Stellar, an architecture, engineering, construction and mechanical services firm based in Jacksonville, Fla., has expanded into China, offering expertise to manufacturers and distributors growing their operations in the Asia-Pac region. The fully integrated company is headquartered in Shanghai with branch offices in both Beijing and Guangzhou.

“Our expansion into China provides multi-national manufacturers and distributors the same food and beverage expertise they’ve come to expect from us in the U.S., provided by professionals who understand the Chinese market, culture and business practices,” says Brian Kappele, divisional vice president, Stellar Food & Beverage Facility Services. “Our team in China is a strategic mix of our U.S.-based food and beverage architecture, engineering, construction, refrigeration, mechanical and thermal subject-matter experts, teamed up with Chinese and expatriate professionals who intimately understand the Chinese market.”

In China, Stellar operates as a wholly owned foreign enterprise that is licensed to provide engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services across China. Stellar China has already commenced two significant projects worth more than $86 million for a global household-brand food company.

“As more and more of our clients began to expand into China and request our services there, we realized that it was important for us to create a high-performing team in China, which combined the best of what we offer in the U.S., with the Chinese cultural and business best practices know-how and expertise,” says Kappele. “Due to growing concerns about food safety and quality, there are significant opportunities for global food manufacturers and distributors in China who can successfully apply the same stringent standards from their U.S. operations to their Chinese facilities.”

To manage and grow its Chinese start-up operations, Stellar recruited Graham Bland, an engineering and construction executive with more than 30 years of professional experience spanning 17 countries, who brings with an in-depth knowledge of doing business in China. Bland, who speaks several languages, including English, French, Spanish, Dutch and Mandarin, has lived and worked in China since 1997, and is the author of “Riding the Waves of Chinese Culture,” which explores the cultural nuances that all multi-national companies face when doing business in China.