Friday, May 20, 2016

Event Recap: International Trade Conference 2016

Posted by: Hannah Copenheaver

This year marked our 17th International Trade Conference! It was held on May 18, 2016 in Lancaster. If you missed it, you did miss another exciting and fun event, but here is a recap of what went on. 

1. The morning “Mimosa Mingle” breakfast kicked off the conference and celebrated our 25 year anniversary. Special remarks and a toast was made by WTC Vice-Chairman Adam Say (RoomMates Decor).

2. There were six sessions during the conference:

  • Top Issues for Employers When Sending Employees Abroad
    • presented by Jennifer Nelson & Kristi Weierbach, Stambaugh Ness
  • Logistics Keeps the World Moving
    • presented by Gordon Hartmann, UPS, Tom Stump, UPS, & Daniel Johnson, iGlobal Stores
  • Intellectual Property Primer and International IP Considerations
    • presented by Shawn Leppo, McNees Wallace & Nurick
  • International Trade (Show) Secrets
  • Rediscovering Letters of Credit as a Trade Tool in the Strong Dollar Environment
  • The Global Impact of SEO

3. We brought the "You Export WHAT? To WHERE?!" topic back for the luncheon again this year, as everyone can benefit from hearing the success stories and lessons learned from other local companies. The keynote presentation featured two World Trade Center Harrisburg Members, who shared their unique export stories:

  • MRG Labs, presented by Lisa Williams 
    • MRG Labs is a leader in the development of sampling and analytical techniques for in-service lubricants and maintenance monitoring. MRG provides grease sampling solutions for wind turbines, robotics, electric motors, motor operated valves and gear boxes, and pillow block bearings through their Grease Thief sampling and analysis system. Additionally, the company offers unique lubricant certification training programs that combines specialized training with hands-on learning.
    • Exports What?: Grease Thief sampling kits and Grease Thief analyzers 
    • To Where?!: The sampling kits can be found in 13 countries, including Spain, France, Denmark, Australia and China, and the analyzers can be found in Spain, China, Californiaand York, PA.
    • Download the presentation
  • Keystone Human Services International, presented by Charles Hooker
    • Keystone Human Services International (KHSI) builds upon a firm tradition of individual empowerment and community restoration to provide services, programs, and support to improve the lives of children and families outside the United States. KHSI promotes strong community-based human service systems throughout Eastern Europe and beyond, bridging the cultural boundaries that have allowed the children and families of these regions to endure immense hardship largely in silence. Since 2014, KHSI has been granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council for Non-Governmental Organizations.
    • Exports What?: Community-based services for people with disabilities
    • To Where?!: Russia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Romania, Kazakhstan, India

4. Trade service providers and regional partners were on-hand during the Trade Exhibition to meet with companies and answer any questions they might have. 

Exhibitors included:
  • Core PA Global
  • Foreign Trade Zone 147
  • Fulton International Group
  • International Service Center
  • Mid-Atlantic Eurasia Business Council
  • Stevens & Lee Griffin International
  • UPS
  • U.S. Commercial Service
  • York County Economic Alliance

5. We also decided to have a Twitter contest during the conference! Our booth displayed a live Twitter feed of all of the online discussion. At the end of the conference, three "tweeps" were chosen at random and received a small prize for their participation! Thank you to everyone who followed, mentioned, liked, re-tweeted, and interacted with us on social media! Search #ITC16 on Twitter to view all of the tweets from the conference. 

It was such a fun day and it sure did fly by fast. Many took advantage of the prime networking and the opportunity to learn something new from our expert presenters. Thank you to all who attended this year! Of course, this conference could not be held annually without the gracious support of our sponsors. Special thank you to the following companies for their continued support: 
  • Silver Level Sponsors: UPS & York County Economic Alliance
  • Bronze Level Sponsors: Core PA Global, Foreign Trade Zone 147, Fulton International Group, Stevens & Lee Griffin International
  • Strategic Partners: MANTEC & PA's Office of International Business Development

Video: Watch our video, highlighting everything that was featured at the conference! Special thank you to our spring semester intern, Emily Johnson from Lebanon Valley College, for making this awesome video for us. 

Pictures: To view the entire picture album, please view our Facebook page.

That's a wrap!

Monday, May 16, 2016

WTC Board Meeting in the New World Trade Center Building & Special Guest from WTCA

Posted by: Hannah Copenheaver

On May 11, 2016, we hosted our quarterly Board of Directors meeting at the "new" World Trade Center Harrisburg location. Even though it is still under construction, that didn't stop us! We transformed the conference room area using a few folding tables and chairs and some nice tablecloths. This allowed us to "get a feel" for what future meetings will be like! 

We also welcomed special guest, Martin Salloum, who is the new World Trade Centers Association Regional Development Manager for North America. Martin was previously the President & CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and World Trade Center Edmonton for eighteen years. 

Hannah Copenheaver, Ed Kercher (WTC Chairman),
Martin Salloum (WTCA), Tina Weyant
Hannah setting up the new conference room.

Design board of the new World Trade Center Harrisburg office.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

ABRIN Toy Fair Brings Latin American Economy To The Forefront

By WTC Guest Blogger Jessica Toutsis, RoomMates Décor

ABRIN, the largest event in Latin America for the toy industry, brings together the most important toy makers in Brazil and introduces new products that will impact sales for the upcoming year. 

While the show provided a firsthand look at many new and exciting product lines, the current state of the Latin American economy was top of mind for many distributors. A shrinking economy and increased unemployment rate, leaves worry in many consumers’ minds, but re-regulating the economy is crucial in order for it to start growing again. The country has not experienced this type of economic restraint for 35 years, which provides hope that things can get better once again. 

This topic lingered through the ABRIN Toy Fair, allowing many exhibitors to weigh in on the topic. Viewpoints were similar. The economy is difficult, but a united sense of confidence was expressed by many. 

With the current political and economic concerns at hand, distributors have begun adapting their investment priorities. They are now looking to invest in the future, finding ways to diversity in new markets and pursue a new customer base.   

Adam Say, Director of International Sales for RoomMates Décor, the largest manufacturer of peel & stick wall stickers, agreed with this proactive thinking.

“Even though the economy is difficult, we were happy to spend time with our current customers, who took an interest in wanting to see our new designs. We were also happy to meet new customers who were looking to diversity their portfolio with RoomMates products.”
Although times are difficult, many are trying to remain optimistic that the economy will once again turn around.

Jessica Toutsis is the Digital Marketing Manager for RoomMates Decor, headquartered in York, PA, and writes on trade show experiences for the World Trade Center blog. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Cheers to 20 Years!: Tina's 20 Year Work Anniversary

By: Hannah Copenheaver

This month marks Tina's 20th year with World Trade Center! Tina was hired in May 1996 as the first full-time employee of the then-named Southcentral Pennsylvania International Network (SPIN), after several years of the organization operating on a volunteer-basis. Tina has served as the Executive Director since this time. (Click here for a full timeline of our organization.)

Hannah and Jan surprised Tina on April 28 with presents and cake! You can see in the picture below the new desk set that was given to mark Tina's twenty years of leading the organization, including a matching clock, name placard, and business card holder. 


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