June 2022
In this edition:
  • DEC Local events
  • U.S. Department of Commerce events
  • Executive Secretary of the Year
  • Ideas Corner
  • Get more Engaged!
Over 200 attended the Annual Conference in DC!
Jason Risner, NADEC Board Member

The event brought together a diverse group of over 200 attendees and sponsors. The sessions, speakers, and networking opportunities were excellent and included professionals from a variety of position titles, jobs, company size and industries. 

Attendees came from across the world to provide us with answers to our questions and assist with roadblocks. We were given opportunities to visit with new people and learn from their different experiences and backgrounds. It was a great chance to make new friends and expand professional networks. Many attendees met with their local Members of Congress, or their staff, on May 18th. These face-to-face meetings serve as the best strategy for communicating with them.

The conference officially opened on Thursday, May 19th, with a welcome from Shawn Levsen / NADEC Chair and International Sales Manager, UPS.

Topics covered that morning included: “Trade Policy Update,” “Export Opportunities & Challenges,” “Latin America Trade Opportunities,” and “Exporting in Travel & Tourism, Education.”
You could not be there?

More than 25 respected experts led interactive workshops, panel discussions, and individual presentations, providing in-depth analysis of an array of issues and challenges facing NADEC members today. 

NADEC highly recommends viewing the videos from the conference HERE.

NADEC would like to thank our Corporate sponsors for their support:
Platinum Sponsor
Gold Sponsor
Bronze Sponsors
Oil Center Research International
Your Local Global Digital Agency
Global Risk Mitigation Foundation
From one of our Conference Sponsors
Working for America’s Exporters Online Globally

This past May IBT Online had the opportunity to sponsor the 2022 NADEC Annual Export Conference in Washington, DC. We were delighted by the chance to support the association and export councils in their mission to further America’s exports through education, partnerships, and resources, as we know these goals closely align with our own.

It was wonderful to hear talks from Shawn Levsen, NADEC Chairman, the keynote speakers Honorable Reta Jo Lewis, Esq. and Secretary Karen Dunn Kelley and each of the impressive, expert, and knowledgeable session speakers throughout the conference. It was also great to meet with many DEC members from around the country and hear what they’re doing to grow America’s exports.

At IBT Online we recognize the synchronistic alignment between the DEC’s and our goals to further America’s export market. Our mission is to deliver Online Global Programs that measurably help American companies exponentially and sustainably grow their exports, sales, brands, and business globally while supporting their local economy and creating jobs. We accomplish these goals by creating best-practice, optimally localized business development websites, international online marketing, search engine and social media advertising, and reporting and analytics programs.

Through our programs we’ve been awarded the President’s “E” Award for Export Service, the State International Development Organization’s Champion of Trade Award and the NASBITE International Advancing International Trade Award’s respectively.

Additionally we collaborate with many DECs across the country and partner with multiple state agencies whom offer STEP and various grant programs to support your marketing and export goals. If you are interested in reaching new markets or distributers and expanding your export potential, don’t hesitate to reach out to us, we’d love to hear from you. 

Introducing the Board of the NADEC

Shawn Levsen Chair: L-R: Jonathan Szucs, Mariano Perlato, Jason Risner, Tom Dustman, Anne Burkett, Tee Persad, Oz Erdem, Urszula Wojciechowska, Brenda Stelly.

DEC of the Year
Brenda Stelly, NADEC Board Member

The Louisiana District Export Council (LDEC) was chosen the 2021 DEC of the Year in recognition of its innovation, strategic management, outstanding company outreach, and close collaboration with CS New Orleans.

Louisiana has many diverse industries that contribute to its exports including energy, marine, agriculture and seafood. LDECs membership is diverse including manufacturers, software designers, international trade experts, ship designer, financial service companies, customs broker/freight forwarder, franchiser and satellite provider. With the many industries served and the diverse membership (including women and minorities) of LDEC, the organization is able to assist exporters enter the export market or expand their existing exports. The pandemic presented many challenges for LDEC to continue to provide services to the export community, which led to an opportunity for LDEC to develop innovative programs.

