Thursday, November 7, 2013

Oakworks Tour Success!

Posted by Cody Richard, Intern

Oakworks produces the finest Medical Tables and Accessories, Spa Tables and Spa Accessories, Massage Tables and Massage Accessories in our factory in New Freedom, Pennsylvania
On October 25, WTC members had the opportunity to tour the manufacturing facility and showroom of Oakworks Inc, Since 1977 Oakworks Inc. has been committed to providing safe, durable, comfortable and ergonomic equipment to industries supporting the health and well being of people all over the globe. Oakworks produces tables for medical, massage, and spa uses and currently sells their products in all 50 States and to distributors in 35 countries worldwide. Oakworks recently received notoriety for their international success as recipients of the "Excellence in International Trade" award at Mantec's 2013 Awards Breakfast.

Thirty one individuals attended the event from seventeen different companies. The event included an introduction of Oakworks' staff, a detailed story of the origins of the company from Oakworks President Jeff Riach, and a brief description of how the company handles business internationally from a financial and marketing standpoint

The main portion of the event centered around a detailed tour of the 40,000 square foot manufacturing facility that showed all in attendance the finer details of the creation of their state of the art tables. Members of the tour were granted access to the upholstery, metal working, research and development, marketing, and assembly stations of the manufacturing facility in order to fully grasp the amount of detail and care that goes into the creation of each and every table that leaves Oakworks' facility.

The event concluded with a short tour of Oakworks' showroom that allowed tour members to examine the finished products of the tables they saw being assembled on the manufacturing floor as well as an opportunity to ask their tour guide any questions they might have had.

Overall, the tour was a great success and enjoyed by all those who attended.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank Oakworks for their willingness to host this event and for all their time and effort involved in doing so.

If you missed our tour, you can still enjoy a 
virtual tour of Oakworks on the company website!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Risk Management Seminar

by Cody Richard, Intern

As part of our annual  "Bringing the World to YOU!"  on September 20th s in Lancaster we offered a  "Managing Trade Payments and FX in Global Markets", which was presented by Amy Sahm, Senior Vice President and Manager of Fulton International Group.
Amy Sahm

The numerous topics discussed in Ms. Sahm's presentation included:

  •           Risks of international trade
  •           Advantages and disadvantages of paying with foreign currency
  •           Current market trends
  •           Tips for avoiding fraudulent payments
  •           In-depth analysis of the Middle Eastern markets
  •           Valuable trade statistics
  •           Analysis and overview of the finer points of Foreign Exchange
  •           Hedging tools
Great information was shared by all who participated in the presentation and there were many topics discussed. All attendees learned something new from the presentation and developed a clearer understanding of the management processes and activities of conducting foreign exchange in Middle Eastern markets.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about any of the highlighted topics please e-mail Amy and the Fulton International Group at

If you wish to view Amy's presentation click here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"Bringing the World to YOU!" Recap

Posted by Cody Richard, Intern

Our 15th annual "Bringing the World to YOU!" event was held on September 20th at the Best Western Premier Eden Resorts & Suites in Lancaster.  In this event we hosted several representatives from Pennsylvania's overseas trade offices and offered regional companies the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the State's trade reps. We look forward to this event each year, despite the fact that it involves a great deal of pre-event planning and post-event follow up and at times resembles speed-dating, but in the end everyone involved has a good time and establishes great contacts for overseas trade.  Pennsylvania's trade reps are a great group of individuals who are fun and easy to work with in a business or casual setting.  This event has no shortage of smiles and laughter.
Here are this year's event numbers: 

·                  104 attendees
·                  23 overseas trade representatives
·                  30 different companies

·                  152 meetings between companies and trade representatives

Similarly to last year, this year's corporate sponsor for the event was UPS and we thank them for their continued support.  The program was partnered with MANTEC and the Fulton International Group, as well as funded in part through a STEP grant award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

In addition to the Trade Rep meetings, this year’s event featured two speakers as a part of our luncheon program.  Bhavna Tahilramani, from PA’s Arab Gulf Office, and Sheldon Kauffman, from Gannett Fleming each presented as the Keynote Speakers of the program. Their presentations were focused on the golden opportunities that the Arab Gulf region presents for PA companies to export their products and services.  Bhavna currently serves as the Business Development Manager at Channels, the authorized trade representative office for
Pennsylvania in the Arab Gulf, where she heads the PA trade representation group, while Sheldon oversees Gannett Fleming’s international business development and the establishment of international offices, including Abu Dhabi and Doha.  Both individuals shared their best tips and experiences in relation to conducting business in the Middle East that they have acquired through extensive experience in conducting business in the region.

