By Melissa Maguire, Manager of International Engagement, Dallas Regional Chamber
From engaging in trade mission trips to Spain and Japan, to co-hosting and co-organizing international business-development conferences, the Dallas Regional Chamber’s international engagement team and its partners are strengthening North Texas’ trade relationships around the world.
Members are invited to attend any of the below meetings and seminars.
SME SUPPORT JAPAN MATCHMAKING EVENTS
One of our key partners in Tokyo is SME Support JAPAN, the Japanese government’s supporting office for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) looking to expand abroad.
The organization is hosting two business matching events during its visit to the region, on Monday, Sept. 24, and Tuesday, Sept. 25, with 15-20 Japanese SMEs looking for new distribution channels in the Dallas Region. These events will be hosted by the Richardson Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the DRC and other local chambers and organizations.
Monday’s event will take place from 9:30 AM – 4 PM, with a networking reception to follow from 4 PM – 6 PM at the Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts and Corporate Presentations, 2351 Performance Dr, Richardson, Texas 75082. To register for this event, please click here.
Tuesday’s event will take place from 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM at the Sheraton Arlington Hotel, 1500 Convention Center Dr., Arlington, Texas 76011. To register for this event, click here.
The DRC is inviting local companies and other chambers to attend the matching events to learn more about the products and services directly from the visiting company delegates.
For more information regarding these matchmaking events, contact Beth Kolman at the Richardson Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972.792.2817.
STAFF TRAVEL: CORENET GLOBAL ANNUAL EMEA CONFERENCE
SEPT. 25-28, MADRID
Sarah Carabias-Rush, DRC Senior Vice President of International Engagement, will be traveling to this annual real estate conference in Madrid to network with leaders in the field. This conference is the largest gathering of corporate real estate professionals in Europe. The theme for this year’s event is “What’s Next? Exploiting Uncertainty.”
Those who have recommendations for companies or influencers with whom the international team should meet while in Madrid may contact Carabias-Rush at email@example.com.
A SYMPOSIUM ON ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC INTEGRATION AND THE ROLE OF THE U.S. AND JAPAN
OCT. 12, 9 AM – 12 PM, WESTIN STONEBRIAR FRISCO
The DRC is co-hosting this event with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan-America Society of DFW, the Consulate General of Japan in Houston, the Dallas Japanese Association, and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth.
Following President Trump’s election in 2016 and subsequent American withdrawal from pursuing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), questions have been raised about the future of economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region. Can CPTPP (TPP11) function without the participation of the United States? What is the future of regional agreements such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership between ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), China, Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan?
Experts will examine the current status and future outlook of bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements in the Pacific. Insights and perspectives are expected to develop into a dialogue that will be of particular significance to the North Texas business community with interests in the Asia-Pacific region.
Registration for the symposium is available here.
35TH ANNUAL H. NEIL MALLON AWARD DINNER HONORING AMBASSADOR RON KIRK
OCT. 12, 6:30 PM, HILTON ANATOLE
Hosted annually by the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, the H. Neil Mallon Award honors its recipient for dedication to international relationships – business and personal – that enhance the standing of North Texas around the world.
Register for this annual event here.
STAFF TRAVEL: U.S. JAPAN COUNCIL ANNUAL MEETING
NOV. 5-10, TOKYO
Carabias-Rush will be traveling to Tokyo to take part in the influential U.S.-Japan Council annual meeting, where officials such as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other senior government and business leaders often participate.
The conference is being held Nov. 8-10. Carabias-Rush will also be attending NEC’s annual innovation showcase and will be setting meetings Nov. 5-7. Those with recommendations for companies or influencers with whom the DRC should meet while in Tokyo may contact Carabias-Rush at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DRC is currently gauging interest for including a small delegation in our travels. Members interested in joining the DRC international team on this trip are encouraged to contact Carabias-Rush ASAP. Space is limited and restricted to those with direct business interests related to Japan.
