WITA Webinar: How Consumer Brands Can e-Succeed in China




On Tuesday, November 9th, WITA and the International Trade Center DC welcomed Frank Lavin to discuss his new book, “The Smart Business Guide to China E-Commerce“, and looked at how consumer brands can take advantage of this revolution in Chinese consumer behavior.

WITA Webinar Featuring:

Frank Lavin, author of “The Smart Business Guide to China E-Commerce“, Chairman of Export Now

Andrew Gelfuso, Vice President, Trade Center Management Associates

Maxwell Kahn, President, Coresight Research


Frank Lavin is the CEO and founder of Export Now, a U.S. firm that operates e-commerce stores in China for international brands. Established in 2010, Export Now is the largest off-shore operator of China e-commerce stores, helping brands from around the world in strategy and operations.

In Government, Lavin served as Under Secretary for International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce 2005-2007. In that capacity, Lavin served as lead trade negotiator for both China and India and was the senior policy official in the Department responsible for commercial policy, export promotion, and trade negotiations across the globe. Lavin was U.S. Ambassador to Singapore from 2001-05, where his duties included helping negotiate the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

In the private sector, Lavin served in senior finance and management positions in Hong Kong and Singapore with Edelman, Bank of America, and Citibank.

Previously, Lavin served in the George H.W. Bush and Reagan Administrations, working in the Department of Commerce, Department of State, National Security Council, and White House. Lavin served as Director of the White House Office of Political Affairs.

Lavin earned a B.S. from the School of Foreign Service (Georgetown); an M.S. in Chinese Language and History (Georgetown); an M.A. in International Relations and International Economics from the School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins); and an M.B.A. in Finance at the Wharton School (Pennsylvania).

He is a columnist for Forbes.com and has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and other Periodicals. Lavin is the author of “The Smart Business Guide to China E-Commerce,” (Penguin), and co-author of “Export Now,” (Wiley) on market entry strategies. He also authored a World War II history book, “Home Front to Battlefront” (Ohio University Press).

Lavin serves as a Trustee of The Asia Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Advanced MedTech Holdings, a medical technologies company. He is a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Directors and on the Advisory Board of ECIPE, a Brussels think-tank. Lavin previously served as Steering Committee Chairman of the Shanghai 2010 World Expo USA Pavilion. Lavin served as a Lt Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves.

Maxwell Kahn is the President of Coresight Research. Maxwell hails from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia Business School. He began his career at McKinsey and then he further developed his expertise in the consumer at Johnson & Johnson and Merck in both operating and venture investing roles.

Before Coresight, Max spent five years between two roles for Wiser Together as a board member and ultimately CEO. Max understands the importance of delivering a great retail experience supported by strong technology. This expertise has exemplified his career in banking, consulting and investing.

Andrew F. Gelfuso is Vice-President at Trade Center Management Associates (TCMA), a privately held, wholly owned subsidiary of the Boston based Drew Company. TCMA serves as the fullservice, property management company for the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. This facility is also designated as the official World Trade Center of Washington, DC, which is part of the global network of the Centers with affiliates in over 90 countries around the world. As Vice-President, Mr. Gelfuso leads the global mission of the Center while focusing on international business development, program promotion, business matchmaking, outreach, trade counseling, strategic partnerships, government, and diplomatic relations.

Under Mr. Gelfuso’s leadership, the Office for Trade Promotion is responsible for driving the Congressional mandate of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center and for positioning the Center to be Washington’s focal point for a wide array of international trade, cultural, and educational programming.

Mr. Gelfuso graduated in 1997 from Hobart College in Geneva, New York, with a degree in Political Science. He earned his MBA with a concentration in International Business in 2001 from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. In the spring of 1996, he earned a certificate from Vietnam National University in Vietnamese. Mr. Gelfuso has authored articles on international trade which have been published in several newspapers.

Mr. Gelfuso serves on the board of the Embassy Series, the Corporate Committee for the National Trust for the Mall, the District Export Council of DC/VA (DEC), and serves as an advisor on the Administration’s Industry Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC) appointed by the Secretary of Commerce.