Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WTC's 18th Annual Holiday Luncheon and Reception

Posted by Hannah Copenheaver

This year, we celebrated our 18th Holiday Luncheon and Reception at the Out Door Country Club in York, PA. Every year, we choose a different global location to learn more about how their culture celebrates holidays and exchanges gifts during these times. This year, we decided to choose Africa (specifically East Africa) because their holidays really showcase the diversity of the continent and of each country. Special thank you to Dr. Eucabeth Odhiambo from Shippensburg University for sharing such an enjoyable presentation!

We also decided to collect donations for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. Together, we donated over 160 pounds of food and also several monetary donations! Thank you to all who donated to this wonderful cause, especially with the holidays upon us. 

Congratulations to our food drive raffle basket winner! (Jeanmarie Nobile, Turkey Hill - a WTC Member)

Thank you to all who attended and celebrated with us! Event pictures can be viewed on our Facebook page by clicking here.

Special thank you to our sponsors of this year's luncheon: Fulton Bank, MANTECMcNees Wallace & Nurick LLCMet-EdSub-Saharan Africa Chamber of CommerceUPSZeigler Brothers, Inc.

Happy Holidays! 
- Jan, Tina, and Hannah

Monday, December 1, 2014

Doing Business In Mexico Roundtable

Posted by Alicia Roberto, Intern

On November 17th, the World Trade Center Harrisburg hosted a ‘Doing Business in Mexico’ roundtable with the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC.  Attendees were able to share their experiences, as well as gain insight from others during an open discussion regarding the challenges and opportunities of business in Mexico.  WTC members Howard Minnick, Automation Systems Interconnect, Pete O’Neill, Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development, and Frank Swit, Gannett Fleming, led the discussion and offered informative information and first-hand experiences. 

     The following topics were covered: 
  • Language Barriers
  • How To Find a Trusted Partner
  • Corruption
  • Working Conditions
  • Safe Traveling Practices
  • Cultural Differences

The Port of Philadelphia also provided an overview of their proposed new service.  United States exporters are demanding a better way to get their cargo to Mexico as overland trucking has proved to be costly and untimely.  For this reason, the Port of Philadelphia is developing a better option with an ocean container service.  Sean Mahoney’s presentation made it apparent that a new export steamship service from the Port of Philadelphia to Port Veracruz, Mexico could be very advantageous for this region.  It offers faster transit times, greater transportation schedule dependability, and a reduced carbon footprint.  The service is also cost efficient and provides greater cargo visibility, integrity, and security.  Thus far the port has taken numerous crucial steps to ensure this projects success.

To learn more about the planned shipping connection to Port Veracruz, contact Sean Mahoney, Director of Marketing or Dominic O’Brien, Senior Marketing Representative, by e-mail at

If you wish to view the presentation, click here

All who participated in the discussion learned something new and developed a clearer understanding of the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Mexico.

World Trade Center Harrisburg sends a special thank you to our sponsor, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, and to the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC for partnering with us on this program!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Impact of Trade

by Tina Weyant

Have you ever wondered how much is really exported from the southcentral PA region?  Actually, it is quite a lot - over $14.4 billion worth of products and services were exported from the 8 counties in our region during 2012!

With the help of our interns, we were able to pull together county level data for both, exports of goods and exports of services, from a recent study by the Brooking's Institute called  "Export Nation 2013".

The report focuses in detail on the impact of exports for our region's eight counties:

-  Adams
-  Berks
-  Cumberland
-  Dauphin
-  Franklin
-  Lancaster
-  Lebanon
-  York

  • In 2012, our region exported over $14.4 billion dollars, specifically $11,442,120,000 in total manufactured goods and $3,002,470,000 in total services.

  • These exports accounted for 20.8% of total PA exports in 2012.

  • Southcentral PA experienced 54.92% export growth from 2003 to 2012, which is the greatest percentage increase when compared to other regions in the state.

  • Our region is second only to the southeast region (Philadelphia) in terms of real exports of all combined industries.

  • Exports supported 73,064 jobs in our region in 2012.

  • The Harrisburg MSA lead the nation as the number one metro area in which exports contributed most to the post-recession growth (2009-2012) with a staggering 1259.7 percent.

The entire WTC team as well as our interns, Rachel Kass from Dickinson College, and  Alicia Roberto from Lebanon Valley College, contributed to this report. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Bringing the World to YOU!" Success

Posted by Alicia Roberto, Intern

Jan getting the registration
table ready for check in!
In conjunction with World Trade PA, our 16th annual "Bringing the World to YOU!" event was held at The Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Reading on September 18th.  The event attracted numerous representatives from Pennsylvania's overseas trade offices and provided companies from the southcentral region the opportunity to schedule individual appointments to discuss international business expansion.  We look forward to this event each year, despite endless hours of pre-event planning and post-event follow up, as it proves to be more and more successful each year.  All of Pennsylvania's trade reps are easy to get along with and enjoyable to work with.  The day is not complete without laughter and smiles from all attendees.  

