World Trade Day 2019


World Trade Day is the largest international trade and investment conference in the Rocky Mountain Region with over 700 participants.
This year’s conference will address the current challenges and opportunities of global trade through a series of keynote speakers, short talks by trade experts followed by a networking reception, as well as an expo featuring the region’s top global businesses. Join us to discuss the impacts of global trade on our region and learn how to jump-start your business, mitigate risk and leverage the latest technology and strategies to boost your global operations.

Sponsorship opportunities available from $500 for expo booths and up to $20,000 for the exclusive conference title sponsor. For more information contact Karen Gerwitz at or 303-592-5363.

Keynote Speakers

Jake JabsFounder and CEO, American Furniture Warehouse
Topic: Sharing 40 years of Importing Experience

Lou Longo – Partner, Plante Moran
Topic: Weathering Trade Troubles: Lessons from the Art of War

Daniell MulhallAmbassador of Ireland to the United States
Topic: Ireland, Brexit and the Future of the Transatlantic Trade

Trade Talk Speakers
  • Tripp Lake, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP (Using Blockchain in Smart Contracts to Protect Intellectual Property)
  • David Sanders, Cassidy Levy Kent LLP (U.S. Importer Strategies to Minimize Tariffs Exposure and Adverse Impact on Supply Chains)
  • Michael Hoffman, Bureau of Industry and Security  (Latest Development in Export Controls)
  • Rob Crabtree, Velocity Global (Future of Global Employment in the Digital Age)
  • Eric Langenbach, DHL Express (Growth in International Markets through e-Commerce)
  • Dr. Stephanie Gripne, Impact Finance Center (Social Impact Investing for International Business Community)
  • Isabella Zaczek, IZ Consulting  (Lessons on Global Customer Service from a German)


Global Insight Speakers
  • Folkert Wilman, European Commission (Brexit)
  • Scott Byington, Queen City Roasters (Relational Trade for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods)
  • Doug Jackson, Project CURE (How Trade Can Be Used for Good)
  • Tyler D. Coombe, Greenberg Traurig (Anti-corruption in China and other markets)
  • Debra J. Lodge, HSBC (In the Year of the Pig – Should US Pig Farmers Accept RMB for their Exports?)
  • W. Patrick Wilson, US Department of Commerce (The USMCA-Modernizing NAFTA into a 21st Century Trade Agreement)
  • Juan Aranda, Leonardo Group LatAm (For Want of a Nail:  How Planning for Every Part Keeps Factories Running)

7:30 am – 8:00 am

Expo Area

Registration Open
Continental Breakfast
Expo area will be open and active all day

8:00 am – 8:15 am

8:15 am – 9:00 am

Main Ballroom

Welcome Remarks: Denis Perron, Chair of the World Trade Center Institute

Keynote: Lou Longo, Plante Moran
Title: Weathering Trade Troubles: Lessons from the Art of War

Summary: When it comes to international trade, the words of Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu seem more apt today than ever: “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” For middle-market companies, these are chaotic times indeed. A great deal is in flux. The North American Free Trade Agreement is being recast. The United States has placed tariffs on steel and aluminum, sparking retaliation and trade tensions with everyone from China to the European Union. At such times, Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” advises us to learn more about our opponent and to become more self-reflective, too. With that in mind, executives should take a hard look at their business to fortify themselves in this uncertain environment.

9:30 am – 9:50 am

Global Insights Ballroom

Global Insight Title: Brexit and Its Implications for the United States

Name: Folkert Wilman
Organization: European Commission

Summary: The United Kingdom is about to leave the European Union, a process known as Brexit. This talk explains what Brexit entails precisely, and why it proves so difficult to leave. It also discusses the implications of this important development for US relations with both the EU and the UK, especially in terms of trade.

Trade Talks Ballroom

Trade Talk Title: Using Blockchain in Contracts to Prevent Unauthorized Copying

Name: Tripp Lake, Partner and IP Group Co-Chair
Organization: Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith

Summary: One of the problems that has plagued designers and manufacturers is how to restrict copying and unauthorized use of designs when provided to third party manufacturers. With the advent of digital manufacturing, computer-aided design tools are often used in an interconnected way to guide and even operate the manufacturing process. These tools create cyber security risks, but they also create opportunities to improve protection of intellectual property beyond an NDA or non-compete agreement.

