Updated September 3, 2014—Please note program is subject to change, please check this page regularly for updates.




1:00pm – 5:00pm



2:00pm – 5:00pm

One-on-One Meetings with U.S. Commercial Diplomats


2:00pm – 5:00pm

Ask the Experts Roundtables



Networking Reception at The Westin








7:30am-8:30 am

Continental Breakfast



One-on-One Meetings with U.S. Commercial Diplomats (Concurrent)



Welcome Remarks

Wayne Cooper, Chair, North Carolina District Export Council

Greg Sizemore, Director, Commercial Service North Carolina



Plenary Session: Look South - Strategic Overview of The Americas

Why consider exporting to the Western Hemisphere? The Western Hemisphere holds tremendous potential for U.S. goods and services. In 2013, it was the destination for 45% of all U.S. exports, more than any other region across the globe. Over half of all the United States’ Free Trade Agreements are with Western Hemisphere countries. The Look South Initiative is a new coordinated program to help companies do business with Mexico and Latin America. This session will give a strategic overview of the Americas, providing important things to consider before we endeavor into the rest of Discover Global Markets The Americas export forum.

John Andersen, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Global Markets
David Carius, Caterpillar

Nathaniel Karp, BBVA
Moderator: Chris William, Host of Carolina Business Review



Networking Break


10:45 am–11:30am

Plenary Panel: Why Canada and Mexico Remain our Top Export Destinations

Our neighbors to the north and south hold tremendous potential for U.S. exporters. These countries are typically the first export markets U.S. companies consider, and for good reason. Canada and Mexico are the U.S.’ #1 and #2 export destinations, respectively. Canada continues to hold an historic record as the United States’ largest export market, accounting for 18.9% of total U.S. goods exports. Mexico is the United States’ 3rd largest trading partner and 2nd largest export market. U.S.-Mexico bilateral trade was $494 billion in 2012. NAFTA, enacted in 1994, created a free trade zone for Mexico, Canada, and the U.S.


Cindy Biggs, Principal Commercial Officer, U.S. Commercial Service Canada

Dorothy Lutter, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Commercial Service Mexico

Mike Godfrey, Business Development Director, Westinghouse

Moderator: Chris William, Host of Carolina Business Review



Breakout Sessions

A. Mitigating Trade Finance Risks in the Americas

How do you get paid when making sales to the Americas? How do you handle customers’ requests for credit terms? Did you know that requesting credit terms is common in the Americas? If you’re only accepting cash in advance, you’re probably missing out on sales. Do you accept payment in U.S. dollars only, or are there times when it’s beneficial to quote in a foreign currency – and how do you mitigate THIS risk? This session will cover the topics you need to know to address trade finance risks as you make sales to customers in the Americas.

Matthew Lewis, Western Union
Michael Filchock, SunTrust
Kenneth Bender, PNC
Kathy Edwards, Global Business Solutions

Moderator: John Mueller


B. E-Commerce in the Americas – Developing Your Online Presence

E-commerce, the Internet, and social media are all important conduits for your sales, both in the U.S. and worldwide. How common is it to sell over the Internet in the Americas? What do you need to know regarding reaching your customers there, the prevalence of online sales by country, and search engine optimization? This dynamic session will give you the information you need to leverage your web site and social media to make sales.

Justin Seibert, Direct Online Marketing
Chad Remp, Wheeling Truck Center

Roy Morejon, Command Partners
Moderator: Linh Wu, FedEx


C. Sector Focus: Energy


The Deregulation of the Energy Sector in Mexico: How it Affects Business Opportunities


Carolina Quiroz, National Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE)

Dr. Ruiz Ramos, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex)

Dr. Vinicio Suro Perez, Mexican Petroleum Institute (IMP)

Dr. Guillermo Dominguez, National Hydrocarbon Commission (CNH)

TBD, Federal Electricity Commission (CFE)


