Strategic Changes Made to Business Outreach Efforts

Pete CodellaNews

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) has realigned a number of business outreach services to better meet the needs of the private sector and to continue to be one of the nation’s best performing economies.

Utah is becoming a bigger player on the international stage, so it is important to have a team in place that can help facilitate that growth. To this end, Brett Heimburger, formerly the director of the Asia-Pacific region for GOED’s International Trade and Diplomacy Office (ITDO), has been promoted to director.

“The changes to GOED’s business outreach efforts are a strategic move to further integrate international activities into Utah industry needs,” said Vincent E. Mikolay, managing director of Business Outreach and International Trade. “The addition of several talented, passionate individuals to the team will enhance customer service activities, give us the capacity to expand our international trade support and better serve the needs of Utah businesses.”

Other changes to ITDO include hiring two new trade coordinators, Daniel Leifson and Nathan Lambson, and hiring five Utah trade representatives to drive foreign direct investment and export growth. The trade representatives and their countries/regions of focus are as follows:

  • Cynthia Chen, China
  • Christina Hernandez, Mexico
  • Thomas Schuck and Anna Derschang, European Union
  • Uri Attir, Israel

“The exceptional talent we’ve recruited will be key to increasing Utah’s recognition as a global business destination,” said Brett Heimburger, director of the International Trade and Diplomacy Office.  “The reorganization better positions GOED to strategically target foreign direct investment into Utah and allows us to better address the diverse international needs of Utah companies.”

As a part of the state’s economic development plan, Utah is focused on six strategic industry clusters that have the ability to drive significant economic growth and job development. To enhance two of these clusters, the business creation team has also made a few changes. Vatsala Kaul has been promoted to information technology cluster director at GOED. Utah’s bustling software /IT cluster accounts for approximately 31 percent of jobs in the state and includes companies like Domo, Qualtrics and eBay.

As the final part of the reorganization, Kevin Jessing, life sciences cluster director, has been given responsibility for the Business Resource Centers and Technology Commercialization and Innovation Program. Collectively, these changes will enhance service delivery and lead to greater collaboration between GOED and the private sector.