Textile and apparel company Esquel Group and its Vice Chairman Teresa Yang established a $500,000 Esquel-Yang Family Distinguished Professorship at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Travel Industry Management (TIM School) with matching funds from Jay H. Shidler. The professorship will advance research and academic activities at the TIM School for the benefit of the wider community.
“The professorship is being established to honor the late Dr. Chuck Gee, dean emeritus of the School of Travel Industry Management for his enduring dedication to the development of the tourism and travel industry and the TIM School, along with his staunch support of Esquel,” said Yang, a Shidler College of Business alumna.
According to Yang, Gee continually offered insightful advice to her father, the founder of Esquel Group, Y.L. Yang, on hospitality-related business development such as the Fragrant Hill Hotel in Beijing and Integral, Esquel’s sustainable development garden in Guilin, China.
“We are truly grateful for Teresa’s contribution,” Shidler Dean Vance Roley said. “She joins several successful TIM School alumni from Asia who have pledged their support to the college since our reunification with the TIM School last September. This endowment will help the college attract a talented director as well as strengthen and build a first-rate tourism and travel management program to support Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry as it rebounds from the COVID crisis.”
Vice Chairman, Esquel Group
About Teresa Yang
Yang was inducted into the Shidler College of Business Hall of Honor in 2016. She earned a bachelor’s degree in travel industry management from the Shidler College of Business in 1984 and an MBA from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
She is currently based in Hong Kong where she is vice chairman of Esquel Group. Founded in 1978, Esquel Group is a leading Hong Kong-based textile and apparel manufacturer with innovative and sustainable manufacturing facilities in China, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Esquel produces more than 100 million cotton shirts every year for global brands and retailers.
Yang is passionate about bringing textile and apparel industries to a sustainable future. She serves as chairman of the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel and is heavily involved in the development of Hong Kong’s textile and clothing industry in her current capacities at the Clothing Industry Training Authority.
In 2003, Yang co-founded the Esquel-Y.L.Yang Education Foundation, a non-profit organization to enhance educational opportunities in rural communities where Esquel has an operating presence. She also serves on several non-profit boards dedicated to improving educational opportunities for students. Yang is currently a member of the council of St. Paul’s Co-educational College in Hong Kong and was a member of the Committee on Professional Development of Teachers and Principals under the Hong Kong Education Bureau 2013–2019. She was the chapter chair of Young Presidents’ Organization Gold Hong Kong Chapter 2016–2017 and is the North Asia regional honoree for the 2020 YPO Global Impact Award.
—By Dolly Omiya
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The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations. www.uhfoundation.org