Diplomacy Begins Here Regional Summit


Economic Development and Entrepreneurship:

Global Connectivity and How it Drives Local Economic Growth

August 30, 2018 in Charlotte

The U.S. Department of State, Global Ties U.S., International House and The Palmetto Council on International Visitors held an inspiring and innovative summit. We offered unique learning and networking opportunities with U.S. Department of State Representatives, leading international and local business and entrepreneurship leaders, foreign dignitaries and Federal, State and Local elected officials.

The Summit explored key factors driving growth of the regional economy and entrepreneurship scene, as well as the importance of public diplomacy and international exchanges in forging Charlotte's connection to the world.

Panel and keynote topics included:
  • Economic Impact of the Latin American Community in the Carolinas
  • How the Carolinas are Attracting Foreign Businesses
  • Craft Breweries Impact on Regional Economic Development
  • The Power of Women Entrepreneurs in the Carolinas
  • The Win-Win Impact of IVLP and Other Exchange Programs at Home and Abroad
  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles: All Aboard for Economic Development

Featuring the Charlotte International Airport, Intermodal, and the I-77 Alliance

Plus! Young professionals, college and high school students had a unique opportunity to meet and speak with recruiters, directors and representatives from the U.S. Department of State, including the following offices:
  • The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)
  • The Office of International Visitors (OIV)
  • The Office of Citizen Exchanges, Youth Programs
  • Diplomatic Security
  • The Office of Public Affairs – Engage America
  • as well as The Charleston Passport Agency

Program Schedule

Thursday, August 30th – Public Summit: Economic Development and Entrepreneurship
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Morning Sessions
8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Coffee, Tea, and Exhibit Table Viewing
8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. International Dance Performance—Asian, Indian, Brazilian, African
8:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Welcome Remarks
Congresswoman Alma Adams
Chris Miner -Managing Director for Professional and Cultural Exchanges
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Rusty Reynolds – Executive Director International House
9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Panel Discussion: Global Connectivity Driving Regional Economic Development and Entrepreneurship
Leaders of the Charlotte Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Community discuss the importance of Global Connectivity as a major factor for economic growth. As Charlotte has transformed from an agrarian based economy to the third largest banking center in the country, how have global connections contributed to our growth and how will these connections keep us growing in the future.

-Terick Tidwell, Director of Innovation at Johnson C. Smith University
-Dan Roselli, Founder of Packard Place and QC Fintech
-Ronnie Bryant, CEcD, FM, HLM President & CEO at Charlotte Regional Partnership
-Bob Morgan- President Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
- Sergio Aparicio Business Development Manager Office of Economic Development, City of Columbia
10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Networking Break
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m Regional Economic Growth: Past, Present, Future
Fireside Chat
Bank of America, a national financial powerhouse headquartered in Charlotte has been instrumental in the growth and development of the local economy. Hear directly from the Bank’s leadership about successes and lessons learned from the past and where global connectivity can take us in the future.
11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Keynote Address with Lunch
From business founders to an IVLP exchange alum to government policies promoting international business, our featured speakers will highlight the opportunities and potential of international exchange in promoting local entrepreneurship and business growth.

IVLP Gold Star Alum
Chris Elmore Co Founder of AvidXChange
Louis Foreman Founder & CEO Enventys
Elaine Marshall North Carolina Secretary of State
12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Networking Break with Exhibitors
Afternoon Concurrent Sessions
1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. How the Carolinas are Attracting Foreign Businesses
Local and Regional Economic Development experts will explore policies and practices used to bring foreign businesses to the Carolinas.

- Vanessa Goeschl European Managing Director, Munich Office SC Department of Commerce
- Peter Zeiler Director of Economic Development Mecklenburg County
- Chris Chung CEO Economic Development Partnership of NC
- Sven Gerzer VP Economic Development European & Indian Sectors
- Dr. Claudio Carpano Honorary Consul for Italy

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. The Win-win Impact of IVLP and Other Exchange Programs at Home and Abroad
International professional exchange programs like the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) and the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) have brought rising entrepreneurs and leaders from a myriad of professional backgrounds to local communities all over the country. Hear from mentors, program hosts and alumni why these programs are hugely beneficial for our community and participants. With over 500 current and former heads of State as alumni, the IVLP is helping local communities build relationships with future world leaders.