10:00 am – 10:20 am

Global Insight Title: Doing Well by Doing Good: A Case Study in Effective Corporate Social Responsibility

Name: Dr. Doug Jackson, President & CEO
Organization: Project Cure

Summary: For over 15 years, Project C.U.R.E. has partnered with some of the most successful companies in the world – including Denver’s own Newmont Mining – to provide life-saving medical relief to the people living in Developing Countries around the world. By investing in a robust Corporate Social Responsibility platform, these companies have both provided and realized benefits to the communities with which they trade far beyond the traditional “quid-pro-quo” model.

Trade Talk Title: U.S. Importer Strategies to Minimize Duty Exposure and Adverse Impact on Supply Chains

Name: David Sanders, Partner
Organization: Cassidy Levy Kent (USA) LLP

Summary: With recent Administration policies, including Section 232 duties on steel and aluminum imports in the interest of national security, and Section 301 duties on imports into the U.S. from China for a broad range of products, this presentation highlights U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) efforts to administer and enforce these policies, and addresses the steps importers can take to legally reduce duty exposure. Exclusions from the 232 and 301 duties can be requested. The processes to obtain such exclusions and the results of such exclusion requests to date, will also be discussed.

10:30 am – 10:50 am

Global Insight Title: Relational trade for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods

Name: Scott Byington, Owner & Roaster
Organization: Queen City Roasters

Summary: Despite the multi-billion dollar value of the global coffee market, most coffee producers see far less than 5 percent of the total retail value of their produce, which leaves a great number facing unsustainable livelihood prospects; however, re-imagining a value chain based on context-specific, relational-driven trade relations holds potential for unlocking greater equity across the coffee supply chain and building a foundation for sustainable rural livelihoods.

Trade Talk Title: Future of Global Employment in the Digital Age

Name: Rob Crabtree, Chief Operating Officer
Organization: Velocity Global

Summary: The current global employment landscape doesn’t make sense in today’s digital age like it did just a decade ago. With all the new technologies employees have the ability to work remotely from almost any country, but can’t because outdated employment laws are hindering global expansion. This talk will share solutions to break down the barriers that are obstructing companies’ expansion opportunities.

11:00 am – 11:20 am

Global Insight Title: In the Year of The Pig –  Should US Pig Farmers Accept RMB for Their Exports? 

Name: Debra J Lodge, Managing Director, Head of Corporate International Solutions
Organization: HSBC Bank (USA) Inc

Summary: The USD historically has been the Global Trade Currency. A British sportswear company buys shoes from Vietnam, they pay for goods in USD.  A Mexican shrimp farmer sells shrimp to Canada and invoices the client in USD.  What about China? The use of RMB across global corridors as a trade and services currency has been steadily increasing and there are some very good reasons why.

Trade Talk Title: Latest Development in Export Controls

Name: Michael Hoffman, Director of Western Regional Office
Organization: Bureau of Industry & Security

Summary: The U.S. export control system continues to evolve.  From the recent authorization of a key statute, to the ongoing reform initiatives, this session will highlight the developments you will want to note for the opportunities and challenges the changes may pose for your company’s international operations.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Governor’s Award for Excellence in Exporting: Presented by Lt. Governor Primavera

Welcome Remarks: Karen Gerwitz, President & CEO of World Trade Center Denver

Greeting from Title Sponsor: Tom Bugnitz, CEO of Manufacturer’s Edge

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Keynote: Jake Jabs, CEO and President of American Furniture Warehouse
Title: Sharing 40 years of Importing Experience
Summary: American Furniture Warehouse is one of Colorado’s largest importers.

2:00 pm – 2:20 pm

Global Insights Ballroom

Global Insight Title: The USMCA-Modernizing NAFTA into a 21st Century Trade Agreement

Name: W. Patrick Wilson, Director, Office of Business Liaison
Organization: US Department of Commerce

The United States, Mexico, and Canada have reached an agreement to modernize the 24-year-old NAFTA into a 21st century, high-standard agreement. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will support mutually beneficial trade leading to freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic growth in North America.