KOTRA ICT PARTERNING LUNCHEON/EXHIBITION
NOV. 5, 10 AM – 3 PM, DOUBLETREE BY HILTON
Our partners at the Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) are hosting this Information and Communication Technology exhibition and conference, at which attendees can meet industry-leading Korean manufacturers and experience innovative technology products in cloud and IoT solutions, data management, loT products, security, and more.
Attendees can preview new Korean products prior to being featured at international ICT shows next year. Korea has been the leader in the global ICT industry and is expected to continue its competitiveness.
Registration is now available online here.
ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH HEALTHTECH INDUSTRIES (ABHI) DELEGATION VISIT
The DRC international team will be welcoming a visiting delegation consisting of British hospital systems, health care tech companies, and health care institutions to the Dallas Region.
The delegation is coming as part of the Association of British HealthTech Industries’ globally minded strategy to connect thought leaders, innovators, practitioners, insurers, and executives in the health care field and related industries. Delegates attending the trip are in senior-level positions at both private and public organizations, and are eager to learn from local medical and insurance institutions as they seek out best practices and strong, mutually beneficial relationships to take back to the U.K.
Members are encouraged to let Carabias-Rush (email@example.com) know if they are interested in hosting this delegation at their medical or research facilities, or if they are interested in attending a private networking reception on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 5:30 – 7 PM.
By Dave Moore, Data Journalist & Staff Writer, Dallas Regional Chamber
This year, the conference at the University of Texas at Dallas will highlight real-world examples of green power grids, buildings that self-regulate their environments, working smart cities, and new approaches to advanced emergency communications.
More than 300 Texas municipal officials, planners, IT experts, and transportation officials are expected to attend the Sept. 19 summit, running 8:30 AM to 5 PM.
The event, in its second year, has provided updates on progress communities are making in integrating the use of data and technology into government operations. Panelists have also discussed the potential risks and considerations that are involved in collecting, analyzing, and using data for smart-city purposes.
“Last year was very transportation-focused,” says Mark Caracio, Managing Partner of Future Cities LLC, which is hosting and producing the event, adding that the U.S. Department of Transportation, Fort Worth-based Bell Helicopter, Uber, and others in that sector.
This year, Caracio said, the conference will emphasize speakers who have personal experience incorporating smart city technology – such as deploying LED lighting, air quality monitors, and incorporating traffic cameras and traffic data into traffic-control systems – into the workings of communities. Leaders who are scheduled to discuss their experiences along those lines include Teri Takai – former State of California CIO – and Scott Cardenas, former CIO for the City of Denver.
“If your mission, role, or responsibility is to set the strategy and to enhance the livability of a community, or to be a planner or operator of one of these initiatives, you’ll be able to hear firsthand from thought leaders who are doing this,” Caracio said. “And what the opportunities and challenges are for those who are delivering it.”
Scheduled panelists include:
DRC members can click here to register for the event, which runs Sept. 19 from 8:30 AM to 5 PM at UTD’s Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center. DRC members can receive a discounted rate using the code DRC18.
Event sponsors include AT&T, Cisco, CommScope, Telensa, Samsung, Aira, Maxxsure, and Scientel Solutions.
By Melissa Maguire, Manager of International Engagement, Dallas Regional Chamber
The recent announcement of Panasonic Automotive System’s new 15,000-square-foot office in The Colony reaffirms the notion that Japanese companies are taking note of what is happening in Texas, and more specifically, here in the Dallas Region. Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America provides support systems for Toyota Motor North America, which recently opened its new North American headquarters in Plano.
Panasonic’s move is part of a larger picture: In 2016 alone, more than $4.1 billion in total annual trade occurred between Dallas-Fort Worth and Japan, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Japan is the region’s third-largest trading partner, the department reports.
