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A 20 member delegation from Springfield is in China this week exploring business opportunities and seeing first-hand the presence SMS has in China. The delegation which left the U.S. last Friday consists of business leaders and SMS officials. KSMU's Missy Shelton is traveling with the delegation and has this report by telephone.
Michele: Missy tells us about some of the people who are in the group.
MISSY: Well Michelle, from the city of Springfield we have Mayor Tom Carlson and City Manager Tom Finnie. From SMS we have Jim Baker, the vice-president for research and development and of course he's also the chancellor of the Mountain Grove campus. His executive assistant, Tammy Sutton, is here with us. She's keeping us on schedule. Steve Robinette from SMS is part of the group. He's the director of academic outreach and handles off-campus programs for credit. John Black who is the SMS general counsel is here and so is John Strong, the assistant to the president for public affairs. One of our Chinese translators who's working with us this week is Jessie Wang. She's an MBA student at SMS who works for Jim Baker. Michelle, from the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce we have traveling with the delegation the president, Jim Anderson, the executive vice-president, Brad Bodenhausen and several others. Andy Leer and his wife, Cindy, are also part of the delegation. Andy Leer is president of the Springfield Development Corporation. That's the Chamber's subsidiary for economic development. As for business leaders from the Springfield area, we have with us Joe Jenkins. He's part of the delegation and he's co-owner of Jenkins Diesel Power. He also owns Country Road Collection and Missouri Export Trading Company. Mike Briggs is with us. He's the president of Willowbrook Foods, Inc. and of course the list goes on. But that's just a sampling, Michelle, of some of the people who are part of the delegation this week.
MICHELE: Missy when we spoke yesterday, the delegation had spent the day at the Beijing airport. You've been trying to get to Dalian since Monday night. What's the latest and where are you now?
MISSY: We spent so much time in the Beijing airport that some of the delegates were joking and saying they felt like Tom Hanks in the movie