Management Team

Margaret Wong – Founder of California Center

  • Founder and President – California Center/Golden California, Inc.
  • President – McWong Environmental and Energy Group
  • President – McWong International, Inc.
  • Board Member – California Chamber of Commerce
  • Board Member – California Asian Chamber of Commerce
  • Board Member – Themed Entertainment Association (Asia Pacific Division)
  • Dean’s Advisor – Peking University’s School of Environment and Energy

Margaret Wong, President and CEO of California Center, has been doing business with US and China for almost three decades. Margaret has been known as the “Business Empress” based on her success in linking multi-million dollar businesses between California and China, and at the same time serving as “unofficial ambassador” to China in her quest to promote better business cultural understanding between US and China. In 2012 Margaret was awarded the U.S. Presidential “E” Award for Excellence in Exporting, and in 2011 she received the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) “Exporter of the Year” for both US Western Region and Sacramento District, the same year as one of the fastest growing Asian companies in California. She is currently a Board Member of California Chamber of Commerce, California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, Board Advisor for the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, Advisor to the Dean of Peking University’s School of Environment and Energy, and advisor to many other U.S. and China organizations.

McWong Environmental and Energy Group (MEEG) is one of the most successful U.S. firms doing environmental and energy engineering and construction projects in China for the past 18 years. MEEG’s headquarters is in California with offices and equipment manufacturing facilities throughout China to better serve its clients there. MEEG provides turnkey services for supply water treatment, wastewater treatment, sludge treatment, water recycling and other environmental projects. MEEG has successfully completed over 100 environmental and energy projects that span across steel, petro-chemical, coal-chemical, municipal, pharmaceutical, food & beverage, and various other industries in China.

For almost 30 years, McWong International, Inc. (McWong) has grown to become a leader in the design and manufacture of advanced lighting products such as high-efficiency ballasts, power supply systems, LED drivers, electronic lighting control systems, sensors and other related electrical and electronic components with a market focus in both the U.S. and China. McWong’s “Smart Lighting” systems aim and work to achieve the goals of energy efficiency, cost savings and green environment.

In 2012, Margaret founded the “California Center” to expand business opportunities between California and China. The California Center has quickly emerged as a premier platform and vehicle for California businesses to introduce their products, goods, and services to China’s consumers. Margaret has been widely recognized in the industry for her strong business and government connections in China and inside knowledge of the “ways and means” of doing business in China, which serves as a great benefit to the California Center’s members.

Margaret Wong with Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)


  • Board Member of California Chamber of Commerce
  • Board Member of California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce
  • Member of California Chamber of Commerce International Committee
  • Past Board of Community Advisors Member of California State University Sacramento
  • Past Advisory Member of Ecolinx Foundation
  • Dean Advisor, School of Environment and Energy, Peking University, China
  • Past President of the US-China Trade & Business Coalition
  • Past Board Member of Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Former Board Member of the YMCA
  • Past President and Board Member of Jinan Sacramento Sister Cities Corporation
  • Co-Chair of 150th Anniversary Celebration of Chinese Contribution to U.S. Railroad
  • John and Margaret Wong Foundation to support various U.S./China relationship projects

Nominations & Awards:

  • 2012 Presidential “E” Award for Excellence in Exporting
  • SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) – 2011 Small Business Exporter of the Year for Western Region and Sacramento District
  • US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation – 50 Fastest Asian American Business Award
  • Coopers & Lybrand – Vanguard Award for International Trade
  • Magazine-Entrepreneur of the Year Award
  • Sacramento Business Journal – Sacramento’s 100 Fastest Growing Companies
  • YMCA – Outstanding Woman of the Year Award for International Business
  • Sacramento Business Journal – 1998 Women Who Mean Business Award

Margaret Wong with California Governor Jerry Brown

Gordon Hinkle

Vice President – California Center /Golden California Inc.

Gordon Hinkle is the Vice President of Global Operations for Golden California Inc. and heads up all operations and membership recruitment efforts for the California Center, as well as oversight on membership services.

In recent years, Gordon has helped to lead trade missions in his role as International Trade Director for the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce to China and also recently joined Governor Jerry Brown in April of 2013 in China, for a historic Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony in the city of Nanjing, with China’s Secretary Luo Zhijun, solidifying plans to engage in business and cultural exchanges with the Jiangsu Province and to announce the development of a California Center in China, which will have its Grand Opening in May of 2014.

Gordon is also a Past Chair of the Roseville Planning Commission for the City of Roseville, CA; previously served as Press Secretary for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as Governor Schwarzenegger’s Appointee from 2007-2010 and is a Presidential Appointee to the U.S. Selective Service Board in California Region III (Appointed by President George W. Bush and re-appointed by President Barack Obama).

Gordon also has served as a senior staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives; California State Senate; the California State Assembly; the California State Board of Equalization; is an Active Major in the United States Air Force, Civil Air Patrol. Gordon also has owned a web design and database consulting business called Hinkletec, since 1997 now managed by his wife, Dianne Hinkle, providing web design and database services to multiple campaigns for local and statewide office. Gordon also worked many years in the private sector as a Senior Logistics Process Analyst at Hewlett Packard in Roseville, Lincoln and Rocklin, California.

In his spare time, Gordon enjoys serving his community as an Advisory Board Member of the Roseville Recreation Arts and Creativity Center, playing saxophone at his church, Harvest Community in Roseville and volunteering in youth sport organizations with his children and family.

Lei E

Programs Director – California Center /Golden California Inc.

Lei E is Program Director at California Center/Golden California Inc. He is responsible for developing members and suppliers in the U.S. and providing services on market entry, branding, promotion, online and offline sales, supply chain, and other cross-border activities.

Lei also serves as an adviser for the California Institute of Food and Agricultural Research (CIFAR, at University of California at Davis (UC Davis). He represents CIFAR in China to grow a global network on food and agricultural research and industry.

With a background on Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Lei has worked at Chic Group in China from 2013 to 2014 as its International Project Manager and Operation Director of Chic AgriTech Company (Shanghai). From 2008 to 2012, Lei was a Crop Breeder at Cal/West Seeds, Woodland, California. Before moving to California, Lei was a researcher on alfalfa and cotton breeding and molecular biology for 8 years at New Mexico State University.

Lei was invited to lecture and speak at UC Davis; California State University, Fresno; and Merced College on crop research and production. He also has given speeches at the Silicon Valley AgriTech Conference and the Silicon Valley International Trade Expo.

Lei obtained his Bachelor of Science on Biophysics from Fudan University in Shanghai, China (1998) and Master of Science on Agronomy from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, USA (2003). Growing up in China and having been in the U.S. for 17 years, has provided Lei a deep understanding on agriculture and food businesses in both countries.