Export Assistance Center

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Export Assistance Center


An advisory board was named to oversee the Mohawk Valley Export Assistance Project, headquartered at the College. The year-long project was aimed at helping businesses in a six-county region enter the exporting field. The six counties served were Oneida, Herkimer, Fulton, Montgomery, Schoharie and Hamilton. Coordinating the Project was Professor Donald Reese, head of the Business & Computer Systems Department. Chairing the advisory board was Geoffrey I. Wheatley, executive director of the Downtown Utica Development Association. Funded by a $108,000 grant from the NY State Regional Economic Development Assistant Program and $19,000 from MVCC, the project included intensive consulting for 15-20 medium-sized firms with good potential for exporting. There would also be a series of open seminars throughout the six-county region, and publication of a regional strategic planning and operations guide to international marketing. ((February 1990)
Approximately 60 representatives of manufacturing firms in a six-county upstate region attended a day-long seminar on exporting at the College’s Utica Campus, November 1st, sponsored by the Mohawk Valley Export Assistance Project. Speakers included Canadian Counsel and Trade Commissioner Carl Rockbourne and Louise Giuliano, president of USExport, Inc. Giuliano had been retained as a consultant for the program.(November 1990)
January 1991 workshop: “How to Market Your Products Overseas” featuring Louise Giuliano, President, U.S. Export, Inc., of Albany, (start-up necessities, marketing program budget, market research, locating buyers overseas, mass mail promotions, trade show, product adjustment and packaging for a foreign market) and Debra Hollander, President, Condor East Communications, Inc., Guilderland, NY (corporate identity, advertising effectively)
April - Seminars in Utica (15th) and Johnstown (19th). The main topic was “Using Foreign Agents and Distributors.” Speakers included Jorge Garcia and Gerald Shaye, international trade specialists with the New York State Department of Economic Development, and Leslie Thiele, an international attorney based in Schenectady. (April 1991)
May 28, 1991 – Held a seminar with international trade specialists from the NYS Department of Economic Development. (A second session took place on May 31 at Johnstown, NY) International attorney Fernand Keuleneer and European Economic Community specialists spoke.

October 17, 1991 – MVCC received an $80,000 grant from the NYS Export Trade Development Projects program to expand regional export activities through intensive individualized export consulting. The grant was announced by Assemblyman Ralph Eannace, R-116.

(MVCC News Release, Jan 16, 1992) – “Results of Mohawk Valley Export Assistance Program Announced: New Regional Export Assistance Center Created at MVCC – Officials of the Mohawk Valley Export Assistance Program (MVEAP) and Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) today held a news conference to announce the successful completion of the program, and to announce creation of a new Mohawk Valley Export Assistance (MVEAC) to be headquartered at the college.
Over 60 Mohawk Valley firms were assisted in some way by the MVEAP, ranging from one-person operations to firms with as many as 150 employees. The program began in September 1990 with a $108,000 grant from the NYS Urban Development Corporation and approximately $30,000 of an in-kind support from MVCC. Its purpose was to provide export assistance to small and medium-sized firms in the six-county Mohawk Valley region (Oneida, Herkimer, Fulton, Montgomery, Schoharie and Hamilton Counties).
Included in the free assistance was private consulting services by MVCC professors and by Louise Giuliano, president of USExports, Inc., of Albany, project consultant.
The MVEAP also provided 10 free seminars exploring important exporting topics such as “Doing Business in Europe,” “Legal Aspects of Exporting,” “Market Development,” “Overseas Travel,” and “Advertising for Export Success.”
The MVEAP printed and distributed the Mohawk Valley Exporter, a quarterly regional newsletter devoted to export topics.
The MVEAP also produced two publications aimed at developing export opportunities throughout the region.
The Mohawk Valley Export Resource Guide is a comprehensive booklet outlining sources for export help in the six-county region. The booklet is being distributed free of charge to companies, libraries, and government agencies throughout the region. It covers such topics as locating overseas customers and agents, marketing assistance, legal considerations, insurance and transportation, as well as up to date information on a wide variety of foreign markets.
The Strategic Plan for Export Development within the Mohawk Valley Region focuses on a regional approach to assist companies with exporting.
As a direct result of the MVEAP success, MVCC has now created the Mohawk Valley Export Assistance Center. Funded initially by a one-year $80,000 grant from the NYS Department of Economic Development and $30,175 in in-kind services from MVCC, the new center will continue to provide free one-to-one business consulting services. In addition, the center will provide free technical assistance in developing marketing brochures and export product information. The center will develop the brochures up to the point of printing, which will then be done by the individual firms.
The MVEAC will be located on MVCC’s Utica Campus, and will incorporate the expertise of MVCC professor as well as specialized business consultants.
Coordinator for both projects is Professor Donald Reese, head of the Business & Computer Systems Department at Mohawk Valley Community College. Professor Arthur Friedberg of the same department serves as a faculty consultant.
The initial project, the Mohawk Valley Export Assistance Program, had an advisory board chaired by Geoffrey Wheatley, executive director of the Downtown Utica Development Association, who worked in international marketing for over 20 years. Other members of the advisory board: Dana Jerrard, account executive, Vicks Lithograph & Printing, Utica; John F. Karl, vice president, PAK International Sales Corp., New York Mills; Robert L. Larkin, national marketing manager, Revere Copper Products, Inc., Rome; Alvin Mardon, president, Utica Area Chamber of Commerce; Roseanne Murphy, NYS Department of Economic Development; Donald K. Sheardown, president, Bus Industries of America, Inc., Oriskany; Denise Bukovan, director of planning, SUNY Cobleskill; Johann Skaly, president, Mohawk Valley World Trade Council, and Perfex Corporation, Poland, NY; and Jorge Garcia, International Trade Specialist, NYS Economic Development Department, Syracuse.


