Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Celebrating 20 Years!


Posted by Tina

 
Our members and friends enjoyed a wonderful evening at the Valencia Ballroom in York as we celebrated our 20th Anniversary as an organization. We have come a long way over the past 20 years and our continued growth and success is because of our members, our sponsors and our partners.  This evening was our celebration.


Ready for guests to arrive

 
Food stations with an international flair - and delectable selections - were set up around the room for guests to enjoy while networking.








Tina Weyant thanked our event sponsors:  Bentley World Packaging, Fulton Bank, MANTEC and Stambaugh Ness, as well as the event's "performance sponsor" Barley Snyder LLC and "table sponsor" John S. Connor.  She then introduced Mayor C. Kim Bracey, Mayor of the City of York, who offered congratulatory remarks.  WTC Board Chair Kim Willing provided a brief summary of our organization's history and thanked current and past board members, sponsors and partners.

You can see highlights of our timeline on the WTC website and here is a link to the slideshow we played during the event.

We then awarded prizes to participants in our year long "WTC Passport" initiative.  Over 300 individuals had requested passports and had earned special "stamps" through various activities, including attending events, engaging with WTC via social media, giving referrals, offering their expertise to other members, and contributing to our blog or newsletter.


"Passport" prizes are ready to be awarded

All attendees also received a gift bag to take home.  Thanks to all our members who contributed items for passport prizes and gift bags:  
Barley Snyder, Bentley World Packaging, Fulton Bank, Gannett Fleming, John S. Connor, Stambaugh Ness, Turkey Hill Dairy, Wolfgang Candies and York Wallcoverings



We even had a special WTC birthday cake: 


Jan, Melissa, Kim Willing (WTC Board Chair) and Tina

Entertainment was provided by Pasos Caribenos, a folkloric dance group that promotes and preserves the Latino culture.  Their performance at our Anniversary Celebration was actually the group's last performance, as the dancers will be graduating from college soon.  Their performance was incredible and we were fortunate to have them participate.




Jan collects gifts at the registration table

Since our anniversary celebration coincided with the holidays, we partnered with the York YWCA for their holiday gift drive to benefit Access-York.  Everyone who brought a toy received a $10 coupon for a WTC event in 2012.  We could not believe the generosity or our attendees that evening - Thank You to Everyone!!


Gifts collected by end of the evening

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mobile Marketing Statistics

Posted by Melissa
Some interesting facts about worldwide usage of Mobile Marketing:

·         77 percent of the world population are mobile subscribers
·         25 percent of mobile Web users are mobile-only in the US
·         8 trillion text messages will be sent in 2011.
·         In the UK and France opt-in SMS gets the best results, in Germany mobile Web ads get the best results.
·         The world's most populous nations have the most mobile subscriptions (unsurprisingly), China and India lead growth
·         70% of Egyptians use mobile devices only to access internet
·         In three years over 300,000 mobile apps have been developed

Saturday, October 29, 2011

PoolPak Company Tour

Posted by Tina

On October 27, PoolPak International hosted our group for a company tour and luncheon discussion about the successes and challenges they face in competing in a global marketplace. 


PoolPak International manufacturers a full line of dehumidification systems designed for indoor pool applications, such as large athletic pools, natatoriums in schools and universities, commercial pools and hotel/motel leisure pools. 


Their systems are currently sold in 20 countries. PoolPak also has a joint venture with a Chinese company, the biggest pool contractor in China, which has helped with lead time as well as expensive shipping challenges. 

This event was part of a series of company tours offered in partnership with MANTEC, Inc.  showcasing our members and clients who excel in international trade and innovation.   

Friday, October 14, 2011

Melissa's List of #TwitterDonts and How to Fix Them

Posted by Melissa

Here is my list of #twitterdonts for the month of October, dealing with unnecessary self-promotion.  I don't consider myself an expert on this topic by any means, but I have made some observations in the "twitterverse" and would like to offer some helpful suggestions to make your tweets more effective:

-          “Now following…” tweets
o   Most users get notifications that you start following them or if they don’t, they can see their follower number increased and check them.  The only reason you are tweeting these now following tweets is to highlight yourself.  If you wanted to highlight the person you are following, then do a Follow Friday shoutout, or do another shout out of why people should follow that user.  The Now Following tweets are just a way to highlight yourself and take up space in the universe, because unless there is a good reason to follow them, no one cares that you just started following that person.

-          Asking people to follow you or follow you “back” (without intent for a DM)
o   If a person looks at your timeline and wants to follow you, they will.  Asking them is just almost rude. That’s  almost the equivalent of saying you should like us, just because we like you.   They will follow you if they find quality or information from your tweets that is pertinent to them or they want to see what your or your brand is about.  Tweet quality, engaging tweets and your audience will find and choose to follow you.


