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Session V
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Session I


9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Session II


11:00 a.m.-12:15 a.m.

Session III


2:00 p.m.-3:15 p.m.

Session IV


9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Session V


11:00 a.m.-12:15 a.m.

Session VI


2:00 p.m.-3:15 p.m.



Ballroom A

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Best Practices in the Delivery of the ExporTech Program: A Collaboration between Educators and Service Providers

ExporTechTM is an export acceleration program for manufacturing companies that was developed by National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the U.S. Export Assistance Centers of the U.S. Department of Commerce. At a time, this program can assist 4-8 companies in developing an export plan. Presenters will share best practices in running ExportTech based on recent successes of the program run through Saginaw Valley State University's College of Business and Management.

Rama Yelkur

Dean, College of Business and Management

Saginaw Valley State University

Rama Yelkur is Dean of the College of Business and Management at Saginaw Valley State University. Dr. Yelkur has published several articles in various journals, including International Business Review, Journal of Advertising Research, Services Marketing Quarterly, Journal of Euromarketing, Journal of Marketing Communications, Journal of Global Academy of Marketing Science, Services Marketing Quarterly, Journal of International Marketing and Marketing Research, and Business Horizons. She has also conducted corporate training internationally and has taught in France, Portugal, Spain and Vietnam. Dr. Yelkur has received several Title VI grants from the U.S Department of Education among other grants. She also served as the founding director of Northern Wisconsin International Trade Association. She is passionate about educating students to become global citizens and function in a diverse and economically intertwined world. She is past President of the Marketing Management Association, serves on the Executive Board of MBAA International and the Executive Council and Board of Governors of NASBITE International and is active in various other International Business Organizations.

Ann Edson

Ann Edson began her marketing and exporting career working for one of the nation's largest frozen food facilities, JR Wood Inc., located in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California. Currently, Ann acts as a private facilitator for the National Institute for Standards and Technology-Manufacturing Extension Partnership's ExporTechTM Program. ExporTech TM is a "how-to" program that helps small- or medium-sized companies enter or expand into global markets by assisting in the development of an international growth plan customized specifically for their business. By utilizing a local team of export experts, the program helps companies move quickly beyond planning, into actual, profitable export sales. In this role, she draws upon her extensive and unique background in international exporting. Ann holds an undergraduate degree in Marketing and an MBA with an emphasis in International Business Boise State University. In 2014 she finished her Masters in International Diplomacy (MDY) from Norwich University.

George Puia

George Puia, Ph.D. holds the Dow Chemical Company Centennial Chair in Global Business. He holds a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the University of Kansas with minors in International Business and Research Methods. He recently received the Oxford Journal Global 50 Educators Award. Puia was named an AGBA Distinguished Fellow by the Academy for Global Business Advancement – a life achievement award for his work and scholarship in Global Business. Professor Puia has significant management experience domestically and abroad. He earned the CGRP certification and served as a member of the NASBITE Board of Governors. Dr. Puia established distribution networks for an industrial firm in Southeast Asia and operated a joint venture in Jeddah Saudi Arabia. He has conducted business in over 40 countries.

Jeremy Bockelman

Jeremy Bockelman is the Director for the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center Northeast Regional Office at Saginaw Valley State University. He is responsible for providing technical assistance and training to small and mid-sized manufacturers within the State of Michigan. He works to improve the competitiveness of manufacturers in the State by assisting with activities that focus on quality systems, product and market diversification and process improvement initiatives. He holds a Bachelors of Business Administration degree from Western Michigan University, and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Saginaw Valley State University. Jeremy is a Certified Business Solutions Professional, Certified Public Manager, and Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist III. He is also a LEAN Champion and is Six Sigma Green Belt certified.

Richard Leininger

Richard Leininger holds a PhD in Marketing and has taught at Saginaw Valley State University for over 30 years. He is a Professor of Marketing and teaches International Marketing.


Ballroom B

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Creating Great Researchers for Market Prioritization

Summary: Originally given in 2013, this workshop will build upon and elaborate on effective techniques for market evaluation for the SME. I will review my center's methodology for writing reports that create the foundation for a company’s export strategy. However, this workshop’s focus is primarily on the role and importance of the researcher. I’ll also go over advantages and pitfalls of quantitative-based research models.  Attendees will gain insights to how effective international market research can be done inexpensively, quickly, but also providing confidence and impact to their clients. Plus, we’ll have some fun.