Jeremy Losaw Engineering and Design Manager at Enventys
Devin Collins Associate Director/ Entrepreneurship of Ventureprise
Jacqui Gates Shipe CEO Global Ties Alabama
Solvita Jorgenstone IVLP Gold Star Alum Latvia
Moderator: Teta Moehs Deputy Director
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State
1:30 p.m. – 5:35 p.m. Student Track
Featuring a U.S. Diplomacy Center Simulation for Youth & A Discussion on Careers in International Affairs featuring the Department of State Diplomat in Residence.

1:15 p.m. - 5:35 p.m. SIMULATION 1
(1st group – approx. 25 students)
2:50 p.m. – 4:05 p.m. Craft Breweries Impact on Economic Development in the Carolinas
Have you tried making your own home brew? Dreamt about starting a brewery or just really enjoy having a cold pint? As Charlotte and Columbia experience unprecedented growth in craft beer brewing, leading area breweries share their stories of success and what they see for the future in this burgeoning industry.

NoDa Brewing
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery (pending)
River Rat Brewery
Bierkeller Brewing

2:50 p.m. – 4:05 p.m. Planes, Trains and Automobiles: All Aboard for Economic Development
Featuring the Charlotte International Airport, Intermodal, and the I-77 Alliance
Transportation is the key for economic development and global connectivity. Experts in land, rail and air transit discuss the important roles their respective modes of transport have in regional economic development.

Rich Fletcher CEO I-77 Alliance
Stuart Hair Director of Economic and Community Affairs Aviation Department Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Grant Cothran Intermodal Development
2:50pm – 4:05pm: CAREERS PANEL (all attend)

   4:10pm – 5:40pm: SIMULATION II (2nd group – approx. 25 students)
4:05 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. Networking Break
4:20 p.m. – 5:35 p.m. Economic Impact of the Latin American Community in the Carolinas
The Latin American community represents the fastest growing minority in the U.S. Business and community leaders in the Latin community discuss how the Latin community is driving local economic growth.

Wayne Cooper, Honorary Consul of Mexico
Astrid Chirinos, Latin American Economic Development Corporation
Rocio Gonzalez, Latin American Chamber of Commerce

4:20 p.m. – 5:35 p.m. The Power of Women Entrepreneurs in the Carolinas
Women entrepreneurs are a force to be reckoned with! Hear form leading local business women about their road to success. Plus get insight about resources from the City of Charlotte and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce specifically helping women start and grow their own businesses.

Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Power of Women Sharice Walker
City of Charlotte, Charlotte Business INClusion Natasha Smith

Successful Women Entrepreneurs of the Carolinas:
Amy Pack and Patty Comer Co Founder Accrue Partner
Marsha Barnes Founder of The Finance Bar
Lauri Elliot Founder and Chairman at Globalstratos
Evening Reception
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Evening Reception and Keynote Address
Chima Brazillian Restaurant
Katherine Brown Global Ties US
Jacqui Gates Shipe
Johnelle Causwell

Ever wanted one on one time with someone you look up to? During the Diplomacy Begins Here Summit, on August 30, special raffles were drawn throughout the day for 30 minutes of one on one time with community business leaders.


Attendees met and spoke with recruiters, directors and representatives from the U.S. Department of State including the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Office of International Visitors, the Office of Citizen Exchanges, Youth Programs, Diplomatic Security Services, the Office of Public Affairs – Engage America, the Charleston Passport Agency and more!

• Charleston Passport Agency
• Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
• City of Charlotte Office of Economic Development/ Charlotte International Cabinet
• Consulate of Italy
• Department of State Office of Citizens Exchange, Youth Programs
• Department of State Office of International Visitors
• Department of State Office of Public Affairs-Engage America
• Department of State Diplomatic Security
• Farmers First Coffee
• French American Chamber of Commerce of the Carolinas
• Holiday Inn Center City
• Management InSiteas
• Office of the 12th Congressional District of North Carolina
• Small Business Administration / Score
• UNCC Office of International Programs
• World Affairs Council Charlotte

Speakers, Panelists and Presenters!

The Summit had a full day event with various panels, breakout sessions, and keynote addresses.

Attendees heard from industry leaders and experts in the private and public sector on the local economy and the critical role global connectivity plays in creating growth.


Whether you are a mid-career professional, just starting out or still a student, there was a unique opportunity to meet business leaders, diplomats, elected officials and recruiters from the U.S. Department of State.

Pitch Zone

  • Pitch Zone Launch Pad to began right after Lunch Keynote and continued into exhibitor time
  • Many shared their business ideas and got feedback from experts!
  • Get it Started, Take it Global!
  • Financial / Risk Assessment & Angel Funders

Event Partners