Who We Are
Sam Korsmoe, the founder and CEO of Yellowstone English/Environmental Studies Program International (YESPI) and the Greater Yellowstone Adventure Series (GYAS), is an American from the state of Montana. He was born and raised in Great Falls, Montana. He lived and worked in Asia from 1985 to 2004 (2.5 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines, 4.5 years in Taiwan as an English teacher and teacher trainer, and 11.5 years in Vietnam as a business journalist and entrepreneur). He has traveled to nearly every country in Asia for extended trips and has studied and can speak Vietnamese (near fluency), Mandarin Chinese (survival+), and Chavacano (near fluency). He has published an oral history book on Vietnam called Saigon Stories. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Montana State University and a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Washington.
For 10 years (2004 to 2014), he was the executive director of two nonprofit economic development councils in Southwest Montana. In 2010, he was selected as one of just 44 Montanans for his leadership skills and invited to join Leadership Montana, an exclusive organization comprised of Montana’s top leaders in business, government, and academia. Sam has travelled to China several times to research the market, build partnerships, and establish a link between his 20 years of living and working in Asia with his 10 years of economic development work in the Yellowstone. The goal was to plant the seeds for education programs in the Yellowstone. To this end, YESPI has hosted six education programs in the Yellowstone in the summers of 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
The key feature of the education programs is an Independent Study Project (ISP) that each student must research and complete on a relevant Yellowstone issue. This ISP has been accredited by Montana Tech so participating students can earn American university credits. YESPI has also begun marketing multi-week programs for American high school students to participate in education programs in China and Vietnam to study language, culture, history, and other subjects.
In 2008, Sam launched a marathon race on top of a mountain range in Southwest Montana. It was and still is the highest road marathon in the world. He has added five new races to form the Greater Yellowstone Adventure Series (GYAS) which will be in its 11th year in 2018. The series presently consists of a 5K running race, a duathlon (bike/run), two marathons, an Olympic distance triathlon, and a long-distance mountain bike race. In 2018, he is bringing this race series to China and Vietnam with marathons scheduled for Southern Vietnam and Western China.
Beginning in September 2014, Sam moved to Shanghai to develop YESPI’s presence, promote the race series, and seek out other projects in education, tourism, and investment. From September to May, he lives and works in China and Vietnam and then spends the summer months in the Yellowstone to manage YESPI’s education programs and the GYAS races. Beginning in the fall of 2017, YESPI began to lay the foundation for promoting and marketing Montana natural beef to the China market.
Contact Sam by email at email@example.com
Francis Huang is the Vice President and co-founder of YESPI and lives full-time in Shanghai. Francis was born and raised in upstate New York. For seven years (2008 to 2015), Francis was the Operations Manager at Forestry Innovation Investment China, a Crown-Corporation of the government of British Columbia (Canada) that promotes the sale of BC wood products to China. Francis has lived in Greater China for over 17 years, including four years in Taiwan where he studied Mandarin Chinese and worked as a journalist and editor for an English language business publication. He currently works with a Shanghai education consultancy to advise and help prepare students applications and submissions to high-end American universities.
He has lived in Shanghai since 2003 and has worked in a variety of industries including human resource consulting, market research and educational exchange. Every year, Francis coordinates a week-long visit of more than 50 MBA students from the Amos Tuck School of Business. He leads them on a tour of China’s leading businesses as part of their MBA program. Francis has a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) with a focus on China and Southeast Asia. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has a working knowledge of Vietnamese.
Francis first toured the Yellowstone region in May/June 2013 and has returned every year to collaborate with Sam, work on the summer programs, meet partners, and gather intelligence on what the Yellowstone has to offer YESPI’s Chinese clients.
Contact Francis by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sally Liang is the General Manager for YESPI operations in China. Sally is a native of Shanghai and has numerous government and private business contacts. She is a business development specialist for Forest Innovation Investment Ltd, a crown company of the British Columbia government. She has prepared more than 30 international workshops and has traveled numerous times to Canada to promote Canadian-Chinese cooperation.
More recently, she is a development specialist for a nonprofit organization, Educating Rural Girls of China (EGRC), which is dedicated to providing education opportunities for girls living in the rural areas of China. The nonprofit provides scholarships to the girls to attend high school and university. She is also a Professor of English and has taught at numerous universities in China. She is on teaching staff and/or academic advisory council of 22 colleges in China. Sally has received numerous awards and commendations from the Chinese government for her work in business, international trade, and education.
Sally toured the Yellowstone region in January 2014 and August 2014 to visit schools, meet environmental specialists in Butte/Anaconda, and co-develop YESPI curriculums with Sam. Her son enrolled in a Montana high school (Mount Ellis Academy in Bozeman, Montana) in September 2014 and graduated from Mount Ellis Academy in June 2016.
Contact Sally by email at email@example.com