Message From World Trade Center Miami President & CEO Ivan Barrios

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As 2023 draws to a close, I and the World Trade Center Miami team want to thank our Chair, our Board of Directors and WTCM Members for helping us make this a truly banner year at the WTCM. Through their leadership and support, we have been able to enhance and grow our trade shows, explore new partnerships that add vitality and new energy to our offerings and explore opportunities for new show and program development. I am pleased to announce that we have made great strides along all those lines which collectively are moving this organization in both a positive and forward-moving direction.

During this past year, I was also honored to have been elected to the Board of the World Trade Centers Association which is the global link to the network of over 320 World Trade Centers spanning the globe in 91 countries and regions.  Through this appointment, I hope to further develop collaboration and to share our WTCM news and achievements with the global membership.

We are already in planning and implementation mode for our 2024 lineup of events, programs, and trade shows. Our annual International Women’s Day event is already in planning and will take place on March 15 at the Biltmore in Coral Gables. Nominations forms are available on the WTCM website. On September 16-18, our 28th edition of the Americas Food and Beverage Show & Conference, taking place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, promises to be the largest ever, stretching across three halls for three days, along with our new partner, Informa, who will co-locate their FHL – Food & Hospitality LATAM show with AF&B. And, in another new partnership with Messe München, a global organizer of multiple transport logistics shows, we will jointly debut the cargalogistica Americas Summit, from October 15-16, at the W Hotel in Panama City, Panama. I look forward to sharing further details as they evolve for what will be an exciting 2024. Be sure to check out these and other WTCM events on our website at www.wtcMiami.org

With that, let me convey to all our warmest wishes during this holiday season with hope for a peaceful and prosperous new year ahead. I look forward to your continued collaboration with the World Trade Center Miami and thank you again for a productive and memorable year.

The Year in Review:  WTCM Events and Trade Shows in 2023

 International Women’s Day

In 2004, the WTCM began this community’s celebration of International Women’s Day, and though 2022 has recognized 94 women who inspire,  challenge and contribute to international business and free trade. On May 5, 2023, the WTCM honored an additional five women whose achievements have advanced the promotion of international business in the community and across the Americas.  Recipients of the 2023 International Achievement Awards were Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Mayor of Miami-Dade County; Patricia Compres, Founding & Managing Member of Advance Customs Brokers & Consultants; Lissette Elias, Trade Commissioner, Dominican Republic; Djenane Gouge, Founder & Vice President of the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce; and Teresa King Kinney, CEO of the Miami Association of Realtors.  A well-deserved congratulations to this year’s honorees.

America’s Food & Beverage Show & Conference

The 27th edition of the Americas Food & Beverage Show and Conference (AF&B) was the largest and most attended in the history of this WTCM production.  Spanning 2 show halls and for 3 business days at the Miami Beach Convention Center, AF&B has become the meeting point for decision makers from throughout the hemisphere and the world.  From September 18-20, AF&B attracted over 7,300 attendees from 93 countries, with 653 exhibitors including 16 country pavilions. AF&B is only open to the industry, making for an exclusively B2B (business to business) event. Attendees look for new and innovative products to source, add to their store shelves, menus, and to wow their clients. According to an exhibitor, “Participation at AF&B allows us to showcase our products to a wide range of distributors and buyers from across the globe, all in one place. Our presence allows us to reconnect with customers, build relationships, and fast track countless discussions, meetings and buyer opportunities that help to enhance our sales efforts.”

Air Cargo Americas / Supply Chain Americas Show & Conference (ACA/SCA)

Since 1991, Miami’s home-grown air cargo, logistics, and supply chain exhibition and conference has gained global attention from exhibitors and attendees across the globe.  This year’s event took place from October 31 – November 2, at the Doubletree/Miami Airport Convention Center, ACA/SCA drew over 3,200 executives from 75 counties, with the conference drawing some 400 attendees and with almost 100 exhibitors.  Statistics aside, comments from attendees were positive and well received.  According to one major exhibitor, “Once again, the WTCM did an excellent job of organizing a stellar event for the air cargo supply chain industry.”  Yet another exhibitor commented on the conference program saying, “ The agenda items and topics were very informative and relevant to current challenges we are facing and the future outlook of the logistics industry.”  Being a biennial event, ACA/SCA returns in 2025.

