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James Chao named 2018 Lloyd's List Americas Awards Lifetime Achievement winner

Chinese-American entrepreneur and philanthropist recognised for maritime career spanning 50 years at leading dry bulk, trading and financing operation. Book your table here

FOREMOST founder and chairman James Chao has been named the 2018 Lloyd’s List Americas Awards Lifetime Achievement winner.

Founded in 1964, Foremost Group is a global shipping, trading and finance enterprise based in New York.

It is a pioneer in promoting more environmentally friendly ship design and technology into its expanding fleet of new vessels — some of the world’s largest bulk carriers. 

Since 2011 the company, under the guidance of Mr Chao’s daughter Angela, has ordered or taken delivery of 10 bulkers ranging from 85,000 dwt to 180,000 dwt, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence.

It ordered four 210,000 Newcastlemax vessels at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China CSSC Holding, in January this year, according to press sources.  

American dream

James Chao embodies the American rags-to-riches dream, and is a strong proponent of how a strong education can help people progress. 

He was born on December 29, 1927, in a small, rural farming village in Jiading District, outside Shanghai, in the Republic of China. His parents were Yi-Ren Chao, head of an elementary school, and Yu-Chin Hsu Chao. They were farmers who emphasised the value of education.

Chao attended upper schools near Shanghai, including National Chiao Tung University and National Wusong merchant marine college, where he majored in navigation. He finished his coursework in 1949 and went to sea as a cadet on a merchant vessel.

At the climax of China’s civil war, Chao and his wife Ruth Mulan Chu Chao moved to Taiwan to start a new life.

In the mid-1950s Mr Chao advanced through the ranks to become one of the youngest ocean-going marine captains of that time — he was just 29.

He moved to the United States in 1958, settling in New York City the same year. He received a master’s degree in management from St John’s University, Queens, in 1964.

In 2004, Mr Chao was inducted into the International Maritime Hall of Fame at the United Nations in recognition of his long-standing service and dedication to the international maritime trading industry.

Active philanthropists, Mr Chao and his late wife established the Mulan Foundation in 1984 to provide scholarships to help students in the US and China access higher education and to promote US-China cultural exchanges.

The Chaos have six daughters: Elaine, Jeanette, May, Christine, Grace and Angela.


2018 Lloyd’s List Americas Awards  
May 23, 2018 
Four Seasons Hotel Houston

Book your table here.  


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