Pacific Market International Link to website!   . That is the full name of my new employer, a Seattle-based company founded in 1983 that designs and manufacturer food and beverage containers. Privately owned, the company owns the brands Aladdin see cool new website  and Stanley link to website , which have a long history in the US and may be familiar to some fellow North Americans (lunch boxes, camping trips, etc), but are still very new internationally in several European and Asian markets. They aim to “revolutionize the way people eat and drink on the go.” Now I am to play a key role in that revolution overseas as International Marketing Manager reporting to the Director of International Marketing and Design for all foreign markets, an American guy who Patrick and I met together with his wife at an expat dinner our first week in China. There are another 24 or so other employees in their Shanghai office. Overall, something like 140 office staff (they also have joint-owned factories here in China which they hold to a strict Code of Conduct as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility program).

The irony of it all: I traveled half way across the world to China of all places to find a company who puts human capital as their top priority. Their CEO Rob Harris is quoted saying, ” This is a company that is focused on people, the global community and the environment.” The culture fit is their top hiring criteria – as they are small but growing, they are careful to maintain the company culture even across borders and oceans. This and the people were really the selling points for me. Everyone just seems really excited and happy to be working there.

So  I’m kissing a cushy expat wife lifestyle of afternoon teas and shopping any time of the day goodbye sooner than I predicted. Actually, it’s not hard for me to part with the afore-mentioned, but it will be hard for me to adjust to the much more limited time I will have to continue exploring the city and Asia during our time here. I managed to negotiate 15 days vacation, which is more than exceptional on a local contract, but still does not compare the extravagant 25 days in Austria. We will have to make the best use of weekends and for those of you who want to visit, you are still MORE THAN WELCOME. We just need to coordinate a little more, so that I can take time off or plan around weekends, etc. China has three big holidays every year – one in the first week of October, the second at Chinese New Year (Jan or Feb) and then again first week of May (Labor Day).  Apparently, the city empties out as people travel to their visit their distant homes and families. We are going to use these days to travel in case anyone is interested in joining us!

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