behind Bamboo Difference
Founder, Managing Partner & Leadership Strategist
Virginia is a HKU Associate Professor in the Business and Economics MBA program, an accomplished leadership strategist, executive coach and facilitator working with executives and senior leadership teams globally. She is a results and human-centred leader with 25 years of direct Asia Pacific experience in strategic management across multiple industries. Her ability to converse with her students and peers in English, Mandarin, Japanese and Cantonese adds a significant amount of depth to the programmes she develops and delivers.
Virginia brings a unique combination of coaching, facilitation, consulting and an extensive corporate marketing background spanning several industries. Clients describe Virginia as “insightful, empathetic, challenging, energetic and creative.”
As a senior marketing executive of over 17 years, Virginia has extensively applied her business acumen and coaching abilities to develop and manage large commercial teams across global geographies and cultures. Talent development, commercial imperatives, cross-cultural collaboration and stakeholder engagement have featured as key components of her career success.
Virginia has been an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Business and Economics MBA program at The University of Hong Kong since 2009.
- Graduate Diploma in Ontological Coaching (Newfield Institute)
- Master of Commerce, majoring in International Business and Business Mandarin (UNSW)
- Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing and Advanced Japanese Studies (UNSW)
Change Facilitator & Executive Coach
Yvonne is known for her highly facilitative, passionate and engaging style.
Born in Shanghai, raised in Hong Kong, and educated in the United States and Japan, Yvonne is an award-winning IAF (International Association of Facilitators) Certified Professional Facilitator and change agent developer with 17-year experience in coaching, training and facilitation.
As the in-house APAC Change Manager for a 3 year-SAP Implementation project, she coached and trained 60+ leaders and 100+ change agents across Asia Pacific to transform the business from local to global, drive engagement, communicate change and promote cross-team/cross-cultural collaboration.
Yvonne has also conducted extensive executive and management coaching, coaching training, facilitated strategic alignment, cross-team collaboration and team building interventions for multinationals. Clients describe Yvonne as “passionate, thought provoking and working with heart”.
- Certified Professional Facilitator and Assessor (International Association of Facilitators)
- Lumina Learning Qualified Practitioner
- Bachelor of Science, Business Administration (UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School)
- Diploma in Adult Education and Training (University of Hong Kong)
Leadership Facilitator & Executive Coach
Sandy is passionate about contributing to individuals and organisations to achieve their full potential.
She is an experienced facilitator and coach with over 20 years’ experience working within global multi-national corporations covering every aspect of design, development and delivery of Corporate Learning and Talent Management activities.
Sandy focuses on the needs of the group in order to bring about a shift in behaviour. Clients describe her as “reliable, collaborative, empathetic, pragmatic and thought-provoking”.
Born in Switzerland, Sandy has travelled and lived across the globe. Hong Kong has been her home base since 2002. Her life and work experience give her a keen perspective on diversity and the complex needs of multi-cultural audiences.
- Graduate Diploma in Integral Coaching (New Ventures West)
- Masters Degree in Organizational Psychology (City University London)
- B. A. Psychology and German (University of North Carolina)
Anita has established herself as a senior trainer and facilitator in the Asia Pacific region, running workshops and ‘learning interventions’ for executives in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
She began her career as a researcher with management consulting firm Bain & Company, before moving into a project management role at Cisco ANZ within the Sales organisation, a position she held for over 4 years.
Her ability to work effectively across cultures and management levels stems from this experience and her tri-lingual abilities in Mandarin, Cantonese and English.
- Master of Business Administration, Australian Graduate School of Business
- Degree in Commerce, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
- Executive Coaching Accreditation, Stage I, Institute of Executive Coaching
- MBTI Certified Trainer
Lisa Ring van Eek
Leadership Facilitator & Strategic Projects
Lisa is a global connector who currently works at the intersection of innovation and leadership development. Most recently she helped to build and scale a pioneering program, THNK- School of Creative Leadership based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her notable responsibilities included curating a dynamic community of global leaders twice a year.
