The Women Leadership Awards Jury: Their Stories

Last week we announced our esteem Women Leadership Awards Jury Members, after nominations closed on May 3 and today we’re excited to introduce to you a little more about their careers and backgrounds. The Women Leadership Awards (WLA) each year have an independent review by the WLA Jury Members and they are selected from a broad cross-section of industries and positions to ensure a well-rounded representation of professionals in the judging panel. Their role in business and society is also a reflection of IPWS values: to inspire, grow, lead, connect and embrace diversity.

IPWS is delighted to be working with the following WLA 2017 independent jury panel:

  • George Huang, Managing Partner – China, Heidrick & Struggles
  • Greg Nance, Founder & CEO, Dyad
  • Helene Larochelle, Executive Director, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Mei Tong, Managing Director, Fosun Group
  • Thérèse Healy, Consul General, Consulate General of Ireland
  • Gilles Saintonge, Ph.D. Vice President of Technology, Commercial Aircraft Platform

The six independent Jury members using the established WLA Criteria Guidelines for each award category will review all nominations submitted for the Women Leadership Awards 2017. The Jury will participate throughout the entire selection process. Following the review of all nominations, the Jury will select two finalists for each WLA category. These finalists will be notified in early May, on a date to be determined.

Learn more about our Women Leadership Awards 2017 Jury Panel:

George Huang – Managing Partner, China, Heidrick & Struggles

George Huang is the partner-in-charge of Heidrick & Struggles China (including Taiwan). George also leads the CEO & Board of Directors Practice as well as the global Technology & Services Practice for Heidrick & Struggles China. He works within integrated, client-focused teams to advise on issues of executive leadership and succession planning, board effectiveness, corporate governance, culture, and decision-making.

George completed his studies in the United States and is a highly resourceful and respected leader. He has spent more than 20 years in leadership roles in the technology and search industries, spanning a wide geographical area that includes Latin America, the Middle East, the United States, and China.

Prior to joining Heidrick & Struggles, George was managing director, China for Russell Reynolds, where he also co-led the firm’s Asia Pacific technology sector, conducting a wide range of board and senior executive assignments in both MNC and Chinese enterprise settings. Before entering the search industry, George was managing director of Greater China at Arivana, and SVP, Greater China at Nortel.

George received his bachelor’s of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his EMBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. George is also a member of the inaugural graduation class of the China New Entrepreneur Development Program, a joint program sponsored by the Development Research Center of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China and Stanford University.


Helene Larochelle – Executive Director, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Helene Larochelle is the Executive Director at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and is from the northern region of Quebec. She has lived and worked internationally for the past 10 years in Japan and China. She is a graduate of Temple University and holds an MBA in International Corporate Strategy from Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo.

Having started a career in Marketing in Montreal, Helene worked for a number of Japanese companies including Sony and FANCL as an international business development manager and country localization manager. Most recently, Helene was a member of the Board of Governors for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ), where she worked extensively on promoting both the CCCJ’s interests in Japan and Canada and gender equality in member organizations.

In 2013, she was also involved in a project promoting corporate social value with Uniqlo and Muhammad Yunus’ from Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. She also contributed her marketing experience to an NGO, the Shanghai Community Center, after moving to Shanghai in 2015. Helene is passionate about politics, current affairs, travel, and the Canadian way of life. She speaks French, English, Japanese, and basic Mandarin.
Greg Nance – Founder & CEO, Dyad

Dyad connects China’s best and brightest with the world’s top universities. Discover the power of mentorship at

Greg Nance is a social entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to expanding educational opportunities for young men and women. He founded, an online mentorship platform that helps students earn scholarships, while a Gates Scholar at Cambridge University. PayPal named the company “Asia’s Most Promising Startup” in 2015. As a Truman Scholar at UChicago, Greg co-founded Moneythink, an NGO providing inner-city teens with financial capability mentorship to boost college enrollment and success. President Obama named the organization a “Champion of Change” in 2012. In recognition of his work in global education, the Jefferson Awards for Public Service named him a “Globe Changer” in 2011. He loves endurance challenges and has solo climbed Mont Blanc, swam across the Nile River, and run 250KM through the Gobi Desert. Greg was named the “12 Ambassador” to the Seattle Seahawks where his ultramarathon running has appeared in TV commercials for Delta Air Lines.


