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Members in the News

  • 08 Sep 2015 3:37 PM | TB OWIT (Administrator)

    August 2015 Luncheon - Uruguay: More Than Just the Next Big Thing in Wine...Outsourcing, Logistics Hub, and Beyond        

    How much do you know about Uruguay?

    If you were at the August TBOWIT luncheon you know a lot more and you are impressed!

    Theresa Rice, the PR Representative in the U.S. for Uruguay XXI, the country’s investment and export promotion agency spoke about Uruguay to the delight of the TBOWIT audience.

    Did you know that Uruguay produces 13.6 million liters of wine a year? On top of that, Uruguay is the first country in South America with traceability built into their supply chain.  This means that in the case of wine, you can know down to the piece of land where the grape were grown that went into the making of the wine. In the case of beef, you can know the specific cow that gave you that piece of meat that you are eating.  Speaking of which, all cows and lambs in Uruguay are grass fed, the ultimate in organic. Uruguay is the ONLY southern hemisphere country to produce caviar. The sturgeon fish that produce the caviar are farmed in large canals with fresh water flowing naturally. Uruguay is the 7th largest producer of caviar and because of its location in the southern hemisphere, fresh caviar reaches the market at the peak of caviar season. One’s caviar can also be traced to its origin.  Uruguay holds the title to the best olive oil outside of Europe and the 8th worldwide. Uruguay is also the 6th largest rice exporter.

    As far as population, Uruguay has about 3.4 million residents and 2.8 million tourists. One challenge is to extend the tourist season and one means is to build a convention center.  Another challenge is to improve the roads and rails which they are doing by encouraging public-private investment. On that front, last year they had $2.75 billion (US) in FDI. Uruguay is the only country in South America to have a free port and airport.

    Half of Uruguay’s’ energy comes from renewable sources. They have the largest percentage of wind produced energy in the world. On the IT frontier, every child in Uruguay is given a laptop. Uruguay has more fiber optic cable laid to homes than the US and their download speed is faster. In fact, 98% of households have the internet. Plus, there is free wi-fi throughout the country..

    Uruguay is a small country with a stable social and political system.  Public education is free. Uruguay does not compete on costs. Uruguay focuses on value-added services such as financial services, IT. Uruguay is an easy entrance to the Mecrosur, the sub-regional bloc of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

    This is just a small sampling of the information offered at the luncheon. There was also a lively question and answer session after Mrs. Rice’s presentation. Everyone left with a better understanding of Uruguay and all it has to offer.

    Going back to wine, Mrs. Rice was brought a bottle of wine to be raffled off and the lucky winner was Selma Canas.



  • 16 Jun 2015 9:57 AM | TB OWIT (Administrator)

    TBOWIT Member, Laurel Evans, of XPO Logistics tells us a bit about herself.


    • How long have you been a member of TBOWIT?      
         A little more than 2 years
    • What drew you to the club and/or why do you stay?
          I was drawn by other members (friends/colleagues), networking and information
    • What does your job involve? What do you do?
           I provide logistics solutions specific for my clients' needs to move and warehouse their goods within the US and Worldwide.
    • Where did you grow up?
           Hornell, New York
    • Give us one fun fact that we might not know about you
           One of my passions is to train and ride horses to compete in dressage/eventing.
    • Who inspires you?
             Entrepreneurs and positive people
    • What’s one piece of advice for women entering international business or work in general?
             Always network, be open minded, continue to learn in order to enhance/advance yourself and enjoy life every day. Be passionate about your career!



  • 18 May 2015 11:55 AM | Selma Canas (Administrator)
    Brazil is Florida’s No. 1 trade partner when it comes to exports. But getting in the door isn’t easy. Cutting through red tape and tariffs requires a sharp tool...

    Read article: http://tbo.com/news/business/making-the-connection-20150517/

  • 11 May 2015 3:48 PM | TB OWIT (Administrator)

     One thing to love about TBOWIT is the networking!
    Even better going to an event - seeing your fellow TBOWIT members and being introduced to the person that they are talking to and repeat. Such was the case at this past 2015 International Town Hall held May 8th presented by the Tampa Bay Export Alliance. 


    TBOWIT members in attendance included

    Selma Canas, Christyna Doege, Elizabeth Krekel,
    Deborah Wilkinson, Tania Romero, Shanida DeGracia,
     Jose Salas-Vernis, Paula Strahm, Sueli Bonaparte,
    Gary Leskun, Michelle Stephenson,
    Eileen Rodriguez
    (panel participant), Lorrie Belovich (principal event planner)




  • 29 Apr 2015 4:08 PM | TB OWIT (Administrator)

    It doesn't get much better than an April evening in South Tampa on a rooftop bar with good food, concoctions, and company! The weather and the atmosphere were perfect. There was definitely a good buzz. See you at the next one!




