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3:21 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Carving Out an International Presence

Pushing the Piedmont further onto the world's economic stage.

More than 200 Piedmont businesses are players in the international commerce scene.
More than 200 Piedmont businesses are players in the international commerce scene.
Credit wikimedia

More than 200 Piedmont companies are doing business overseas and Cindy Thompson says it reflects a growing perspective. “Instead of always thinking America has the best ideas in doing things," explains Thompson, "you understand you can learn from other countries and this knowledge can propel the Triad forward.”

Thompson is the executive director of Boundless Impact, a Greensboro non-profit. On Thursday, August 22, this organization, along with about a dozen partners, is hosting the first Global Opportunities Summit. The purpose is to share ideas on how Piedmont businesses, non-profits, universities and communities can compete more effectively in the international market. “We’ll have representatives from the business community, from the non-profit community, from the government sector and from several universities explain the global connections the Triad already has and talk about tangible ways the Triad can better position itself to do business with other countries.”

This summit is open to the public. It will be held at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering on 2907 East Lee Street  in Greensboro. According to Thompson, the Piedmont has a good start in branching out abroad because of its strong global logistics industry already in place. “We have several key organizations highly involved in our highway system," says Thompson. "We have the Piedmont Triad International Airport so we attracted Honda Aircraft and Timco, both building up our aviation sector strength. We also have supply chain management expertise in companies like New Breed.”

Additionally, the executive director describes cultural events in the Piedmont already giving this area international exposure. “The Wyndham Golf Tournament is broadcast to 830 million homes world-wide and this year was the first time it was broadcast to mainland China," Thompson points out. "We’ve got the Winston-Salem Open Tennis Tournament this week. The top 16 players are ranked among the top 50 in the world and you’ll have about 30 players from 18 countries. So you can see how these events are great global and cultural assets we can leverage.”

Thompson says her team is working to make this summit an annual event.  She also hopes it will encourage state leaders to change the education curriculum to incorporate more international studies and foreign language requirements in K-12. According to Thompson, this will help nurture a global workforce that will in turn help the Piedmont compete on a bigger stage.

 Audio FileCindy Thompson talks about making the Piedmont a global contender.Edit | Remove