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WTCAR Trade Director Counsels UA Students On Leadership

Denise Thomas, director of Africa and Middle East trade at World Trade Center Arkansas, often speaks to students, business leaders and global economic officials about how to be a successful leader in the international marketplace.

ROGERS — For Denise Thomas, being a successful leader goes beyond inspiring others through strength, compassion and integrity, it also means having a strong moral compass.

Thomas, the director of Africa and Middle East trade at World Trade Center Arkansas, spoke to more than 30 University of Arkansas students on Tuesday, Jan. 7, about her growth as a leader while working in international marketing.

The students were visiting the Center as part of an intersession course taught by Dr. Arthur Matthews at the Walton College of Business.

“All forms of communication can work if a leader knows what to do,” Thomas said, referring to the four different generations currently in the work force.

“Little details matter. And most problems in business arise because there was a breakdown in communication.”

But Thomas, who is often tapped to speak at global economic summits, said it’s vital that a leaders inspire by doing what’s right.

“Reflect in how you’re leading yourself. It’s important to have that strong moral compass.”

Matthews has taken several groups of students — all studying various disciplines — to hear Thomas speak.

“She is exceptionally motivating and humbling,” Matthews said.

For students like Lauren Jenkins, a marketing major who had attended one of Thomas’ lectures in the past, said there’s always a benefit from coming to the World Trade Center Arkansas for a conference.

“I always leave with new knowledge,” Jenkins said.

The mission of the World Trade Center Arkansas is to grow trade and increase Arkansas exports by connecting Arkansas businesses to the world through international trade services.

The center is part of the University of Arkansas and serves as the trade promotion arm for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. For more information and valuable updates, please follow the center on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to the World Trade Center Arkansas newsletter.