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International Business Seminar

Seminar held December 5, 2002.

On the International Front


On Thursday, the 5th of December, the Partners in Business program hosted their 23rd annual International Business Seminar on the Utah State University campus. The one day conference attracted a diverse array of speakers who shared strategies for initiating, expanding, or enhancing international trade. Since the Olympics, an unprecedented number of Utahns have been considering expanding their horizons to include foreign markets. The wealth of information exchanged throughout the day helped many attendees formulate plans that will lead to successful execution of their goals.

During the first session, Curtis Roberts discussed the building blocks of a global giant, Nike. He decoded Nike’s DNA, and identified seven of the major traits in its gene pool. Curtis dissected each trait pointing out both its strengths and its weaknesses. He discussed protecting and promoting the Swoosh, creating trends, and how Nike’s people and their unique way of working together have made the company so successful. He described Nike’s decision making strategy as Just Do It in action, a practice that has enabled the company to become a leader in the international marketplace.

During the concurrent session, David Littlefield provided an overview of the procedures employers must follow to obtain permanent visas for their employees. Ormonde Cragun discussed the eight blunders employers most commonly make when sending employees abroad, and Taira Koybaeva, a Russian born American, focused on mistakes executives make while traveling overseas. She noted examples of inappropriate behavior that she encountered during her work with the U.S. Congress in the defense arena.

Peter Cullen from the United Kingdom talked about the Euro, and why some countries adopted it and others have continued to use their own currency. He discussed the trade functions of the European Union, and the general economic health of the seven new states that will be joining it. Tina Lewis spoke about the Olympic Games and their impact on Utah businesses over the last year. She also talked about building business relationships, and developing a database that will help Utah companies initiate and maintain connections.

Kristie Seawright capped the day with a discussion of the major factors that cause globalization efforts to fail. She offered suggestions that overcome these common problems including doing your homework, and learning about a country’s laws, policies, infrastructure and culture. She also suggested that management should modify products to fit local expectations, and work closely with local law enforcement to avoid having easily copied products counterfeited. She pointed out that engaging in joint ventures with foreign companies can provide a safer way to try to expand your market initially.

This year’s International Business Seminar provided Utah managers with timely information they can put to use in the post-Olympic economic environment, and reap profits from for many years in the future. The Partners in Business staff wishes you a very peaceful holiday season, and is looking forward to seeing you at the Information Technology Seminar on January 22nd and 23rd.


Speakers / Schedule / Coordinator / Co-sponsor

Speakers back to top
Keynote Speakers
Curtis Roberts

Curtis Roberts
Vice President of Global Strategic Planning, Nike, Inc.

Nike DNA: The Building Blocks of a Great Global Company

For the previous three years Mr. Roberts has been responsible for strategic planning at Nike. His responsibilities include setting company goals, developing new business markets, and managing the company’s business-to-business e-commerce initiative. During his presentation, Mr. Roberts will describe the embedded characteristics that make companies unique. He will outline the particular characteristics, or DNA, that have helped Nike stay on top of its game, and he will share insights that your company can apply to its own business model.

Peter Cullen

Peter Cullen
Senior Lecturer, University of the West of England

The Making or Breaking of the European Union: Issues of Enlargement

As a Senior Lecturer in economics, Professor Cullen currently teaches European Economics and does research in the area of European Union policies and their implications. His presentation will focus on the Euro, and issues related to expanding the European Union to include the central European economies. Professor Cullen will help you gain a better understanding of how broader Euro usage could impact the world economy.

Kristie Seawright, Ph.D.
Former Director, the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER)
Assistant Professor, Marriott School of Management, BYU

Understanding Local Context in Global Business Decisions

As the director of CIBER, Dr. Seawright helped various organizations develop an international faculty and curriculum. She has also taught executive management courses in Russia, and directed Asian study abroad trips for institutions such as Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management. Dr. Seawright will outline the information your company needs to make intelligent cultural, regulatory, public policy, and economic development decisions. You will learn to ask the questions that insure your company avoids the common pitfalls of conducting international business.