One-on-one meetings between companies and trade reps.

Here are this year's event numbers:
  • 105 attendees
  • 20 overseas trade representatives
  • 35 different companies
  • 177 meetings between companies and trade representatives

Keynote speaker Mr. Yamada.
In addition to the one-on-one meetings with trade reps, the event included a luncheon program that featured a presentation on "Opportunities Despite Challenges in Brazil".  Fabio Yukio Yamada, Director of the Pennsylvania Trade Office in Brazil, was our keynote speaker.  Fabio was appointed PA's authorized trade rep in July 2001, and has since assisted over one hundred companies every year in their efforts to export to Brazil.  During his presentation, Fabio presented a snapshot of Brazil, opportunities that exist, and an overview of the challenges of getting into the Brazilian market, such as tariffs, market access, etc.  He also elaborated on how Pennsylvanian companies have been successful and how they have been able to enter the market in the past.  A noteworthy video was shown during the presentation that offered insight and helpful tips for doing business in Brazil. (The link is here)

The luncheon program also provided additional networking
opportunities among attendees. 

This year's "Bringing the World to YOU!" event proved to be an overwhelming success, as all attendees were able to create valuable relationships with overseas representatives.  It is our hope that these newly developed trade leads will prosper tremendously in the near future.  

Hannah, Tina and Jan

We would like to extend a special 'thank you' to UPS, the event's silver level sponsor, and to central Pennsylvania's Foreign-Trade Zone #147, the event's bronze level sponsor, for their continued support.  Furthermore, the program would not have been possible without our partnership with MANTEC.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Another Successful Fancy Food Show Experience!

Posted by Tina Weyant

The World Trade Center Harrisburg partnered once again with Pennsylvania's Center for Trade Development  in organizing a "Pennsylvania Pavilion" at the Summer Fancy Food Show,  North America's largest show for the specialty food and beverage industry.  The show was held at the Javits Convention Center in New York City and featured over 180,000 products including confections, cheese, snacks, spices, ethnic, natural and organic products.  

The "Pennsylvania Pavilion" was one of ten State Pavilions, and included 12 different companies - four of them from the southcentral region.



Bookbinder Specialties

Davis & Davis Gourmet Foods

DelGrosso Foods

Giogio Foods Inc.

Irene's Bakery & Gourmet Kitchen

My Boy’s Baking

Naked Granola

Neat Foods

Nuts About Granola

Pretzel Pete

The Warrell Corporation

Pennsylvania's specialty food industry was well represented, with 50 different food exhibitors.

The show attracts many foreign buyers, including organized food buying delegations from all over the globe.  Pre-scheduled appointments with foreign buyers took place the day before the show opened.

In addition to pre-arranged meetings, the "PA Pavilion" companies were each featured in the "What's New - What's Hot" showcase, providing additional exposure to potential buyers. 

This year's show featured more than 2,730 exhibitors representing 49 countries, and over 24,000 visitors from 80 countries attended the show, making it the largest  Fancy Food show to date.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

International Trade Conference Event Recap


Corporate and Personnel Protection in a Global Economy 


Posted by Hannah Copenheaver

On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, we held our 15th annual international trade conference at the Eden Resort and Conference Center in Lancaster, PA. The conference was focused on Safety, Security and Counterintelligence and featured experts from the FBI and local companies.

Two breakout session tracks were offered in the morning, allowing attendees to choose sessions to meet their individual needs. 

Breakout Sessions Included:
Mike Allocca from Allocca Enterprises

Cyber Security; Special Agent Michael C. Poston, FBI
Agent Poston discussed criminal invasions into laptops, personal computers, and wireless devices via hacks and bits of malicious code. Since most sensitive data is stored onto computers, companies learned how to protect their data, money, and ideas that are often stolen through cyber intrusions.

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: Understanding Export & Import Compliance; Mike Allocca, President, Allocca Enterprises
This session strengthened attendee’s understandings of 
Jim Budd from John S. Connor, Inc.
reasonable care, due diligence, and overall import/export 
compliance procedures. US export regulations and controls, 
including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and ways your 
product might be licensed, was also covered.

Visitor Risk Mitigation: Hardening the Target; Special Agent L.T. Seals, Counterintelligence Specialist, FBI
Special Agent Seals discussed common elicitation techniques and protective measures to take for hosting visitors, during 
facility tours, and during long-term & joint venture scenarios.

