Why stumble in the dark when you can learn firsthand from the best? The second annual Utah Global Forum, held Wednesday at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, brought together more than 400 business and community leaders to exchange ideas and promote Utah’s continued international growth.

“We are all here today to sharpen our tools to be competitive in the global economy, and not just to compete, but to compete and win,” Gov. Herbert said at the event. “As you implement what you’ve learned today, your business will be more successful, and only then will Utah continue to lead.”

The event was hosted by Gov. Herbert and presented by World Trade Center Utah, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Salt Lake Chamber.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who recently joined Secretary of State John Kerry in Cuba for the historic reopening of the U.S. embassy, provided the keynote presentation and an informative Q&A session.
Two individuals and one company were recognized for international achievement awards. This year’s awards included:

• International Person of the Year – David Fiscus, Director of the Utah Export Assistance Center
• International Company of the Year – Priority Dispatch, a leading emergency dispatch protocol products, training and services company
• Lifetime Achievement Award – Lew Cramer, President and CEO of Coldwell Banker Commercial Advisors

Following the awards ceremony, four “power presenters” provided expert advice in global cyber security, supply chain, marketing and finance. Attendees were then able to visit breakout sessions covering the same topics.

Utah is one of the few states with a trade surplus and its companies export four times the national average. The Winter Olympics put Utah on the global map more than a decade ago, and the state’s business and community leaders have picked up the torch and haven’t stopped running. Support for international business growth within the state was readily apparent in the caliber of sponsorship for the event— doTERRA, Zions Bank and OOCL, just to name a few.

Utah’s global footprint offers much to celebrate, but there’s also still plenty of work to do.

“More than ever, Utah companies need the skills and knowledge to grow business beyond our borders, and this annual forum is an excellent opportunity to develop both,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah. “Whether you want to expand internationally or not, there’s something in this forum for everyone. Being aware of what’s happening in the world around you is critical to business success and ultimately the success of the state’s economy.”

The Utah Global Forum is an annual event. Visit UtahGlobalForum.com for detailed information and video recordings from this year’s event, plus updates for the 2016 Utah Global Forum.