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Deputy Commerce Secretary Dennis Hightower, U.S. Reps. John Dingell and John Conyers to Talk to Michigan Small Businesses About Exporting

Eight-City Exports Live! Seminar Series Brings Together Small Businesses Thriving During Tough Economy


Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Stephanie O'Keefe, SVP, Communications,202-509-4227 (cell phone), orPhil Cogan, VP, Communications, 202-746-1676 (cell phone)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Dennis F. Hightower, and U.S. Congressmen John D. Dingell and John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan will talk to local small businesses about growing their export-related sales while creating and maintaining U.S. jobs at a seminar in Detroit Dec. 11.

Deputy Secretary Hightower will deliver luncheon remarks at ExportsLive! Real Deals - Real Profits, a half-day seminar organized by six federal agencies at the Detroit Mariott at the Renaissance Center. It is the final event of an eight-city seminar series.

As a seasoned business executive with more than 30 years of experience in global trade, Secretary Hightower is ideally suited to inspire Michigan small businesses to try exporting as a way to grow in these difficult times, said Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), one of the six sponsoring agencies of the seminar.

Congressman Dingell, who represents Michigan's 15th Congressional District, and Congressman Conyers of Michigan's 14th Congressional District will deliver morning remarks at the meeting. Ex-Im Bank Chairman Hochberg and David Ickert, vice president of finance, Air Tractor Inc., also will address the seminar.

Congressmen Dingell and Conyers are long-time, powerful supporters of working families, and both know that Michigan jobs increasingly depend on exporting, Hochberg said. We are delighted that they will be able to reach out to local small businesses and encourage them to tap federal government support that will further expand exports and jobs.

Successful small businesses that have benefited from government export services will present their stories at the seminar, followed by a Q & A session. Presenting regional companies include DMK International, LLC, Macomb, Mich.; Dynamic Manufacturing Corp., Weidmann, Mich.; Mill Steel Company, Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Oshkosh Corporation, Oshkosh, Wisc.

Representatives of the government organizations providing these export services also are on the program and are available later in the day to offer one-on-one consultations. Leading the meeting will be the heads of Ex-Im Bank, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The Detroit seminar follows events in New York, Boston, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle. About 1,300 small businesses, lenders, brokers and trade specialists have attended the first seven seminars.

Hightower was sworn into office in August 2009. His extensive global management experience has included top executive posts at Europe Online Networks S.A., a privately held broadband interactive entertainment company based in Luxembourg, and The Walt Disney Company, where he was president of Walt Disney Television & Telecommunications and president of Consumer Products, Europe/Middle East and Africa. Hightower is a former professor of management at Harvard Business School, where he focused on leadership, building emerging markets and global general management.

Dingell is Chairman Emeritus of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he focuses on issues including health insurance, energy and climate change, and consumer protection. This past February Dingell became the longest serving member in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1955 at the age of 29, he filled the seat left empty when his father passed away while still a member of the House.

Conyers was reelected to his 22nd term in the House in November 2008, and is chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary. He is one of the 13 founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Conyers continues to fight for equal pay for women and minorities, a raise in the minimum wage, and full employment of all Americans.

For more information and to register for the Detroit Exports Live! seminar, visit www.export.gov/exports_live/ or call toll-free 1-(888) 966-2009. Please note that space is limited.

NOTE TO EDITORS: To clarify: the web site address for more information is www.export.gov/exports[underscore]live/ In other words, there is an underscore between exports and live