D. Sector Focus: Healthcare

Pharmaceuticals, Nutritional Supplements, Biotech, Medical Equipment




Keynote Address: Ignacio Isusi, Director of Retail Development, Latin America, Harley Davidson

Introduction by William Fanjoy, U.S. Commercial Service



Plenary Panel: Why Central America and the Caribbean are Fast Growing Export Destination

The Central America and Dominican Republic region (CAFTA-DR region) was the 15th largest U.S. export market in the world in 2010, and the 3rd largest in Latin America, behind Mexico and Brazil. As a result of the U.S.-Central America and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), 80% of U.S. consumer and industrial goods exports to these countries are no longer subject to tariffs. U.S. exports to all the CAFTA-DR countries experienced significant growth during the first 5 years of the agreement, led by Guatemala and Nicaragua (both up 57%), and followed by Costa Rica (44%), Honduras (42%), Dominican Republic (39%), and El Salvador (32%).


Aileen Nandi, Regional Senior Commercial Officer for Central America, U.S. Commercial Service

Isabella Cascarano, Senior Commercial Officer for the Dominican Republic, U.S. Commercial Service

Nicole DeSilvis, Senior Commercial Officer for Guatemala, U.S. Commercial Service

Dave Dalton, General Microcircuits Inc.

Moderator: John Galles, Greater Charlotte Business Magazine



Networking Break



Breakout Sessions

A. Overcoming Logistical Barriers in the Americas

Find out what you need to know to efficiently deliver your goods to customers in the Americas. Discover best practices for working with shippers and freight forwarders, preparing your documentation, and avoiding logistical issues.

Pat Fosberry,
John S. James
Jose-María de Orduña, Head of Operations and Value Added Services, Americas, DHL Global Forwarding

Tom Robinson, ERD Ltd.

Moderator: Clem Schrader


B. Known at Home, a Stranger Abroad: Building Your Brand While Protecting It

Did you know that your U.S. patents and trademarks are not valid overseas unless you specifically register in those countries? Is your intellectual property in danger when selling to the Americas? Find out more about intellectual property issues in the Americas, and obtain best strategies for protecting these significant assets.

Jay Rogers, Partner, Nelson Mullins

Moderator: Alfred Basilicato, USA StrategicVentures, llc


C. Selling to Latin American Governments—Best Practices for Participating in International Procurements

The U.S. Government provides tremendous assistance to U.S. companies participating in international tenders. This session will present the range of resources available to you to identify, qualify, and compete in foreign bids.


Raul Herrera, Arnold & Porter LLP

Moderator: Mack Tadeu, Advocacy Center, U.S. Department of Commerce


D. Sector Focus: Automotive Industry Opportunities and Challenges in the Western Hemisphere

Almost 70% of U.S. auto part and new passenger vehicle exports were sold to Western Hemisphere countries between 2009 and 2013. Panelists will discuss current automotive opportunities in the Western Hemisphere and the ways in which they have taken advantage of these opportunities. They will also discuss progress they have made and what resources or channels they have used to achieve success. In addition, challenges they originally faced and current challenges will be discussed as well as how they are overcoming these obstacles.


Paul McCarthy, Senior Vice President, MEMA

Andres Castrillon, JD Senior Counsel, Auto Care Association

Moderator: Suzanne M. Dickerson, Director, Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research



Plenary Session: The Impact of the Panama Canal and Intermodal on U.S. Exports

Panama has historically served as the crossroads of trade for the Americas. Its strategic location as a bridge between two oceans and the meeting of two continents has made Panama not only a maritime and air transport hub, but also an international trading, banking, and services center. In 2010, 5% of the world’s total cargo volume passed through the Panama Canal. The country is currently engaged in a $5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal that, when finished, would allow significantly larger vessels to transit and might alter shipping routes to and from multiple U.S. ports. It could also lower the costs of trans-ocean shipping between Asia and the U.S. East Coast. This project, in conjunction with the expansion of the capacities of its ports on both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, and ongoing investment in regional fueling opportunities will solidify Panama’s global logistical advantage in the Western Hemisphere.


