gateways podcast

Welcome to Gateways

the official podcast of the World Trade Center Arkansas

Episode 16 – Overcoming Customs Issues with Exec. Asst. Commissioner Brenda Smith

Executive Assistant Commissioner Brenda Smith of the Office of Trade for U.S. Customs and Border Protection comes to the World Trade Center Arkansas to host a round table with Arkansas companies. We sit down with Commissioner Smith as she discusses customs issues, the Organization of Women in International Trade and how the Office of Trade ensures that American companies remain competitive in the global market.

Episode 15 – Learning from Arkansas with the Ambassador of Kenya, Robinson Njeru Githae

We had the opportunity to sit down with His Excellency, Robinson Njeru Githae, Ambassador of Kenya to the United States to discuss rice farming, Kenya’s economy, Regional Integration, Kenya’s Vision 2030, and growing the relationship between Arkansas and Kenya. Ambassador Githae came to the World Trade Center Arkansas during the week of our 10 Year Anniversary to meet with Arkansas companies and agriculture leaders to utilize their expertise in improving the lives of Kenyan farmers.

Episode 14 – Opportunities for U.S. businesses in Africa with Toyin Umesiri

We sit down with Toyin Umesiri, CEO of Nazaru and the convener of the Trade With Africa Business Summit 2018 and Denise Thomas, director of Africa and Middle East Trade for the World Trade Center Arkansas to discuss commercial and trade opportunities in Africa. Toyin believes that Africa is the next frontier for economic growth and has dedicated her career to connecting U.S. and African businesses to meet the growing needs of the African market. Listen to her discuss what opportunities exist for Arkansas businesses on the continent and how she hopes to bring Africa’s challenges and opportunities to light at the Trade With Africa Business Summit 2018 in Bentonville, Ark. from May 10-11.

Episode 13 – New Horizons for Arkansas & Belarus with Hon. Consul Geert C. Visser

We sit down with Geert C. Visser, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Belarus in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma to discuss his role as honorary consul. We also discuss issues of doing business with Belarus, the high quality of Belarus products and the future of the Arkansas-Belarus relationship.

Episode 12 – Interning at the World Trade Center Arkansas with Jamie Allen

A key part of the World Trade Center Arkansas’s mission is to provide students an enhanced educational experience in global commerce. Jamie Allen of Little Rock has served as the World Trade Center Arkansas’s intern since 2016. Having graduated this month, she sits down with us on her last day as an intern to share her experiences interning at the World Trade Center before serving in the Peace Corps later this year.

Episode 11 – The State of Africa with Salim Amin

Many of the today’s fastest growing economies are in Africa. Salim Amin, one the of continent’s foremost journalists, joins us to discuss Africa’s groundbreaking technologies and the economic shifts taking place across the continent that are elevating the standard of living. We discuss what countries are doing to create a positive business climate, the way this positive climate manifests itself and places of opportunity for companies with the right mindset. We end our conversation by discussing the work and legacy of his father, Mohamed Amin, whose coverage of critical events in Africa made him one the most renowned photojournalists in the 20th Century.

Episode 10 – On a (Trade) Mission with Shire Post Mint

We sit down with Helen Maringer, CEO of Shire Post Mint, a family-operated small business in Springdale, Ark that crafts officially licensed coins from fantasy titles like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Helen tells us the story of Shire Post Mint’s beginnings and then shares her experience travelling to Germany and Spain on a trade mission with the World Trade Center Arkansas at 17-minutes into the podcast.

  • Shire Post Mint Beginnings and Connecting with George R.R. Martin
  • Evolution of the Company and Coin Crafting (07:07)
  • Exporting and Trade Mission to Europe (17:13)
  • Helpful Resources, Helen’s Vision and Advice to other SMEs (23:20)

Episode 9 – Three EXIM Bank Tools to Grow Global Sales & Boost Your Bottom Line with Kelly Kemp

The Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of the United States carries the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. This executive branch agency specializes in helping all kinds of businesses finance and guarantee their exports, putting money back into the economy through the variety of financial tools they have to offer.

In this episode of the Gateways Podcast, we sit down with Kelly Kemp, Regional Director of the North Texas Branch of the EXIM Bank (which includes Arkansas) to talk in detail how businesses can benefit from three key EXIM services:

  • Pre-export capital
  • Short-term insurance, and
  • Term financing for foreign buyers

You can learn more about EXIM Bank at and its services and partnership with the World Trade Center Arkansas at

Episode 8 – 8 Ways the SBA Can Help Your Small Business with Edward Haddock

For National Small Business Week 2019 we sit down with Edward Haddock, District Director of the Arkansas District Office for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to discuss the multitude of SBA programs that help small businesses.