Toyota’s consolidation of its North American operations to Plano has spiked the number of Japanese companies moving to the region and as well as the number enquiring about Dallas-Fort Worth. Japanese interest in the Dallas Region is not limited just to companies following Toyota to Texas. Over the past few years, companies including Makita, NTT Data, Oki Data, Central Japan Railway Company, and Kubota Tractor Corp. have established new headquarters, distribution centers, and support offices in the region to support their U.S. and North American operations.
The uptick in Japan-related activity is reflected in the DRC international department’s daily workload. At the time of this blog’s writing, there were three Japan-related events scheduled for the week – all after-hours networking receptions featuring guests from Japan visiting the Dallas Region with specific goals related to establishing a new presence or relationship here. The abundance of Japanese visitors has led us to joke affectionately, “Every week is Japan Week.”
Japanese companies, their executives, their expat employees, and their families are walking into a supportive community when they decide to establish a presence in the Dallas Region, which has more than 265 Japanese parent companies operating more than 350 subsidiary entities in North Texas.
Several support groups are helping Japanese companies and their employees acclimatize to the region. The Dallas Japanese Association provides business leaders and individuals with networking opportunities both in social and in professional settings. The local Japanese-language school offers Saturday school for more than 550 dual-language students. Mitsuwa Marketplace, a Japanese supermarket that opened in early 2017, continues to bring the flavors of Japan to Plano; Mitsuwa serves as the anchor of the surrounding Japanese Food Hall, a shopping center which includes specialty stores full of Japanese baked goods, imported teas, ramen, books, toys, etc.
Earlier this year, the DRC’s international engagement team embarked on a mission to Japan with a small group of economic developers and DRC members to promote the Dallas Region to Japanese manufacturers, bankers, real estate developers, and other influential individuals, such as Gov. Hideaki Ohmura of Aichi Prefecture. Aichi Prefecture has been referred to as “the Texas of Japan,” acting as a strong economic engine for Japan, particularly in automotive and other industrial sectors. (Gov. Ohmura repaid the visit in May, when he sat down for a closed roundtable discussion with DRC members and Tomorrow Fund investors.)
Plans to return to Japan for the U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference in Tokyo are already in the works. The November 2018 trip will allow the DRC to represent the Dallas Region to a large, concentrated population of Japanese business executives and elected officials. Preceding the Thursday-Friday conference will be three days of business meetings in which the DRC will pay special attention to existing relationships, as well as make introductions to develop new partnerships abroad.
Between now and our November touchdown in Tokyo, a series of Japan-related events have been planned in the Dallas Region.
Aug. 6 saw the visit of six Japanese companies to the region for two days of site tours and informational sessions. The companies represented the restaurant industry, including ramen and other traditional Japanese cuisines.
The next major event is the J-GoodTech matchmaking visit scheduled for Sept. 24-25. A small group of Japanese companies – predominantly small and medium-sized companies looking to expand to the U.S. – will visit the Dallas Region with support from the Japanese government. Their common goal is to meet and match with potential buyers, distributors, suppliers, and partners. J-GoodTech, a sort of dating website for companies looking to connect with other companies abroad, is the tool that will allow the connections to happen online before and after the delegation’s visit to Dallas. U.S.-based companies looking to find specific goods or services in Asia can also use the J-GoodTech website to create a profile and initiate a search, receiving translation assistance as potential partners discover the company’s listing.
Japanese companies currently slated to visit the Dallas Region as part of the J-GoodTech delegation deal in metal products and fabrication; industrial machinery; electrical equipment; medical equipment; and chemicals. Their products have potential applications in the industries of medical and life sciences; automotive manufacturing; food and beverage packaging; and more. Companies in the Dallas Region interested in meeting with the visiting companies should contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following the J-GoodTech is the scheduled Symposium on Asia-Pacific Economic Integration, organized by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and co-organized by the DRC and the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth. The symposium will be held on Friday, Oct. 12 and will feature a panel discussion on Chinese trade policy, U.S.-Japan relations, and other topics in economics, foreign affairs, and international business. More details about the symposium will be provided as they become available.