Lisa has over 18 years of experience working in executive education and various corporate HR roles with Fortune 500 companies such as Philips and Adidas. She has extensive experience in facilitation within all of her prior roles and organizations.
She has a passion for discovering, developing and empowering leaders. Clients describe Lisa as intuitive and engaging with a genuine passion for helping individuals reach their goals.
Originally from Boston, Massachusetts USA, Lisa has spent the last 13 years living and working in Hong Kong, South Africa and The Netherlands.
- Bachelor of Art, Political Science (Northeastern University)
Sean is well known for his innovative experiential and transformational coaching and facilitation approaches, which bring clarity, awareness and developmental steps to achieve effective result with sustainable success. His extensive Drama/Theatre-in-Education and NLP background has given him an unique edge.
Having more than 25 years of corporate experience in media industry, including 18 years in entrepreneurship. His experience goes from frontline TV presenting and radio broadcasting to programming control, company management and business development roles.
Sean has many areas of expertise, including presentation skills and storytelling, interpersonal communication, leadership development in achieving personal and business goals, performance management for high performance, and diversity and inclusion.
- Master in Education Studies in Drama in Education, University of Dublin, Ireland
- Executive Diploma in Business Management, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
- Advance Diploma in Acting, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
- LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Certified Facilitator
Leadership Performance Facilitator
Kate is a versatile actor-facilitator and educator, who is endlessly excited by the power of experiential learning to improve both performance and satisfaction in individuals and organisations.
British by birth, she has worked with corporate clients from a wide range of industries around the region over the last twenty years. With a Master’s in Drama in Education and a professional theatre background, Kate has the theoretical framework and the hands-on experience to design and deliver training that effects meaningful and lasting change.
She believes that drama methodology is a flexible, powerful tool and she has used it in many forms, including forum theatre, character hot-seating and role/real play, to give participants a safe space to explore, make mistakes and achieve real break-throughs in thinking and behaviour.
Areas of particular interest for her are change management, difficult relationships and diversity and inclusion. She has worked in these areas for many financial institutions in particular. Kate’s first degree is in English Language & Literature and she continues to research the impact of word choice on effective communication, in conjunction with tone of voice and body language.
- Master in Drama in Education
Leadership Performance Facilitator
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Marc graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts. He then moved to Hong Kong to pursue his dream of working in the performing arts industry, continuing his studies and graduating with a BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) from Excel, The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts (HKAPA).
Based in Hong Kong, Marc now works in the performing arts industry as a director, performer and educator.
Marc won ‘Best Actor’ at the 2017 Hong Kong English Language Drama Awards, and is one of the most sort-out performing arts tutors in Hong Kong.
Marc is also one of Hong Kong’s top English MC’s, and has worked with numerous corporate companies, assisting them with their management training programs as a role-player and coach.
- Bachelor of Arts
- BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Performing Arts
Phil is dedicated to helping clients achieve the moment creativity theorists call an ‘Aha’! – The split second when the lightbulb lights and a new and valuable idea comes into being. He is fascinated by the forces and conditions which promote or inhibit creative thinking processes.
Phil has a strong track record as an educational leader with over twenty years’ experience in International Education (Prague, Singapore, Istanbul, London and Hong Kong). His specific area of expertise is the design and implementation of tools and processes which support and enhance creative thinking processes. He is an associate consultant with eliadgroup.com and has worked with method kit.com to bring creative thinking tools to market. Phil has facilitated for corporate clients, NGOs, schools and universities. He is a progressive educator, currently designing curricula and gamification experiences for the Human Technologies department at International College Hong Kong (An Innovation 800 School).
- Certified LEGO®️ SERIOUS PLAY®️ facilitator
- Certified Thinking In & Out of the Box facilitator
- Master of Arts (Distinction) in Creative Thinking (UCLAN)
- Post-Graduate Certificate of Education (University of York)
- Bachelor of Arts (Hons) English Language and Linguistics (University of Essex)
Jim is a catalyst of creative change. He supports those he comes in contact with to become who they need to be to answer the burning questions of their lives.