Trade Talks Ballroom

Trade Talk Title: Growth in International Markets through E-Commerce

Name: Eric Langenbach, National Account Manager
Organization: DHL Express

Summary: The presentation will focus on the growth potential for Colorado companies available to them by selling their products internationally through their e-commerce website.

2:30 pm – 2:50 pm

Global Insight Title: For want of a nail: How Planning for Every Part Keeps Factories Running

Name: Juan Aranda, Principle
Organization: Leonardo Group LatAm

Summary: The stressors on Latin American supply chains have changed rapidly in the last 20 years. Increased global competition, shorter product life cycles, and rapid advances in Information Technology exposes mediocrity in operations. The key to stay competitive is to have exquisite materials management.

Trade Talk Title: Lessons on Global Customer Service from a German?  Why not?

Name: Isabella Zaczek
Organization: IZ Consulting

Summary: This presentation will highlight how to build a sustainable and diverse customer operations team that produces results and makes a difference using the philosophy to work towards one goal 80% of the time and allow 20% for local needs, customs and quirks.

3:00 pm – 3:20 pm

Global Insight Title: Anti-corruption in China and other markets

Name: Tyler D. Coombe, Shareholder
Organization: Greenberg Traurig

Summary: Has President Xi Jinping’s 6-year crackdown on the corrupt “tigers and flies” in China been an effective and sincere effort to thwart China’s corruption problem? In this segment we’ll discuss why U.S. businesses should care, and a few tips for how to recognize and avoid corruption issues in your business dealings in China and Southeast Asia.

Trade Talk Title: Social Impact Investing for International Business Community

Name: Stephanie Gripne, CEO & Co-Founder
Impact Finance Center

Summary: Coming Soon

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Keynote: Ambassador Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States

Title: Ireland, Brexit and the Future of the Transatlantic Trade

Summary: Dan Mulhall, Ireland’s Ambassador to the US, will discuss how EU membership has transformed Ireland’s economic and trading relations, the implications of Brexit for Ireland and the European Union, and the opportunities ahead in the EU-US trade relationship.

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Networking Reception

AFEX Reception

Past World Trade Day Conference Themes:

  • 2018 – Shining a Light on Trade
  • 2017 – Containers to the Cloud: Trade as Goods, Services and Knowledge
  • 2016 – Exploring Your Trans-Pacific Partners
  • 2015 – Advancing Colorado Around The Globe
  • 2014 – Risky Business: Risk & Reward Across Borders
  • 2013 – Plug In to the Global Economy: How Technology Impacts Trade
  • 2012 – A World without Barriers: Leveraging Free Trade Agreements for Opportunity
  • 2012 – “A World of Fashion” Gala
  • 2011 – Focus on Europe: Direct Access to European Markets
  • 2010 – Prospering in the New Global Economy: The Road Ahead
  • 2009 – Trade in Turbulent Times: Great Challenge Brings Great Opportunity
  • 2008 – Foundations of Colorado’s Evolving Global Economy
  • 2007 – Reaching the Peaks of Global Trade
  • 2006 – China & India: Strategies for Success in the World’s Fastest Growing Markets
  • 2005 – Showcase Europe
  • 2004 – NAFTA & Beyond: Expanding your Business through International Trade
  • 2003 – Accessing Asia Pacific Markets
  • 2002 – Global Strategies for Today’s World
  • 2001 – Chartering your Course in a Changing Global Economy
  • 2000 – Trade & Technology: Accessing Global Markets in the New Millenium
  • 1999 – Hidden Gems: Discovering Global Markets
  • 1998 – Trade in the Americas
  • 1997 – World Trade Conference
  • 1996 – World Trade Day
  • 1995 – Window on Europe
  • 1994 – Global Business: Your Passport to Profits
  • 1993 – Business without Boundaries
  • 1992 – Pioneers in World Markets
  • 1991 – Competing Globally: The Next Century
  • 1990 – The Changing Global Economy: Challenges and Opportunities
  • 1989 – Global Markets: Mountains of Opportunity
  • 1988 – Export Now
  • 1973-1987 – World Trade Day
“World Trade Day is always a great event! I enjoy learning from others in the industry, hearing from engaging speakers, and leaving energized after building my network.”
-World Trade Day 2018 attendee