In short, the DRC’s international engagement team has been working hard in its ongoing efforts to support Japanese expansion, entrance and enquiries into the Dallas Region. DRC members and Tomorrow Fund investors interested in supporting company or delegation visits to the region should contact me at the above-listed email address to be kept informed about all Japan- and international-related activities.
By Melissa Maguire, Manager of International Engagement, Dallas Regional Chamber
It’s been more than a month since the conclusion of #DFWEurope2018, the international mission to London and Paris.
Perhaps the lateness of this blog entry is a testament to the work we poured into our trip, which involved dozens of meetings in Paris and London between government and business leaders. By all standards, our mission to Europe was a success.
MONDAY – JUNE 18: Strengthening, Building Trade Ties in London
We kicked off the week with back-to-back briefings for the delegation, which included Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, and representatives from the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Fort Worth Chamber, VisitDallas, and Visit Fort Worth. These backgrounder sessions were designed to help the delegation understand the economics and politics of the United Kingdom, as well as British consumer and tourism trends. We held a similar overview in Paris, to impart the same information about France.
Following the briefings, the delegation held an informal meeting with David Mytton, a co-founder and CEO of Server Density, a London-based tech company recently acquired by Dallas-based StackPath. It’s always fascinating to learn about the various international acquisitions made by DFW and international companies, especially given that the majority of new foreign direct investment into the U.S. occurs via acquisitions. We try to meet with Dallas-Fort Worth-acquired companies such as Server Density as often as possible while traveling, to learn ways to support business transitions locally.
Another big business event occurring on Monday was a BREXIT-focused seminar, hosted by our friends at London & Partners, London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s combined chamber of commerce and convention and visitor’s bureau.
The BREXIT panel featured a managing director from Boston Consulting Group; L&P’s own managing director of business; Alastair Paterson, CEO and co-founder of a British cybersecurity Digital Shadows, and the previous leader of the Remain campaign, which encouraged people and leaders to vote against the BREXIT referendum so the U.K. could remain in the European Union. The variety of perspectives and industries represented made for a captivating and informative session, but the overarching takeaway from the panel was this: leaving the EU will have far-reaching impacts on:
The day wrapped up with a fantastic event hosted by VisitDallas and Visit Fort Worth – a tourism-focused party hosted to promote the Dallas-Fort Worth Region as a tourist destination to British travel agencies, air service providers, excursion organizers, hoteliers, hospitality consultants, etc.
Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co., the beloved Fort Worth-based makers of TX Whiskey, stocked the bar with delicious custom cocktails featuring their signature blend, while celebrity chef Tim Love – known for such Fort Worth establishments as Lonesome Dove and the Love Shack – left everyone with the best party favors ever: small jars of create-your-own spice blends. (I was happy to let Tim create a perfect pork chop blend on my behalf!)
VisitDallas also wowed party guests with the award-winning Moving Cities, produced by London-based videographer Jevan Chowdhury, and goofy goggles that let people explore Dallas using virtual reality.
TUESDAY – JUNE 19: Scaling-Up with London Mayor Khan and Balfour Beatty
Tuesday in London was equally successful, starting with a well-attended networking roundtable to support and promote Mayor Khan’s Mayor’s International Business Programme, which helps London “scale-up” companies to expand internationally. With 18 scale-ups in attendance, our delegates had a unique opportunity to meet directly with the companies pushing London’s global entrepreneurship scene forward.
I’d like to offer a major shout-out to Balfour Beatty’s London HQ, which provided tremendous support for the event and really pulled off the roundtable flawlessly. Thanks for going above and beyond, Giles, Bryan, and Kata!
