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Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Giovanni's Restaurant & Convention Center
610 N. Bell School Rd., Rockford IL 61107

Finding Global Partners
Linnea Bengtsson
International Business Developer, City of Lidköping and Skaraborg County, Sweden

Pierric Bonnard
Managing Director, Ubifrance North America

Gaétan de la Vauvre
Trade Advisor, Ubifrance North America

Jin Kwon
Manager - Foreign Investment Affairs, Kotra Trade-Investment Promotion Agency


Leaders from three targeted countries, France, the Republic of Korea, and Sweden, will present opportunities for partnership with manufacturers in their countries.

With growing industries in aerospace, alternative energy, automotive, and machine tools, these countries present growing trade opportunities for companies in the Rockford Region. Representatives of trade organizations will give an overview of their respective countries, its growing industries, and specific opportunities for Rockford Region manufacturers to engage with their markets.

Perspectives on Foreign and Domestic Investment in the USA: Three Trends Changing Our World
Laurel Bergren
Vice President, ARC Perspectives, Inc.

Ernst Nemeth
President & Founder, ARC Perspectives, Inc.

For decades, U.S. federal and state governments have almost exclusively concentrated on assisting U.S. companies in the establishment of export markets and manufacturing facilities in targeted foreign countries.  Today, the U.S. has become a target for “offshoring” foreign manufacturers as well as “reshoring” U.S. manufacturers.  Understanding the challenges, the competition, and the opportunities will prepare a community for investment.  ARC Perspectives, Inc. will share its experiences from the client’s point of view.

ARC Perspectives, Inc. advises domestic and foreign companies which are considering developing projects in the U.S.  ARC Perspectives, Inc. has advised companies from the U.S., Spain, South Korea, Germany, India, and China on facility investment projects.  This session will include a discussion on the role of professional service providers including best practices and lessons learned.

Enhanced Supply Chain: Foreign Trade Zones
Tommy Berry
President & CEO, Point Trade Services, Inc.

The global supply chain normally does not consider the minutia detail of how the import process extends to the ultimate consumer. The continued inland movement from one receiving DC or supplier to another and finally to the ultimate distribution to the end use consumer is normally not considered. In the model we will discuss and identify unrecognized savings opportunities and demonstrate how to minimize your costs using an FTZ.

Success Story: Effective Global Partnerships
Russell L. Dennis Jr.
President & Chief Technology Officer, Leading Edge Hydraulics


Leading Edge Hydraulics is the premier manufacturer of hydraulic fluid conveyance systems to the off-highway & mobile hydraulics industry.  With its global headquarters located in Rockford, IL since 1965, the company has experienced consistent growth for almost half a century through technology, vision and innovation.

Learn how Leading Edge Hydraulics, a small business of 175 employees, has grown its global footprint through strategic partnerships with Swedish and Italian manufacturers, while leveraging all the resources the Rockford Region has to offer.

Learn from Leading Edge Hydraulics as a case study of:
•    Strategies employed to access new markets
•    Obstacles faced and how they overcame them
•    International growth goals, regarding both export and import
•    Important issues companies must consider
•    Expectations companies should set when considering global expansion

Export Business Planning: The Building Blocks for Global Success
Jim Foley
Director, Turner Center for Entrepreneurship - International Programs


This session discusses the initial planning companies must conduct to be successful as they grow globally.  We will discuss the internal and external analysis that is so important to developing a successful global strategy.  This includes assessing the company's readiness to export, product or service offerings, company capacity to grow internationally, and external forces that will support or hinder a company's growth.  We will also discuss the framework for a global business plan and the importance of ongoing revisions to the plan as a company grows.  This session will be helpful to new-to-exporting companies, as well as companies already exporting, but seeking to develop a more proactive export strategy.

Six Smart Strategies: Overcome lack of resources leveraging Free Trade Agreements, state assistance, transfer pricing & more!
Koh Fujimoto
Principal-in-Charge of International Practice, Corbett, Duncan & Hubly, P.C.


