About Us

At Manhattan Mandarin, we believe that strong communication skills are the basis of cross-cultural understanding. With the economic and political ties between The United States and China growing stronger each year, ensuring that both businesspeople and students have a deep cultural and linguistic understanding of China is crucial.

 

Our team has extensive mentoring and business experience in the Chinese market and an intimate understanding of mastering the Chinese language. MM is debunking the myth that Chinese is an impossibly difficult language to learn and we are eager to bring our extensive knowledge of the language and culture to you. With the right approach, Chinese is the logical choice for many students and professionals to allow them to expand not only their linguistic skills but also their reasoning capacities, confidence in learning, and professional abilities.

 

Manhattan Mandarin utilizes our experience and passion of China’s language and culture with the hopes of forging a stronger and more prosperous relationship between our two countries for future generations.

Meet the team

Jamie Keyte

Founder and CEO

Jamie Keyte founded Manhattan Mandarin in 2012. He grew up in New York City, attended The St. Bernard’s and Trinity Schools, and, after graduating from Kenyon College with majors in International Studies and Mandarin, spent several years working and traveling extensively in China. Jamie spent six months in Shanghai in 2008, where he completed an intensive language program at CET and interned and played for Shanghai’s professional baseball team, The Shanghai Golden Eagles. 

 

Upon graduating, Jamie worked for ChinaPrep where he ran tours leading American high school students around China as well as Chinese students around the United States. In 2010, Jamie decided to further enhance his Mandarin skills and completed a second intensive language program in Beijing focusing on business language. This led him to a job at Thomson Reuters in Beijing, where he became the China Project Manager for a Thomson Reuters’ subsidiary. During this time, Jamie developed the concept for Manhattan Mandarin. He also co-founded IG Consulting, a Beijing-based SAT tutoring and high school/college application company.

Jamie is now the Mandarin 1 teachers at Trinity school!

Harry Keyte

Head of NYC Tutoring

Harry grew up in New York City and attended St. Bernard’s and Trinity School. Upon realizing he wished to join the team at Manhattan Mandarin, Harry spent the summer of 2014 working with Manhattan Mandarin’s Jay Jin to improve his Mandarin skills.

 

Before graduating from Occidental College, Harry took a semester off to study Chinese in Shanghai through CET’s intensive language program at Donghua University. During this time Harry worked at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai’s Pudong district, where he helped with event planning and gained an understanding of the work culture in China.

 

Most recently, Harry completed CET's business language program in Beijing. After four months of not speaking English, he has returned to NYC and is excited to get teaching again!

Harry loves to read and play piano, and spends much of his free time writing fiction.

Katie Boe Heuck

Head of DC Mandarin Tutoring

Kate (Boe) Heuck grew up in Maryland and Washington DC, and attended Primary Day School, Stone Ridge, and Holton-Arms School before earning her college diploma from Washington and Lee University. Kate majored in Biology and East Asian Languages and Literatures, and upon graduation moved to China to participate in a language and teaching program. Kate caught the 'China' bug and after completing her program decided she wanted to stay and work in China.

 

Kate spent the next four years working in Shanghai, first at a boutique French-Chinese consulting firm, then as the Program Manager of an internationally known sustainability organization, Joint-US China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE). She also had a homemade all natural baby food business to serve local and expat families in Shanghai looking for wholesome and safe baby food.

 

In summer 2018, after nearly five years of living, exploring, experiencing, and learning all  China has to offer, Kate moved back to Washington where she has partnered with Jamie to bring Manhattan Mandarin to the DC area.

Ivy Song

Co-Founder & CEO of Ivy Gate

Ivy Song is a UK Certified Accountant with an ACCA (Association of Charted Certified Accountants) Certificate. After graduating from university, she spent several years with Fidelity Beijing’s Venture Capital Office. With Fidelity, Ivy focused on TMT and traditional deal research, and she developed a passion for entrepreneurship.

 

She founded IvyGate Consulting in 2013, which specializes in educational and business consulting.

 

Ivy has also utilized her strong Chinese government connections to serve as a PR consultant for international companies within China. Ivy has an exhaustive understanding of how to launch marketing events in China, such as workshops and forums. She can also secure and maintain the continued participation of government leaders, market experts, and media staff in multinational ventures.