Oh, and if you need something to make you smile today…
Tuesday evening consisted of back-to-back meetings and dinners for delegates. Some members of the delegation met with Transport for London, the administrative group responsible for all of London’s transportation systems – from the Underground to the above-ground rail and road networks. As Dallas-Fort Worth’s regional population grows by approximately 140,000 people each year, updating, expanding, and innovating our transportation infrastructure becomes more important than ever. We look to our international counterparts to learn a thing or two about moving large groups of people.
THURSDAY – JUNE 20: Reaching Out in Paris; at Home with Louis Vuitton
We began our busiest day in Paris with another country and economy overview, as we did in London on Monday.
While some significant (and highly confidential) meetings and lunches took place in Paris on Thursday to promote the Dallas-Fort Worth region as a key market for French business expansion and to recruit new operations to the region, perhaps the highlight of the day was one that we, as a delegation, were all-too-keen to share about on social media: our private, guided tour of the original Louis Vuitton home and workshop, where Louis began making his signature travel trunks, and where they continue to be made today.
From step one, you can tell that every Louis Vuitton trunk, bag, box, and custom piece is handcrafted with quality in mind. We were privileged to see the entire crafting process from beginning to end, starting with raw fabrics and skins, and ending with final nails, studs, and stitches. We also got to see the “reject” pile of items that didn’t pass muster, including a gorgeous handbag with one small stitch amiss, and a trunk whose metal corner was slightly curved the wrong way. Many offers were made to take the misfit pieces home with us, but the Louis Vuitton representative giving our tour was clear: if it isn’t perfect, it isn’t Louis Vuitton.
At the end of our tour, we each received a small gift from the workshop – a tiny ¾” nail with LOUIS VUITTON engraved on the head. The tour made our delegation very proud to soon welcome a new Louis Vuitton workshop in Keene, just south of Fort Worth.
The evening wrapped up with another amazing cultural event, coordinated by the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth – a reception and free admission to the stunning Musée d’Orsay, which houses art by Van Gogh, Monet, Czanne, Renoir, Seurat, and others. Of all the art museums I’ve seen around the world, the Orsay remains my favorite.
FRIDAY, JUNE 21: Meeting with Kay Bailey Hutchison, Touring Station F
Friday saw the group split, as the mayors and select representatives from the airport and chambers headed to Brussels for a tour of the NATO headquarters and a meeting with Senator-turned-Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, now serving as Permanent Representative of the United States to NATO.
The remainder of the group stayed behind in Paris, with a few catching flights back to DFW and the rest touring Station F, the world’s largest startup campus by square footage. Our tour guide walked us through the three phases of the building, from the meeting space, to the coworking space, to the “Chill Zone” – a massive restaurant incubator open to the public and featuring a variety of delicious eateries all under one roof, similar to a farmer’s market.
The massive campus is still backed by its founder, French billionaire Xavier Niel, who provided the initial $300 million investment to get the campus up and running, and who envisioned the space as a fully self-sufficient, self-contained entrepreneurial community offering support for every step of the startup process. Our visit to the bright, colorful, modern center was inspiring; Station F is perhaps one of the best examples of what innovative thinking actually looks like in practice.
SATURDAY – JUNE 22: Wrapping it up
By the time our last delegate left Paris, we had already packed up and shipped out the last of our mission supplies back to DFW. The day saw relative calm after a furiously paced week of meetings, seminars, panels, roundtables, receptions, meals, and tours. Brain dead, and physically fatigued in a way I hadn’t been since our last DRC mission to Japan, I holed up in my room to begin two weeks of blissfully quiet vacation, sorely missing our delegates all the while.
Those who have never been involved in a trip such as this might not appreciate what goes into them, from a staff perspective: To Sarah Carabias-Rush, Senior Vice President of International Engagement, and me, “sleep” is something you do for maybe four hours a night or throughout the day, in 30-minute bursts on the bus going from event to event. “Breakfast” is a quick coffee, maybe a croissant, while “dinner” is a two- or three-hour affair where your game face is on for the diplomats, executives, and partners you’re hosting.
