Business leaders gather for fourth annual Utah Global Forum

More than 400 Utah business leaders gathered for the fourth annual Utah Global Forum, presented by Gov. Gary R Herbert. The theme of this year’s event was “Prosperity Through Diversity.”

“When it comes to international relationships, Utah’s compassionate and welcoming culture sets us apart,” said Gov. Herbert. “Utah companies, large and small, have found success in diversifying their markets, talent and opportunity. By building global partnerships and growing our diverse economy, Utah can weather any economic storm.”

The forum included two keynote speakers: Javiaer Palomarez, president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, who expanded on the event’s theme; and Ana Navarro, CNN, ABC News and Telemundo political contributor, who took attendees behind the headlines of current affairs to discuss how it might impact international business.

Four “power presenters” provided expert advice on the current international business climate, as well as the role of domestic manufacturing and technology in the global business landscape. Attendees later joined breakout sessions exploring diversity in markets, money, talent and resources, as well as hands-on instruction on how to jumpstart an international career.

“The Utah Global Forum provides valuable information to help companies ‘go global,’” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah. “Topics and speakers are selected to provide expert insights and practical advice. Attendees leave armed with knowledge and connections to reach their growth goals.”

In addition to forum presentations and breakout sessions, the World Trade Association, an organization of companies that work in the global marketplace, recognized an individual and a company for their contributions to Utah’s global growth. This year’s awards, sponsored by KeyBank, included:

• International Person of the Year – Ed Macha, president of Reliable Controls Corporation
• International Company of the Year – Ultradent Products, Inc.

The forum, held at The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, convened Utah business leaders, national experts and honorary consuls to exchange best practices in international trade. The event was hosted by Gov. Herbert and presented by World Trade Center Utah, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Salt Lake Chamber.

Utah is a major contributor to the country’s international trade, with more than 55,000 U.S. jobs supported by products exported from the state. More than 3,500 Utah businesses export, and 85 percent of them are small businesses. The Utah Global Forum is an annual event dedicated to helping Utah companies of all sizes break into global markets. Visit for detailed information and video recordings from this year’s event, plus updates about the 2018 Utah Global Forum.