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ILF 2006 Annual Gala
2006 Leadership Award Honoree

Charles & Christiana Chiang

Mr. Charles Chiang received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Chung Yuan Christian University in Taiwan.  Shortly afterwards, he moved to the US to complete his M.S. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Illinois in Chicago.  On his way to fulfilling the requirements for his Ph. D, he began  to pursue an entrepreneurial dream.  After consulting with his wife Christiana, in 1974 they opened their first Chinese restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia.  Since then, they have opened more than 30 Chinese restaurants across Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, and now Florida.

However, they have expanded beyond the traditional restaurant business.  They built a small commissary from which they produce and manufacture Asian foods in the form of easy-to-use kits.  With these products, Charlie and Chris have contracted with several leading food service providers in the United States such as Sodexho, Guest Service Inc., U.S. Foodservices to use these products and simultaneously to help promote the Charlie Chiang’s name inside the cafeterias of George Mason University, Fairfax Hospital, US State Department, Northrop Grumman, The Pentagon, etc.

In addition to nurturing their business, Mr. Chiang prides himself in becoming involved with the community.  He has the initiative of contacting then-Illinois congressman Paul Simon and former South Dakota congressman Tom Daschle to raise their attention to Asian communities and immigration issues. To raise the profile of Chinese restaurants, Charles helped form a Chinese Restaurants Association. While serving as the Chairman of the Chinese Restaurants Association, he led a team of culinarians to attend an international cooking contest.  He’s also organized special trips for top Chinese chefs from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China to come to the U.S. to demonstrate authentic cooking techniques and secrets.  Many restaurant workers have greatly appreciated Mr. Chiang for providing this form of continual education for employees so that they can improve their skill base.

Through it all, Charles Chiang has had the best partner in his business and his life – his wife Christiana Chiang.  Christiana graduated from Ming Chuan University, majoring in international business. She is the designer of the entire Charlie Chiang’s business, including brand name creation, new dish invention, interior design and restaurant service models.  Christiana also aggressively supports local charities and participates in fund raising campaigns for worthy causes, such as Smithsonian and the National Rehabilitation Hospital.  Working to increase the visibility of minority women in business, she also joined Les Dames d’Escoffier, Welcome to the Washington, Capitol Speaker Club.

Outside of business, Mr. and Mrs. Chiang are prime examples of filial piety. They have been taking care of Christiana’s parents and all live together under one roof for the past 33 years. They have a brilliant daughter Jean and son-in-law Rock who have returned to help the family.  In the meantime, Mr. and Mrs. Chiang are expecting the next chapter of their life and their new roles in life to begin with the birth of their first grandchild.  And they fully appreciate the fair opportunities given to them in this lawful country.  They truly believe America’s legal system and business structures provided them the chance to realize their version of the American dream - a wonderful happy family and a successful business.