The programs LDEC developed during this challenging time included Trade Talks and Export Bootcamp. Both programs helped to further goals of new client outreach, mentoring, stakeholder outreach and strategic management.
The Trade Talks is a regular series of virtual dialogues on key international trade topics, with a more policy-focused angle, was piloted in mid-2020 and fully operationalized in FY21. Over the course of FY21, LDEC and CS New Orleans convened eight Trade Talks, which drew 320 attendees from 22 states, 10 countries, and four continents. In support of the CS New Orleans-LDEC goal to highlight diverse voices within the international trade community, half of Trade Talks’ featured speakers – a variety of public, private, and nonprofit thought leaders - were women or minorities.

The Export Bootcamp series included an innovative 90-minute program, delivered virtually while leveraging LDEC members to serve as subject matter experts. The dynamic agenda covered topics including market selection and entry, export finance, logistics, compliance and legal issues. The series reached 138 Louisiana companies. Nearly half of the registrants were women.

As a result of the Trade Talks and Export Bootcamp, CS New Orleans gained new clients, LDEC gained even more prominence in the state’s business community, and helped LDEC’s management and financial position ensure a secure future for the organization’s work. With these 2 programs and many more in the future, LDEC is poised to continue its strong tradition of innovation, strategic management, and company outreach.
Ernesto Pinal, Co-Chair, Trade Policy Committee, NADEC

is a program sponsored by the National Association of District Export Councils and was launched in February 2022 to address the issue of overdependency on China.

It offers a landscape on how to leverage and fully utilize the existing Free Trade Agreements in the Americas, combined with new reshoring and nearshoring strategies to create an integrated region of common producers and common consumers within the Americas, reducing the dependency on China as the main and almost sole manufacturing hub.

This initiative takes advantage of the current Free Trade Agreements in place in the Americas: USMCA, CAFTA, Pacific Alliance, and a great number of binational FTAs among countries in the Americas, together with the new infrastructure development project in Mexico, the ISTMO train. This new train and highway are being built to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, creating an excellent industrial hub to facilitate the movement of goods and manufacturing options within North America, while creating an additional option to the already overloaded Panama Canal.

This initiative also addresses some vital and strategic considerations regarding the future of manufacturing and technology leadership in general, but with special attention in the context of China expansion of its geopolitical influence through its Belt & Road Initiative. The importance of securing access, supply, and processing of strategic minerals in the Americas is essential for the economies of the future, looking into transforming the current model from mainly just selling to China raw materials by the South American countries into developing their infrastructures to be able to transform those materials locally into items of more value added.

Expanding the reach of the USMCA and a look
at Economic Patriotism

David F. Day, Co-Chair, Trade Policy Committee, NADEC

 This month, we want to highlight for you two very important developments in the field of trade—both emanating from members of the NADEC Trade Policy Committee.

The first is an article on the Southbound Trade Initiative which has been written by Ernesto Pinal, a member of the Idaho DEC, referenced above. This piece is important in that it lays out the big picture of an expanded USMCA that is essentially designed to incorporate the entire Western Hemisphere.

This new trade initiative is entitled, “The Southbound Trade Initiative,” and you can access it here and in the above article. This article was a handout to the program participants at the recent NADEC Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. You should know that Ernesto Pinal is the architect of this initiative and that it was included in some initial discussions with Members up on the Hill last month.

The SBTI is the first trade initiative developed by the NADEC as an organization. We plan to roll out the SBTI to selected Federal officials later this Fall. In the future, we will be discussing with you how this new trade initiative is likely to be implemented, including some of the critical details as to how existing FTAs in the Americas can be utilized/interpreted to reach the hemispheric coverage goals of the SBTI.

Read more here
Local DEC Events
Please share your local DEC events with the NADEC Network!

Send event details to Heidi Whitman, NADEC Admin Coordinator
& Urszula Wojciechowska, Co-Chair, Communications Committee, Newsletter Editor

Recordings of previous webinars can be found here
Benefit from the Future of Online B2B Sales 
June 30, 10:00 a.m. (EST), webinar

Learn how to grow your exports, sales, brand and business globally!

Speakers include Jonathan Szucs, Vice Chair of the North Carolina District Export Council.
IBT Online, will share their experience and expertise on how online business development tools - localized websites, e-commerce, and online marketing - can:
  • help you be found,
  • be understood, and
  • make it easier to do business with in your target markets.