Jonathan D. Farrar, U.S. Ambassador to Panama

Michael Gallis, Michael Gallis & Associates

Moderator: Daniel Crocker, Executive Director, Western Hemisphere, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce



Networking Reception

The Mint Museum – A Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Panama Canal






Continental Breakfast



One-on-One Meetings with U.S. Commercial Diplomats (Concurrent)



Welcome Remarks and Opening Session



Plenary Session: Chile, Colombia, Panama, and Peru: An Economic Powerhouse for Latin America (Andean Region)

Chile; Colombia; Panama; Peru

Business opportunities for U.S. companies in Chile, Colombia, Panama, Peru


Ellen Lenny-Pessagno, Senior Commercial Officer, Commercial Service Chile

Cameron Werker, Senior Commercial Officer, Commercial Service Colombia

John Coronado, Senior Commercial Officer, Commercial Service Panama

Rachel Kreissl, Commercial Officer, Commercial Service Peru

Moderator: Larry Turner, Hannover Fair USA



Plenary Session: Opportunities in Mercosur

Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay

Exporting to the Mercosur region can be challenging! From Brazil’s tariffs to Argentina’s foreign exchange restrictions, the Mercosur countries certainly have their challenges! However, these are also potentially great markets for U.S. exports. Join this session to learn what opportunities exist, and how to overcome the challenges. The session will also discuss working through other countries to access the Mercosur market.


Brian Brisson, Senior Commercial Officer, Commercial Service Brazil

James Koloditch, Regional Senior Commercial Officer, Commercial Service Argentina

Greg Raty, Slade Inc.

J. Clovis Lemes, Candex do Brasil Ltda. and Executive Director, Chamber of the Americas Brazil

Moderator: Ambassador David Nelson, General Electric



Networking Break



Breakout Sessions

A. Leveraging Free Trade Agreement Countries to Increase Your Sales

Do you struggle with knowing what export documentation needs to be completed for your export sales? Did you know that not all Certificates of Origin are created equal, and you may need them in different formats for different countries? What about the unusual requests you get from your buyers? Join this session to learn more about export documentation needed for the Americas, challenges, best practices, and get your questions answered!


Mike Allocca, Allocca Enterprises Inc.

Anne Woelke, Integration Point


B. Sector Focus: Energy

Best-Prospect Energy Sector Exports to the Western Hemisphere

Discover what energy sector products or services you can export to the Western Hemisphere.


Crystal Roberts, Commercial Specialist, Commercial Service Canada

Jose Aparicio, Siemens

Cora Dickson, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce

Moderator: Christian Gomez Jr., Director of Energy, Council of the Americas


C. Sector Focus: Security and Defense in Latin America

Mike Viniconis, Argus Fire Control
Wayne Cooper, Chair, NC District Export Council
Brenden Frisk, Combined Systems, Inc.

Moderator: Brian Brisson, Senior Commercial Officer, Commercial Service Brazil


D. Sector Focus: Exporting Services to the Americas

(Financial Services, Management Consulting, Architecture/ Engineering)

Across the Americas, U.S. knowledge and expertise are sought after, affording many companies with opportunities to export their services. In 2013 alone, the United States had a trade surplus in services exports, reaching a record $231.6 billion, which is an increase of 12 percent from 2012. Join this session to learn how different service providers approach markets in the Western Hemisphere, operate within them, and win business. Panelists offer insight from the Consulting, Engineering, Financial, and Training Services Sectors.


Scott Blacklin, Blacklin Associates

Nichole Patterson, NRP Training Solutions

Ross G. Ensor, ISI Consultants

Jennifer Hara, Taylor-DeJongh

Moderator: Daniel Gaines, U.S. Commercial Service




Keynote Address: TBC


Conclusion of Program


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