In mid-October, as President Barack Obama concluded his momentous joint news conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Janice Bryant Howroyd was in our nation’s capital meeting with South Korean officials and participating in the Investment Notification Signing Ceremony.
Under the direction of Korean Minister of Knowledge Economy Mr. Choi, Joong-Kyung, KOTRA (represented by N. America Head Office President Mr. Um, Sungpil) and the ACT•1 Group (represented Janice), signed to acknowledge the ACT•1 Group’s commitment to invest in Korea by opening an office in Seoul, an emerging global business hub. This new ACT•1 location will be playing a key role in helping investors from the United States and other countries establish operations and build human capital in Korea.
KOTRA, or the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, facilitates Korea’s export-led economic development through various trade promotion activities such as overseas market surveys and business matchmaking. The ACT•1 Group has the enviable position as the premiere KOTRA’s US staffing partner. The Korean Government took a special interest in the ACT•1 Group because of the company’s track record for seamless and timeless process integration, and even more so when they learned that we do much more than staffing—ATS and VMS solutions from Agile•1, for instance. With KOTRA bringing in foreign investors, the ACT•1 Group is primed to help companies bring in foreign talent as well as tap into the Korean talent pool.
On October 28th, Janice and several ACT•1 delegates including Agile•1 President Peter Carvalho, convened in Korea. With quite a few important stops on their itinerary, the group spent their first days exploring the beautiful city of Seoul, taking in the very cosmopolitan business district along with the local culture and landmarks. They spent a day at the stunning ‘Lotte World’, which holds the Guinness Worlds Record for being the largest indoor theme park in the world.
Meetings with local dignitaries were also scheduled. The party had lunch with Former 1st Secretary of economy, Minister of Agriculture Mr. Chung So Young, and the next day, with Woonsan Group Chairman Mr. Hi Sang Lee. Janice and the rest of the group also visited possible sites for our new ACT•1 Korea office, including the impressive International Finance Center.
Next on the itinerary was the main reason for Janice and Peter’s trip to Korea, which is 2011 Global HR Forum (GHR). Janice was invited to be one of the Speakers during this world-renowned convention’s ‘The Art of Recruiting: How to Attract and Retain Talents’ Session.
During the Forum, specialists agreed that the key factors for Korea’s fast advancement as a global hub for human resources are people’s dedication to hard work and their passion for education. Janice reiterated and supported this during her presentation. One of her statements that truly resonated with the audience was, “The cultural embrace of strong work ethics, partnered with education and language skills, makes Korean workers competitively attractive in the global work force.”
Concurrently taking place with GHR is the Korea PE & VC Cleantech Forum 2011. Steve Lee, the ACT•1 Group’s delegate for this KOTRA-sponsored event, had the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the industry, network with foreign contacts and introduce ACT-1 Korea as a future HR partner for investors considering setting up shop in South Korea. “This forum is one of the many that the Korean government sponsor as they aggressively promote this sector,” says Steve. “Clean Technology means recycling, renewable energy (wind power, solar power, biomass, hydropower, biofuels), IT, green transportation, Greywater and other initiatives that create a smaller environmental footprint and minimize pollution. As a Korean American and as a father with a seven-year-old daughter, I highly respect this—it’s about investing in the future of mankind.”
Back at Home
On November 12, 2011, Janice will be honored with the BraveHeart Women Entrepreneur Award, which will be presented during a red carpet gala event at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles. She is also being recognized by the Florida Investment Community later this month.
Additionally, Janice is listed in the Staffing Industry Report’s 2011 ‘100 Who’s Who in Staffing’ where she is among the top 20 CEOs for large staffing firms, joining the ranks of some of the world’s most powerful industry players.
As the ACT•1 Group prepares to be a part of the Korean business community through our first office location in Seoul, the company can look forward to both having an active role in developing and growing from this auspicious partnership.