In this episode, we highlight the stories of two Arkansas small business owners that benefited from these programs and received the 2019 Small Business Exporter of the Year Award and the Small Business Person of the Year Award.

In particular we focus on these eight SBA initiatives designed to grow small businesses:

1. Emerging Leaders Program
2. State Trade & Expansion Program
3. 504 Loans, Credit & Financing
4. Export Financing & International Trade Loans
5. Government Contracting
6. 8(a) Certification for Disadvantaged People
7. Small Business Development & Innovation Centers
8. Training & Consultation

Episode 7 – Creating a Climate of Success & Other Sources of Leadership with Stu Todd

Stu Todd joins us to conclude his series on principals of leadership and shared values by giving us his story of serving under General Norman Schwarzkopf. He also provides unorthodox sources of learning and leadership apart from books and biographies from which business leaders can learn principals of success.

Episode 6 – The 9 Legal Secrets Every Entrepreneur Should Know For A More Bodacious Business

In Episode 11 of the Gateways Podcast, Angela Grayson of Precipice IP shares her expertise in Intellectual Property for business owners. In this session, Angela gives a special rendition of her original presentation The 9 Legal Secrets Every Entrepreneur Should Know For a More Bodacious BusinessGateways listeners can learn about the legal tools needed to launch a technology-focused business and how to use Intellectual Property to get a leg-up on the competition.
Secret #1 (06:10) – Protecting Your Ideas 
Secret #2 (14:10) – Handle Your Business (Entity)
Secret #3 (18:55) – Protect Your Investors
Secret #4 (26:13) – Hire Employees, Not Friends
Secret #5 (32:10) – Own Product Designs (for Real)
Secret #6 (37:00) – Building Supplier Proof Products
Secret #7 (40:30) – Run Your Brand, Don’t Let Your Brand Run You
Secret #8 (44:30) – Sell Your Product Like You Could Be Sued
Secret #9 (47:45) – Sell Your Business And Make Money Moves

Episode 5 – “Made in NAFTA” with Fernando Marti

We sit down with Fernando Marti, the trade and investment commissioner of ProMexico and Melvin Torres, director of Western Hemisphere Trade for the World Trade Center Arkansas to discuss the bilateral trade relationship between Arkansas and Mexico and business opportunities for Arkansas companies. Commissioner Marti comes to Arkansas seeking to strengthen the relationship between the state and Mexico, working with Melvin to find business opportunities for Arkansas and Mexico companies.

Episode 4 – Lessons of Leadership from and Unsung Hero, Pt. 2 

We sit down again with Stu Todd, principal of CPM, Inc. as he continues his recollection of Captain Bo Cox, his first company commander in the 24th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. In this session, Stu explores the following ideas:

  • Moral courage
  • Dissent: not tolerated, but insisted upon
  • Show me, don’t tell me
  • Deflect credit, accept blame
  • Enduring a poor leader
  • Timing and criticism

Episode 3 – Lessons of Leadership from an Unsung Hero with Stu Todd

“Having been blessed with a veritable cascade of outstanding managers, leaders, mentors, in my career, one standout was Captain Bo Cox,” says Stu Todd. Stu shares his story of serving in the Army as a young officer under Captain Carlisle B. Cox III, his first company commander in the 24th Infantry Division. Bo was a third generation armor officer who left a profound impact on Stu’s life.

Episode 2 – How to Do Business with Canada with Delon Chan

Delon Chan, the consul and trade commissioner for the Consulate General of Canada in Dallas offers insight and helpful resources on how to do business with Canada. Delon discusses opportunities in Canada as well as its economy and the sectors in which the country excels as a global leader. Click here to view the accompanying presentation deck with in-depth information and details.

Episode 1 – Lessons of Leadership with Stu Todd

Stu Todd shares the stories of individuals throughout his life that have demonstrated an impactful model of leadership. Stu is the principal of CPM, Inc. and has 30 years of experience in retail marketing, licensing, and CPG sales. He has more than 15 years of experience leading cross-functional teams at Sam’s Club and Walmart and served as an officer under General Norman Schwarzkopf in the 24th Infantry Division in the U.S. Army.