Gilles Saintonge, Ph.D. – Vice President of Technology, Commercial Aircraft Platform, AVIC Shanghai Aviation Electric Co. Ltd.

Gilles Saintonge is currently Vice President of Technology with AVIC Shanghai Aviation Electric in Shanghai, an Aerospace company specializing in electronics and electrical distribution for military and civil aviation. He is responsible for the design and development of aircraft systems for large commercial aircraft and for building an organization capable of achieving certification to international airworthiness standards.

Gilles is a transformative leader with more than 20 years of experience in innovation, growth and transforming organizations in the United States, Canada, India and China. His area of expertise includes Civil Aviation, Unmanned Aerial Systems, Defense and Space. He is a respected leader known for his ability to drive culture change, leading innovation and building global teams.

Prior to joining AVIC Shanghai Aviation Electric, Gilles held leadership roles at Eaton Corporation where he created a global engineering team spanning North America, India and China, instrumental to the business organic growth. Prior to that, he was a pioneer of Unmanned Aerial Systems introducing fully autonomous flight and at-sea automatic landing. Gilles received a PhD in Physics in Canada, he published many scientific and technical articles and he won awards for organic growth and innovation.


Mei Tong – Managing Director, Fosun Group

Mei Tong is currently Managing Director with Fosun Group, a leading investment conglomerate in China. Mei is a private equity investor specialized in baby and mom care and food & beverage related consumer brands. Prior join Fosun Group, she was an Executive Director with HOPU Investment, a leading private equity fund established in 2007.
Mei was Vice President of Strategy & Acquisitions at Walmart China in 2012-2014. In this capacity, she led China business development strategies team for Wal-mart Inc. She also managed corporate mergers and divestment projects for the company. In 2013, Mei led business transformation strategy and acted as project management officer. She supervised extremely challenging store closure programs for Wal-mart China that reduced 38 percent operating loss annually for overall China and increased earnings for top performing 100 stores in same fiscal year. Prior she joined Wal-mart, Mei was a Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development with PPG Asia Pacific Regional Office in Hong Kong. Her strategic insights in Chinese consumer, and transport markets led to solid strategy upgrade.

From 1999 to 2010, Mei was Group Treasurer and Director of Corporate Development for Kimberly-Clark (China) Investment Co. Ltd. During 11 years of service with the company, Mei led legal and tax restructuring activities, including equity partner buy-out negotiations, centralization of working capital and logistic planning for 138 China cities. Under her leadership, Kimberly-Clark introduced sustainable management policies to Chinese household paper industry. Over the years, Ms. Tong actively promotes caring spirit for women and children. She was named “Most Admired Female Leader in Charity” in 2008 by Chinese Media. She has been a mentor and senior adviser for Woman’s Leadership program at HK Woman’s Foundation since 2010. Before joining Kimberly-Clark, Ms. Tong was working as analyst for debt capital market in investment banking industry.
Ms. Tong has a MBA degree from Peking University and a Doctory Candidate in Applied Social Science. She loves sports and is a full marathon runner.


Thérèse Healy – Consul General | Consulate General of Ireland

Therese has been a career diplomat with the Irish Foreign Service for close to twenty years, serving previously in Tokyo, Beijing and Moscow, as well as in a number of policy units (Economic Division, Political Division and Irish Aid -development cooperation) at Ireland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

She took up duty as the first female Irish Consul General to Shanghai and the surrounding four provinces just over a year ago and is an active member of the IPWS.