Entrepreneurs John and Eleanor Liu receive Heroes of Business Award

By Kim Chaudoin on 4/12/2012


Christian business entrepreneurs John and Eleanor Liu of Beijing, China, were awarded the Lipscomb University Heroes of Business Award today.

John and Eleanor LiuIn an effort to improve aspiring business students’ perception of the questionable ethical business practices sometimes found in the private sector, Lipscomb College of Business Dean Turney Stevens created the Heroes of Business Award, an honor bestowed on ethical businesspeople who have succeeded in the private sector working from a foundation of Christian faith.

“The thing that is most impressive about John and Eleanor is the path they have taken. They are committed Christians who have worked tirelessly and who have always known where their moral compass is,” said Stevens.

Born in China, John came to America on the Queen Mary and landed in New York in 1947. Visiting Nashville a year later, he enrolled in Lipscomb University, where he met his future wife, Eleanor Echols. Together they opened Liu’s Chinese American Restaurant on Harding Road, the first of many business ventures they created in Nashville and Bloomington, Ind. While in Indiana, John also taught Chinese cooking at Indiana University and served as a consultant for various companies, helping them establish contacts with Chinese businesses. Eleanor taught as well, spending 22 years teaching in the Indiana school system.

After careers in business and education that spanned more than 20 years, they moved to China after former President Richard Nixon re-established relations in the 1970s. They have lived in Beijing since, where John was involved in a variety of businesses and Eleanor taught English and authored several books.

The Lius were featured in a special question-and-answer session with students and honored at a luncheon where they received the Heroes of Business Award.

Past recipients of the Heroes of Business Award include William Pollard, former CEO of ServiceMaster; Sam Moore, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers; Steve Lynn, CEO of Backyard Burgers; Keith Dyer, director of worldwide channels at Cisco Systems; and the Honorable David A. Sampson, president and CEO of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).