Manufacturing in China: Lessons Learned for Surviving and Thriving

International Roundtable

June 20, 2013: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

How does a Western firm maintain its competitiveness and select the appropriate business strategy option? James Waite, a veteran of running manufacturing operations in China, presents lessons learned from the shop floor.

Despite the continued popularity of China as a manufacturing base for Western firms, the operating environment is evolving in its complexity due to wage inflation, competition from other East Asian countries, re-shoring to North America, the slowdown in the Chinese economy, and the increasing sophistication of Chinese firms themselves.

How does a Western firm maintain its competitiveness and select the appropriate business strategy option? James Waite, a veteran of running manufacturing operations in China, presents lessons learned from the shop floor.


Gleacher Center
Midway Club Boardroom, Fifth Floor
450 N. Cityfront Plaza
Chicago, Illinois

Driving Directions:


No Charge


Register Online


300 East Illinois Street (AMC Theater-River East Self Park Garage)

$6.00 after 3:00 pm on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday for a 12-hour period

Garage: Self Park Facility

Payment: Automated; at pay-stations by cash or credit card or upon exit pay by credit card only.

To receive discounted rate: There is a card validator at the first floor security desk of the Gleacher Center. You will only need to insert your parking card in the validator and the new price will be automatically applied. When you leave the lot you will be charged for the lower $6.00 fee.

Detailed Directions:

Garage is located next to PJ Clarks and below the AMC Theater.

a) When traveling east on Illinois cross over Columbus and enter the Garage on the left (north) side of the street

b) If driving west on Grand (north of Theater), you can enter the garage ½ block before Columbus on the left (south) side of the street.

Deadline: 6/20/2013


6:00 PM-6:30 PM: networking

6:30 PM-8:00 PM: presentation

8:00 PM-9:00 PM: drinks at The Midway Club, Fifth Floor

Speaker Profiles

James L. Waite (Speaker)
Managing Director, OPS-Asia

An accomplished executive with 25 plus years of experience in consulting, general management, manufacturing, and engineering. Mr. Waite is a progressive leader with extensive experience in starting and growing businesses in Asia, developing strong cross functional international teams, improving complex processes, and enabling supply chain excellence to create competitive advantages.

For the past 13 years, Mr. Waite has lived and worked in China with these market-leading USA companies:

• Weber-Stephens Products Co (Weber® grills): Established and managed a Supply Chain operation
• Sloan Valve Company (building products): Pioneered a greenfield WFOE startup, and grew it to profitability
• Watts Industries (industrial products for oil and gas): Grew a startup JV to profitability.

Mr. Waite has a MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management and BS in Civil Engineering from Tri-State University. Mr. Waite has been active in the American Chamber of Commerce and was the chairman of the Suzhou branch of the Shanghai American Chamber of Commerce.


Karl L. Buschmann, '85 
847 310 0412

Other Information


Networking is a key benefit of attending. To that end, a table will be made available for literature and handouts. Bring your business cards, brochures, handbills, literature, resumes, and publicity for placement on the table.


The Leadership Team welcomes inquiries from Booth alumni who would like to get more involved in running the International Roundtable. Responsibilities include:

--Regular attendance

--Programming: identifying interesting topics and securing speakers

--Administration: writing publicity, publicizing events through the University and roundtable email distribution list channels, and coordinating with the Alumni Office

--Working with the Leadership Team of Karl Buschmann, Linda Chow, Sophia Kholodenko, and Ernie Norrman


The Illinois International Business Calendar is one of the comprehensive lists of events in the Chicago area. For a free PDF copy, send an inquiry to The calendar can also be viewed at for Speakers? Contact the Leadership Team



Karl L. Buschmann

847 310 0412

Linda Chow

630 673 3256

Sophia Kholodenko

773 702 0783

Ernie Norrman

847 322 7227

To subscribe – or unsubscribe – to the International Roundtable Publicity Distribution List:

Career Management:

In transition? Looking for a job? Come to the networking session for information exchange.

Upcoming Sessions

Mark your calendar for upcoming International Roundtable sessions on the third Thursday of the month in 2013.