-          Self promotion tweets to the media
o   I believe that if the story is worth covering, with all the technology that is out there, the news station/paper/etc will find you.  No need to tweet at all the newscasts to come cover your event.  There are better ways of submitting your idea.  Tweet about it and if seemed news worthy, the media will find you!! This has happened to me three times.  I tweeted about something and guess what? The media thought it was relevant and did a story on it, without me tweeting at them to please come cover my event. In fact, not once did I ever mention that I wanted these stories/events covered, I just simply tweeted about them.  Also, if I was a media outlet and you tweeted at me along with all my competitors, I would think that your story isn’t that newsworthy that you have to actively seek all kinds of attention for it, instead of it finding you.

-          Asking people to RT you, if it’s not a matter of urgent public concern or emergency
o   If the tweet is relevant, people will retweet you themselves without you having to ask.  When asking to be retweeted, ask with intent in getting a message out, not promoting yourself. And, if they do retweet you, thank them!

Published originally in Melissa's personal blog, "Girl in York City"

 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Overlooked Aspect of Exporting……Packaging…

Guest Blogger Sara E Scarfo, Bentley World Packaging
There are many positive and rewarding aspects to exporting products overseas. However, many companies can find themselves in a costly situation if they have not considered the complete supply chain.  A largely overlooked cost in exporting overseas is the packaging of your product.  Failure to understand the importance of proper packaging can cause damage to the product, misrouting of the package in transit, and ultimately delay in delivery to your customer. We will discuss three areas of concern when shipping a product overseas whether by ocean or air.
The first area of concern is the rust and corrosion factor. The cost of damage through corrosion is estimated at $300 billion per year in the US. Of this 35% or $104 billion is avoidable. Of that, $20 billion occurs in the exporting of goods.  Causes of corrosion can be tracked to moisture contacting metal through salt spray, acid rain, and condensation from sudden changes in temperature or humidity.  Other contaminates contacting the metal from recycled corrugated or adhesives in plywood or other processed wood products also lend to creating a corrosion issue.  However, these can be avoided. There are multiple options in protecting a product from corrosion. These include permanent and temporary coatings, vapor corrosion inhibiting (VCI) films, VCI emitters, and desiccants. One of these options or a combination can safe guard a metal product from potential damage.
Through the actual movement of goods, the shock, vibration and multiple handling aspects of transit can cause minimal to severe damage of a good.  Care needs to be taken to properly package against repeat rough handling as well as stacking and storage in a warehouse, container, or plane.  If your product is travelling by ocean, a ship has the potential of travelling up to 70 feet with each complete roll; as often as 7 to 10 times per minute depending on the seas. Whether your product is packaged in a container or travelling break-bulk, extreme care needs to be taken to ensure the product is safe from outside damage as well as being secured inside the crate. Product that is not secured inside a crate properly can cause extensive damage by shooting out of the crate and damage anything in its path as a ship may be pitching, swaying, or rolling.
Lastly, shippers must be cognizant of wood packing material restrictions when shipping overseas. Wood packing materials consist of pallets, boxes, and container blocking and bracing. Lumber must be Heat Treated, only plywood, OSB, and processed wood is exempt. Boxes, skids, and container blocking (dunnage) have to be stamped with the IPPC Mark.  These stamps are an indicator that the packer is in compliance with the ISPM-15 regulations. These stamps can only originate from the packer.  This process is controlled so the lumber can be tracked and ensured to meet regulations.
The check off of the above considerations when shipping a product overseas can prevent delays or damage in the long run and ensure a safe and timely delivery to your client. Costs associated with packaging can vary greatly upon the weight and size of the product, types of parts/metals, type of transportation and expected storage time. It is best to consult an experienced packaging company to further understand a cost structure for packaging.
Quick Tips:
1.       Domestic Packaging and Truck loading Techniques are NOT adequate for Ocean Shipping and Container Loading
2.       Read your order carefully to understand if special packaging and markings are REQUIRED or if there is a requirement for long term storage.
3.       Keep accurate records of package contents for reference and correlation to exporting packing list
4.       Take photos to show professional packaging was employed should there be a damage or loss claim to be filed.


Contact Information: 
Sara E Scarfo
Business Development Manager
Cell: 443-977-7446
Office: 410-483-6250
Fax: 410-483-6254

Friday, September 16, 2011

Another Successful "Bringing the World to YOU!" Event

Posted by Tina

September 14 was a busy day for everyone at the WTC as we hosted 20 of Pennsylvania’s Overseas Trade Representatives for a day of one-on-one company appointments, networking and learning opportunities.

  



We scheduled over 130 individual company meetings throughout the day, offering companies in southcentral PA a unique opportunity to not only learn more about Pennsylvania’s free trade
assistance program, but most importantly to meet face-to-face with the overseas trade representatives to discuss opportunities for selling their products or services abroad.

 








PA trade representatives traveled from around the globe to join us at the PA Farm Show Complex, hailing from the following countries:  Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, UK and Vietnam.



The day started off with a well attended networking breakfast, which was sponsored by GSP Consulting.   Aaron L. Grau, Esq., Principal, COO and Director, Federal Government Affairs for GSP Consulting welcomed everyone to this year’s “Bringing the World to YOU!” event during the breakfast.
 
You can obviously tell from the background of the picture, that the event was held at the PA Farm Show Complex - at their new conference facilities.

