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Michigan Export Growth Program kick-off

Publish Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Michigan Export Growth Program (MEGP) kick-off program was held on Tuesday, October 13. In the next year, MEGP will assist 50 small- and medium-d companies in Michigan with exporting their products and services.

Local business leaders and experts were invited to learn how they can enroll their companies in the MEGP and become better equipped to engage in exporting. MEGP offers pro bono consulting services to Michigan businesses, mainly in the greater Lansing area, to support their strategic steps toward expanding into the global marketplace.

The meeting began with an introduction to the Michigan Export Growth Program by Tomas Hult, Director of the Center for International Business and Research (CIBER). Hult, outlined the ways in which companies can benefit from MEGP. The companies will receive guidance by student teams led by CIBER's staff and faculty with expertise in a particular trade or industry. Through continuous interaction between student consultants and company officials, the team will learn about the landscape of the company's exporting infrastructure and the degree of competitiveness of products or services that they aim to export.

"The MSU team's guidance will help local businesses understand more about why expansion into emerging markets is more crucial than sticking to their old ways," Hult said.

A panel discussion then offered attendees an opportunity to hear from others who have already dealt with some of the issues that come from international expansion. The panel group consisted of: John Grettenberger, CEO of LorAnn Oils, Inc.; Lon Bohannon, President and Chief Operating Officer of Neogen Corporation; and Patrick Regan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Plas Labs, Inc. They discussed various implications of global business, such as difference in regulations and laws, building partnerships with distributors and managing currency fluctuations.

"I believe MEGP will work for Michigan business by avoiding possible tribulations that would otherwise happen from lack of knowledge and research about doing business internationally," said Michael D. Wahl, Vice President of Corporate Foreign Exchange of National City, who attended the program.

The MEGP is supported by grants from the Ford College Community Challenge, the Eli Broad College of Business and Michigan State University. For more information about the Michigan Export Growth Program, please see

Written by KyuJin Shim for the International Business Center