Tina Lewis Tina Stahlke Lewis
International Director, Utah International Business Development Office

Utah’s Global Connections

As International Director, Ms. Lewis oversees the Utah International Business Development Office’s efforts to serve as host and coordinator for visiting dignitaries, government officials, and trade missions. Her organization also acts as a resource for Utah businesses that plan to expand their operations overseas and attract investments from foreign markets. Ms. Lewis will discuss the global connections and resources available to Utah businesses for international expansion. You will gain a better understanding of how and why to expand your operations into foreign markets.

Concurrent Speakers

Dave Littlefield

Dave Littlefield
Founding Partner, Littlefield & Peterson

Immigration Today: Business Immigration, An Overview of Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas for Foreign Nationals

Mr. Littlefield has specialized in immigration law for over 25 years representing local, national, and international businesses including the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee. He has also served as Chairman of the Utah State Bar Ethics Screening Panel and he is listed in Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Littlefield will discuss the immigration requirements and procedures you need to understand to help your employees secure temporary and permanent work visas.

Ormonde Cragun Ormonde R. Cragun
Global Human Resource Manager, Textron Global Services

Sending Employees Abroad

Mr. Cragun leads a team at Textron that implements and supports human resource shared services in 33 countries. He has also taught courses in human resource management and international teams in the Netherlands. Mr. Cragun will provide you with the tools you need to implement changes in your company’s international travel procedures, and short term or long term assignment policy. His discussion will help you avoid the classic mistakes made by unprepared companies.

taira koybaeva Taira Koybaeva, Ph.D
President, Tarask International, L.L.C

Aspects of International Business as Applied to International Management of Joint Ventures

Dr. Koybaeva’s many roles include being a Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center of International Studies, and a consultant for a subcommittee of the United States Congress. The company she founded, Tarask International, is dedicated to international business consulting. Dr. Koybaeva will highlight the problems that commonly occur during international business transactions and strategies you can employ to overcome such difficulties. She will provide you with tools you can use to develop emotional and cultural intelligence that combats problems such as language barriers, alternative perspectives and government policies.

Speakers are subject to change without notice. Refer to this site for updates on scheduled speakers and Seminar information, or contact the seminar coordinator (contact information below).

Schedule back to top
7:30 a.m. Registration / Continental Breakfast
8:20 a.m Welcome, Dr. Ross E. Robson, Associate Dean and Dr. Caryn L. Beck-Dudley, Dean, College of Business, Utah State University
8:30 a.m. Samuel C. Powell Distinguished Lecture
Curtis S. Roberts, Vice President, Global Strategic Planning Nike, Inc.
Nike DNA: The Building Blocks of a Great Global Company
9:30 a.m. Networking Break
9:45 a.m.

Concurrent Session

David E. Littlefield, Founding Partner
Littlefield & Peterson
Immigration Today: Business Immigration, An Overview of Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas for Foreign Nationals

Ormonde R. Cragun, Global Human Resource Manager
Textron Global Services
Sending Employees Abroad

Taira Koybaeva, PhD, President
Tarask International, L.L.C.
Aspects of International Business as Applied to International Management of Joint Ventures

10:45 a.m. Networking Break
11:00 p.m.

Reed R. Durtschi Distinguished Lecture
Peter Cullen
Senior Lecturer University of the West of England
The Making or Breaking of the European Union: Issues of Enlargement

12:00 p.m. Networking Luncheon
1:00 p.m. Charles P. Kindleberger Distinguished Lecture
Tina Stahlke Lewis
International Director Utah International Business Development Office
Utah’s Global Connections
2:00 p.m. Networking Break
2:15 p.m.

Concurrent Session (repeat of morning session)

3:15 p.m. Networking Break
3:30 p.m. Parley E. Peterson Distinguished Lecture
Kristie Seawright, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor at the Marriott School of Management, BYU and Former Director, Center for International Business Education and Research Brigham Young University
Understanding Local Context in Global Business Decisions
4:30 p.m. Seminar Adjourns: Aggie Ice Cream Social

Coordinator back to top

Jeff Reece
International Business Seminar Coordinator

Co-sponsors back to top
U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
State of Utah International Business Development Office
BYU/U of U Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER)
World Trade Association, Salt Lake Chapter


USU College of Business | Created by Dallas Arnell in conjunction with Business Relations, June 2002 | Site Questions or Comments: