Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Prior to being elected as the Chairman of board in March, 2020, Hao (Howard) Zhang has been a member of the Board since November 2016. Mr. Zhang is a private investor based in China. Mr. Zhang has served as a director of Wealth Power Global Trading Limited since June 2015. Mr. Zhang was originally appointed to our Board and has been nominated to stand for reelection as a director on our Board under the terms of a stockholders' agreement entered into between the Company and CFL, our majority stockholder.
Michael D. Belsky
Michael D. Belsky has been serving as the Managing Director at the Hilltop Securities Inc., public finance office in Chicago since September 2020. Before that, Mr. Belsky was the Executive Director of the Center for Municipal Finance at Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago, and taught a course on the fundamentals of municipal bonds as part of the Municipal Finance Certificate Program. Mr. Belsky was previously the Managing Director for Fixed Income at Greenwich Investment Management, a firm specializing in High Yield Municipal Bonds. Prior to joining the firm, he worked in the municipal finance industry for over 30 years. From 2009 to 2011 he developed a credit review process for Chicago-based C.W. Henderson and Associates, a $3 billion municipal bond investment advisory firm.
Mr. Belsky spent most of his career as Group Managing Director of the Public Finance Group at Fitch Ratings. He worked at the rating agency from 1993 to 2008 and was named top rating agency executive in public finance by institutional investors three years in a row (Smith’s Research and Ratings Review Municipal All Star Team, 2005–07).
Mr. Belsky also served two terms as a member of the City Council in Highland Park, Illinois (1995–2003), and two terms as mayor (2003–11). Under his leadership the city received national recognition in the areas of environmental sustainability, budgeting, financial reporting, affordable housing and local health initiatives. The city maintained a triple-A rating by Moody’s Investors Service throughout his tenure.
From 2008 to 2011 Mr. Belsky was a member of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, a national body that sets accounting and financial reporting standards for state and local governments. Mr. Belsky received a BA in urban studies from Lake Forest College and an MA in public policy from the University of Chicago.
Xianfang Liu had served as a Board Director of the Company for the year 2016 through 2018, as a nominee of CFL under the Company’s stockholder agreement with CFL, although he is not being nominated for election at the Annual Meeting as CFL’s nominee. He has a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Penn State University, and with a focus on foreign direct investment and international acquisitions, his dissertation was the winner of the best dissertation award for AIB. Mr. Liu has been working for New York Institute of Technology since 1997 as a full professor and served as Director of the Center for International Business Studies and Executive Associate Dean for Global Programs, and from December 2006 to Sept. 2008, he served as Dean for School of Management of NYIT. Meanwhile, he has been active in real business, and a consultant for World Bank in small business administration, advised Florida’s Department of Agriculture and a large number of entities that seek overseas expansions. He is active in international education and have guided many institutions including HGC to grow from a scratch to a over $10 million business.
Mr. Renn currently is a director and senior vice president of Bluestone Capital, with focus on alternative assets including technology, infrastructure, energy, real estate, etc. Bluestone is a $2.2bn asset manager focused solely on providing its clients with differentiated sources of alpha under an integrated framework. He concurrently serves as senior vice president of Rennatus, an advisory division of Bluestone Capital.
Mr. Renn recently was a managing director of SIG, an international infrastructure finance company active in emerging markets infrastructure development such as transportation, technology, renewable energy, and healthcare projects. Previously Mr. Renn worked as a senior vice president of Great Bay, an electricity hedge fund, and was a senior investment manager at Urban Retail Properties, the operating arm of a public REIT.
During his 20+ years of working history, Mr. Renn’s professional responsibilities have included business development, fundraising, merger and acquisition, debt and derivatives origination and structuring, global partnership relationship development and maintenance.
Mr. Renn is a graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology and Harvard University. He is a member of Harvard Club of New York.
Courtney C. Shea
Courtney C. Shea has over 30 years of professional experience in municipal advisory and investment banking. Ms. Shea recently retired as a managing member of Columbia Capital Management, LLC, which she joined in 2013. She served as the head of the Chicago office and Senior Vice President at Acacia Financial Group, Inc. from 2009 to 2013. She was also the head of the Chicago office and the Managing Director of Siebert Branford Shank & Co, LLC from 2006 to 2008. She served as the national department manager at LaSalle Financial Services from 2001 to 2006.
Ms. Shea has been a member of the Board of Center for Municipal Finance at Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago since 2016 and a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers since 2010. She chaired the Illinois State Securities Advisory Committee from 1995 to 1998 and was a member there from 1991 to 1995. She was also a member of the State of Illinois Banking Board from 2001 to 2002. In addition, Ms. Shea established the National Women in Public Finance as a co-founder in 1996. Ms. Shea received her MBA degree from the University of Chicago in 1985, her Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University Law School in 1983 and her bachelor degree in Economics from University of Notre Dame in 1980. She is recently nominated to the board of Assured Guaranty (NYSE: AGO).