Heah Kok Soon, oversees the VCE-1 Group, comprising 16 CEO members, several of whom have stayed in the group since Heah became its Chair 18 years ago. Heah has thus far won 12 Chair Excellence Awards, a Speaker-of-The-Year Award for 2016, the Robert Nourse Founder’s Award as well as the life-time Master Chair Award, and believes all these can be attributed to his possessing and constantly practising his four personal tenets for successful and powerful Vistage chairing viz. Heart, Empathy, Accountability, and Humour.
Recruited from UMW in 1994 by BTR plc, UK, Heah spent a total of almost 8 years helming its manufacturing group, Nylex Malaysia Berhad, that produced and marketed polymer films and coated fabrics, industrial electric switchgear, building materials and glass containers. A Management Buy-out (‘MBO’) initiative that he successfully undertook of Nylex Malaysia in late 1999 was the highlight of his career then.
Heah graduated from the University of Malaya in February 1971 with a Bachelor of Economics (Upper Honours) degree. After spending two years at Esso Standard Malaya, Heah had joined the UMW Group in 1973 as its Financial Operations Manager, rising eventually to being its Executive Director in 1988. Heah spent a total of 21 rewarding and enjoyable years at UMW before leaving and moving on to Nylex in 1994. In a career that was richly-filled with challenges, crises and excitement, the most memorable UMW episode for Heah was the major financial restructuring of the UMW Group that he led and negotiated with 18 creditor banks to a successful conclusion, during the 1985-87 economic crisis. He completed the Program for Management Development (‘PMD’) at the Harvard Business School, Massachusetts, USA in 1980. He was also accepted as a Member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers, United Kingdom (‘MCT’).
As a Business Advisor, Heah stands ready to assist companies seeking business strategy and corporate finance advice. In addition, he is, as a certified Adizes Associate, particularly committed to advising and guiding companies to master change and experience organizational transformation, Apart from his business and corporate interests, Heah has also given much time to promoting the image and activity level of the Malaysian Mensa Society, having been its Chairman from 1991 to 1995 and 1999 to 2001, and until recently the Society’s National Ombudsman.