John Maffey from M3T Corporation
Assessing Threats in Your Global Supply Chain; Jim Budd, John S. Connor, Inc.
This session provided a variety of information for companies to create their individual risk assessment plans, including mapping cargo flow, identifying business partners, conducting threat assessment, conducting vulnerability assessment, preparing an action plan, and documenting how 
risk assessments are conducted.

Establishing a Safety and Security Program; John Maffey, CPP, PSP, Business Development Manager & Angela Starner, Chief Operations Officer, M3T Corporation
Our Experts from the FBI:
Agent Seals, Agent Poston & Agent Kelly
M3T’s session took a strategic security approach to both physical and digital security. Attendees learned how to circumvent limitations through security surveys, policies and procedures. They also learned how to create a security oriented company culture so that meeting compliances such as PCI DDS, HIPPA/HITECH, STIG, NIST and FDCC best practices are integrated into the forefront of their businesses.

Economic Espionage: Internal & External Threats; Special Agent Charles Kelly, Strategic Partnership Program Coordinator, FBI
Special Agent Kelly taught that companies with competitive edges need to know that their technology, and those with access to it, might be targeted by criminals. If a company developed a process to manufacture an item at less cost than others, then that manufacturing process may be targeted too. Attendees learned how to protect their company from economic espionage and keep their programs and systems secure.

Keynote Luncheon Presentation:

Agent Kelly presenting the
Keynote Presentation
The keynote luncheon presentation Safety & Security while Traveling & Working Abroad was given by Special Agent Charles Kelly, Strategic Partnership Program Coordinator, FBI. The presentation focused on how business travelers should take measures to ensure not only the safety and security of themselves but also their business information while traveling outside the United States. The luncheon program started and ended with a networking reception within our “Bringing Resources to YOU!” exhibit area. Many took the opportunity to network with our breakout session speakers, sponsors and other attendees and visited the conference exhibitors to learn more about their products or services.

Enjoying the Luncheon Program
Exhibitors Included:
- Fulton Bank
- John S. Connor, Inc.
- MTM Linguasoft
PA’s Office of International Business Development
- Susquehanna Bank
- The Keller Law Firm, LLC
- World Trade Center Harrisburg

World Trade Center Harrisburg sends a special thank you to UPS for sponsoring the event at the silver level and Fulton International Group for sponsoring at the bronze level. In addition, thank you to MANTEC and PA’sOffice of International Business Development for partnering with us on the event.

Special Thank You to our Sponsors:

Silver Level Sponsor:


 Bronze Level Sponsor:


Partner Organizations:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WTC Intern Presents at Lebanon Valley College's Inquiry 2014!

Posted by Luke Stouffer

On Thursday, April 10, I was given the opportunity to present my internship here at World Trade Center Harrisburg as part of the "International Internship Corner" at Lebanon Valley College's Inquiry 2014.  Inquiry is a symposium dedicated to celebrating the scholarly, scientific, and creative achievements of LVC students.  There were several intriguing presentations of scientific experiments, psychological studies, and even a student run record label business to name a few.  However, the "International Internship Corner" was unique in that it brought together three students with international business-based internships to present such possibilities to their peers.  I was fortunate to be presenting with former WTC Harrisburg Intern Cody Richard (currently with Assistive Technology Products) and current World Affairs Council of Harrisburg Intern Christian Eisenhour.  Together, we created a display booth to best integrate our respective internships as one presentation.

Left to Right: Myself, Christian Eisenhour, Cody Richard

We spoke with several curious visitors throughout the evening, including a few students who were interested in succeeding us in our positions.  Each of us happily informed the visitors of our job responsibilities and accomplishments.  I shared several of the "Member Spotlights" that I developed, which can be found on WTC Harrisburg's website.  I also discussed some of the cultural reports, trade leads, events, and market research such as the Harrisburg International Airport Travel Survey that I have worked on during my time as an intern.  Overall, it was a very successful and rewarding night to display what I have learned through my internship as it comes to a close.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

International Water Company Welcomes Liberian Delegation

Posted by Hannah Copenheaver

Marc Ward, COO, welcoming Mayor Mvogo
On March 5, 2014, International Water Company hosted a delegation from Monrovia, Liberia, which included the city’s Mayor, Clara Doe Mvogo, and other government officials. The country continues to search for ways to give their citizens clean water and heard about International Water Company’s portable water purification machines as a solution to end this struggle.

International Water Company (IWC) is a York county based manufacturer who takes pride in their main mission: to give clean drinking water to children everywhere. In 2010, the company was launched to provide a solution for just that. From that idea sparked two versions of the Mobile Water Purification System (MWPS). The smaller MWPS can pump 2.5 gallons per minute and the larger can pump 18 gallons per minute. The MWPS machine can operate not only from a generator, but also from solar or wind power. Other unique factors include a simple set up, a backup system in every machine, and only one replacement part, which extras are included.

