gateways podcast

Welcome to Gateways, the official podcast of the World Trade Center Arkansas.

Episode 10 – Opportunity 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 9 – “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 8 – 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 7 – 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 6 – 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 5 – 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 4 – Lessons of Leadership from an Unsung Hero (Stu Todd, Part 2). “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 3 – How to Do Business with Canada. 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 2 – Stories of Leadership with Stu Todd (Part 1). 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.

Episode 1 – 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.