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Nguyen Viet Loan, Founder & Chairwoman, Journeys To The East Destination Management Company Ltd. (Vietnam)

Loan is a graduate of the Sorbonne Faculty of Linguistics, and also holds degrees in History of Arts, Chinese Studies and Archaeology.  She’s fluent in 7 languages.

However knowing that archaeological excavations would not feed her and her family she decided to follow the footsteps of her maternal grandmother and become an entrepreneur.


Loan started her entrepreneurial career as an Oriental Antiques dealer in Munich,  opened a Vietnamese restaurant in Munich in 1976 and another one later in Taipei.


In 1990, she returned to Vietnam and set up the first international Business Center in Hanoi to attract foreign direct investment into Vietnam.

“The Hanoi Business Centre was the meeting point for foreign investors to gather and exchange information on foreign investments’ new regulations.; in short a bustling networking venue”.


Her very first clients were no others than her loyal patrons of  her restaurant  in Taipei, Banks, like Standard Chartered,  HSBC, or Citibank.


After a series of new investments in the development of office buildings and apartments she founded Journeys to the East, a Boutique Luxury Tour Operator that designs and creates unique travel experience for discerning travelers. 


Loan’s also been the Honorary Consul of Uruguay since 2009.


Loan is a regular delegate of the  ‘Vietnamese Women Entrepreneurs Council’ under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce to attend the Global Summit of Women.


She’s also active in raising funds for organisations like Operation Smile, Blue Dragon Foundation, the Fund for the Protection of Vietnamese Children, and the cause nearest to her heart, raising funds for shelters for women and their children suffering domestic violence.


Loan has received an Award of Merit by the Prime Minister of Vietnam for her “contributions to the socio-economic development of the country “.

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Hien Dao,  Founder & CEO, Golden Path Academics


Hien Dao, a Canadian-Vietnamese and honors graduate of Columbia University and Harvard University, is a passionate education entrepreneur and a leading innovator in the field of youth development in Vietnam.   She is a strong believer in education as an enabler for individuals to create and take advantage of their opportunities as she has found to be true in her own life.


She spent 15 years as a journalist, policy advisor and international education consultant in North America and Africa.


Having returned to Vietnam since 2012, she has devoted full attention to building educational programs for youth. Her first company, Golden Path Academics Vietnam Jsc (GPA) now serves 5,000 students from across Vietnam through its English training, summer camps, outdoor courses and overseas study country programs. It is a leading education provider known for integrity, innovation and quality.


In 2014, Ms. Dao founded Rockit Online, the first online learning system in Vietnam that features direct interaction between teachers and students via webcam.


In addition to running her own companies, Ms. Dao is also a senior advisor for educational institutions in Vietnam.


Outside of work, Ms. Hien Dao lends her talent and experience to a number of social organizations in Vietnam and the United States. She is one of the founding members of and currently co-chairs the Harvard Club of Vietnam and was also a member of the Alumni Board of Directors for the Harvard Kennedy School. In Vietnam, she has advised and supported many student community projects.

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Irene has been based in Vietnam since 2012, and has focused on initiatives that inspire women to find their own paths, and to ignite their leadership.  She is the co-author of a Book on Women Leaders, ‘Ba Trieu’s 21st Century Daughters’, the co-founder of the Women’s Story Telling Salon™, and has introduced the women leadership development programme Coming Into Your Own (CIYO) to Vietnam. 
Irene’s truly global experience spans more than 20 years living and working as a certified coach and international facilitator across four continents in her country of origin (Austria), China, Brazil, New Zealand, and presently in Viet Nam. 
Her Masters Degree in Sinology first brought her to China. There, in 2002, Irene became one of the first certified executive coaches working in Shanghai with Fortune 100 companies (in Mandarin).
In Brazil she continued advising as a China specialist, intercultural consultant and executive coach. There, in 2007, Irene also founded her own leadership development consultancy, iglobal Coaching ltd., which she later continued with new programmes for business and government agencies in New Zealand.
Each country and culture provided its own challenges and rewards; each move entailed deep reflections on how to best contribute to her new host country.

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