Jim helps clients to achieve breakthrough results by providing meaningful, memorable and magical learning experiences. He does this through a unique mix of Accelerated Learning techniques, exploratory games, activities and simulations, and facilitative techniques that tap the wisdom of the group.
For almost 30 years Jim has been working across Asia with individuals, teams and organisations on achieving transformational change.
- A variety of facilitation methodologies including Accelerated Learning, Technology of Participation, Open Space Technology, and World Café
- Six-Sigma Black Belt
- BA, Cross-Cultural Communication, Seattle Pacific University
Vivian loves helping people. Not only giving people a helping hand but she is good at guiding them to the correct path to work things out. Even small things like proof reading or travelling tips like eating or shopping guides, people love to ask for her recommendations. Growing up in Canada makes her kind and easy to get along with. Even though she is not very outgoing, she often mixes her friends and she has created many of her friends’ great friendship. Open minded and flexible, she is a strong mediator and gets satisfaction when everyone is happy. Having this personality makes her very fitting as a co-ordinator and she has always been a co-ordinator for all her past working experience.
Vivian is looking forward to grow with the Bamboo Difference team with her skills and also excited to work as a co-ordinator with the team’s business partners.
Aside from working, Vivian is a co-founder of a dance association with her friends. Her supporting role is very important in decision making and problem solving. The group is working hard towards hosting international events with legendary Japanese hosts in addition to inviting special guests around the world. So she travels a lot to Japan and her goal is to be able to speak Japanese to her friends there someday.
Vera is passionate about enabling a positive shift in the way SME businesses run their internal operations and controls. With this in mind, she founded the COO Centre in early 2018.
Vera provides customised, well-crafted recommendations on infrastructure support so that business owners like Virginia can focus on reaching their next growth milestone. Clients describe her as “highly efficient, independent, a strong communicator and always keen to understand their needs”.
Vera has extensive corporate COO and business management experience in real estate management, strategic plan execution and support staff coaching. She began her career with JPMorgan New York Finance Control where she built great aptitude for financial controls and expense management. Vera then moved to Hong Kong joining Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research as the Asia Pacific business manager/CAO. She later joined KKR & Co. in charge of Office Operations for Asia Pacific, covering seven offices.
Vera has many talents including being tri-lingual with fluency in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.
Branding & Design
Michelle is passionate about design, beauty, art and all the things in-between. When she’s not busy making things look amazing, or photographing the world around her, you can find Michelle in the kitchen, concocting something delicious (or occasionally burning it!)
She has a global focus, having had the good fortune to live in Sydney, London, Hong Kong and San Francisco and has a lifelong love affair with travel, food and culture. Michelle works in the corporate world as a Creative Director, publishes a design/food blog and is an active community member, devoting time to several local organisations. However, her most important role is being the proud mother of three.
Josefina is a cat lover. And elephant lover. And Sharks too. In fact, she loves all living creatures, both flora and fauna. She wakes up every morning obsessing about climate change and environmental destruction and goes to bed still obsessing, to the consternation of her long-suffering partner.
When she is not making videos for Bamboo Difference, Josefina is creating documentaries on human rights issues, elephant protection and ocean health. Having spent half her life in Asia, she has seen first-hand the dire need for a more enlightened and just approach to life on Mother Earth. As a side-gig, she is also the graphic designer, photographer and recipe inventor for a small healthy snack company in Hong Kong.
Josefina has a BA and MPhil in Fine Arts and Comparative Literature and while she loves a range of visual mediums, film has always been her favourite for its unparalleled power to communicate directly and elicit strong emotions simultaneously.
Nothing recharges her batteries like elephant therapy, whether in the jungles of Southeast Asia or the grasslands of Botswana.
We help people develop the qualities of bamboo: resilient, fast growing, flexible and self-sustaining.