World Trade Center Savannah’s Board of Directors announces the appointment of its 2020 executive committee. Georgia Ports Authority Director of Business Development and International Marketing John Petrino will serve as the new Chairman. BankSouth President Laura Moore has been appointed Vice Chairman, and Bonitz of Georgia CEO John Coleman has been appointed Secretary/Treasurer. National Office Systems owner Scott Center will serve as Immediate Past Chairman.

In addition, the board announced newly appointed board members, City of Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, Georgia Southern University President Kyle Marrero and Image Hotels President and CEO Kalpesh Patel.

Reappointed board members include: Savannah Bee Company Founder and President Ted Dennard and Dwight Evans, formerly of Southern Company, representing Screven County.

The new and reappointed board members join current board members:

• Girls Inc. former CEO Joyce Roché
• HB Group CEO Joseph Bell
• Georgia Department of Transportation Board Chairman Representative Ann Purcell representing Effingham County
• Hussey Gay Bell President Eric Johnson
• South Atlantic and Gulf Coast International Longshoremens Association Executive Vice President Willie Seymore
• Sterling Seacrest Partners President David Paddison
• Hugo Boss Director of International Logistics and Trade Compliance Yvonne Long representing Liberty County
• Heritage Capital Group Principal Daren Pietsch representing Glynn County
• NTG Enterprises President Nina Gompels
• Croy Group, LLC Principal Steve Croy representing Bryan County
• Bill Hill representing McIntosh County
• Foram Group Chairman and Founder Loretta Cockrum
• Michael Foran, consultant
• City of Savannah former Mayor Edna Jackson

“World Trade Center Savannah’s regional board of directors is committed to helping facilitate foreign direct investment opportunities for the Coastal Georgia region,” said Petrino. “Additionally, our board strives to make the connections necessary to help regional companies do business internationally. These ideas together allow this organization to move the economic development needle for the greater Savannah region.”

World Trade Center Savannah, licensed in 2011, is a proactive international business and trade development organization that exists to create jobs and attract investment by identifying foreign direct investment opportunities and helping regional businesses do business internationally.
In addition to announcing the 2020 WTCSav Board of Directors, the organization highlighted some of the achievements of 2019:
1. Landed the North American headquarters of Raceix, an Irish marine technology company.
2. Hosted the inaugural Prosperity Through Trade luncheon attracting an audience of more than 300 attendees from across the Southeast Georgia region and securing 15 sponsors.
3. Provided services and value to support economic development authority partners in 16 counties.
4. Supported the City of Savannah as our founding partner, most significantly by hosting the Savannah International Luncheon through participation with the Greater Savannah International Alliance (GSIA) and a reception for delegates from Japan and seven Southeastern states during the SEUS Japan conference.
5. Continued to expand TradeBridge and shepherd all partnerships with and around Wexford, Ireland to now include a Georgia Southern University location in Wexford and a Savannah-focused exhibition at the most popular tourist attraction in Wexford.
6. Led two delegations of regional businesses and organizations to Ireland, a WTCSav target country, for a business development and trade mission that resulted in multiple sales leads and transactions for those industries including tourism and agriculture.
7. Partnered with Georgia Power to host the Savannah Gateway Regional Showcase, a business and economic development event, that included regional partners and nine delegates representing various Irish business interests.
8. Hosted 14 inbound business-focused delegations with 129 delegates from 15 countries resulting in 78 business matchmaking meetings regionally.
9. Managed 46 trade service projects with 988 research hours for partners, prospects and other World Trade Centers to advance business interests and promote growth in the Savannah region.
10. Offered 14 Global Business Education Programs & Networking Events with 620 participants.

WTCSav is a member of the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA), an association of more than 300 World Trade Centers across the globe in nearly 100 countries. The WTCA network serves as an international ecosystem of global connections and integrated business development and trade services.