2016 Monsanto International Business Conference Focuses on Global Growth


A networking breakfast, with exhibitor tables from global organizations and companies, officially opened the 2016 Monsanto International Business Conference held Thursday, December 1, and organized by the Boeing Institute of International Business in the John Cook School of Business.  Hundreds of guests gathered in the Wool Ballroom in Busch Student Center on the campus of Saint Louis University for the morning program that began with opening remarks by Dr. Hadi Alhorr, director of the Boeing Institute of International Business.  Dr. Fred Pestello, president of Saint Louis University, provided a welcome to the speakers and guests, congratulating the Boeing Institute on its professional as well as academic achievements:  “As many of you know, our International Business Programs are ranked highly by the U.S. News and World Report with our undergraduate programs ranked #11 and the graduate programs #12.”  He further noted that the conference is a testament to the University’s commitment to engage in enriching dialogue that can impact the region’s global landscape.

The morning program consisted of four speakers.  Yasushi Takahashi, president and CEO of Mitsui Co. USA, discussed Rediscovery of America. He was followed by Tom Gebhardt, president of Panasonic Automotive Systems America as well as an executive officer for Panasonic Corporation.  He discussed Leveraging Transformation and Partnership to Grow in North America.  “Vision 2020”- The Global Growth Strategy of NIDEC Corporation was overviewed by Masuo Yoshimatsu, president and CEO of NIDEC Americas Holding.  The morning program concluded with the presentation New Horizons; How Southwest Airlines Develops New International Service Strategies by Adam Decaire, managing director of Southwest Airlines. 

Steve Johnson, the president of Missouri Partnership served as the chair of the morning program, with John Gialouris, COO at Hussmann, as the moderator. Both are members of the Advisory Board of the Boeing Institute of International Business.  The session concluded with the drawing of four guest names, each whom would receive a Southwest Airline round-trip ticket as an attendance prize.  These tickets were provided by Southwest Airlines, an event sponsor.

Guests then moved into the luncheon session which included a talk on The Golden Age of Cruising; How Carnival Corporation is Developing New Global Markets and Destinations.  The presentation was given by Giora Israel, senior vice president of Global Port and Destination Development at Carnival Corporation, with audio message from Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation.  Mr. Israel was introduced by Joe Reagan, president and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber. Dr. Mark Higgins, dean of the John Cook School of Business served as the master of ceremonies.

Dr. Nancy Brickhouse, Saint Louis University Provost, provided a university welcome, and Dr. Hadi Alhorr, director of the Boeing Institute of International Business and chair of the department, offered the annual Report From The Director. In his comments, he noted the success of the 2016 Monsanto International Business Conference, with compelling topics presented by high-ranking speakers, over 300 reservations, and net proceeds exceeding $65,000. “The speakers have been outstanding, as has the sharing of ideas and networking,” he explained, continuing: “The knowledge created today will help all of us as we grow global business opportunities in the region. But, scholarships are another reward cultivated through this conference, funded through the net proceeds of this event. Thanks to your participation, today’s function will generate opportunities for students studying international business well into the future.”

The event sponsors are Monsanto, Naming sponsor; Emerson, Platinum sponsor; Ambassador sponsors Boeing, Bunzl, Novus, Southwest, and the World Trade Center St. Louis; Consul General sponsors Edward Jones, Ernst & Young, Hussmann, Maritz, NIDEC, and RGA; and Consul sponsors Arvegenix, Commerce Bank, Enterprise Holdings, Missouri Partnership, Regions Bank, RubinBrown, Solae and Watlow.  The conference is also supported by a number of global partners:  St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, St. Louis Regional Chamber, Missouri International Trade & Investment Office, The Missouri Partnership, U.S. Department of Commerce, World Trade Center St. Louis, World Affairs Council , International Institute  of St. Louis, St. Louis Mosaic Project, Transportation Club of  St. Louis , and the Japan-America Society St. Louis.

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