L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti joins L.A. Area Chamber and more than 800 business leaders for kick off of 92nd annual World Trade Week celebration

More than 800 business leaders and members of the diplomatic corps kicked off a month-long celebration of world trade in Southern California, the largest celebration of its kind in the country

May 4, 2018 3:00 pm

LOS ANGELES – Today, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined GE Transportation’s Laurie Tolson, U.S. Customs & Border Control Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and more than 800 business executives and members of the diplomatic corps to kick off the 92nd Annual World Trade Week (WTW) at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel. The WTW celebration in L.A. is the largest of its kind in the country.

The morning’s program featured a keynote address by Tolson, GE Transportation’s chief digital officer, who discussed how GE’s Port Optimizer will improve and add efficiency to the regional supply chain management.

Guests also heard from Commissioner Kevin McAleenan of the U.S. Customs & Border Control, who shared his thoughts on how Customs & Border Control has direct responsibility for enhancing U.S. economic competitiveness.

In his welcoming remarks, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said “This is our moment. Los Angeles is the best place to understand where trade is headed.” The mayor continued by advocating for increasing regional employment through exports and celebrating L.A. as a global city. “Isn’t that what World Trade Week is about? Celebrating who we are and what we dream of.”

Jim MacLellan, director of trade development for the Port of Los Angeles, was awarded the Stanley T. Olafson Bronze Plaque Award for his outstanding contributions to the world trade community in Southern California.

This year’s Export Achievement Award, given to companies in the five-county area who have demonstrated success in exporting or in providing export services, was awarded Bobrick Washroom Equipment, Inc. Konoike-Pacific California Inc. was awarded the Foreign Direct Investment Award for their strong commitment to contributing to the future economic growth of the area. Lastly, the District Export Council of Southern California was awarded the Bob Kleist Leadership Award for their inspirational and visionary leadership in the development of leaders in the global trade industry.

In addition, as part of the World Trade Week’s Education Initiative, 13 local college and high school students were awarded scholarships totaling nearly $10,000.

The L.A. Area Chamber’s annual Kickoff Breakfast jump starts more than 30 events hosted by partnering organizations celebrating world trade in Southern California. World Trade Week dedicates itself to educating the public on the importance and benefits of global trade on the local and national economy through a series of educational programs and events.


The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County.  Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region.  For more information, visit www.lachamber.com

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