Local businessman Jason Peng moved from China to the United States, eventually settling in Cleveland, attracted by the city’s friendliness, as well as by the its reputation as a religious-minded …
Local businessman Jason Peng moved from China to the United States, eventually settling in Cleveland, attracted by the city’s friendliness, as well as by the its reputation as a religious-minded town.
Peng, the chief operating officer of Rising Dragon International Inc., lived in Johnson City and Cape Girardeau, Mo., before settling in Cleveland in 2008.
Prior to moving to the United States, Peng worked for an investment company in Beijing.
His company, which operates warehouses in Cleveland and Sweetwater, is a wholesaler of hot tubs, spas and accessories. In addition, Rising Dragon has another division that sells customized lighting fixtures, as well as parts.
The products, which are manufactured in China, are distributed to retailers within the United States and Europe.
The warehouse in Cleveland has seven full-time employees, as well as several seasonal workers.
Peng, who was born in Hunan Province, China, is married to Dr. Huili Hong, who is a professor of linguistics at Towson University in Maryland. They have two children — a daughter who is 10, and a son who is 4.
Although his wife lives in Baltimore, Peng said he commutes there several times a month to be with his family. He said he hopes they will join him in Cleveland in the future.
“I fly a lot,” Peng said.
Previously, his wife taught at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City.
Peng said his company is thriving in Tennessee’s business-friendly environment and he hopes to expand soon, possibly adding an assembly line to provide faster product fulfillment.
He is also involved in the community, recently joining the Rotary Club of Cleveland.
“I joined several weeks ago,” Peng said, adding that he had been a member of a Rotary Club in Chattanooga.
He said he decided to join the local Rotary Club because his schedule did not allow him to travel to Chattanooga weekly to attend meetings. He was a member there for one year.
"My schedule is very busy," Peng said.
Peng said he has always been interested in public service and has worked with Habitat for Humanity, helping build homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
“I helped build houses for ten days,” Peng said, adding that he had also participated in Habitat projects in Chattanooga.
Peng said he is already developing close friendships with fellow Rotary Club members.
“We have been playing basketball together,” Peng said.
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