In the end, this year’s “Bringing the World to YOU!” event was a success, as all who attended left satisfied with newly established trade leads with Pennsylvania’s Trade Representatives and valuable knowledge in conducting business in the Middle East.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

PA at the 2013 Summer Fancy Food Show

Posted by Tina Weyant

The 59th annual Summer Fancy Food Show was held from June 30th through July 2nd  at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.  The world-famous trade show for the specialty food industry featured over 2,400 exhibitors from 80 countries and regions.   The sold-out exhibit halls drew close to 24,000 buyers from across the U.S. and around the world. 

The World Trade Center Harrisburg again partnered with Pennsylvania's Center for Trade Development in organizing a Pennsylvania Pavilion at the show, which was funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.   

The Pennsylvania State Pavilion highlighted 13 Pennsylvanian specialty food companies:

Getting ready for the show to start!

The "PA Team" included Janet Kolokithas from the State's Center for Trade Development and Noelle Long from SEDA-COG.  We arrived two days before the show started to set up the PA booth and help other Pavilion companies with last minute details. 

Noelle, Janet and Tina

Unlike last year, we did have a "Pennsylvania" booth and our "state pavilion" was enhanced with Pennsylvania flags at each of our participant's booths, to give our section a more uniform look.

Unloading PA exhibit
materials at the Javits Center
Watching for forklifts...
Assembling the PA flagpoles

Our booth happened to be in the back corner, next to a white tiled wall that needed some enhancements.  We were thinking plants would do the trick.   A kind lady at the trade show "help" desk, suggested we visit the wholesale flower section in New York City to get reasonably priced plants...which we did. We even found a taxi diver willing to transport us - and the plants - back to the Javits Center.

Janet in the cab
Enhanced wall space

The show kicked off with a Saturday evening reception that included a surprise live performance by Broadway actors who sang  "Les Digestables".   Janet's comment was simply "Only in New York!!" 

You can see the performance by following this link.

At 10:00 am on Sunday morning, the Fancy Food Show opened to visitors, and it was packed all day, every day of the show.  We took turns staffing the booth, visiting the other PA companies and meeting with partner organizations from other states and countries.  And of course we sampled amazing foods!

Our state was well represented at the Fancy Food Show, with a total of 55 PA specialty food manufacturers exhibiting their products. 

The Specialty Food Association had organized 15 educational seminars during the course of the show.  The GMO Labeling Seminar, which all three of us attended, actually featured  Brad’s Raw Foods (Pipersville, PA) as one of the examples.  

The annual Sofi Awards Gala was held Monday evening.  This event recognizes the year's most innovative products and two PA companies were among the winners:
Shady Maple Farm Market (East Earl, PA) was recognized as an Outstanding Retailer during  the Gala and Jin+Ja Drink (Philadelphia, PA) took home the gold Sofi award in the Cold Beverage category.

Another Pennsylvania Fancy Food Show exhibitor, Letterman Enterprises (State College, PA), creator and manufacturer of SpiceCream was interviewed at the show by Fox News.

The show attracted many foreign buyers, including several international buying delegations.  A group of Chinese buyers had pre-arranged meetings with our pavilion exhibitors.

Giorgio Foods offers samples to a Chinese delegation

Hannah and Jan took the train to New York City on Monday and had the opportunity to see (and taste) the Fancy Food Show firsthand:

When the trade show was finally over and everyone packed up to go home, over 200,000 pounds of leftover food was donated to City Harvest, a non-profit organization in New York City that “rescues” food and delivers it to hungry citizens.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tips to Boost Your Business with Pinterest

Posted by Hannah Copenheaver

Pinterest is gaining global attention for its visual style of creating online “pinboards”, where you can “pin” great ideas, or products,  to remember them for later. Keeping your favorite “pins” all in one place on the web allows for a more effective organization method. You can access your pinboards at any time and choose if you want to make them public or private views.

Pinterest is exceptionally fantastic for businesses in the consumer product field, but industrial companies are starting to embrace it, too! Whereas Facebook and Twitter are more about making a social networking connection, Pinterest introduces your followers to things that you find innovative, exciting and useful… Like your latest product!

How can I use Pinterest to market my company, you might ask? Here are some tips on how to make your business more successful in the social media world by using visual pinboards on Pinterest.

How to Pin & What to Pin

·         The first step is to think about how you can make your business visually stimulating by using pictures.

·         Upload new pictures, “repin” quality photos from other users onto your pinboards, and have multiple topical boards.

·         While it is good to pin the products or service you sell, it’s also a good idea to post interesting tips, pictures, quotes you like, and regional photos. Think outside the box. It’s also not a bad idea to repin products you admire from other companies.

·         Focus on other users who are in your industry or region who get many likes and repins. Follow boards and like their pins if you find a common interest.

·         Make your presence known!

Define Your Brand

·         Use key phrases on your board like “Made in the USA”, “Fashion” or “International”. Think about what people may put in the search bar and use those keywords in your text.

·         You can also use these keywords as hashtags at the end of your description. For example, “Turbo 3000, our newest product. #travel”. When someone searches for “travel”, now your pin will appear.

Using Links

·         Every time you upload your own picture onto your board, make sure you embed a link to your website. This way, when viewers click on that photo, they will automatically be taken to your site. Now they will be looking at your website too… Score!

·         If a viewer decides to repin your picture, your link will follow the picture. This creates endless opportunities for your website to be seen just though one pin.

·         Add the Pinterest button onto your website, so viewers can go to your Pinterest page with just one click.

·         Promote your Pinterest page in brochures, fliers and any other means of advertisements.

·         Use Facebook and Twitter as another way to point viewers to Pinterest by posting that you joined Pinterest and to visit your new page.

·         Ideas: Make a pinboard just for Trade Shows, Company Events, New Product Pictures, etc. and update them with current photos (with your website link included).

Pin-It Buttons

·         Add a Pin It button on your website’s products page, so viewers can pin your content to their own Pinterest page. (The pin will be linked to your website)

·         Try adding the Pin It toolbar button to your own browser. This way when you’re surfing the internet and you find something you wish to pin to a board, you can!

Observe and Comment

·         If you find something you like, don’t hesitate to comment on that pin and tell them! People like to know that something they pinned was helpful to you or inspirational.

·         If you think the pin is relevant to one of your boards, you can repin their pin.


·         Always be kind and credit your sources, avoid overly self-promoting your company, and keep your page community-based.


Be sure to check out our World Trade Center Harrisburg Pinterest page and follow our boards!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Central PA Product Development Company Recognized With Design Awards

Posted by  guest blogger Kevin Smith, Global Sales Initiatives

IDE Group, an international product development company based in Sydney, Australia and offices in the Hershey Center for Applied Research has recently been recognized with a number of design excellence awards for several projects in the Life Sciences market.

IDE and partner Atomo Diagnostics recently won multiple Australian Engineering Excellence Awards for the MicroRapid Integrated Rapid Blood Test Device, the world’s first hand held integrated rapid diagnostic device. The Engineering Excellence Awards are a collaboration between the Powerhouse Museum and the Sydney Division of Engineers Australia and the honors for IDE and Atomo included:
  • Winners of an Engineering Excellence Award in the Small Business category
  • Winners of a Highly Commended in the Innovations & Inventions category
  • Winners of the prestigious J.J.C. Bradfield Award, which is the highest award across all categories and ‘recognizes an accomplishment of exceptional engineering merit’ while delivering a ‘major contribution to the community’.


In addition, the Pixi Pediatric Mask designed by IDE and partner ResMed, has been nominated as a finalist for the 2013 Medical Design Excellence Awards. Winners will be announced at a banquet the evening of June 19th in Philadelphia, coinciding with the Medical Design & Manufacturing East Conference (MD&M East). The Medical Design Excellence Awards program honors medical device design excellence, and celebrates the achievements of medical product manufacturers, their suppliers, and the many people behind the scenes—engineers, scientists, designers, and clinicians—who are responsible for the groundbreaking innovations in the medical device industry today.


IDE Product Development Director, Richard Sokolov commented “It’s great to be recognized for design excellence. ResMed and IDE put many long hours of work into the development of a comfortable mask for Pediatric use. The result of which, the Pixi, is a fine example of how IDE’s human factors and product development expertise can bring exciting new products to market.”

