In 2005, Alex founded East West Associates (EWA) which provides Operational, Commercial and Risk Management solutions on-the-ground in China/Asia. With offices in the US and China, all EWA operational executives have lived in China and Asia and held senior management positions with P&L responsibilities for western multinational companies operating in China, including Briggs & Stratton (NYSE: BGG), Bechtel Corporation and Littelfuse, Inc. (NASDAQ: LFUS).
Prior to founding EWA, Alex spent 8 years as the Director of International Sales and Business Development for Barnhardt Manufacturing Company, a leading manufacturer supplying the global medical market and importer of consumer products. His primary responsibilities included developing/executing global strategic initiatives through partnerships, joint ventures and licensing arrangements, introducing disciplined product development procedures with manufacturing, R&D and technical divisions to increase sales of new products, building an Asian, European and South American customer base and management of sales, marketing and product distribution in these areas, and marketing patented and trademarked products to global converters and end-users within each foreign market.
During his tenure at Barnhardt, Alex was awarded the North Carolina Governors International Trade Award in 1998, 2000 and 2002 for significant increases in international trade, primarily in Asia, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Achievement Certificate. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina World Trade Association, a U.S. trade organization representing major companies with domestic and global operations.
Prior to Barnhardt, Alex practiced law for Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart, the third largest labor and employment law firm in the U.S., specializing in employment and business law. Alex received a Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Before law school, Alex served as a Congressional Lobbyist in Washington, DC for the American Textile Manufacturers Association, the National Association for Textile Manufacturers, and as a Committee Assistant to Congressman Elton Gallegly of California. As a lobbyist, Alex was responsible for international trade and business legislation before the U.S. Congress and traveled overseas with manufacturers interested in establishing foreign operations.
Alex received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington and Lee University. He and his wife reside in Charlotte, NC.
Mr. Plum currently holds the position of Director of East West Associates Inc. In this role Mr. Plum is responsible for business development, client relationship, project execution, with a focus on USA companies and firms who either have operating units in China or plan to enter the China market. Additionally, Mr. Plum is responsible for the execution of market development and entry-focused projects.
Before joining East West Associates, Mr. Plum has held a variety of senior level positions with USA multinational corporations, with his last position as President of Briggs & Stratton Asia (NYSE: BGG), based in Shanghai, China for 11 years concluding in 2013.
This position included P/L responsibility comprised of multiple manufacturing facilities in Chongqing, China, Subic Bay, Philippines and Osaka, Japan, and distribution operations, sales offices and warehouses in China, South Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Taiwan.
In 2002 Mr. Plum was instrumental in establishing Briggs & Stratton engine manufacturing facility in Chongqing, China, and a design center, laboratory, and application test center in Shanghai.
Mr. Plum established a 200 dealer network throughout China to service end products powered by Briggs & Stratton engines. In addition, during Mr. Plums tenure as President of Briggs & Stratton Asia he developed a complete line of Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) (lawn mowers, tillers, generators, and water pumps branded Briggs & Stratton and sold through a Briggs & Stratton dealer network). Additionally, 120 Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) were developed with application engineering and design center services provided by Briggs & Stratton to improve their products, grow their business and subsequently, Briggs & Stratton OEM engine business.
In 2005 Mr. Plum led a team to establish a manufacturing and distribution center in Subic Bay, Philippines. This facility was designed to work in conjunction with the Briggs & Stratton engine manufacturing facility in Chongqing, China to design, develop, and manufacturer water pumps for all markets in Asia outside of China and to provide products to South East Asian markets in a much shorter 3 day shipping window.
During this tenure as President of Briggs & Stratton Asia, annual operating income year on year growth exceeded 10 percent per year for the 11 years growing the business from start-up to 120 million USD and over 600 employees. Mr. Plum was awarded several Headquarter awards while President of Briggs & Stratton Asia.
Mr. Plum had previously held a variety positions with American Standard (Trane Air Conditioning Division) in Thailand commencing in 1991 and relocating to China in 1995, concluding with Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
During this period Mr. Plum established a 50/50 Joint Venture with United Kingdom-based Jardine Matheson in Bangkok, Thailand to design, manufacture, sell, and service residential air conditioners within the Indo-Chinese markets. The products produced in this Bangkok facility were developed and designed specifically for these markets with extensive consumer research.
In 1994, Mr. Plum established Trane’s first Representative office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam after the USA embargo was lifted to market, sell, and service commercial air conditioning products to the growing global 5 star Hotel market developing within Vietnam. In addition in 2003 when Mr. Plum Briggs established Briggs & Stratton China manufacturing facility an engine was developed designed exclusively for the “Long Tail water taxi market aimed at the Mekong Delta in Southern Vietnam. A sales force, after sales service capability and application/engineering/ test center was established to support this growing and unique market.
Mr. Plum has a Masters of International Management from Thunderbird School of International Management, Phoenix, Arizona.
Warren worked for 31 years at Eastman Kodak Company and held a variety of senior leadership positions for Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: KODK) in Asia, including Vice President and General Manager of the company’s Asia Pacific businesses. During his 17 plus year tenure at Kodak Asia he provided leadership during periods of rapid growth as well as dramatic rationalization and restructuring.
Warren’s responsibilities included regional manufacturing, operations, marketing and sales for Kodak’s consumer, professional, graphics and health imaging businesses. His very first China work assignment was based in Shanghai and came in 1982, with responsibility for the establishment of Kodak’s first manufacturing operation in China.
Warren has significant experience with new factory startups, M&A activities and large-scale organizational rationalization and restructuring. He established 4 new legal entities across China, which included both manufacturing and product recycling operations.
Warren was instrumental in the establishment of a factory to produce digital radiography equipment, a research and development center for health imaging products and an international trading company. The manufacturing organization that was developed and led by Warren included 8 factories, employed more than 3000 and had a total manufactured product bill in excess of US$800 million.
He has very effectively utilized M&A activity as a profitable means of rationalizing and restructuring operations, including 6 transactions for manufacturing operations in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and India. Warren also led a massive restructuring effort for Kodak’s operating companies across the entire Asia Pacific region, reducing overall regional operating costs by more than 50% and dramatically changing the go-to-market model for the company in multiple countries.
A strong proponent of Lean/6 Sigma methodologies, Warren championed the company’s investment in and application of its “Kodak Operating System” across its regional manufacturing organization. His organization was consistently recognized for dramatic productivity and quality improvements achieved, winning more company-wide awards than any other unit.
A resident of Shanghai for more than 17 years, Warren was recognized by the Shanghai Municipal Government with both their Silver and Golden Magnolia Awards, was a long-serving Vice Chairman of the Shanghai Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment and also was elected to the Board of Governors of The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.
Warren has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of the US.