International Committee Business Meeting
10:15-10:45 a.m. Dec. 2
Protecting American Jobs by Going Global
Presented by the International Committee
11 a.m.-Noon Dec. 2
Economic integration between neighboring states and nations is no longer a looming probability; it’s a global reality. Learn how your state’s small and medium-sized businesses can compete and thrive through innovative approaches from Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño, CSG’s current president, and Canadian Ambassador and former Manitoba Premier Gary Doer. Both Fortuño and Doer are leaders in finding ways to develop short- and long-term economic progress and in developing solutions to help American businesses compete in the new global economy.
Sen. Mike Brubaker
Ambassador Gary Doer
Ambassador of Canada to the United States of America
Gov. Luis Fortuño
Wade Merritt, Vice President
Maine International Trade Center
Sen. Mike Brubaker is currently serving his second four-year term representing Lancaster and Chester County residents in the Pennsylvania Senate. Constituent service is Sen. Brubaker's highest priority as a legislator. He holds monthly town hall meetings throughout the district to stay connected with local residents, and he enjoys taking part in a number of community events throughout the region.
Brubaker serves as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which is tasked with reviewing legislation affecting Pennsylvania's tax codes, including any future tax increases or cuts and local, municipal and school tax issues. The committee also provides oversight over the Department of Revenue, the Pennsylvania Lottery and public pension programs. Brubaker also serves as vice chairman of the Senate State Government Committee and a member of the Senate Committees on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Appropriations, Game and Fisheries and Local Government.
Brubaker served as chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee from 2007 through 2010. He was elected to serve as chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission in 2011, and he was elected chairman of Pennsylvania's Delegation to the Commission in 2010 and 2011. Brubaker created and serves as chairman of the legislative Hunger Caucus and the International Commerce Caucus. He also has authored new laws to protect local consumers from mortgage fraud and help municipalities reduce energy costs to consumers.
Prior to his election to office, he served as president and CEO of three private companies that offer expertise in agriculture development and engineering. Brubaker is a graduate of Manheim Township High School and a recipient of the Manheim Township High School Distinguished Alumnus award, and he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy from West Virginia University. He also completed the Program for Emerging Political Leaders at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and the PA Rural Leadership Program. Back to moderators.
In October 2009, Gary Doer assumed his responsibilities as Canada's 23rd representative to the United States of America.
Prior to taking up his current position in Washington, Ambassador Doer served as premier of Manitoba for 10 years. During that time, he worked extensively with U.S. governors to enhance Canada-U.S. cooperation on trade, agriculture, water protection, climate change and renewable energy.
Ambassador Doer won three consecutive elections as premier of Manitoba with successive increased majorities. In 2005, he was named by Business Week magazine as one of the top 20 international leaders on climate change. His government introduced balanced budgets during each of his 10 years in office while reducing many taxes, including a plan to eliminate small business tax. As premier, he led strategic investments in health care, education, and training and infrastructure. Back to speakers.
Puerto Rico's current governor, Luis Fortuño, took office in February 2009. He currently serves as national president of The Council of State Governments and the immediate past chair of the Southern Governors Association. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Best Practices of the National Governors Association, as well as the President's Bipartisan Council of Governors, which deals with national security issues and the use of the state National Guards.
Prior to his election as governor, Fortuño represented the people of Puerto Rico in Congress, as their sole elected representative in the federal government.
From 1994 to 1997, Fortuño served as Puerto Rico's secretary of economic development and commerce. He simultaneously served as executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and president of the Hotel Development Corporation.
Gov. Fortuño was born and raised in the capital city of San Juan, the oldest city under the American flag. He earned his Bachelor's degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and obtained his Juris Doctorate at the University of Virginia School of Law. He and his wife, attorney Lucé Vela, are the proud parents of triplets María Luisa, Guillermo and Luis Roberto. Back to speakers.
Wade Merritt is the vice president of the Maine International Trade Center. In this capacity, he is responsible for supervising the staff and day-to-day operations of the Center, including trade missions, technical assistance and programming. Additionally, he has primary responsibility for assisting Maine's education and environmental technology sectors, including co-organizing the September 2009 renewable energy trade mission to Spain and Germany.
Prior to his promotion to vice president, Wade headed MITC's office in Bangor from 1998-2006, where he founded the Canada Desk. He has also spoken at national events on NAFTA, trade with Canada and, and the state-federal relationship in setting national trade policy.
A Bangor native and UMaine graduate, Wade serves as president of SIDO, the national association of state trade offices, and serves on the boards of the Eastern Trade Council, the Maine Citizens Trade Policy Commission, the Maine District Export Council and the American Folk Festival. He resides in South Portland with his wife Colette and daughter Camille. Back to speakers.