Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Chesapeake Bay Candle Co-Founder & CEO Mei Xu Presented with Leadership Excellence Award

November 12, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – More than 150 Asian American leaders from business, academia, technology, law, medicine, the arts and sciences, politics and philanthropy recently gathered at the naisA Global annual awards ceremony to recognize the trailblazers who are helping to break the ‘bamboo ceiling’ and empower the next generation of global leaders. 

Among the trailblazers honored at the November 10, 2017, black tie gala at the University Club in Washington, DC, was Mei Xu, Co-Founder & CEO of Chesapeake Bay Candle, David Kim, Vice President of Government Affairs at Hyundai Motors, and Sid Venketesan, Chief IP Counsel at GE, all of whom were named Leadership Excellence Award winners.   

Xu joined other Asian American leaders and advocates recognized at the event, including Dr. Sachiko Kuno, President of the S&R Foundation and Chairwoman of Halcyon; Dr. Wallace Loh, President of the University of Maryland; and Frank Islam, Chairman & CEO of FI Investment Group, along with two rising young women who received naisA Global’s Youth Leadership Awards – Kavya Kopparapu, Founder & CEO of GirlsComputingLeague, and Hana Mangat, Co-founder & President of Sikh Kid 2 Kid. 

“As an Asian American businesswoman, I’m honored to be presented with the Leadership Excellence Award from naisA Global,” said Xu.  “I’m also dedicated to helping empower the next generation of Asian American leaders in order to break the invisible barrier or ‘bamboo ceiling’ that impedes those in our community from advancing in their careers to reach the top leadership levels.”

According to naisA Global, Asian Americans excel in academic performance, but remain severely underrepresented in leadership positions. Research by the non-profit finds that the number of Asians occupying leadership positions in America is disproportionately low: 

-Only 2% of Fortune 500 CEOs are Asian
-Only 2% of college presidents are Asian
-Less than 1% of corporate board members are Asian
-Approximately 0.3% of corporate officers are Asian

Noting research by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which estimates that by 2030, Asia’s share of the world GDP will reach more than 40%, naisA Global is dedicated to educating and empowering the next generation of Asian leaders to help break the current Asian leadership ceiling, also known as the bamboo ceiling. The non-profit was founded in April 2013 by Dr. Jamie Younghee Sheen and provides mentorship opportunities, leadership training, and tools to address the critical lack of Asian leadership that exists nationally and globally. 

About Chesapeake Bay Candle
Established in 1994, Chesapeake Bay Candle is a premium home fragrance and wellness lifestyle brand synonymous with stylish design and nature-inspired fragrances from Maryland’s idyllic shore line. Our product design and development method is focused foremost on a deep understanding of the magnificent power of scent. To fulfill the promise of delivering premium products to consumers around the globe, we have established vertically integrated operations including a domestic manufacturing facility in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Chesapeake Bay Candle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Newell Brands. 

Mareike Finck,, 240.485.3492 

Shadini Perera,, 240.485.3463

Download the press release in PDF format here

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