OWIT International just held its second Blue Table Talk in June. Hosted by VP Chapter Support Karen Bland, these informal monthly talks with past and present OWIT leaders are informal opportunities designed to give OWIT members the opportunity to relax while chatting and sharing information, tips and strategies to strengthen OWIT chapters.
The topic for the first session in May was “Leadership Matters” where OWIT chapter leaders and members discussed what qualities make a good leader, how to effectively recruit board members and how to handle tough conversations related to underperformance. The topic for June focused on ‘How to leverage OWIT partners” which was an opportunity to learn about how to benefit as a member from OWIT’s various partners and how chapters can help market and promote partnership benefits. Special guests included Angela Hoffman, Co-VP Partnerships, and Cortney Morgan, Co-VP Partnerships.
Summary of OWIT Partnerships:
- US Department of Commerce: This is the second year of a strategic partnership with the International Trade Administration of DOC. The collaboration is focused on three elements: empowering and engagement in international trade, expanding networks and offering opportunities to drive new members to OWI. As part of the agreement, they help OWIT on the education front. They have conducted quarterly webinars on timely topics (eg on USMCA) and provide subject matter expertise as speakers for OWIT events. DOC has desk officers around the world. They have started a series to help women in other countries, such as a Coffee Series in Africa, and are helping OWIT expand our footprint in Asia. Their website is a sea of great info.
- NASBITE: National Association of Small Business and International Trade Educators. Offering a professional certification called the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) for international trade professionals, NASBITE concurs with OWIT’s mission in terms of empowerment and education. They offer a discount to OWIT members.
There is a great opportunity to tap into NASBITE and DOC as a speaker bank for chapter programs.
- FIIT: The Forum for International Trade Training. They are a certification and training organization based in Canada dedicated to providing international business training, resources and professional certification (CITP – Certified International Trade Professional for individuals and businesses. They have several offerings including a Trade Ready blog, Twitter chats, FITT skills training programs, all offered at a discount to OWIT members.
- TFO Canada: Trade Facilitation Office Canada is dedicated to helping SME exporters (particularly women) in developing countries to access the North American market and to connect them with buyers. They provide education, webinars and capacity building programs.
- GroYourBiz: helps small and medium sized businesses to reach their potential and success. They set up advisory boards for entrepreneurs.
- ITC in Geneva: International Trade Center (www.intracen.org) offers opportunities for entrepreneurs to plug into a global networking database and receive exporting assistance. Check out their SheTrades initiative.
How to find out about partners: There are partner spotlights from past webinars recorded on the OWIT website. Updates on these and other partners are also included in OWIT’s newsletter and in monthly board meetings.
OWIT members are encouraged to take advantage of our partners, and Angela and Cortney welcome suggestions for new partners. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Next Blue Table Talk session will be held on July 23 at 12 pm, focusing on how to use social media to promote and grow your chapter. OWIT’s VP of Social Media, Kyesubire Talitwala-Greigg, and Past President Jennifer Diaz will be the guests.