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Conference Agenda 

8:30AM Registration - Continental Breakfast

9:00AM Keynote Address

Doug Oberhelman, CEO, Caterpillar Inc.

10:00AM Break Out Panels (Round One)

All three panels run concurrently and are presented twice (in two rounds) for the convenience of attendees.
Each panel lasts approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Panel One: Technical Issues in Export (Q&A)

Exporting goods and services overseas can certainly be a lucrative venture. For example, in 2010, in the United States alone, exports of manufactured goods alone earned the country a total of $1,28 trillion.

Despite the great returns that can be achieved by exporting, breaking into foreign markets can be a daunting prospect for new exporters, who may be confused and unsure of where and how to start. Many business owners also make many avoidable mistakes due to a lack of experience. Mistakes include how to get paid, if you should choose a distributor over an agent, how to avoid cultural and communication mistakes and so on.

This panel of experts will discuss and try to answer many of the personal concerns of those in attendance.


Warren Ribley, Director, Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity


Jeff Graber, Sr. International Trade Specialist, US Department of Commerce
Tim Hamilton, Executive Director, Food Export Association of the Midwest, USA
Terry LaRocca, International Trade Specialist, State of Illinois
Peter Moirano, Vice President FX & Trade Finance, Citibank
John Nevell, Regional Manager, International Trade Programs, Small Business Administration
Charles Tansey, Senior Vice President, Small Business Group, Ex-Im Bank

Panel Two: Global Market Opportunities and Challenges (Q&A)

Global markets are a source of opportunity as well as a source of challenges. This is especially true for small and medium size companies. How do you take advantage of global business opportunities without suffering from lack of resources?

In developing global marketing strategy to compete in world markets, managers must address the challenges of constant change, increased complexity and intense competition. However, the appropriate response to these challenges depends on the stage of involvement in international markets, i.e., whether the company is just entering global markets, is aggressively expanding its international presence or attempting to rationalize far-flung operations. This panel will discuss how a firm should respond to these challenges, and will discuss how using different sources such as federal, state and local agencies and organizations can help a firm to formulate appropriate strategies.


William A. Strauss, Senior Economist and Economic Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago


Iwona Bochenska, International Trade Specialist, Illinois Office of Trade and Investment
Rick Doggett, International Trade Specialist, Illinois Office of Trade & Investment
Bobby Dowson, International Marketing Rep., Illinois Dept of Agriculture
Tom Hagle, International Trade Specialist, Illinois Office of Trade & Investment
Sam Ntum, International Trade Specialist, Illinois Office of Trade and Investment
Zhigang Ren, Sr. International Trade Specialist, Illinois Office of Trade and Investment

Panel Three: Illinois Companies’ Export Experiences

Many Illinois companies have been successful in identifying and capitalizing on export opportunities to grow their business.

This section will be moderated by Loretta Schmitzer, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Boeing Company. Boeing, based here in Illinois, is among the largest global aircraft manufacturers by revenue, orders and deliveries, and the third largest aerospace and defense contractor in the world based on defense-related revenue. Boeing is also the largest exporter by value in the United States.

The panel will feature four additional Illinois firms - not only to acknowledge the part they have played in developing Illinois' export economy but to act as an inspiration to those taking their first steps into the world of export and to those looking to further develop their export business.


Loretta Schmitzer, Vice President of Government Affairs, The Boeing Company


Bo DeLong, VP Grain Operations, DeLong Company
Jeff Dziura, V.P., International Sales, NewMedical Technology, Inc.
J. Hurley Myers, President and CEO, DxR Development Group, Inc.
Russell Witthoff, Director of International Sales, Dukane IAS

11:15AM Break Out Panels (Round Two)

As noted above, the panels from Round One are repeated for the convenience of attendees.

12:30PM Export Awards Luncheon

List of Export Award Winners