Home Again in Dallas-Fort Worth
Our time back in the office has brought with it extensive mission follow-up, including outreach to all of our hosting groups to say thanks, the creation of a survey distributed to our business delegates so we can collect feedback, and continuous dialogue with the connections we made abroad and locally, to continue the conversations surrounding growth, expansion, and success in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
Click here to read the first installment of the Dallas-Fort Worth Trade mission blog.
UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL EVENTS
DRC partners are hosting exciting opportunities related to international business.
EU General Data Protection Regulation Workshop
Tuesday, August 14 | 10:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Dallas office of Norton Rose Fulbright, 36th floor, 2200 Ross Ave., Suite 3600, Dallas 75201
Senior business executives and IT leaders are invited to an interactive workshop focused on understanding the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and what it means to their businesses. U.S. businesses that hold data on any individual or business in Europe is subject to penalties by the European Union, if they fail to comply with the new EU regulation, which took effect on May 25. Among topics covered will be planning and facilitating data subject access rights requests, implementing and monitoring GDPR compliance, and maintaining third-party data insight. The event includes lunch and is free of charge. Register for the event here.
StopFakes.Gov IP Protection and Enforcement Seminar
Tuesday, August 21 | 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Baker McKenzie LLP, 1900 N. Pearl St., Suite 1500, Dallas 75201
The U.S. Commercial Service, in collaboration with partners, will present the STOPfakes.gov IP Protection and Enforcement Seminar, to discuss how individuals and companies can protect their intellectual property in the U.S. and in export markets. Attendees will also have the chance to meet individually with event speakers following the program, and to receive guidance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Copyright Office staff on the online recordation/registration process. The event, which includes lunch, is free. Parking is $15. Click here to register; please RSVP by August 15.
By Melissa Maguire, Manager of International Engagement, Dallas Regional Chamber
LONDON, June 16 – It’s Saturday night here in London. The Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Regional Chamber support staffs are holed up in a workroom, in a back hallway of the trendy Berkeley Hotel. We are just around the corner from both the Kensington and Buckingham palaces, which we haven’t had time to visit but have seen from our taxi windows.
Two airport staff members – Lena Bedwany and Karen Herberger – and I arrived in Paris on Wednesday, June 13, a day ahead of the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport partners delegation. After being unable to sleep on the plane (instead watching “Pride & Prejudice” twice and finally beating “Angry Birds”), I was ready to hit the ground running with a 36-hour day, spending all day Wednesday in Dallas and all day Thursday in Paris, before falling asleep in London.
Our hotels in London and Paris are spectacular, and their staffs are obsessively accommodating. The Dallas Fort Worth International Airport staff takes hotel hospitality and service into consideration months in advance of the trip, when they’re negotiating room blocks and rates for the delegation. Our group includes Mayor Mike Rawlings of Dallas; Mayor Betsy Price of Fort Worth; the airport board chair, board members, and its CEO; and executives from across the Dallas-Fort Worth region representing companies and organizations such as American Airlines, Downtown Dallas Inc., Santander Bank, and the University of Texas – Dallas.
Their planning pays off: the staff was able to show us the mayors’ rooms, our meeting ballrooms, and our workrooms in advance of the delegation’s arrival. The hotels also pre-key everyone’s rooms in advance, which is a great help to us, as our delegates arrive exhausted and jetlagged throughout the weekend.
Paris to London
Our 10 hours in Paris were a blur of meetings with our on-the-ground transportation logistics team and the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme hotel staff to confirm details for the various meetings and events occurring Wednesday (June 20)-Friday (June 22) in Paris. We briefly saw the famous opera house (Palais Garnier) on our way to grab a takeaway lunch, before hunkering down again in the workroom. After 10 hours in Paris, we caught the evening train to London.
Upon arrival at The Berkeley around 9 p.m., we set up our London workroom. We spend exponentially more time here than we do anywhere else, so it’s important to claim your space and settle in fast. I made the mistake of choosing a seat with my back to the window, so the day passes behind me without me noticing.
