October 2009
Volume 6 | Issue 5

World Trader

From the President

by Sandy Taylor, Hyundai Merchant Marine, MGTA President

Kudos to all of you who came to the MGTA golf outing. I just can't believe we all walked out the door into rain and tee-off. It was beyond Caddyshack out there. When my foursome was told the sirens were for funnel clouds not thunderstorms, we looked at each other and played on.

A huge thank-you goes to all companies who signed up, were sponsors and brought door prizes. Without you it is difficult to have these type of events. Colleen Erickson and Whitney Docken did a great job of running the golf event this year. They found a new location to reduce the cost, plus they had fun new added attractions at holes and prior to tee-off.

My apologies go out to those who we could not reach to advise that dinner was pushed up. Thank you to all for staying until dinner and prizes as well; I know it did take a bit to get the meal moved up and made earlier. As the event was rain and shine, I'm proud of our members for hanging in there.

Coming soon, you will see options for advertising on our website. Resumés will be allowed for posting on our job board as another option to posting job openings. In a tough economy, there are a lot of great people out there who many may not know are displaced and that could be a great fit.

Communication and membership have truly moved forward and I'm very greatful. If you have not updated your profile on the website, please do so. In the member directory we have options to sort by specific areas. Thus if a member wishes to touch base with someone in a similar field on a new regulation or such, said member can find a more detailed list. The MGTA needs updated profiles for this to work, so please take a moment and buzz through it.

Education has a great calendar set up this year, as does forums. New speakers and topics are coming. Sign up and hear what's going on.

I greatly appreciate all our members' support of the MGTA during a tough year.


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MGTA Golf Tournament Makes a Splash

The MGTA Golf Tournament at Crystal Lake Golf Club on August 19 was awash in networking opportunities and camaraderie. The event drew participation from 97 trade professionals. Inclement weather kept golfers from completing all 18 holes, but it didn’t dampen spirits in the club house afterward where there was time to connect with colleagues and meet new faces in the trade community.

Special thanks to members of the planning committee:

Colleen Erickson, Target Corporation
Whitney Docken, Target Corporation
Amanda Oates, C.H. Robinson International, Inc.

Thanks to our Golf Hole Sponsors

BarOle Trucking, Inc.
Bremer Bank N.A.
C.H. Robinson International, Inc.
Freightmasters, Inc.
Hamburg Sud North America
Hyundai Merchant Marine
Logistics Planning Services
MTU Onsite Energy Corporation

Neville Peterson LLP
Norman G. Jensen, Inc.
Roanoke Trade Services, Inc.
Target Corporation
Trade Acceptance Group, Ltd
US Bank
Williams Mullen
Zepol Corporation

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October Executive Forum

MGTA was proud to host it’s most recent in a series of Executive Forums on October 7 at the Sofitel Hotel in Bloomington. This month’s Forum focused on strategies for optimization of supply chain costs and service. Directors and C-level executives had the opportunity to discuss this issue withKPMG professionalsThomas Herr,Principal, Economic and Valuation Services; Betty Bowen, Managing Director, International Corporate Tax; Doug Zuvich,Partner, Trade and Customs; Luis Abad,Senior Manager, Trade and Customs; Jim Bonfig, International SCM, Koch Logistics; and Andrew McDonough, Industrial and Economic Development Director, Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

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Upcoming Events: Announcing Networking Events

by Kevin Palmstein, Membership Committee Chairperson

Over my three years of membership in MGTA, one of the things that I have heard members mention over and over again is the need to have more opportunities to network with other members. Based on this feedback, MGTA will host several networking gatherings so that all members can be more connected to each other. We are pleased to bring these events as a complimentary benefit of your MGTA membership.

Mark your calendar for first event of the year on Thursday, October 29 at the MGTA Headquarters. Come and meet your fellow members and enjoy the theme, "Tales from the MGTA Crypt,” as we invite everyone to share their horror stories from their international trade careers.

Click the event banner below to get more information and register for the event.

On November 2, we will host a continental breakfast and social hour in Mankato as we look to expand our membership reach beyond the Twin Cities metro area. MTU Onsite Energy will host this event and we hope any members in the Mankato region are able to attend. Please let your colleagues in the region know about this opportunity to meet MGTA members, as guests are welcome to attend and learn more about MGTA.

Click here for more information about our event in Mankato and register to attend.

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Call for Board Nominations

The MGTA Board of Directors invites your nominations for two (2) Director positions. Those elected will serve a term from January 1, 2010 until December 31, 2012. Please click here to submit your nomination to the board of directors. Note that all nominations are due no later than Friday, October 30, 2009.Download the nomination form.

