Dian was a great lady and I'm sad to know she's passed. I've only heard the news today. Like many, l learned a lot from Dian. We got to know one another through a business relationship (she was my client) but she took an interest in us on personal level as well. She opened her home to us; shared stories about her family and travels; always asked about my children. She was sensitive and caring, but still tough as nails when she needed to be. I will miss her. Rest in peace, Dian.
Dian was a great and kind lady. I will greatly miss our animated discussions about politics, news, animals and family. She will be greatly missed.
As a founding member of the Capital Club, Dian helped forge a community of top business people in Beijing, working tirelessly to develop better understanding between China and the US.
From the entire family of staff and members at the Capital Club, we offer our condolences. Dian will be sorely missed but her contributions will forever be remembered.
Bill hawks & , tom stillmock are waiting for you in heaven.
Founding of the Capital club Beijing, thanksgiving with the American community in the Beijing Hilton n 1991, Brunch at theSAS on Sundays, drinking too much whiskey with frank and chuck, making sure we got ice cream introduced into Beijing
Silk alley, frank's place , SCTIE Daxia, trang us all on how to speak to journalists and tucking in our ties,
Dian was a great friend, a true professional... And part of the very successful team of Americans who braved Beijing post 9.11 to build real businesses. We Never agreed on politics , but we did share wine and scotch in spite of that. She reached out recently and we caught up, and reconnected. Dian : am lifting one n your honor tonight in shanghai...say hello to the dogs, tom s. We did move the needle .
I called Dian this past New Year's day to wish her a happy New Year. As usual, we talked about family and life. She sounded very happy and cheerful. Then she said, “Lihui, I have news for you and I want you sit comfortably to hear it”... And what terrible and unexpected news it was! I cried and she said “No tears Lihui. I will be fine. I am not going to die for a few years…” I don't think either of us expected she would leave so soon. Words aren't enough to express my love and appreciation to Dian! It was truly fate that brought us together. Since first meeting and working for her at Hill & Knowlton China in early 1994, until now, we became and remained good friends. She was a mentor and career leader for many of us in China -- and all the work she did there was so significant. We both love to sing and we did it together so many times! I have so much to say to you Dian, but now I just want to sing “Amazing Grace” for you and hope that you can hear it! Love you so much, Dian!!
-Lihui (Dian's former executive assistant at Hill & Knowlton China)
Dian, God must need a super lady to do PR in the paradise. You will be still smiling to us in the Paradise….
Thank you very much, Dian. You had helped to commence my new PR career. Thank you very very much. You will be missed by all your Chinese friends, students and partners on this bank of the Ocean.
ALL are just like what happened yesterday:
You have been lovingly nicknamed by us and your friends in China as “the Amiable PR Lady”, or “Lao Tai Tai”, for your grey hair, kind voice and big smile. The following list of people and their stories will definitely help to ignite the remembrance sparkles:
· Howard Paster, visiting China and seeing Mme. Wu Yi, then MOFTEC Minister
· Lee Toole, GTE China President, and Chairman GTE AP, visiting China, signing the MOU with then young China Unicom, witnessed by Dr. Henry Kissinger. Mr. Toole even helped to do me a massage me in the Palace Hotel Beijing, when I got a terrible problem in the back.
· Luo Hughes and Rudy Schlais, for the GM-SAIC joint venture
· Helping Pat, on Jack Smith China visit and meeting with President Jiang Zemin,
· Rudy von Meister, and his team on GM ACG
· Bob Rice, his fluent Chinese and Japanese, and his efforts to bring GM into China
· Dr. Jiande Chen, and his Boeing plans
· Marta Newhart, and the Boeing trip to Seattle with Zhao Ming and me
· The breakfast at Portman Hotel's Coffee Garden
· Chen Mingming from the MOFA, Jin Ligang from MOFCOM, Li Xiaolin from the China Friendship Association
· Zhu Ying huang/Zhu Ling from China Daily
· Your contribution to the sudden death of Li Hongtu, the Auto Fan Reporter
· China Daily and China Government chart
· Your door knock training at AmCham
· Your initiatives of no pay-for-coverage policy in international PR agencies
· And my wedding party with 9 PR agencies reps attending
· Your music, your songs, your dogs, your cigarette smells, your screaming (occasionally)at Bret Hong, “I am printing! “ And, your driver Xiao Cao,
· … …
Yours, David Zhang
Dian is a legend in China's PR history. Her stories were all over the office when I joined H&K Shanghai in the summer of 1997. I still vividly remember the first time I finally met "the big boss" as a junior executive - and the excitement and nervousness in the office. Her passion towards delivering the best, her sharp instinct on journalism, and her persistence on elevating the industry benchmark has a lot of impact on many of us.
Just a few months ago, three of us, her old friends in China, asked our colleague to bring her a Chinese scarf, because we know how much she loves to dress elegantly. She emailed to say it was loverly and perfect as she can wear it after her shoulder replacement surgery. You can not imagine how astonished we were to hear the sad news of her leaving, we thought it's just a simple surgery. We thought she will be back soon and we can still talk and laugh.....Dear Dian, we miss you. We miss all those years when we worked together in H&K Beijing office, when we sang with you, having lunch at your apartment, played with Meimei.....Thank you for your support and friendship through out these years. Love you and rest in peace.
I clearly remember Dian's first arrival in Beijing in May 1992, and her departure in October 1998. During her years, Hill & Knowlton expanded from a tiny office of 60 square meters at Sitech Building with a small bunch of people to half of the whole floor of 400 square meters and more than 50 professionals, and we expanded to Shanghai and Guangzhou. She was the one that brought up a whole generation of PR elites and made huge contribution to the industry. Hill & Knowlton should always remember you as the one that laid solid foundation for the agency in China, Dian. To me personally, you changed my life. I will always miss you.
I first met Dian when I asked her to speak on a panel for a local IABC mtg. I was amazed at her career and connection to NOW. Later we became colleagues at NCR. She always spoke fondly of her time in Asia, including being picked up daily for the commute to the office. Can't you just see her in a jinrikisha?! I recall that she loved to be 'traveled' but hated the getting there with a passion. God speed, Dian. I bet you booked first-class to Heaven!
Dian is remembered as the "mother of PR" in China. We used to call her "Lao Tai Tai", the old granny in a loving way, and I still remember a lot of things about Dian - her dog Stormy, her smiles and screams (at times of real frustration), her big hugs... and amongst all, her one hour phone call with me in 1995 that talked me out of my resignation and eventually convinced me to move to Beijing to work with her. That conversation changed my whole career. Thank you, Dian.
Dian will always be remembered as being a special lady with a smile for everyone.
I worked with Dian for many years in Asia and later in the U.S. when she returned from her Hong Kong/China adventure. She was a public relations professional to the core and had truly found her calling. She loved the written word and was a terrific writer. She loved the "hunt" of developing and pitching stories. And she was a voracious media "junkie." She also loved animals, in particular small dogs. And of course, she loved her family and her red Mustang! She had an old soul and a kind heart, and I will think of her often. Peace be with you Dian. A friend from way back, Shelley.