A seasoned executive with 35 years of proven success in international education, global business development, investment banking, entrepreneurial venture formation and growth, Barry Clark is the President of Bering Partners.
Immediately prior to co-founding Bering Partners, Barry was the director of strategic alliances of the Northeastern State University Partnership Center in the State of Oklahoma and served with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. His positions with the state government included regional director, director of global business services, and director of international trade offices.
In 2000-01 Barry led the first educational exchange initiative between the International Education Institute (IEI) at Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City and a consortium of twelve institutions of higher education in the State of Oklahoma. Barry has remained an avid champion of higher education for Vietnamese students in Oklahoma and throughout the United States Midwest. His efforts with IEI, PetroVietnam, and numerous other public and private partners over the last twenty years have resulted in over 600 Vietnamese students who have successfully completed their higher education degrees in Oklahoma.
In the mid-1990’s, Barry launched his first entrepreneurial venture by moving to Vietnam and building one of the first successful American consumer-goods businesses. He went on to represent the Disney Company publications and the State of Oklahoma in Vietnam and was among the original members of the Vietnam chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce.
Earlier in his career, Barry spent twelve years as an investment banker with Prudential Securities and Merrill Lynch working with private and institutional clients, including Fortune 500 corporations. He was also an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Communications from Phillips University in Oklahoma.
Dessie Apostolova - Managing Director
Dessie Apostolova brings extensive executive experience in higher education, government relations, and global business development to her position as co-founder and Managing Director of Bering Partners. As a former international student and first-generation immigrant, Dessie is intimately familiar with the unique challenges faced by newcomers to the United States and is well versed in the related immigration requirements and procedures. She has provided cultural adjustment and immigration consulting to dozens of international families and institutions of higher education since her arrival to the United States in 1997.
In addition to her work in international education, Dessie is also experienced with global economic development and business immigration through the EB-5 immigrant investment program. Prior to joining Bering Partners, she was the director of global business development for the Northeastern State University Partnership Center.
For eleven years, Dessie led the Oklahoma Department of Commerce global business services team as director of international trade and offices and as international protocol and development officer. In these roles, she was instrumental to the development and implementation of dozens of successful higher education and business partnerships between Oklahoma institutional clients and international counterparts in China, Mexico, the Middle East, and Vietnam.
Earlier in her career Dessie participated in the establishment and development of the American University in Bulgaria, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in its first graduating class. She also worked on numerous USAID, IMF, World Bank, and other international development projects, involving legislative, political, economic, and civic initiatives advancing the democratic and market economy transition throughout Central and Eastern Europe.
Dessie holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Oklahoma.
Vu Ngoc Lan - Vietnam Office Manager
Vu Lan contributes to Bering Partners her long-term experience in building and implementing successful business partnerships between Vietnamese and American educational institutions and corporate entities. She manages the Bering Partners office in Ho Chi Minh City and completes our operation between Vietnam and the United States.
Lan has been instrumental in developing and implementing a pioneering articulation agreement between Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City and twelve universities in the State of Oklahoma, allowing over 300 Vietnamese students the opportunity to obtain their undergraduate and graduate degrees in the United States during the last sixteen years. Her detailed knowledge of the American and Vietnamese education systems and business cultures along with her long-standing relationships with our partners in Vietnam and the United States make her an invaluable asset to our clients.
For over twenty years prior to joining Bering Partners, Lan has worked with dozens of international companies to help them establish and grow a successful presence in Vietnam. Her experience covers a wide range of industries: from manufacturing and distribution to aquaculture and agricultural technologies.
Lan holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities and a Bachelor’s degree in International Trade from the University of Foreign Trade in Ho Chi Minh City.