Business leaders from across the Intermountain West will learn new ways to innovate, compete and grow jobs in an increasingly global environment at the 14th annual Zions Bank Trade and Business Conference on Tuesday, May 12, at the Grand America Hotel. 

Sir John Major, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1990 to 1997, will keynote the event and will explore how Pan-European events impact commerce across the globe.  Having served as Prime Minister during a time of unprecedented transformation, Major offers a unique perspective on the changing global landscape. During his term, he instituted public sector reforms that became international models and left behind the strongest economy that any incoming British Government had ever inherited. Major initiated an unprecedented effort to secure lasting peace in Northern Ireland and continued to lend his support on that issue to his successor as Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

During the conference, Major will share thoughts about current global trouble spots and what nations must do to maintain peace. He will also discuss the European Union and how international cooperation has affected the world in the most recent economic downturn.

The half-day conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and check-in and registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Cost is $35 and includes lunch. Register online at www.zionsbank.com/conference. Seating is limited, so early registration is recommended.

The conference comes at a time when companies in the Intermountain West are growing overseas.  In 2014, Utah exported goods in excess of $12.3 billion, according to World Trade Center Utah.  Of the 3,475 companies that exported from Utah locations in 2012, 86 percent were small- to medium-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees. These firms generated more than one-sixth (16.5 percent) of Utah’s total exports of merchandise in 2012, according the latest available data from the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration. 

“Our state is filled with businesses and business people who not only want to grow right here at home, but also overseas So we’ve designed this conference to appeal to all leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises, not just those currently involved in trade,” said Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson. “As Utah’s economy continues to strengthen and its companies expand overseas, these top-notch speakers will offer strategies for businesses to succeed at home and abroad.”

During the event, Zions Bank will also honor the recipient of the 2015 Global Pacesetter Award — a distinction given annually to a Utah company demonstrating international success.