Board of Directors
Chairman, Executive Director
Mr. Gang Chen was appointed chairman of the board on September 17, 2021. Mr. Chen is a partner of Ascendent Capital Partners, where he has been actively involved in managing its portfolio companies and accumulated extensive experience in operations and corporate management. Prior to joining Ascendent, he served as the chief strategist for Biltmore Capital Group and head of alternative investment group for CMS Companies. Mr. Chen received his bachelor’s degree from East China Normal University where he worked for two years as a college teacher after graduation. He obtained a master of business administration degree from the Yale School of Management.
Honorary Chairman, Co-founder and Director
Mr. Chimin Cao is our co-founder and has served as chairman of the board since our inception. On September 17, 2021, Mr. Cao resigned from chairman and was redesignated as honorary chairman. Mr. Cao has a wealth of experience in the early childhood education industry. Together with Ms. Yanlai Shi, Mr. Cao established our first play-and-learn center in 1998 and then incorporated Beijing RYB to expand our operations in July 2001. Prior to that, Mr. Cao founded Beijing Dongrun Fandoule Kepu Entertainment Co. Ltd. in 1996 as the first franchise to introduce Fun Dazzle indoor playgrounds to Beijing. Mr. Cao received his joint master’s degree of management from the Australian National University and Tsinghua University in 2007.
Chief Executive Officer, Co-founder and Executive Director
Ms. Yanlai Shi is our co-founder and has served as director and chief executive officer since our inception. Ms. Shi is a pioneer of the early childhood education industry in China. Ms. Shi also holds various positions, including a member of National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference of Fengtai District, Beijing, and a representative of the 11th National Congress of Chinese Women. Ms. Shi has received many honors in the business world as well. To name a few, she was awarded “Leader of Education Industry” in 2016 and “The Most Influential Business Women in China” in 2014. Ms. Shi received her bachelor’s degree in law from Peking University and joint master’s degree in management from the Australian National University and Tsinghua University.
Joel A. Getz
Mr. Joel A. Getz has served as our director since September 2017. Mr. Getz is now the senior associate dean for Development and Alumni Relations at the Yale School of Management. Prior to that, Mr. Getz served as director of development for the William J. Clinton Foundation in New York and was president of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Mr. Getz’s additional previous work experience includes university fundraising at Stanford University, where he was associate director of The Stanford Fund and then a major gifts officer, both for the university and for the Graduate School of Business. From 1990 to 1997, Mr. Getz was the president and co-founder of Rim Pacific, a manufacturing and distribution firm focusing on art reproductions. Mr. Getz received his B.A. in 1986 from Harvard University.
Dennis Demiao Zhu
Mr. Dennis Demiao Zhu has served as our director since September 2017. Mr. Zhu worked at Oaktree Capital (Hong Kong) Limited from 2005 to 2011, serving as its managing director first and later as a senior advisor. Prior to joining Oaktree, Mr. Zhu was managing director, chairman of Greater China Operating Committee and member of Asia Pacific Executive Committee at JPMorgan Chase. Between 1994 and 1999, Mr. Zhu worked at Credit Suisse First Boston in the Equity Capital Markets and Investment Banking departments as Head of China Businesses. From 1992 to 1994, Mr. Zhu worked at FMC Corporation’s Investment Analysis Department and was based in Chicago. Mr. Zhang received his M.B.A. degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1993 and is currently the co-chairman of Asia Regional Cabinet of the Global Advisory Board of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Mr. Zhengong Chang has served as our director since September 2017. Mr. Chang is now the president of Beijing FYJS Investment Inc. Between April 2013 and April 2014, Mr. Chang served as a consultant to Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd, and he was an independent director of the board of BOYA Software Group between April 2011 and April 2015. From September 2011 to September 2013, Mr. Chang was an independent director of the board of Beijing Yucheng Technologies Limited. Mr. Zhengong Chang has been the co-chairman of the Federation of Sino-Canadian Business Marketing Association since 2006. Mr. Chang also founded and served as the president of CBL Data Recovery Technologies Inc. from March 1992 to May 2010. Mr. Chang received his master’s degree in computer science from Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey in 1987.