TechTown Forum Helps Detroit Entrepreneurs Make the Leap and Trade with China


DETROIT, August 3, 2009 — Detroit entrepreneurs exploring new markets are invited to the August meeting of the Chinese Business Forum, featuring three speakers offering insight into why they should make the leap and trade with China, one of the largest global trading partners. Attendees will also pick up some useful tips on resources in Detroit that can help them engage in global business more effectively.

The forum will meet Tuesday, August 11 from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. in Conference Room A at TechTown, 440 Burroughs Street, Detroit, Michigan 48202. A continental breakfast will be provided. Anyone interested in attending can register online at

Speakers and Topics:

  • Aaron Cooley, International Corporate Banking, Fifth Third Bank; Chinese Investment in Michigan: Landscape and Opportunities
  • Robert Ruffini, President, Fluxtrol Inc.; Business Opportunities in China
  • Denise Yee, Executive Director, Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce; Support Services for Companies Doing Business in Asia

*There will be a bonus presentation by Olga Savic Stella, vice president of business development for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). She will discuss the resources the DEGC has to assist companies.

Aaron Cooley is part of Fifth Third Bank’s international corporate banking division. He is responsible for the development of Chinese investment into the US market, and he works with some of the largest Chinese investors into the State of Michigan in that capacity. As a commercial banker, Aaron provides financing, investing, and cash management services, as well as strategic advice and connections to government and other services which help Chinese investors to succeed in the market. Aaron deals with companies that have made greenfield investments into the US as well as companies that have acquired existing firms.

Robert Ruffini has been employed at Fluxtrol Inc. since graduating from Michigan State University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He became Vice President in 1993 and was promoted to President in 1999.  His responsibilities include new business development and international sales and marketing; he has co-authored several U.S. patents, more than 50 technical papers and has travelled to more than 35 countries for business.  Ruffini has lectured extensively throughout Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas on advanced design of induction heating processes and tooling.  He is a member of ASM International, Michigan’s District Export Council and Automation Alley’s International Business Services Advisory Council.

Denise Yee is the executive director of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce, formed in 2000 to provide a structured environment facilitating cooperation, support and mentoring among all Asian Pacific American businesses and professionals. An entrepreneur in spirit, Yee works with businesses to build networks and enhance communications. She is experienced in both private and public sectors, and is skilled in public relations, community relations, marketing and fundraising. Yee’s experience includes working for the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber, Michigan Department of Career Development and Michigan Jobs Commission. She also served as director of the Office of the First Lady when Michelle Engler held that post. Yee earned a degree in organizational leadership and management from Regent University.

Olga Stella is Vice President for Business Development at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). In this position, she helps lead DEGC’s business attraction and retention efforts on behalf of the City of Detroit. Olga has previously held positions within DEGC that focused on policy development, special initiatives, strategic partnerships, and project management.


TechTown hosts this free quarterly forum designed to help entrepreneurs make the most of opportunities in the East. Created by TechTown in conjunction with the Wayne State University Confucius Institute, the Chinese Business Forum facilitates the exchange of information and business opportunities between Southeastern Michigan and China. The forum is sponsored by Corp! Magazine,


TechTown is an urban community of entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, mentors and corporate partners creating an internationally influential village in Detroit. TechTown brings the resources of Wayne State University to high-technology startup companies to diversify and strengthen Michigan’s economy in high-growth emerging industries. For more information, visit