Michelle Tomizawa

COO

Michelle was born In Beijing, China. She is a native Mandarin speaker and is frequent in English and Japanese languages. Since five years old, she was trained professionally on Vocal and Piano in Beijing. Later, she has received her B.S. in Accounting from Kean University and Rutgers University, New Jersey, U.S. Then, she has moved to Tokyo, Japan with her family and studied Japanese language at Takusoyoko University, Tokyo.

 

Learning multiple languages has become a meaningful and skillful process for her.  It has allowed her to become more efficient and expand intellectually.  Languages themselves go way beyond than just being tools of communication.  It is the beauty and learning the culture behind them, that enables one to develop a profound respect and understanding of all the diversity around the world.  It is these experiences that Michelle has and is excited to share with young children.

 

Currently Michelle is studying at Columbia Teacher’s collage , and with her family and her trilingual daughter are living in Manhattan.

David Cheng

Co-Founder of MM Real Estate

David is a co-founder of Manhattan Mandarin Real Estate. He has over 13 years of principal investing and managing real estate assets experience. In 2009, he founded Minuit Partners, a boutique investment company that focused on multi-family and mixed-use assets in the New York City area. The firm’s portfolio included 30 properties with over 500 residential units under management.
 

Prior to founding Minuit Partners, David was the co-head of acquisitions at Madison Capital, overseeing the entire investment team. David's previous experience includes years with Stonewater Partners (an equity partner with Fortress Investment Group) and Morgan Stanley (Real Estate Group).
 

David received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and Economics from Tufts University and a Master’s degree in Real Estate Finance from New York University.  He is a licensed broker in New York.

Christine Kaplan

Head of MM59 Studio & Recruiting

​Christine is a native Mandarin speaker from Malaysia. She received her BA in Business Mathematics and then spent three years working as a professional recruiter in Hong Kong and Malaysia, where she also taught Mandarin to local students.

 

While at her university, Christine set up Mandarin-learning events for exchange students and organized a number of programs to foster greater cultural exchange.

 

She is very passionate about both cultural exchange and language study and is fluent in five languages: English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and Malay.

TESTIMONIALS

"My daughter (12) has been taking lessons with Jamie continuously since the Summer of 2014, and has improved dramatically. She is already using the book they use for high-school level students! Jamie is such a fantastic, enthusiastic teacher, who has a great rapport with his students. He knows a lot about China, having lived and traveled there extensively, which gives lessons another dimension (from time to time, he brings history and culture into lessons as well). All the other teachers are just as great. It has been a wonderful experience for her, and for us, as a family. Highly recommended." 

MKD/ Sacred Heart, Allen-Stevenson

​“We are delighted with Manhattan Mandarin and Jamie’s hands-on approach to Mandarin instruction. In less than one year, my children have made tremendous strides and I am confident that they are on their way to developing fluency. Through working with Jamie, they are over the first, most daunting part of learning a language (i.e. when nothing makes sense!) They now have a strong foundation from which to progress in speaking, reading and writing. Manhattan Mandarin has both native and fluent non-native instructors which I think is a strong part of their success. Jamie himself, is a role model of someone who has developed native fluency. (I am impressed that he can conduct business speaking Mandarin in China and he has a genuine respect and appreciation for Chinese language and culture). Through his unique vantage point, he can therefore, relate to his students which facilitates learning because he has done it himself and understands what is effective. We appreciate his well-planned, relevant lessons, instead of boring, rote ones. In addition, we appreciate that M+M offers specific classes to focus on different dimensions of learning a language (Speaking-Only Class, Homework Help, Pre-departure lessons, Business Program, etc….) and that one can visit the office, Skype or Facetime! Great job!  Xie Xie

Katherine M. / Buckley

"My son’s comprehension of Chinese, and his performance at weekly after-school sessions with Manhattan Mandarin, have soared since I myself started taking weekly at-home lessons from Manhattan Mandarin.  (After all, there are few stronger incentives for a child than to have the opportunity to correct his parents!)  The structure of my lunchtime lessons developed gradually as the teacher, Jamie Keyte, learned more and more about the individual way that I learn.  He tailor-made his materials and formats to my needs and expectations, with the result that my rate of learning gradually increased.   Trying to pick up a tonal language represented with pictograms is not easy for a middle-aged adult — but it sure is fun!"  

John H. / St. Bernard's