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Business leaders hear benefits of going global

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In what organizers hope becomes a regular event, local business leaders met Wednesday to discuss the ins and outs of doing business internationally.

The event, which was organized with the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce, began as a concept of David Stamey of Stamey Farms and Mac Steele of J.C. Steele. The meeting was held at the J.C. Steele offices on South Mulberry Street in Statesville, and included representatives from local businesses such as Kewaunee Scientific Corporation, G.L. Wilson Building Company and Hexpol Compounding.

Stamey, whose western Iredell company exports cattle internationally, told of how a connection in the cattle business made an investment to help his company build a yogurt plant in Iredell County.

“You never know where these things will come from,” Stamey said of the benefits of international business relationships.  

Steele detailed his company’s international involvement, which started in the 1920s with the first international shipment and went on to include a family of companies in locations such as Australia, Germany, and Brazil.

The group of more than 20 attendees also heard from speakers including Brandon Baker of International Risk Consultants, and Jay Kirkman of the South Carolina-based marketing agency radii, which works with J.C. Steele in marketing products and services internationally.

Kirkman discussed marketing on a global scale. He encouraged the group to distill marketing messages into simple terms to allow for clear translation, and detailed the importance of video as a marketing tool because it allows customers to see product or service benefits regardless of their native language.

Chamber of commerce President David Bradley said that he would provide a questionnaire to those in attendance to help determine the content of future discussions, and suggested a quarterly meeting schedule.

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