I recently returned from coordinating the Cincinnati delegation to the Globes B2B (Business to Business) Conference in Tel Aviv. Our participation is an interesting example of how our community, through the Jewish Federation and JCRC, is increasingly partnering with Cincinnati's premiere civic institutions to enhance the quality of life in our region.
The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) created the B2B conference to coincide with Israel's prestigious GLOBES business conference. The B2B conference fosters reciprocal business connections between Israeli business leaders and those in the U.S. The B2B Conference was chaired by our own Gary Heiman last year and was co-chaired this year by P&G Israel's CEO, Sophie Blum.
Cincinnati was the only U.S. city whose delegation went beyond individual businesspeople. Our delegation included official trade representation through the Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce's Vice President for Economic Development, Doug Moormann and Steve Shifman, Chamber Board Member (who is also Michelman Chemical CEO and a Jewish community leader).
Conference speakers included Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, CEO's of Israel's financial sector, entrepreneurs, and US Congressmen and senior officials. While at the conference, we launched an alliance with the Israel Chamber of Commerce, which is already helping to match specific Israeli businesses with Cincinnati's goals.
We also had an extraordinary meeting with P&G's Israel House of Innovation, who helped us start to define long-term goals, such as increasing the Israeli public's awareness of Cincinnati's unique business strengths and of Cincinnati becoming 'the most welcoming US city for Israelis."
Our delegation's participation cemented the Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce commitment to create strong multi-dimensional business relationships with Israeli businesses. The initial goals we set for the 2010 Trade Mission include: 1) connecting leaders of Cincinnati's Life Sciences and IT sectors with their Israeli counterparts; 2) connecting Cincinnati entrepreneurs with Israeli venture capitalists and Israeli entrepreneurs with Cincinnati investors; and 3) highlighting Cincinnati's specific areas of expertise, like innovative "Branding and Channel to Market."
The 2010 Israel Trade Mission will benefit our entire Jewish community, by: 1) providing Cincinnati with a bridge to Israel's global leadership in entrepreneurship and innovation; 2) transforming the public perception of Israel from that of a "troubled region" into that of a valued asset for Cincinnati's economic growth; and 3) complimenting our existing, vibrant P2K partnership with the city of Netanya by creating more exchanges and bringing more talented Israelis to Cincinnati who will make us proud.
The Federation is proud to partner with the Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce, as we have this year with the United Way, P&G and Children's Hospital, to strengthen our region. I thank Beth Guttman and our leadership for encouraging the Federation to pursue these new strategic roles, which will position the Federation and our community for regional leadership in the years ahead.
I want to thank all our stakeholders, partners and professional staff. Your commitment is truly changing the way we live, work, play, and learn.
Wishing you, our community, and the world a year of renewal and growth in 2010.
Shep Englander, CEO