UNIBusiness Global Trade Issues Conference

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
UNI Commons
8:30 am - 1:00 pm

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UNIBusiness will host the 2018 Global Trade Issues Conference on October 25th. The free of charge one-day conference sponsored by John Deere addresses issues of concern in the current global environment and features speakers from businesses involved in international trade. The conference is intended to offer information for Iowans doing business internationally, provide an opportunity for networking with others engaged in international business operations, and offer a chance for UNI students and faculty to gain cutting edge insights into global trade practices and issues.

Conference check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. and the conference agenda will include approximately four main speakers, and networking time.


The Speakers

Headshot of Devorah Kaufman“Beyond Demographics: Understanding Global Consumer Types”
Devorah Kaufman, MBA, MA, CGBP, Regional Account Manager

Devorah Kaufman has been engaged in international trade for over 20 years, in import, export, and manufacturing roles. She holds an MBA in Marketing as well as an MA in East Asian Studies (Devorah speaks, reads, and writes Mandarin Chinese.) Devorah has served on the Governance Council for NASBITE (North American Small Business International Trade Educators) since 2013. She is currently leads the International Trade and Small Business Development group at Euromonitor International.

Euromonitor International is a strategic market research firm dedicated to helping the world's top companies and governmental organizations understand the global business environment. Providing in-depth understanding of industries and markets around the world, Euromonitor’s research enables clients to evaluate new markets, understand the operating environment across different countries,  and uncover opportunities by anticipating the success of hundreds of B2B industries and consumer product categories.


Headshot of Ralph InforzatoCurrent Trade Relations between Japan and the United States
Ralph A. Inforzato, Chief Executive Director JETRO Chicago

In August 2017, Ralph Inforzato was appointed Chief Executive Director of JETRO Chicago. As Chief Executive Director, he will oversee JETRO Chicago's activities designed to facilitate trade and investment between Japan and 12 Midwestern states served by JETRO Chicago.

Prior to his new position, Mr. Inforzato served as Executive Director, Business Development for JETRO Chicago. In this position he worked to implement JETRO's team based projects to directly engage in assisting US business expansion to Japan. He initiated in-bound and out-bound technology collaboration for US & Japanese small and medium sized companies, which resulted in numerous business agreements. He also sustained the relationships that JETRO Chicago has with business, state government and university leaders.

For the last thirty-three years, Mr. Inforzato has been involved in significant JETRO related business development projects: Japan–US Biotechnology Initiative (2002-2010), which has sent more than 500 representatives from North American life sciences companies, universities and research institutes to Japan, enabling them to initiate research collaboration and business development in the Japanese biotechnology and pharmaceutical communities. He is directly involved in the teams that implement JETRO's Japan service robotics business development projects and JETRO's Monozukuri program, a series of seminars focused on Japanese manufacturing philosophies for engineers in North American technology companies. 


Headshot of Ryan Benbo“Global Branding Challenges”
Ryan Benbo, Senior Director of Marketing

Ryan Benbo is senior director of marketing for Vermeer Corporation, an agricultural and industrial equipment manufacturer based in Pella, Iowa. In this role, he has the opportunity to combines his passion for branding and storytelling with his love of farm and construction equipment.

He leads a global marketing and training team focused on equipping dealers with the expertise they need to support customers and helping the company share how its equipment makes a real impact on businesses, communities and families all around the world.

Ryan joined Vermeer in 2015 after serving as a senior vice president in the Minneapolis office of Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading public relations and branding firms. In his more than 12 years, he led strategic brand, marketing and communication initiatives for a variety of global clients in the defense, outdoor powersports, construction equipment and health care industries. He began his career with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture serving in a variety of communications roles. He holds a BA in Communications, as well as a Master’s in Theological studies from the University of Northwestern St. Paul.


Please register here by October 17, 2018. Pre-registered off-campus participants will receive a parking pass and map prior to the conference. This conference is offered free of charge thanks to a grant from the John Deere Foundation and the Bradford Chair in International Business. We thank our generous donors.

Inquiries should be directed to Chris Schrage, at 319-273-2126 or schragec@uni.edu.

Hosted by:

Global Business Club Logo

Partnered with:

John Deere logo


UNIBusiness logo


This event qualifies for NASBITE 4.5 Continuing Education Units. 

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