Member of the Month – Henry Soo



Please share a bit about yourself and your professional background.

I am fourth generation Chinese. My great grandfather ended up in California for the old Rush; my grandfather came here for the building of the CPR railway and ended up paying the head tax. My father worked for the Chinese version of Sysco and I, myself, was born in Vancouver. My ties to Canada are strong as my love for hockey.

I studied marketing and advertising at BCIT. I was also fascinated with China; when I was six, my father’s friend told me to start digging and I would reach China, so figuratively, I did. After graduating, I moved to China to study Wushu (martial arts) and graduated from the Beijing University of Physical Education.

When I returned to Vancouver in the 90s, I ventured into the tech space as a front end designer for Stockhouse Media. When the dotcom crash happened, I moved back to China, where I spent 15 years helping with foreign direct investment in the country. I helped the local government transform a underutilized building into a trade and investment centre by bring various government departments such taxation, commerce, and banks into the facility while building out a restaurant, entertainment centre, and a hotel to house prospective investors as guests. This provided a full turnkey solution for investors looking to break into the Chinese market to find partners for sales, distribution, or just to set up manufacturing.

Today, I am the President and CEO of Gold Ocean Capital Corp., a global advisory group that connects east to west and west to east, with a focus on China, through cross-cultural training, strategic advisory, and events. Our mission is to eliminate the friction of doing business across cultures. I am also a Director at the Canadian Club Vancouver, founder of Settlely Technology Corp., and Chapter Director of Startup Grind Vancouver.


What motivates you?

I am passionate about bringing cultures together and, in the process, developing new friendships. New business thus manifests itself. If you do the right thing consistently, things will fall into place. I’m motivated by giving

back before taking, making friends not network, and helping others before helping myself. Being honorable with integrity and cultivating virtue and class. Being able to help and share with others brings great pride, as we are so fortunate to have what we have in Canada.


What would you say is your biggest professional success to date?

My biggest professional success to date is helping bridge Canada and China. I met Canadian government delegations visiting China to establish trade relationships, and was honored to help them break through the subtleties of the culture, simplify the relationship building process, and get business done. It is with pride I can continue this work today. Recently, at the invitation of the Hero Club, I was asked to speak to 200 CEOs in New York about how to do business with China using the power of compassion. Only through tolerance does great compassion come out. We saw this with Mandela, Mother Teresa, and Gandhi. It was quite an experience when the insight provided sparked new business and an exchange of ideas.


Tell us about the Chinese New Year event you will be holding this February at TCC. What can members expect?

On Saturday, February 9, Gold Ocean Capital will be holding our Gold Ocean Lunar Fest Mingle at Terminal City Club. We bring diverse cultures together to celebrate a traditional Chinese Lunar New Year and the year of the pig. Start the night off snacking on traditional Chinese New Year food with wine in hand. Take in the tea ceremony tasting, folk paper cutting, and calligraphy while writing along with a famous calligraphy master. Hang Chinese lanterns and paper cuts and immerse yourself on a journey of Chinese traditional culture that spans 5,000 years. Enjoy an exclusive Chinese couture fashion show, pick up a lucky red packet, win prizes, gain business insights, and impress your Chinese clients with Chinese New Year greetings. In order to register, visit goldoceanlunarfest2019.


What do you do to relax?

I enjoy meditating daily as it puts life into perspective and allows me to have more gratitude for what life has to offer. Practicing and teaching Chinese martial arts is also a passion of mine, one that I have doing for over 30 years, and it keeps life in balance. Vancouver has so much to offer, whether that is hiking, snowshoeing or snowboarding. As a Canadian, hockey is in my blood and the Vancouver Canucks are my team.


Why did you join TCC?

Part of the reason I joined Terminal City Club was for the great facilities like the gym, which I use regularly. The monthly wine tastings allow me to entertain clients and some have joined as result. The TCC burger is a must-have, and the Easter and Christmas buffets leave me speechless. I also joined the Club for the intangibles, especially the great people that work here; their sincerity and authenticity shines through daily. Peter Jackman and team (too many to name) have really built something special. Everyone is so down-to-earth and humble. Club staff feel like family; this is really unique in today’s world where the personal touch is often lacking. The attention to detail is to be commended and everyone is so welcoming. In Chinese we have a saying “use your heart,” be authentic and a person of high morals. The Club definitely espouses this. I also value the camaraderie that has resulted with new friendships formed with fellow members who are great ambassadors for the Club. The culture is definitely contagious and TCC really is my home away from home.