Global State of the Ports

On November 2, at the Doubletree Hotel, the WTCM held its annual state of the ports luncheon and presentation with a new addition meant to expand the program’s scope to a more global level. Leadership from international ports joined Directors from Miami International Airport and from Port Miami to reflect on the present state of the trade industry, along with future outlook. Their presentations provided for a collective exchange of accomplishments as well as challenges in the post-pandemic environment at each of the speakers’ respective ports. Moderated by Pamela Fuertes, Dean, Miguel B. Fernandez School of Global Business, Trade & Transportation | Miami Dade College, the program’s speakers included Hydi Webb, Director & CEO, Port Miami; Ralph Cutié, Director & CEO, Miami International Airport; Rene Puche, President of the Port of Barranquilla Authority and Salih Kamil Salihoglu, Vice President Cargo for the Americas for the global carrier Turkish Cargo.  Over 320 area businesspeople attended the event.

WTCM Presents International Awards

The WTCM presented its annual International Achievement Award and International Hall of Fame Awards during a holiday reception on December 7 at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables. In keeping with its mission to promote and enhance trade and commerce, the WTCM created this long-standing event to herald those companies, entities and individuals who share the vision to grow international business in our community. The International Achievement Award was presented to American Airlines, for fostering global connectivity for Miami. International Hall of Fame Awards were presented to J.A. “Tony” Villamil, the Washington Economics Group; Michael (Mike) Carricarte, Amedex Assurance; and Virginia Sanchez, American Airlines.  In special recognition, the Chairman’s Award was presented to Lee Sandler and Tom Travis, from Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.

WTCM Trading After Hours Gains Popularity

A popular and growing WTCM event, the Trading After Hours reception takes place each month in an effort to facilitate networking opportunities for members and stakeholders, while significantly contributing to membership recruitment endeavors. In a relaxed and friendly environment, attendees get to exchange business cards, enjoy some food & beverages, while meeting new members of the WTCM and encouraging invited guests to consider WTCM membership. Held at the WTCM Offices, plans now include co-hosting the reception at member locations as well, during 2024.  Look for future WTCM announcements on dates and locations.

WTCM MEMBERSHIP CONTINUES TO GROW

Throughout 2023, the WTCM Membership drive successfully recruited a wide array of corporate and individual members to join our organization. The WTCM connects small and medium-sized businesses to the global marketplace. Whether your business is looking to find your next customer, expand to international markets or make global connections – the WTCM has the resources and services to grow your bottom line. Thank you to all our new members:

The International Longshoreman’s Association, Crystal Pittman/ILA, Hyatt House Hotel, Aver Productions, Latamways, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Aerolineas Argentinas, Uruguay American Chamber of Commerce, American Airlines, Caribbean Trading Enterprise, Pacific National Bank, Government of Quebec, M&M International Consultants, OIS & Associates, The UPS Store, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Kemi Arosanyin, Hilton Cabana / Embassy Suites, Florida First Capital Finance Corp., Diaz Trade Law, DOF Global Logistics, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., Interport Logistics Companies, Monica Martinez / Clasicamasters, JCE Professional Maintenance, KAT Marketing, Centauri Transportation, Simon Corp, Modern Logistics, CERMAQ US, LLC, Arias Tovar & Associates, P.A., Javier Perez Palencia, Javier Madrid, Roanoke Insurance, 4Kings Cold Solutions, Facildex Colombia, Pullman Hotels, Uruguay Chamber President, and Element Hotel.  

Become a member of the WTCM today and unlock global opportunities for you and your company. Click on the link below for information and more details.

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