Our lunch buffet featured a "PA Preferred" meal, which was amazing, followed by an equally delicious dessert reception.







The lunch program started off with welcoming remarks by PA Senator Mike Brubaker.  Senator Brubaker is recognized nationally and within the State as a strong advocate for international trade. He created and serves as chairman of the PA Senate International Commerce Caucus and was recently appointed to serve as co-chair of the Council of State Government's International Committee. 

We were honored to be joined by C. Alan Walker, Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, whose presentation was called "Thinking Big...Competing in the Global Economy".  Prior to joining DCED, Mr. Walker was president and CEO of Bradford Energy Company Inc.  He also served as chairman of several boards, including the PA Chamber of Business and Industry.


Ken Yang
Our Keynote presentations focused on Social Media in International Markets, and featured  Ken Yang, Director of the Pennsylvania Trade Office in Seoul, Korea and Coco Watanabe, Director of the Pennsylvania Trade Office in Tokyo, Japan.  Their presentations focused on current use of social media in their respective countries.  Ken Yang's presentation can be accessed via this link.  Be sure to check out the youtube video of Tesco's experimental virtual subway supermarket and you may just want to try the interactive "neutragena for men" commercial via your own facebook...even if it is in Korean, you will get a kick out of it.



Ken Yang and Melissa Stiles - both very frequent "tweeps"
 We "live-tweeted" throughout the event, and you can see our twitter feed, including a lot more pictures from that day, by checking out @wtccentralpa or #piw2011 on twitter.

We would like to thank our event sponsors for their generous support of this program:






and our partner and co-host:


Monday, August 29, 2011

2011 Port Tour Sold Out!

Adam Say raffling prizes
Posted by Tina

We had a lot of fun during this year's tour of the Philadelphia seaport and UPS hub at the Philadelphia airport - thanks to our enthusiastic hosts, Adam Say and his team mates at UPS, and Dominic O'Brien and his colleagues at the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. Thanks to both organizations for helping us once again organize this tour!

Adam kept everyone entertained by raffling off prizes during the drive to Philadelphia - all participants received raffle tickets and everyone was a winner.  (On the way back we had to work to win additional prizes, as Adam kept a "trade trivia" game going. )

The tour started at the seaport - which happens to also be a military port, and thus we were not allowed to take any pictures ourselves.  But if anyone is interested to learn more about the port and the operation of it, there is a lot of information on the PRPA website.  We toured the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, which is the Port's largest facility, and we saw state-of-the-art handling for cargoes such as containers, steel, perishables, and heavy lift cargoes.  Products from our region were on the docks, ready to be shipped.  Lunch was hosted at the PRPA headquarters, near the Tioga Terminal, and Dominic provided an overview of the port's capabilities, its history and ongoing improvement projects to meet future demands.   

We then traveled to the Philadelphia International Airport for a tour of the UPS facilities.  We were met by two UPS pilots who provided some insight into air cargo movement, and then took us for a tour into their cargo planes.






UPS Pilot explains how cargo is loaded into planes




All of us got to try the pilot's seat!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"How to Export" Seminar Attracts New-To-Export Companies

Posted by Tina

Today's morning seminar was offered in conjunction with our partner organizations, the Kutztown University SDBC and the Harrisburg Regional Chamber/CREDC International Committee.




We were very fortunate to have a great group of speakers, including Bill Folker, Senior Vice President at RBS Citizens NA  and Lou Tierno, Letter of Credit Trade Officer at Fulton Bank.  Their discussion focused on risk mitigation, practical tips on letters of credit and a brief overview of available financing programs to support export growth by US companies. 

Janet Kolokithas, International Trade Representative with the State's Center for Trade Development, provided an overview of Pennsylvania's free trade program, including their network of 21 overseas trade offices (providing services in 64 countries), their subsidized trade show booth program and industry specific trade missions, as well the the Market Access Grant program, which provides a matching grant of up to $3000 for small and medium sized companies interested in traveling to a new international market. 

The last panel was made up of two WTC members, Mike Tarsa, VP of Sales for CL Sturkey, Inc. and Howard Minnich, CEO of Automation Systems Interconnect.  Both shared their own involvement in global trade, their challenges and successes and provided some important points to consider before committing to international expansion.


Thank you! as always to our presenters, who answered a lot of questions from the audience and graciously stayed after the program to speak with individual participants - and thank you as well to International Committee volunteers Pat Bosma and Ann Moffitt, for bringing in breakfast treats!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Enjoying Indian Food

Posted by Tina

WTC members and friends enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Passage to India restaurant in Harrisburg last week. 


Overview of Indian food and culture starts off the dinner
 

Tina got to model a traditional Indian Saree - compete with gold thread!


Part of the delicious buffet
  
Our buffet featured a variety of traditional Indian dishes, including Vegetable Pakora, Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Ahuri, Vegetable Korma, Palak  Paneer, Rice and freshly baked Naan.
We were again joined by members of the Harrisburg World Affairs Council for our joint "Enjoy the World" dining series event.