NEOTEC, Port of Cleveland Host Foreign Trade Zone Seminar
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Area companies can learn how to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of their global supply chain at a seminar on Foreign-Trade Zones on May 30 at Firestone Country Club in Akron.  Hosted by the Northeast Ohio Trade and Economic Consortium (NEOTEC) and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority in conjunction with the Greater Akron Chamber, the half-day seminar will bring together nationally renowned FTZ experts to discuss the program’s benefits and how it helps companies become more globally competitive. 

Presenters include Dan Griswold, president of the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ) in Washington, D.C.; Trey Boring, a NAFTZ board member and senior vice president of IMS Worldwide, Inc. in Texas;  Kevin Burwell, president of the Northeast Ohio Regional Center in Wooster, Ohio; and Brandi Hanback, managing director of Rockefeller Group Foreign-Trade Zone Services in Maryland.  Topics to be addressed include FTZ basics, benefits of the program, the application and activation process, inventory control and recordkeeping, handling goods in an FTZ, and compliance regulations.

“This is an important opportunity for area companies to understand that the Foreign-Trade Zone program can save them money and make their global supply chain more efficient,” said Ron DeBarr, president and CEO of NEOTEC.  Companies that can benefit from Foreign-Trade Zone status include those that export products, import high-value products or products in high volume, are subject to import quotas, desire expedited delivery, or receive multiple shipments in a week.  “These are the companies that need to be at this seminar,” said DeBarr, “as well as property owners and developers who want to provide FTZ status for companies locating at their sites.”  NEOTEC offers a free, confidential benefits analysis to companies to determine how much value the FTZ program can provide, DeBarr said. 

NEOTEC and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, grantees of Foreign-Trade Zones 181 and 40, have a partnership agreement to administer and market the FTZ program in Northeast Ohio, which is one of the most successful foreign-trade zone areas in the country.

"Through our collaboration with NEOTEC, the Port is creating awareness of the FTZ program and delivering a product that serves the global development needs of companies in our area,” said David Gutheil, the Port’s vice president of maritime and logistics.

The event sponsor is the Greater Akron Chamber. Other sponsors include the Development Finance Authority of Summit County, Medina County Economic Development Corporation, Northeast Ohio Regional Center, and Rockefeller Group Foreign-Trade Zone Services.

Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the seminar concludes at 1 p.m. The fee for the seminar, which also includes a Continental breakfast and buffet lunch, is $85. An optional golf outing will follow. To register, visit the NEOTEC web site at

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