Check out more on these and other exciting designs on the IDE website.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

2013 International Trade Conferece

Posted by Tina Weyant

Our Annual International Trade Conference was held in conjunction with the York County Economic Alliance's International Business & Workforce Expo.   The Expo featured domestic and international businesses, representing a wide variety of industry sectors including manufacturing, healthcare, education and business services.

Part of the exhibit area was designated as the International Corner, marked by a huge 12x12 foot banner, and decorated with international flags.  This area was set aside for our sponsors and WTC members who chose to exhibit at the Expo and also featured exhibit tables for foreign embassies and bilateral trade promotion organizations. 

Sponsors for this year's conference included Global Leader level sponsor FTZ 147, Ambassador level sponsor UPS, and Diplomat level sponsors Fulton Bank International Group, Team PA Foundation and PA's Office of International Business Development

Our exhibitors went out of their way to showcase their countries, products and services:

Embassy of Belgium
Embassy of Indonesia

Africa Global Super Center

UPS Booth

Embassy of Bangladesh

Governor Corbett officially "opened" the Expo during Networking Night on May 7, right in the International Corner.  That evening, the WTC booth featured a variety of very tasty, internationally themed, appetizers and the international corner was packed.

A special itinerary had been arranged for all foreign participants, which included a tour of York Wallcoverings on May 7 and a tour of Harley Davidson on May 8 before the Expo officially opened at 11 am. 

Ken Yang, PA's trade office
representative from Korea
Jason Rose, PA's investment
representative from Canada

Throughout the day of the Expo, we offered  a series of brief "trade topics" seminars in the International Corner. 

Vuyo Dunjwa on "Opportunities
in Sub-Saharan Africa"
Philadelphia Port Update
presented by Frank Camp 

Fulton Bank's Matt Blythe
"Fear no Export"

Representatives from 6 of Pennsylvania's overseas trade offices joined us for the conference as well.  Team members from the Brazil, China (Shanghai), Germany, Japan, Korea, and the UK offices participated and local companies that were interested in expanding their international presence could schedule one-on-one meetings with them on May 8. The schedules were completely filled and over 50 meetings took place!

WTC intern Cody Richard asks trade
 trivia question - YCEA President
Darrell Auterson is up to the challenge!
We entertained all visitors to the WTC booth with "trade trivia":  we asked participants to match a flag to the correct country and the price was a globe looking beach ball.

WTC intern Hannah poses
 with "DownTown",  the  mascot
for the York Revolution's

We could not have organized this type of event without the help and support from our Sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and volunteers.  A big thank you to everyone!!

WTC interns Cody and Hannah with
York College volunteer students who
helped throughout the Expo!!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Intensive Export Finance Seminar Focused on Letters of Credit

Posted by Cody Richard
WTC Intern
Our “Secrets of Successful Trade Financing” two day seminar was held on Thursday March 21st and Friday, March 22nd at the WTC Offices.  Attendees came from as far away as Georgia and represented vastly different industry sectors.

Richard M. “Chip” Thomas lead the discussion on behalf of the American Export Training Institute.  Mr. Thomas spent 22 years in international banking, specializing in international trade and finance, which led to extensive international travel; including a 2 years assignment working and living in Mexico.  During his banking career, Mr. Thomas developed a skill in training, and was responsible for International Product and Service Training for Mellon Bank’s customers and employees.  Chip left the banking industry in 1995 to pursue his interests in training by helping to establish the American Export Training Institute, which provides practical training in export finance to corporations and financial institutions throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Today, Chip travels the country speaking and training individuals on the best practices and procedures of international finance.

The numerous topics discussed included:

-          Foreign Trade Procedures

-          INCOTERMS

-          Letters of Credit

-          Bills of Lading

-          UCP 600

-          International Payment Procedures & Terminology

-          Defining Payment Terms

-          Insurance Basics

-          Role of the Freight Forwarder

-          Dealing with Discrepancies

-          Drafts and Acceptances as Financing Tools

-          Diagrams and Flow Charts

-          International Standard Banking Practice

-          Alternatives to Letters of Credit

…and much more!

Great advice was given by all who attended and there were many stories shared. We all learned something new from our colleagues, whether it was how to handle Letters of Credit or the many details of INCOTERMS options.

US-Bulgaria Chamber in America Promotes Trade & Investment Opportunities

By guest blogger Eliz Nestorov, President,US-Bulgaria Chamber in America  The recently founded U.S.-Bulgarian Chamber in America (USBGC) is ...