Can't make it? Don't worry! Register and we'll send you a recording.
From the U.S. Department of Commerce
Discover Global Markets: A New Age
in Ocean Technology, Sustainability and Logistics

September 20 - 22, 2022
Providence, RI

Discover Global Markets business development forum is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s flagship event series for U.S. exporters. The forum features a dynamic mix of plenary sessions, topical round-tables, prescheduled one-on-one meetings with U.S. commercial diplomats, buyers and ministry officials from key markets around the globe, and plenty of networking!

Heather Ranck
Congratulations Heather!

At the 2022 National Association of District Export Councils (NADEC) Annual Export Conference in Washington, DC, Heather Ranck, Executive Secretary of the North Dakota District Export Council (ND DEC) and Director of the Commercial Service office in North Dakota, was presented with the honor of National DEC Executive Secretary of the Year! 
Since 2005, Heather has worked collaboratively with the ND DEC – with a board of 23 exporters – to provide the tools its members need to be effective, including trade expertise and programming as well as support at the DEC’s quarterly meetings. 

Over a 10-year period, Heather worked closely with the ND DEC officers and members to create a powerful new program – the Rural Export Program - that ramped up to national stature in May 2020 to help expand exports from rural America, a geographic sector historically underserved. This national program began with the support of the ND DEC along with Congressional stakeholders Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

As Heather was doing regular export outreach and working with the ExporTech Program (sponsored by the national MEP program, ND Trade Office, and ND DEC), she identified key factors most companies were missing to become more pro-active exporters.

Heather and the ND DEC also spearheaded the development of a step-by-step program called RAISE (Rural America’s Intelligence Service for Exporters), where customized in-depth market research filled the knowledge and strategy gaps to help potential exporters identify and focus on their best potential export markets based on data-driven analysis.

Heather's leadership in working collaboratively with the ND DEC, rural exporters and congressional stakeholders, has brought together a very valuable export development program for rural America. Congratulations Heather!

NADEC Ideas Corner
Appreciate, Engage & Lead Your People
Tee Persad, Esq. Heidi - his NADEC title? Committee?

We normally think of an organization as a machine, so we tend to focus on what is broken and try to fix it. While this is a great approach for mechanical tasks within an organization, I can think of no one who wants to be fixed.

While for-profit and publicly funded organizations can function at a high level as a machine for the benefit of their stakeholders, optimization requires appreciation, engagement and leadership. Volunteer organizations, like our DECs, however, rely solely upon the good will and efforts of its members so different metaphors and paradigms are required if we are to succeed in achieving our mission, and perform so on a consistent basis.

The DECs must function as a brain, cultural system and political system. This change in thinking shifts the focus from the tasks, committees, and projects to the members and other stakeholders, with a focus on appreciating them, actively engaging them and seeking their input, and creating a leadership strategy which aligns their needs with the DEC’s needs, so that their success helps their DEC succeed.

An effective strategy is Appreciative Inquiry (“AI”), which focuses on “What is working around here?” as opposed to “What’s wrong around here?” AI helps us think of our DECs as brains, cultural systems and political systems, while focusing on our strengths, opportunities, resources and relationships. This helps increase engagement, and our ability to optimize our organizations.

AI has five building blocks: 
  • Deciding (on the topic to be addressed); 
  • Discovering (the things that work well for each member of your DEC);
  • Dreaming (of what is possible for your DEC);
  • Designing (the future you dream of for your DEC); and
  • Destiny/Deliver (execute on the design).

In the next five newsletters, we will explore each of these building blocks, with a focus on how your DEC can use this strategy to optimize its performance and deliver on its missions. AI can be used for many DEC related duties (it can be used as a part of your DEC’s strategic planning process, to improve the effectiveness of committees, and to design new programs). It is my hope that you will consider implementing it in your local DEC.

If you would like to share some thoughts with Tee, he can be reached on:
Get more engaged!
Let's Increase DEC Member Engagement!

The NADEC National Committee has prepared a:

All Board Members have special expertise in international trade and are dedicated to helping businesses across the nation develop global sales. Contact them if you have any questions or if they can be of any help.