Orange County World Trade Week Draws Record Crowd with Senior Federal Official and Global CEO as Headlining Speakers

Monday, May 21, 2018

Main News Photo

Breaking records and new ground, the 2018 Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast & Forum exceeded expectations with 550 attendees, Consul Generals and consulate representatives from 17 countries, and professionals from Orange County’s International-American chambers and business associations, public sector and private trade organizations, and the business community.

Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Sarah Kemp, addressing the sold-out May 17 crowd, reminded and praised the trade climate in Southern California.

“Orange County and LA counties together account for 40 percent of California trade,” she said. “Orange County educational institutions are creating trade experts of tomorrow.”

Kemp oversees the daily operations of the International Trade Administration – over 2,100 trade and investment professionals in 100 U.S. cities and 70 markets around the world.

Through his keynote address,Masimo Founder and CEOJoe Kiani shared details of his journey to being one of the world’s most admired global medical technology innovation companies, which began with only $40,000 and a personal mission to improve patient safety at hospitals worldwide. Today, Masimo is an innovative powerhouse delivering key noninvasive medical breakthroughs that not only help improve patient safety but also reduce the cost of care. Kiani and Masimo have helped to solve the "unsolvable" problems plaguing patient monitoring through significant inventions with more than 600 issued and pending patents worldwide.

During a perennial favorite of the event’s program, the Exporter Success Story Panel, leading Orange County exporters shared their experiences in international trade. Moderated by Greater Irvine ChamberExecutive Vice President Linda DiMario, panelists included Dr. Taher Sheyani, managing director, TS Pharm Inc.; Soheila Mirhashemi Ph.D., president and CEO, NeoMedix Corporation; and R. Steven Tungate, president and general manager, Service Supply Chain and Innovation, Toshiba American Business Solutions.

While exporting American goods and services to countries around the globe can prove challenging, panelists shared their top tips including: Toshiba’s Tungate no-one-size-fits-all plan for distributing.

“Each region of export will need a strategic plan that observes the specific market climate in question,” he said.­

Additionally, TS Pharm’s, Sheybani recommended particular care in selecting logistics and distribution partners and NeoMedix’s Mirhasemi suggested exploring all the existing resources available to reduce potential risk.  

Recognizing Excellence in Exporting

Grandma Lucy’s, a family-owned and -operated pet food manufacturer in Orange County, was presented with the Greater Irvine Chamber 2018 Exporter of the Year Award.

This year’s other nominees, Ampronix, Home Franchise Concepts, and Nutrawise, were also recognized for excellence in exporting.

Marv Sepe of CTC Global, and Jim Mayfield of U.S. Commercial Service, were presented with the 2018 Partner of the Year Awards for championing the international initiatives of the Chamber, and lending their time and expertise. 

DiMario was presented with the inaugural Global Leadership Award for her exceptional leadership in international business development.

“Linda’s dedication and ability to steward international relationships and effective coalitions among diverse constituencies is unmatched in her profession,” said Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr, who presented the 2018 Global Leadership Award to DiMario. “She has been hard at work navigating the turbulent waters in the international trade space, building strong relationships in the U.K., China, Mexico and Canada. She has helped attract foreign direct investment to Irvine and Orange County, and is working diligently to support our technology and life sciences ecosystems, attracting talent and capitol from around the world.”

CLICK HERE for more information on the Greater Irvine Chamber’s international development work.


Category: Chamber News, Events