In February 1993, MVCC’s Export Assistance Center facilitated creation of a sister-city agreement between Utica, NY and Hsinchu, Taiwan. The affiliation, the first between any city in Taiwan and any New York State community, came about as part of a visit to MVCC by four business leaders from Taiwan. Nine area businesses made presentations to the Taiwanese delegation. Visitors from Taiwan include Shing-Chiang Wu, director of the Coordination Council for North American Affairs, Investments & Trade; Eugene C. Cha, attorney-at-law and a member of the National Assembly of the Republic of China; Thomas Chen, president of the China Trust Bank; and Sam S. M. Lee, director of the China External Trade Development Council. The MVCC Export Assistance Center was directed at the time by Donald Reese.

October 11-17, 1993, the Center sent a delegation to visit Taiwan, Republic of China, including several Mohawk Valley business executives, a representative of the New York State Department of Economic Development, Export Assistance Center Director Donald Reese, and College President Michael I. Schafer. In the City of Hsinchu, a sister city relationship with the City of Utica was formalized, as President Schafer represented Utica Mayor Louis LaPolla. Sister College relationships were also initiated between MVCC and two universities, the National Tsing-Hua University, and the National Chiao-Tung University. Among business people on the trip: Robert Kelly, export sales manager for the F.X. Matt Brewing Company; David Bruno, President of I.M.G., Inc., of Utica; and Mark Mojave, economic development specialist for the NYS Department of Economic Development. While in Taiwan, the local delegation met with the Hsinchu mayor, Dr. Shan-Nan Tong, and the Hsinchu City Council, and toured the Hsinchu Science-Industrial Park, the Industrial Technology Research Center and the Taipei World Trade Center. Dr. Schafer and Professor Reese also met with officials from the National Tsing-Hua University and the National Chiao-Tung University, Hsinchu City. The objective of the meetings was to establish Sister College relationships between MVCC and the Hsinchu Universities.

On October 28-29, 1993, a delegation of business and government representatives from Mexico was scheduled to visit the area under sponsorship of the MV Export Assistance Center. The debate over the North American Freed Trade Agreement was underway at the time. The visiting group was to include an attorney who practiced law in both countries, a Mexican federal government official and representatives of several Mexican businesses. Ten local companies were to make presentations to the group. (The trip was postponed due to scheduling conflicts on the part of the visitors.)