Nate Ward

International Program Director


Nate Ward serves as Director of the International Programs at the SBDC at Cleveland State University. Nate has over ten years of experience in international sales, logistics, marketing, pricing, research, and product development. Nate has industry experience working in home consumer products, health products, food service, pet foods and retail. He has worked for small and mid-sized manufacturers dealing with importer/distributors in dozens of countries around the world.


Ballroom C

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Implementing and demonstrating "Reasonable Care" across your organization to pass a US Customs Audit.

The Key to Passing a US Customs Audit is to have systems and procedures in place that capture, correct, and possibly change policy on any systematic errors within a company. Demonstrating that you have implemented "Reasonable Care" throughout your business processes is the single most important tool that will help you pass a US Customs Audit.

Nick Mauro

Import Compliance Manager

Hampton Products International

Nick is a Licensed US Customs Broker, Certified Supply Chain Professional (APICS) and a CGBP. He has work closely with US Customs to develop best-in-class compliance measures for his current employer - Hampton Products, developing the Compliance Department from the ground up. Nick has developed and implemented a Drawback program, the import and export compliance programs, and implemented internal controls that identify and correct compliance deficiencies. Nick is also responsible for managing the social, environmental and security standards as well as the international shipments from over 30 suppliers. Prior to his role with Hampton Products he worked in both import and export operations for different Freight Forwarding companies in the Los Angeles area.


Ballroom D

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Leading International Distributors to Marketing and Sales Success

Working with distributors can be a great way to enter foreign markets, gain new customers, and access new revenue streams. In my experience as an exporter and as an international business practitioner, I have realized that one of the most powerful ways for exporters to receive those benefits is training their new and current distributors to develop and execute high-impact marketing and sales programs. When distributors receive marketing and sales training from the exporter, they gain confidence and a clear road map for action. This, in turn, sets up distributors to be effective in their marketing and sales efforts, gain market share and achieve their performance goals. The result should be successful, satisfied distributors that stay with the exporter for the long term. In this session, attendees will learn critical elements of high-impact marketing and sales programs for international distributors and how to provide this training to new and current distributors.

Alberto Rodriguez-Baez

Senior International Business Consultant

UTSA's International Trade Center

Alberto Rodriguez-Baez has spent his entire professional and academic careers in the field of international marketing and business development. His work experience spans from large global corporations to small businesses; private and public organizations; as well as non-profit and for-profit companies. He is passionate about helping American companies become globally competitive. Alberto earned a BS in International Marketing from Universidad Regiomontana in Monterrey, Mexico. He also attended the University of Nebraska, where he earned his MBA. Before graduating, he attended the prestigious Focus Leadership Institute in Colorado. Alberto is a CGBP (Certified Global Business Professional), ECoP (Export Compliance Professional) and CBC (Certified Business Consultant), and currently works at UTSA’s International Trade Center as a Senior International Business Advisor.



11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Export Market Development Research & Strategies

This session will examine Euromonitor International’s market research approach to a typical Export Market Development Study and cover the three steps for understanding the overall approach and strategy.  1. Identifying Markets for Growth: Hot Zones ● Learn to highlight the greatest demand (existing and forecasted) for products and prioritize both existing and prospective markets around the globe for development. 2. Route to market ● Understand the supply chain and distribution environment in newly identified/high demand markets ● Combine specific needs for an entry strategy with several areas of investigation, including: Competitive landscape assessment ● Key products ● Market segments ● Import process ● Logistics ● Trade stats. Identifying Potential Buyers and Market Evaluation. 3. Identify potential business partners and assess the price elasticity of your product export.

Aric Saulka

Manager, Client Development North America Government and Trade

Euromonitor International

Aric Saulka is the Manager of Government and Trade for North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Aric came to Euromonitor with 10 years of Market Research experience Including Nielsen as a Director and IRI as a Business Consultant. Key responsibilities at Euromonitor includes managing the Government and Trade division, while also overseeing large and complex client engagement projects. Aric has experience managing project engagement across a wide range of industries, but has specialization in International Trade, Export Market Development, Agriculture & Commodities an Economic Development

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