Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
June 2006
Annual Overseas Office Directors Visit In May

The directors and staff of Wisconsin's overseas trade offices completed another successful annual visit to the state May 8-12. During the five day visit the directors had 118 pre-arranged meetings with 57 different companies and spoke at several events about export sales opportunities in markets around the world.

L to R: Darrell Domokos, international sales manager at Safway Services, Inc. in Waukesha, giving a tour of the firm’s headquarters to Jane Zheng, Marcos Hernandez Rivas, Susan Dragotta, Kara Smith, and Stanley Pfrang
L to R: Darrell Domokos, international sales manager at Safway Services, Inc. in Waukesha, giving a tour of the firm's headquarters to Jane Zheng, Marcos Hernandez Rivas, Susan Dragotta, Kara Smith, and Stanley Pfrang

Wisconsin currently has five overseas offices. Participants in this year's visit included Magda Völker, director of the office in Brazil, Nancy Ward, director of the office in Canada, Paul Swenson and Jane Zheng, director and assistant director of the office in China, Kara Smith and Kate Clarke, co-directors of the office in Europe, and Vince Lencioni and Marcos Hernandez Rivas, director and assistant director of the office in Mexico.

The directors began their visit with planning meetings with Commerce's Wisconsin-based trade staff. On Tuesday, May 9, the directors spoke at the monthly meeting of the Wisconsin International Credit Executives group. They discussed common payment terms used in their markets and changes in the commercial and political environments that can affect how quickly a firm gets paid for its export sales. The directors also participated in the 42nd annual Wisconsin International Trade Conference, the largest gathering of international business people in the state. China, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil were all highlighted during breakout sessions.

In order to reach more parts of the state, on Wednesday and Thursday, May 10 and 11, the directors were split into smaller groups. On Wednesday, several of the directors traveled to Neenah for a panel discussion on exporting organized by Highway 41 Corridor International Development Program while others held one-on-one meetings in Milwaukee and toured exporters' facilities in Waukesha. On Thursday, a portion of the group drove to Eau Claire to conduct a briefing for exporters in the northwestern part of the state, while others met with Madison area high tech firms at an event co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Innovation Network and the Madison International Trade Association. The Madison program was recorded and can be viewed on-line.  See the recent webcasts at Wisconsin Eye.

Commerce's overseas offices work with Wisconsin firms to increase their export sales. They can help firms evaluate the market potential for their products and services; identify potential agent, distributors, or end-users; navigate foreign government regulations; and solve export emergencies. Wisconsin firms seeking to initiate or expand export sales can contact the Commerce Outreach Consultant responsible for their part of the state.

-- Stanley Pfrang

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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