Our Team & Story

Andrea “Dre” Chen Lin
Founder & CEO

Ensures the Learning Zone provides a fun, intuitive and enriching user experience for kids to be successful language learners; Also mindful of how to support parents (especially those who don’t know Chinese) and teachers too as they play key roles in kids’ bilingualism.

Mom to:
林博智 bookworm and baseball player
林迎智 fashion designer and author

  • Favorite expression in Chinese: “好的不得了” (hǎo de bù dé liǎo) meaning “awesome, unbelievable!”
  • Travelled to 50+ countries; enjoys scuba diving and sudoku puzzles. Unique hobby: paper carving which I learned in Taiwan during a summer abroad in college. Serious Steelers fan.
  • Previous work: growth & strategy management consulting in the US, Korea; Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia. Entrepreneur in mobile services, management consulting (enterprise software and consumer products), and corporate gifts.
  • MBA, Harvard; BA, University of Pennsylvania in International Relations & Economics
  • Mei Koon Chen
    Co-Founder

    Assists with finance, legal, and other operations when not busy volunteering on various local organizations and school committees.

    Mom to:
    陳茗 artist, avid reader and skier
    陳偉 golfer and mathematician
    陳玲 writer, creator and daredevil

  • For fun: Enjoys playing mah jong [editor’s note: watch out, she is a total shark!] tennis, and traveling.
  • Previous work: investment banking and private wealth management with Goldman Sachs in New York, Hong Kong and San Francisco. Brand management at The Clorox Company.
  • MBA, Harvard; BA, Wellesley in Economics
  • The "DailyNoodles" Name

    Noodles are a favorite food among kids across many countries. In Chinese culture, noodles symbolize well-being and longevity. In English the word "noodle' means to think on or ponder. DailyNoodles is about enjoyable, accessible enrichment for kids.

    Dear Families of Chinese language learners,

    When I became a parent, I had a clear vision. Our kids would be fluent in Chinese. My plan? Start early and provide as much exposure as possible.

    I knew this goal would not be easy as my own Chinese is "proficient" at best. Sure enough, by age 4 my kids' vocabulary surpassed mine. This was both amazing and daunting at the same time. Amazing in that they were in fact bilingual sponges. But daunting because my college vocabulary lists didn't include "triceratops" or "Tinkerbell".

    Even preschool Chinese homework baffled me as I had forgotten characters I once memorized. Now, in their elementary school years, my plans for consistent exposure were beginning to fall short. YouTube and all-Chinese websites were frustrating. My kids needed something engaging and credible--a daily dose of Chinese--the 6 days a week they weren't in class.

    DailyNoodles was created to provide fun, always-accessible, Mandarin Chinese books and activities for kids. We offer a safe web environment kids can enjoy at home or in the classroom. Rigorous attention has been spent working on a fresh, intuitive user interface. This includes ways for non-speaking parents to track kids' progress and/or learn alongside their kids. And, with collaboration from leading Chinese language teachers and experts, we have spent over a year to design a robust, curricular backbone on which original and curated content can scal

    We are so excited to share what we've created. Please enjoy!

    Thank you!

    Dre

    Joy Chung

    Product Management

    Breathes life into the platform by bringing together the curriculum, content and web implementation. Joy’s perspective as a native speaking teacher from Shanghai and as a parent in the US helps DailyNoodles achieve an important balance. She draws on the most important, traditional aspects of teaching Chinese while ensuring our content and user experience is culturally relevant for American kids and their parents (whether they read or speak any Chinese or not, like her husband).

    • Favorite book since childhood: a traditional Chinese dictionary—because it goes deep into character origins and is rich with Chinese culture and history
    • Taught English and Mandarin to several dozen students from age 5 to 50 in Shanghai
    • Near-fluent in French. Enjoys reading “Le Petit Prince” with her preschool-aged son
    • Past experience: PwC & Intel Shanghai and California; specializing in transfer pricing & international tax
    • For fun: Chinese calligraphy and learning CSS coding and responsive website design
    • Bachelor: Law, Shanghai Int’l Studies University

    Yalan Tsai

    Curriculum Framework, & Illustration

    Teaching philosophy: allowing young kids to move and have hands on fun while learning Chinese Advice for parents: learn alongside your kids; allow them to correct your pronunciation and enjoy it!

    • Always shows up to teach class with a suitcase full of custom-made arts and crafts to support a fun classroom environment
    • Has taught 400+ American kids Mandarin over 14 years; primarily ages 3 to 6 at Contra Costa Chinese School
    • Mom to 2 tween-aged boys
    • Award-winning children’s book illustrator, a published author in US and Taiwan
    • Certificate for Teaching Chinese as a Second Language (K-12) Mandarin Training Center NTNU Teaching Credential in Art
    • MFA: Illustration, Academy of Art SF, BFA: Nat’l Taiwan Normal University
    • Masters Fine Art: Illustration, Academy of Art SF
    • Bachelors Fine Art: Nat'l Taiwan Normal University

    Beka Mengistu

    Architect

    Thrives on the challenge to build scalable, maintainable solutions to solve business and customer needs with elegant solutions.

    • Previously built a digital library for kids to learn Amharic and other Ethiopian languages; this library includes books as well as songs that could be sung as karaoke
    • 13 years of software development experience includes: Senior Developer for Edge Computing, National Database Expert for the United Nations, System Architect for eVentive, and Senior Developer for the United Bank of Ethiopia
    • Well versed in C#, Java, PHP, Ruby, Python and Javascript for web and mobile applications
    • Newlywed; plans to have tri-lingual kids some day!
    • BS, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Addis Ababa University
     

    Po-Wen Chen

    Curriculum Advisor: Traditional characters

    Advice to parents: Use Chinese in context with music, movement, and hands-on fun

    • 15+ years teaching Mandarin in the US; focus: 1 to 5 years old kids, Traditional characters.
    • Prior experience: Head of School & Curriculum Specialist CCEA New Sprouts Chinese School; Chinese Language Teacher: Preschool aged kids, K - 2nd Grade Elementary School Teacher
    • Mother of two young kids.
    • For fun: I swam cross the famous Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan!
    • MA: Child Development, Tufts University, MA: Education, Boston University, BA: Sociology, National Chung-Hsin University

    Jie “Catherine” Gao

    Curriculum Advisor: Simplified characters

    Advice: Learning even just one new vocabulary word or phrase per day can make a big impact on your success learning Chinese. The key is seeing language learning as an ongoing progress, even if it is in small, incremental steps.

    • 8+ years teaching Mandarin in the US; focus: ages 3 to 13, Simplified characters
    • Founder of Fun Chinese Learning Center in the Bay Area for kids 3 to 13
    • Prior experience: Chief Editor, China Pictorial Supplement; Lead teacher, elementary school affiliated with Hunan University
    • MBA from MSM, BA - Chinese Language & Literature: Beijing Normal University