The Mobile Water Purification System...
... can be solar powered ...
... or can be wind powered!

International Water Company decided to make the event a “grand opening celebration” after hearing the Liberian delegation will be visiting. Stephen Strachan, CEO and Managing Partner, and Marc Ward, COO, welcomed everyone, thanked them for attending, and read letters of congratulation by Governor Tom Corbett and US Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey. Tours of the facility and demonstrations of the machines occurred during the afternoon. IWC has demonstrated their machines in several different countries, including China and Mexico, and has several installations overseas. IWC remains hopeful that this trip will spark interest for the Monrovia, Liberian officials to purchase one of their purification machines in the near future.

Stephen Strachan, CEO, thanking
everyone for coming
"Welcome to the Grand Opening!"
To view pictures of the “Grand Open House Celebration”, please go to World Trade Center Harrisburg’s Facebook page by clicking here.

To read more about the event from the Central Penn Business Journal, please click here.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Export Credit Insurance Seminar

Posted by Keith Wiley, Intern

On February 19th the World Trade Center Harrisburg hosted an Export Credit Insurance Seminar. Our speaker, John Strayhorn, President of Global Insurance Services, gave a very informative presentation.  Attendees learned an extensive amount about Export Credit Insurance and how to expand sales as well as borrowing capacity.

The following topics were covered:
  • Introduction to Short-Term Export credit Insurance
  • Requirements for Short Term Credit Insurance
  • Single Sale vs. Multi-Buyer (Portfolio) Approaches
  • Permits Expansion of Borrowing Case
  • Private Sector Credit Insurance Providers
  • U.S. Export Import Bank Credit Insurance Policies
  • Agricultural Products 
  • How to expand your bank credit line using credit insurance

A note on the Export Import Bank of the United States: 
Ex-Im Bank does not compete with private sector lenders but provides export financing products that fill gaps in trade financing. They will assume credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept. They also help to level the playing field for U.S. exporters by matching the financing that other governments provide to their exporters. With 80 years of experience, Ex-Im Bank has supported more than $600 billion of U.S. exports, primarily to developing markets worldwide. To contact the Eastern Region Office for more information please visit their website.

For more detailed information regarding the above topics covered at the seminar please feel free to visit the Global Insurance Services Website.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Consider Cultural Differences Before Exporting Your Product

Posted by Luke Stouffer, Intern

If you believe you have a product that can be successfully exported, and you need a primer on exporting know-how, check out the "Pennsylvania International Trade Guide". This useful resource was developed by our sister organization, the WTC Philadelphia, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Office of International Business Development.  The website features a number of export tutorials that provide a great overview and practical solutions for making sales around the world. 

My personal favorite tutorial can be found in the Culture section titled “Business Travel Abroad”.  My experience of a semester abroad truly highlighted how significant variances in culture can affect relationships and communication.  The ability to adapt to these variances was the key for me to successfully navigate Europe, and is the key for you to successfully export your product.  In most countries, there is a preference to conduct business in person before concluding a transaction, therefore, as an exporter you should count on traveling abroad at least once.  This tutorial provides a list of necessary travel documents, pre-departure tips, and the effects cultural differences can play on the ultimate success of a business deal.

Essential travel documents include a passport, visa, and vaccination records.  Allow six to eight weeks to acquire these documents.  Another valuable document for your travels is the ATA Carnet, which is a standardized international customs document that allows duty-free temporary admission of sample goods.

Some pre-departure tips include scheduling meetings prior to leaving the United States and familiarizing yourself with the means of transportation, whether public or private, the area offers in order to allot your time effectively.  Another key point to address is the effects language barriers will have on your negotiations.  If you do not already know the local language and do not have the time to learn it, you may want to consider hiring your own translator for your negotiations as opposed to solely relying on the customer’s translator, which can put you at a disadvantage.  Furthermore, you should print business cards in the local language to exchange with your customers. 

Cultural differences can turn a friendly gesture into one that damages a business relationship.  These differences can also be found in negotiating styles, the meanings of colors and numbers, and attitudes towards punctuality among others.  For example, in German culture one is expected to be highly punctual, whereas in Italian culture it is not unusual for someone to be 15 minutes late to a meeting.  Similar differences can be seen in greeting styles (handshake, hug, or kiss) and gift giving norms.  The exchange of gifts is routine for the first business meeting in Japanese culture, but not customary in the United Kingdom.  Read up on cultural differences in travel guides or contact us for information.

Tutorials are available for the following topics:

·         Export Basics
·         Culture
·         Finance
·         Legal
·         Logistics
·         Marketing

 For tutorials as well as an Export Readiness Assessment  visit the website

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 ...