Before becoming Principal-In-Charge of International Practice for Corbett, Duncan & Hubly, P.C., Koh started his career conducting audits of financial statements and reviews of small- to medium-sized international companies. This presentation is filled with concrete success stories of small businesses going global. In this highly interactive session, you will gain tremendous knowledge and wisdom when going global as a small business. At the end of the session, you will be ready to take actions for your success.The session will cover a variety of topics, including:
1.    Free Trade Agreements
2.    State Assistance
3.    Foreign Bank Reporting
4.    Small Business Global Strategy: Gross Profit
5.    Small Business Global Strategy: Segmentation
6.    Transfer Pricing Rule

Site Readiness for Foreign Direct Investment
Keith W. Groebe
Principal, Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd.

Gabriel W. Sanders
Senior Manager, Credits & Incentives, Ernst & Young, LLP

Brian Tader

Managing Director, Lee & Associates


As an increasing number of foreign companies are establishing manufacturing, warehouse and distribution operations in the United States to leverage its advanced manufacturing capabilities and market opportunities, and as regions become increasingly competitive to attract foreign direct investment, the importance of site readiness is paramount.

Panelists in this session will address topics such as:

  • How is FDI different from domestic investment projects
  • What are key strategies to positioning & promoting a site to attract projects
  • What are some tools sites employ to market their properties for FDI
  • How does site location impact the efficiency of manufacturing operations
  • What trends are impacting FDI site location decisions?

Supply Chain Strategy for Evolving Manufacturers
Terry Houghton
PLC Sourcing Supervisor - Global Sourcing, Woodward, Inc.

Tom Rohlfs
Supply Chain Director - Fuel Systems CoE, Woodward, Inc.

With 50+ years of Aerospace sourcing and operations experience, Woodward sourcing leaders Terry Houghton and Tom Rohlfs will provide training on two key strategies to streamline supply chain & reduce cost:
•    Sourcing Engagement in Value Stream Development
•    Partnering with Suppliers through Early Supplier Involvement (ESI)
Learn how to control your cost through material and information flow mapping, a strategy pioneered by Henry Ford in the 1920’s, and perfected by Toyota. An effective tool for evaluating costs in every value chain, value stream development can identify specific opportunities for optimization.
The greatest success and ROI occurs with early supplier involvement (ESI)—early partnership with suppliers in engineering and development processes, starting with the concept and design phase.  Learn how to use ESI to build quality and low cost into every product.

Market Selection
Luanne Mayorga
Coordinator, Business and Workforce Development, Northern Illinois University

Identifying new markets can be daunting for businesses. Do you wait until you receive interest from a country or should you figure out which countries look most promising for your products? This session discusses how to identify a new market and tools that can help determine if the identified market is right for your business.

The Outreach Division at Northern Illinois University recently launched a contractual service to businesses helping them in a multitude of areas, including market segmentation. NIU’s Springboard employs student interns who are able to apply knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world scenarios under the guidance of a seasoned business professional. In conjunction with the Illinois International Trade Center in Rockford, a pilot program was developed and offered to a few businesses in the Rockford area. Case studies from the successful pilot launch will be briefly discussed.

The State of the Global Economy
Pete Mento
Director of Global Customs and Trade Policy, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.

The world’s economy is in a rather deceptive era of massive change.  Global shifts in demographics, energy consumption, and the rise of the “Mega Cities” are forcing us to look differently at how we measure the opportunity and failure in this, the fifth epoch of international trade.
Join us for a lively discussion on how the global economy became so interdependent and what we can expect in the coming 100 years. Pete Mento, Director of Global Customs and Trade Policy at C.H. Robinson Worldwide, will provide important economic insights to help your company navigate the global economy.

With over 70 percent of global demand outside the U.S. boarders, the need to seriously explore selling overseas is obvious for the future of any company.  Opportunity and risk often share the same stage.  We hope to provide attendees with information that will make their search for the best markets more successful.