Angela Chao Sits Down with World Journal to Discuss Family, Business and Legacy


In early June, Angela Chao, Deputy Chair of the Foremost Group, sat down with WorldJournal.com to share her insights into her paternal heritage: the strength and legacy of her parents, Dr. James S.C. Chao and Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, and how their life principles translated into building the reputation and success of the Foremost Group—the international shipping business they created over 50 years ago.

Core value of the company’s founding—integrity and sincerity

Angela shares how her father’s intention when founding the Foremost Group was very modest—he wanted only to provide for his family. He left China and came to America alone, without his wife and children, with English language skills, but heavily accented, with no rolodex, networks or connections. When doors to employment did not open for him, he turned to his own ingenuity and determination and forged his own path – Foremost Group celebrated its 50th year anniversary last year.

Angela says that her father’s words are his bond, if he says something he will follow through. These core values of her parents were imbued into the company and are the reason for its good reputation and respect in the industry.

She says that the success of the business is also a reflection of the close bond that existed between her parents, who complemented each other so well. Now, as Foremost Group looks forward to its next half a century, the Foremost Group’s chief concern is not necessarily to be the largest company in the shipping business, but to be the best. What is the best? Honesty, integrity, dignity, excellent customer service, and being a good steward in the world. For Angela this extends beyond the company, and also to her personal life. It is important to her that she personally is a good steward of the name built up by her parents, and that whatever she does in the world be only a positive reflection on their legacy parents.

Smooth trade between nations fosters peaceful relationships

Angela says that it is important to remember the role played by the Foremost Group as “facilitator of world trade.” Her family always believed in the value of international trade and dialogue between nations, especially between East and West. Considering the background of her parents, of course, east-west relations would naturally be a priority. She is proud of the role they have played in fostering improved dialogue between the nations and people of America and China. She sees it as a part of the company’s social responsibility to the greater community and hopes that they will continue to make contributions in the years ahead.

The Foremost Group – environmental sustainability

Angela Chao shares the company’s commitment to being a good environmental steward, sharing how it accesses and utilizes the latest technologies to ensure the optimum level of environmental protection. She says Foremost renews its fleets frequently so that vessels in operation meet the highest and most modern standards for environmentally-friendly operations. Its strategy for ensuring ecologically sustainable operations extends from the shipyards, where the company is ordering vessels with the latest designs to construct marine-friendly vessels, to cutting-edge engine design, to utilizing green technologies to improve energy consumption and minimize pollution.

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