Jayhawks Around the World – David Chard (Taiwan)

David Chard lists food, people and scenery among the features he has enjoyed most in Taipei, Taiwan, where he has lived most of the last 37 years.

Where are you now? How long have you been there? 
I currently live in Taipei, Taiwan, which has been my home for most of the past 37 years. I arrived in 1976 as part of a KU overseas study program. Since then I have had careers in advertising, marketing and public relations. Now I work as a professional trainer.

Where else have you lived?
I have lived in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seattle, Washington.

KU degrees?
B.A. (1977) in Chinese and East Asian Studies

David Chard
Chard uses Chinese language skills he learned at KU daily in his job as an executive coach.

What’s your job title and the name of your company or organization?
I am the president of EngagingMinds Worldwide, Inc, a consulting firm that designs and delivers professional training for emerging leaders in the Asia-Pacific region. Our primary focus is on leadership development, including mindsets and hard skills.

What do you do? 
I create learning events for executives in multinational firms, geared to developing conscious leaders. Prior to this I worked in public relations for over 25 years. At one point I was the regional president for Edelman Public Relations.

What do you enjoy most about your job? 
I love working with people and being able to use my Chinese language skills to support training programs. I love seeing the light bulbs light up when people are immersed in an engaging learning experience.

What do you enjoy most about where you live?
I love Taipei for its very friendly people, endless varieties of food, amazing metro system and the wonderful green mountains that wrap around the city. I also love the very cosmopolitan life here and meeting interesting people from all over the world.

What are the biggest differences between where you live now and living in Lawrence, Kansas?
Taipei is a city of about 5 million people packed into an area not much bigger than Lawrence. Here we enjoy all the cuisines of China, truly authentic Chinese food, plus food from all the major regions in the world. People in Taiwan have a truly global perspective and outlook, whereas Americans tend to be more inward looking. The pace of life is brisk here but not frantic. The Lawrence I recall was always very relaxed and laid-back.

Biggest difference between Taipei and Lawrence? The pace of life. Chard says that Taipei is noticeably busier than the relaxed atmosphere he remembers from his time on campus.

How has your degree from the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences helped you?
As mentioned, I use my Chinese language ability (I had a double major in Chinese Language & East Asian Studies at KU) and I also use the diverse perspective provided by a liberal arts education. That perspective has contributed even more to my success than speaking Mandarin, but the two together have been a winning combination. My education enabled me to learn whatever I needed to learn to be able to succeed at whatever work I was in.

Favorite place in the world?
In Asia, I love Thailand, especially Koh Samui a tiny island in the Gulf of Thailand. In America, I love the Rockies. In Europe I love Amsterdam.

Favorite KU memory?
Campfires under the stars along the Kaw River. I also have vivid memories of striding up the hill to class each day, sometimes several times a day. That was a great way to stay fit!