Tampa Bay Export Alliance to host 2016 International Town Hall

April 21, 2016

  The Tampa Bay Export Alliance (TBEA), a cooperative effort between the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and Pinellas County Economic Development, will host its 2016 International Town Hall on May 6 at Port Tampa Bay in Tampa. The event, which will kick off World Trade Month, will offer an in-depth look at the people and programs driving international business growth in Tampa Bay.     “Our international efforts in Tampa Bay are creating a standard for regional collaboration nationwide,” said J.P. DuBuque, Interim President & CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation. “The Tampa Bay Export Alliance model is working. This effort is increasing export business for local companies and strengthening our relationships with top trading partner countries like Canada, Costa Rica, and Chile.  The International Town Hall is a must-attend for any organization interested in learning more about our region’s growing international footprint.”     City of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, City of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Hillsborough County Commissioner Chairman Lesley “Les” Miller, Jr. and Pinellas County Commission Chairman Charlie Justice will welcome attendees and discuss the importance of exports and international trade to the region’s economy.     St. Petersburg-headquartered Jabil’s Vice President of Advanced Analytics Solutions, Mundit Bajaj, and Director of Solution Innovation, Ross Valentine, will be the keynote speakers, highlighting the company’s proprietary supply chain management system.     Edelweiss’ Head of Corporate Development, Michael Trestl, will share the story of the airline’s steady growth in the Tampa Bay market since establishing direct flights from Tampa International Airport to Zurich four years ago. Trestl will also discuss Edelweiss’ future expansion plans in the market.     One of the most unique panels at International Town Hall will feature the leaders driving international business in Tampa Bay: Paul Anderson, President & CEO of Port Tampa Bay; Santiago Corrada, President & CEO of Visit Tampa Bay; David Downing, Executive Director of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater; J.P. DuBuque, Interim President & CEO of Tampa Hillsborough EDC; Joe Lopano, CEO of Tampa International Airport; and Mike Meidel, Director, Pinellas County Economic Development. “Tampa Bay on the Global Stage” will look at how tourism, export development, the arrival of two new post-Panamax gantry cranes at the port, and the expansion of Tampa International Airport are positioning the region for a more prominent role on the international stage and collectively driving Tampa Bay’s future economic growth.     Tampa International Airport is the Platinum Sponsor for the 2016 International Town Hall. Other major sponsors include Port Tampa Bay, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, Copa Airlines, TECO, USFSP College of Business, and USF World. Expo participants include Bay Area Manufacturer’s Association, Brazil-Florida Business Council, Enterprise Florida, Ex Im Bank, World Trade Center Tampa Bay, FRAMCO, America’s SBDC, Women in Trade Tampa Bay, and the U.S. Department of Commerce.     To register for the International Town Hall, please visit the TBEA web site.