For the past three days now, we have been editing the week’s “external” mission book, which tracks:
On the back end, the “internal” mission book includes information the delegates don’t see, including:
It’s a lot to track, and when one thing changes, there is a domino effect of everything else that has to change… The tiniest change involves changing summary itineraries, daily agendas, the transportation manifest, Dropbox versions of the above documents, and Outlook calendar invitations for support staffers, not to mention we usually have to relay changes to our British and French hosting companies, who often provide name tags, building security clearances, parking passes, and more.
We make the books knowing that they will be outdated just minutes later, but the process of creating the books is something that we are improving mission after mission. On top of that, version control between print and digital books adds another layer of complication as we work to transition gradually to digital books.
After several hours of itinerary revisions, I made it to my room around 2 a.m., took another hour to knock out some emails, and passed out.
Friday morning brought Mitzi Chollampel, a Senior Manager in International Marketing and Public Relations at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, to London to add some helping hands. It’s amazing what a team of five tired women can do in logistics management.
Sarah Carabias-Rush (who leads international outreach at the DRC) and I left the airport team behind for a 9:30 a.m. meeting at London & Partners across the river, to finalize some details for our three events hosted in collaboration with them.
I left Sarah at L&P for an afternoon lunch at The Stafford, where Hugh Boyle, CEO of TracyLocke in Dallas and delegate on this trip, will be hosting a business dinner with the two mayors, the two chambers (Dallas and Fort Worth), a handful of our delegates, and a group of British company executives. I met with the events director to see the dinner space – an 8,000-bottle Stafford Wine Cellar – and began the tube trek to the Balfour Beatty headquarters in Canary Wharf, across town for a similar walk-through meeting.
It’s been fantastic to work with the Dallas and London Balfour Beatty teams, and we’re so grateful that Eric Krueger, Executive Vice President – Texas Division, is joining us on the mission as a representative of the firm’s Dallas office. The Mayor’s International Business Programme Roundtable they are hosting in London will probably be my favorite event on the London side of the trip, given how easy and fun it’s been to work with Balfour staff on both sides of the pond.
Unexpected Texan encounter
Friday night (June 15) wrapped up with the support team going to dinner and watching the Portugal vs. Spain World Cup match on an outdoor screen. While eating, Karen recognized the accent of a gentleman sitting behind us – it was clearly Texan. We were happy to make friends with the group, who then invited us to a very traditional English pub in a back alley, where we closed out the night sharing work stories, pictures of children and grandchildren, and amusing commentary about celebrity sightings in our little London neighborhood.
Today was a little easier. Mitzi, Karen, and I took the tube to Canary Wharf to map the bus pick-up/drop-off route and parking options, to gauge the feasibility of delegates walking from the Balfour Beatty office to our next meeting in Canary Wharf, and to scope out lunch options for delegates. Walking and driving the routes between next week’s meeting locations allows us to map out transportation routes down to the minute; the transportation manifest is by far the tightest-managed document we have, with anywhere from five to seven vehicles running around the city at any given moment. Each car transports not only delegates, but also the appropriate gifts and marketing collateral for the upcoming meetings. It’s a huge operation!
As I finish this blog post, it’s a few minutes shy of midnight, and we’ve just started discussing Wednesday morning’s series of delegate transfers from London to Paris by plane and train. After spending three long, busy days together, the group demeanor has slipped into light humor, with teasing, sarcasm, and jokes abounding. We have started writing down inside jokes as hashtags and using emojis to tell elaborate stories in our WhatsApp chat. After surviving the Canada and China/Korea missions with this group, coming to London was like coming home to old friends.
The Dallas-Fort Worth trade delegation concludes its mission in Europe on Friday, June 22.
We welcome your questions and comments. To request more information about area businesses or to share an idea, contact us: