‘Embrace globalization and execute locally’ Executive panel advocates global commerce for Upstate JOE TOPPE | STAFF
firstname.lastname@example.org As the Upstate positions itself as a hub for global commerce, the International Center of the Upstate and the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) assembled a panel of noted executives to discuss the possibilities of adding to the area’s 230 international companies. Comprised of IBM’s Bill Brooks, Dell’s Tom Deegen, Michelin’s Karl Litzinger, TEKsystems’ Damon Moore and TipHive’s Joost Wentink, the executive panel discussed global commerce with the public and members of the Upstate’s business
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community at a breakfast event on the CU-ICAR campus last week. Panel members emphasized the need for Upstate companies to create dialogue with the global customer base, stay ahead of technology advancements and anticipate industry shifts. “Technology has changed everything, and because of the global economy, everyone has to evolve,” Brooks said. “Embrace globalization and execute locally.” Whitney Walters, executive director for the International Center of the Upstate, said the region is in the midst of worldwide growth. Once one international company moves into the area, the vendors, the
families, and the tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers will follow, she said. “The business associations travel together.” CU-ICAR spokesperson Amy Bulger agreed, saying world-class companies relocating to the region would attract other world-class companies. The distinguishing factor in drawing corporations with high-paying jobs to the Upstate is a progressive business community that supports the global business population, she said. “Events such as the global executive panel contribute to raising the level of the conversation and the awareness of our market.” Walters said planning open dis-
cussions to create networking opportunities is vital for a community to establish cross-cultural business interactions The International Center of the Upstate is often the first thing businesses are involved with when coming into the area, she said. Planning open-forum discussions is crucial for developing dialogue. Walters said the collaboration between CU-ICAR and the International Center of the Upstate can be attributed to a shared objective. Although CU-ICAR targets the automotive sector, the research facility’s global format coincides with the international center’s aim to foster cultural diversity, she said.
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