Florida Chamber’s 2017 International Days Focuses on Florida’s Global Trade Future

By: Katherine Bustamante

New Video Shows More International Trade = More Jobs

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  (Feb. 15, 2017) – Policy experts, business leaders, lawmakers and government officials from around the world are gathered in Tallahassee today for the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 International Days event.

“Florida needs to think about how we can compete globally,” said MARK WILSON, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “This is exactly the wrong time to be going backwards.”

The Florida Chamber released their latest FloridaWins.org video on international trade, More International Trade = More Jobs, which shows 2.5 million high-wage Florida jobs depend on international trade.

International Days started with a conversation by Chris Hart IV, Secretary of Commerce and President and CEO, Enterprise Florida, Inc., and Cissy Proctor, Executive Director, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, who discussed the need for economic development to help Florida grow and urged leaders to get involved in the conversations. Economic development matters to Florida, especially to Florida’s small business looking to grow globally.

Morning speakers included General Consul Representatives from five different nations, Dr. Mark Rosenberg, President of Florida International University and Senator Bill Galvano, who received a Florida Chamber Honor Roll award for his commitment to securing Florida’s future.

“We are a global economy,” SENATOR BILL GALVANO said. “We can no longer continue to only focus on three markets.”

Alice Ancona, Director of Global Trade for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, reiterated Galvano’s point, saying international trade is an important part of Florida’s growing economy and filling the jobs needed by Florida’s growing workforce.

“For Florida, international efforts mean more jobs and economic opportunity,” ANCONA said. “Partnering with industry, government and global leaders to promote the importance of international trade is a crucial step toward securing our state’s global future.”

Topics during the event will range from an analysis of international business trends to the future of Florida’s trade policy.
Afternoon speakers and topics include:

Where We Stand, Where We’ll Go: What is the Future of U.S. Trade Policy and What Will Its Impact Be on Florida?

  • The Honorable Adam Putnam, Commissioner, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (video message)
  • Syd Kitson, Chairman & CEO, Kitson & Partners/Chairman, Florida Chamber of Commerce (Moderator)
  • Chuck Cobb, CEO, Senior Managing Director, Cobb Partners
  • Eric Silagy, President and CEO of Florida Power & Light Company

From Local to Global

  • Manny Mencia, Senior Vice President, International Trade & Business Development, Enterprise Florida (Moderator)
  • Glenn Cooper, Shareholder, GrayRobinson P.A.
  • Aerek Stephens, Export Finance Manager, Export Import Bank of the United States of America
  • Crystal Stiles, Director of Economic Development, Florida Power & Light Company

Expanding Market Access: Choosing the Right Tools for Successfully Going Global

  • Brian Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, JAXPORT (Moderator)
  • Lee Sandler, Founding Member, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg P.A.
  • Christopher Wenk, Executive Director, International Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Nancy Crews, Chief Executive Officer and Owner, Custom Manufacturing & Engineering Inc.
  • Keith Landy, President, Germfree
  • Adrian LaTrace, CEO, Boyd Industries, Inc
  • Dave Mutch, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Sunotopic Technologies, Inc.