  • 23 Feb 2015 11:12 PM | TB OWIT (Administrator)

    TBOWIT members like to stay abreast of current and international events. Here are two such members, Selma Canas and Laurel Evans, at the 2015 State of the Port address this past January 2015.

     Nearly 300 attendees heard from President and CEO of Port Tampa Bay, Paul Anderson, and Chief Commercial Officer, Raul Alfonso, regarding the strength of Port Tampa Bay's imports & exports and how Port Tampa Bay is gearing up for the future.


  • 08 Jan 2015 3:31 PM | TB OWIT (Administrator)

    Three TBOWIT members traveled in a group of about 40 business and government leaders to Chile as part of an economic mission this past December 2014. According to all accounts the trip was a success. Congratulations to our TBOWIT members, Selma Canas, Eileen Rodriguez, and Lorrie Belovich for the successful culmination of all their hard work! How lucky for us that these savvy, international women are part of our group, TBOWIT.




    "About 14 Tampa Bay companies went on the trip with economic development leaders and government officials to introduce the country to the Bay area's economic diversity. The 14 companies conducted more than 100 meetings with prospective customers, according to the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., and several of them signed deals and sold products while on the trip.

      The group came home with more than 30 solid sales leads, according to EDC CEO Rick Homans. An estimated $9 million in expected export sales were made on the trip, according to the EDC" - Chris Wilkerson - Editor Tampa Bay Business Journal quoted via the Tampa EDC website



  • 07 Nov 2014 10:59 AM | TB OWIT (Administrator)

    TBOWIT's 2013 International Person of the Year, Maria Crummett was in town this early November 2014 leading a delegation of Fulbright Scholars. TBOWIT Secretary, Christyna Doege, was able to reconnect with Maria as the group toured Port Tampa Bay.  Even though this was a quick working visit for Maria, hopefully, she can continue to come back to Tampa. TBOWIT wishes Maria all the success in her position as Deputy VP, Scholar Exchanges, and Executive Director, CIES at the Institute of International Education in DC.


  • 28 Oct 2014 9:36 AM | TB OWIT (Administrator)

    At the 2014 TBOWIT Awards Luncheon this past October 23rd, Immediate Past President, Eileen Rodriguez, was recognized for her 16 years of work on the TBOWIT Board. Eileen was presented with a certificate and a beautiful gift in a Tiffany blue bag! 

    The certificate read -

        "Certificate of Recognition presented to Eileen Rodriguez in recognition and appreciation of 16 years of service and commitment on the Board of the Tampa Bay Organization of Women in International Trade - Thank you for your invaluable contributions"


    Even though Eileen has officially retired from the TBOWIT Board, we look forward to many more years of seeing Eileen at TBOWIT functions.  Congratulations!



  • 06 Oct 2014 3:16 PM | TB OWIT (Administrator)

    TBOWIT Secretary, Christyna Doege, represented TBOWIT at the 2014 Fall OWIT International Board Meeting held in Ottawa, Canada over Friday and Saturday, October 26th and 27th. The weekend started off with an event featuring speakers: 
      Karen Bland - President OWIT International
      Astrid Pregel - Executive Director for Canada WEConnect International
      Brian Mitchell - Executive Director of TFO Canada
      Lois Brown - Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development

    It was announced by PS Brown that the government of Canada was donating $10 million (CAD) to support funding aimed at developing the ability of small and medium sized enterprises and related trade-support institutions in developing countries to pursue export opportunities. The funds will be managed by TFO Canada. What a boon for OWIT Ottawa to be linked to an announcement of this caliber!


    Saturday was witness to an all-day conference where chapter representatives heard from the OWIT International Board regarding current and future goals, listened to presentations from OWIT Peru, OWIT DC, and OWIT Charleston on best practices, and discussed opportunities in each chapter. The luncheon speaker was Johane Seguin, Senior VP of Extractive & Resources Group - Export Development Canada who gave an very informative and insightful presentation. Another noteworthy afternoon session was led by guest Lisa Fancott of EnGenue Consulting who led attendees in a discussion to identify barriers in access to market and the keys to success in overcoming such barriers. 
    Saturday was capped by an evening dinner.


    For those who had later flights, OWIT Ottawa led an expedition on Sunday morning to Gatineau Park where we were able to see the fall colors under a picture perfect blue sky.


    Congratulations to OWIT Ottawa for hosting an excellent international board meeting! 





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