On November 18th and 19th, 1993, the Center hosted a four-member trade delegation from Japan, including meetings at the College with area business leaders. The group included representatives from the Japanese Consul General’s Office, Japan Development Bank, and two representatives of the Japanese External Trade Organization. The visitors heard presentations from several Mohawk Valley manufacturers interested in exporting products to Japan, and in turn made presentations on Japanese import procedures. Other delegations had also visited from Mexico and Canada.


Feb. 28-March 4, 1994 – Donald Reese, director of the MV Export Assistance Center, was one of 14 people worldwide invited to participate in a Leadership Program on Japan, in Tokyo.

On March 14-15, 1994, the Export Assistance Center hosted a two-day visit by two representatives of the Province of Quebec, Paul Clermont, director of economic affairs, Quebec Government House in New York, and Raoul Moulinie, president, Group of Quebec Enterprises. (March 1994)

In May 1994, the Export Assistance Center received a grant of $74,862 from the New York State Urban Development Corporation to conduct a seminar on the North American Free Trade Agreement, and a three-day Global Market Summit with business representatives from eight nations. (May 1994)

On June 15th, 1994, representatives of three Japanese Prefectures (States) visited the area as guests of the Mohawk Valley Export Assistance Center. They were from the Chiba, Gifu and Osaka Prefectural Governments. They were scheduled to tour Conmed Corporation, and F.X. Matt Brewery and to hear presentations from other companies, including I.M.G. of Utica, Lucas Aerospace, Special Metals, Genisy Research & Development, Prisma Systems, Don’s Auto Recycling Center, R&A Adventures and Fiber Instrument Sales.

On September 15th, 1994, Keith Ayano, a senior trade representative for the Japanese External Trade Organization visited several firms in the Mohawk Valley to gather information about products which may be of interest to firms in Japan. His visit was arranged by the Mohawk Valley Export Assistance Center.

In October 1994, seven Mohawk Valley firms took part in the Business World Exhibition in Quebec, under auspices of the Mohawk Valley Export Assistance Center. They include Special Metals Corp., Fiber Instrument Sales, Genisys Research & Development, PrimaSystems, Inc, Kwik Kut Manufacturing, Adirondack Hot Tubs, Inc.

On November 17-18, representatives of the German-American Chamber of Commerce came to Utica to meet with area firms, under sponsorship of the MV Export Assistance Center.


A local delegation organized by the MV Export Assistance Center visited Hsinchu City, Taiwan, Republic of China, Feb 7-15. Included in the group was a Utica-area band known as the “Clef Dwellers,” who performed at the annual folks arts festival in observance of the Chinese New Year celebration, under direction of Don Cantwell.

On March 6, 7, and 8, 1995, the Mohawk Valley Export Assistance Center hosted trade representatives from several foreign nations at the Central New York Global Conference on Trade. Included were delegations from Belgium, Japan, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Japan, The People’s Republic of China, Quebec (Canada), Republic of China (Taiwan), and the United Kingdom.

In June 1995, the Export Assistance Center hosted a presentation by Richard C. Allen, a vice president in the International Division at Key Bank of New York. The event was co-sponsored with the Mohawk Valley World Trade Council. Allen discussed ways of working with banks to obtain funding for overseas operations, and met with individual firms.

On November 17th, 1995, the Export Assistance Center hosted a delegation representing the Consulate General of Belgium. Meeting with area business executives were Jean-Luc Bodson, deputy consul general, Gerard Seghers, trade commissioner, Walonia Trade Office, and Gommar Meerbergen, trade commissioner, Flanders Trade Office.


On February 6th, the Center sponsored a seminar for firms interested in doing business in South Korea or Vietnam, featuring several U.S. businessmen with extensive experience in those nations.

On April 1st, 1996, David Tsui, director of the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in New York City, spoke to area business leaders under auspices of the MV Export Assistance Center, during a breakfast seminar at the Radisson Hotel. His topic was the recent change of control of Hong Kong from Britain to China, and its impact on business.

On April 20th, another seminar was scheduled featuring Stephen Wasylko, principal commercial officer in the U.S. Consulate General’s Office in Toronto, Canada.


On April 10th, the MV Export Assistance Center held a seminar for area manufacturers about a new “CE Mark” (“conformite europeanne”) required for industrial products going to Europe to document safety.