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Country of the Month: Austria

From the Federation of International Trade Associations

Austria is a small European Country with 8.3 million inhabitants. The country is sometimes seen as an old and non-dynamic economy. That could not be further from the truth!

Austria has been a pioneer in Europe by developing bio products and using green energies; its industries are competitive and well diversified; its banking sector is performing well in spite of the worldwide financial crisis; and the government invests in and sustains innovations in high and new technologies. Visit the website Invest in Austria to find key facts, industry sector descriptions and details on innovative clusters.

Situated in the center of Europe, Austria represents an advantageous location. The country can be a good entry point to access the east European markets. Vienna, the capital city, situated in the far east of the country, is very close to Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The Web portal AdvantageAustria.org from the Austrian Trade Promotion Organisation offers all the information you need to do business with Austria.

And don't forget the website of the U.S. Commercial Service in Austria. The site gives extensive information about the markets and business culture there.

If that's not enough, you'll also find plenty of good research at the Austria Mini Portal, a feature of the FITA Web site. The Austria Mini Portal has an overview of Austria, with facts about the language, currency, climate, etc., plus more specific information about the economy, markets, taxes, labor market indicators, and tips on doing business in Austria.

Have you traveled overseas recently? We want to hear about it! If you've traveled abroad in recent months, please consider sharing your experience with your fellow MGTA members. Contact Mark Toth at mark.toth@mgta.org to learn more.

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MGTA Featured Volunteer: Amanda Oates

Q: How long have you been involved in global trade and what brought you to this industry?
A: Global trade has always fascinated me. I have always loved to travel and experience different cultures but during my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to attend university in China. This experience was quite eye-opening for me and I knew that I needed to be in this field. I completed my Master's in International Business and started working at a translations company. A year later, I started working at CH Robinson, where I currently work as an Import Account Manager.

Q: How long have you been a volunteer with the MGTA?
At a MGTA seminar, I expressed interest in volunteering. I was on the committee for planning the golf tournament and the MGTA golf tournament was my first "real" event as a volunteer. I look forward to help planning the year-end event and attending more seminars!

Q: What have been some of the highlights of your volunteer experience?
For me, the highlight of volunteering with the MGTA has been meeting all of the great people involved. I enjoy hearing about other people's experiences and knowledge to further my understanding of international trade. But of course, nothing can compete with manning the margarita hole with Paul at the MGTA golf tournament in the pouring rain! We had a great time despite the nasty weather!

Q: How has volunteering with the MGTA helped you in your professional development?
The network that I have developed through the MGTA has helped a great deal with my professional development. I have made contacts with people who can help me with questions about global trade that I come across during my day to day work and I am able to share these answers with my customers to better educate them on this ever changing field.

Q: What is one of your most interesting trade experiences?
One of my most interesting trade experiences happened last October when a steamship caught on fire in voyage to the US. It was quite a learning experience about General Average considering many of my customers were affected.

Q: What unique qualities about you make you a wonderful volunteer?
I think the quality that makes me a wonderful volunteer is my ability to talk to anybody. I love people and am not shy to start a conversation!

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Featured Member Benefit

The MGTA Job Board helps you quickly and affordably target job postings to highly-qualified international trade professionals. Your import/export trade related jobs are available to professionals in the Midwest area and the international trade community. If your company has a job opening that you would like to post on the MGTA Job Board, please complete the posting form.

If you are a job seeker looking for employment, you can upload your resumé and share it with employers.

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MGTA Member Information Policy Reminder

The online MGTA member directory is one of several benefits to which you have access as an MGTA member. This directory is intended for the private use of members of MGTA. It is intended to be used for the purposes of networking among members. The use or harvesting of e-mail addresses from the member directory with the purpose of sending bulk e-mail is forbidden. Other uses of this directory, such as marketing products or services, are forbidden.

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Welcome New MGTA Members!

The MGTA gains its strength as the leading organization to enhance the international business opportunities as we expand the reach of our membership. Now with well over 500 members, we proudly welcome the following individuals who have become a part of the MGTA:

Sandra Wallace, Independent Packing Services
Andrea Burns, Independent Packing Services
John Markeson, Shock Doctor
Brett Braaten, Legacy Consultants
Christine Nelson, Ingersoll Rand
Frédérique Toft
Tara Blinn
Cheng Qin

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Thank you Newsletter Sponsor:

Neville Peterson LLP

2009 Annual Sponsors:


BremerCH RobinsonHMMLogistics Planning ServicesTrade Acceptance GroupUS BankZepol

© 2009 Midwest Global Trade Association. All Rights Reserved.
World Trader is distributed bi-monthly to MGTA members.
Articles submitted by our membership do not express the views of MGTA or the Board of Directors. If you would like to submit an article for publication in the World Trader, please contact the MGTA office at office@mgta.org.

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