervisors
of Asian employees; one that will surely leave a
lasting, memorable impression.
- “Communicating Effectively with
Asian Americans” (a follow-on to “Understanding
Asian Americans”, a pre-requisite to this
This highly interactive half-day workshop
examines the differences in communications styles
between East and West in detail through cross-cultural
simulations, case studies, and role play to give
participants the skills necessary for communicating
more effectively with Asian-born employees.
- “Understanding the American
Culture” is a one-day workshop customized
specifically for foreign-born employees of government
agencies or global corporations to support them
in navigating through professional and personal
cross-cultural interactions more successfully.
Developed by an Asian-born immigrant, this workshop
discusses American values, cultural norms, communications
styles, and expectations in the American workplace.
- “Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling” is
a one-on-one coaching program tailored specifically
for foreign-born professionals working for U.S.
government agencies or global corporations that
focuses on developing leadership and management
skills that are sustainable and accountable. (Requires
a minimum three-month engagement that includes
360 interviews and a personal development plan.)
- Culture, Communications and Conflict as a one-day workshop
You can hardly make a friend
in a year, but you can easily offend one in an hour.” ?
Ever wondered why it takes so long
to negotiate a simple contract or why some of your
emails cause a total shut down in communications
with a colleague in another country? Through this
interactive seminar, participants will understand
the definition and meaning of culture; explore how
our cultural values, perspectives and beliefs affect
our actions and perceptions; and practice skills
for resolving conflicts across cultures.
1) To learn the basics of culture, cultural values, and how they impact one’s ability to interact successfully with other cultures.
2) To help students learn about their own values and how they view the world.
3) To explore the relationship between communication, culture, and conflict.
4) Explore the different concepts and styles of conflict and intercultural communication.
5) Gain tips and tools for effective intercultural communication.
What Lillian’s clients say about
did a masterful job not only in giving us the mechanics
about how to work with the Chinese but immersing us
into the cultural values and nuances behind each exchange.
We have already begun making changes as a team and
already noticing a difference, as are our Chinese colleagues.”
- Global Sourcing Manager, Logitech,
Inc., Vancouver, WA
greatly appreciated your emphasis on humanistic values
and, for lack of a better phrase, 'doing the right
thing' in one's international relationships. Too often,
business people approach relationships with foreigners
in terms of the utility of these relationships, rather
than starting on the human level, building from there,
and creating a framework of mutual trust and respect.
I really liked your emphasis on this, and hope that
your clients value this as well."
- Port of Portland customer
service employee , Portland, OR
“Lillian has been
working with the Video Engineering Team since March
of 2007 when she trained my direct reports and
their teams about working successfully with the
Chinese culture. Lillian also facilitated a team
building workshop for my Fremont staff and those
visiting from our Taiwan location. Since then,
she has also coached me on how to manage my team
located in Taiwan.
In all cases, Lillian’s ability
to bridge the cultural gaps between East and West
really enabled us to understand both the differences
as well as commonalities between our groups. Her
professionalism, unique personal presentation style
that combines humor with personal experiences and
stories makes her really fun to work with. I’ve
already seen improvements in my teams’ abilities
to communicate and function more effectively across
cultures. We plan on hiring her for ongoing coaching
and consulting and highly recommend her for any
type of intercultural competency projects.”
- VP, Video Engineering, Logitech,
Inc., Fremont, CA
“Many (Chinese) staff who attended
the U.S. Culture training clearly benefited from
the workshop. As I told our CEO and the Leadership
Council members, it was the first time I saw our
staff so openly talking about what was in their
minds, and you coordinated the session so well
that they could do it without any hesitation. I
would like to thank you again for facilitating
a good start of improved communication across different
cultures in PACCESS.”
VP Asia, Paccess Global, Shanghai, China
Rushford & Associates
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