2016 Monsanto International Business Conference Focuses on Global Growth
The annual Monsanto International Business Conference aims to bring prominent business
leaders from across the country together to share ideas, grow regional opportunities
and network with the local business community. Proceeds from the conference benefit
a scholarship fund for future international business students in the Cook School.
A networking breakfast, with exhibitor tables from global organizations and companies,
officially opened the 2016 Monsanto International Business Conference held Thursday,
Dec. 1, and organized by the Boeing Institute of International Business in the John
Cook School of Business.
Approximately 300 guests gathered in the Wool Ballroom in Busch Student Center for
the morning program that began with opening remarks by Hadi Alhorr, Ph.D., director
of the Boeing Institute of International Business and chair of the international business
department. University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., gave a welcome to the speakers
and guests, congratulating the Boeing Institute on its professional as well as academic
“As many of you know, our international business programs are ranked highly by the
U.S. News and World Report with our undergraduate programs ranked no. 11 and the graduate
programs no. 12,” Pestello said. “Today’s conference is a testament of our commitment
to engage the St. Louis communities in a dialogue that is relevant and can enrich
the quality of the business environment in the Midwest region.”
The morning program consisted of four speakers:
- Yasushi Takahashi, president and CEO of Mitsui Co. USA – “Rediscovery of America”
- Tom Gebhardt, president of Panasonic Automotive Systems America and executive officer
for Panasonic Corporation – “Leveraging Transformation and Partnership to Grow in
- Masuo Yoshimatsu, president and CEO of NIDEC Americas Holding – “Vision 2020 - The
Global Growth Strategy of NIDEC Corporation”
- Adam Decaire, managing director of Southwest Airlines – “New Horizons; How Southwest
Airlines Develops New International Service Strategies”
Steve Johnson, president of Missouri Partnership, served as the chair of the morning
program, with John Gialouris, COO at Hussmann, as the moderator. Both are members
of the advisory board of the Boeing Institute of International Business. The session
concluded with the drawing of four guest names who each received a Southwest Airlines
round-trip ticket as an attendance prize. These tickets were provided by Southwest
Airlines, an event sponsor.
Guests then moved into the luncheon session, which included a talk on “The Golden
Age of Cruising; How Carnival Corporation is Developing New Global Markets and Destinations.”
The presentation was given by Giora Israel, senior vice president of Global Port and
Destination Development at Carnival Corporation, with an audio message from Arnold
Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation. Israel was introduced by Joe Reagan,
president and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber. Mark Higgins, Ph.D., dean of
the John Cook School of Business, served as the master of ceremonies.
University Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., gave a University welcome, and Alhorr
offered the annual Report From The Director. In his comments, he noted the success
of the 2016 Monsanto International Business Conference, with compelling topics presented
by high-ranking speakers, more than 300 reservations, and net proceeds exceeding $65,000.
“The speakers have been outstanding, as has the sharing of ideas and networking,”
Alhorr said. “The knowledge created today will help all of us as we grow global business
opportunities in the region. But scholarships are another reward cultivated through
this conference, funded through the net proceeds of this event. Thanks to your participation,
today’s function will generate opportunities for students studying international business
well into the future.”
The event sponsors are Monsanto, naming sponsor; Emerson, platinum sponsor; ambassador
sponsors Boeing, Bunzl, Novus, Southwest, and the World Trade Center St. Louis; consul
general sponsors Edward Jones, Ernst & Young, Hussmann, Maritz, NIDEC, and RGA; and
consul sponsors Arvegenix, Commerce Bank, Enterprise Holdings, Missouri Partnership,
Regions Bank, RubinBrown, Solae and Watlow.
The conference is also supported by a number of global partners: St. Louis Economic
Development Partnership, St. Louis Regional Chamber, Missouri International Trade
& Investment Office, The Missouri Partnership, U.S. Department of Commerce, World
Trade Center St. Louis, World Affairs Council, International Institute of St. Louis,
St. Louis Mosaic Project, Transportation Club of St. Louis, and the Japan-America
Society St. Louis.
For more information about the Boeing Institute of International Business and future
events or current academic programs, call 314-977-3898, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit biib.slu.edu.