Annual Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast & Forum Returns May 18

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 22, 2017) - The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce will once again collaborate with an impressive group of sponsors and partners to produce Orange County's premier trade event, the 2017 Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast & Forum (OCWTW) on Thursday, May 18, at the Irvine Marriott.

In its third year, this preeminent event has continued to grow in response to Irvine and Orange County's vital role in the California, U.S., and global economies. Trade and exporting of Irvine/Orange County goods and services fuels more than $19 billion in exports annually or 11 percent of California's export economy.

"Aerospace and high-tech may appear to be the big players in this arena, but small and medium-sized companies generate more than 45 percent of exports, higher than the national ratio of one-third," said Linda DiMario, vice president of Economic Development & Tourism, Greater Irvine Chamber.

The Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast & Forum brings together experienced speakers with key leaders in state and federal trade organizations and an extraordinary coalition of International-American Chambers and business associations, like the Greater Irvine Chamber, all who are working to help their businesses expand their markets and grow their businesses by exporting.

Sponsors for this year's event include: Champion Sponsor UPS and Advocate Sponsor Edwards Lifesciences, continuing sponsors for the third year. Supporter Sponsors include returning sponsors Customs Now and IRA Capital, joined by City of Garden Grove, India Global Advisors, and District Export Council. The Port Sponsor is Port of Los Angeles, Trade Connect.

This year's keynote speaker will be Barry Draskovich, group vice president, program and contract management for Parker Aerospace since 2010. An expert in the challenges of doing business globally, Draskovich will share his perspective on today's trade environment and what it takes to successfully export in today's world economy as well as his practical experiences opening new markets and sustaining contracts and relationships.

Parker Aerospace is the premier aerospace systems supplier for the world's aircraft and part of Parker Hannifin Corporation operating in 49 countries. Draskovich has more than thirty years of experience in aerospace, defense, advanced materials and consumer electronics including Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Honeywell Aerospace, Mobility Electronics, AlliedSignal Aerospace, and Pratt & Whitney. He holds a B.S. in metallurgical engineering, an M.S. in materials science from the University of Pittsburgh, is certified as a Project Management Professional through the Project Management Institute, and holds six U.S. patents.

Joining Draskovich on the program is Jim Mayfield, director of the Orange County U.S. Commercial Service, Department of Commerce, who will present an informative and timely OC trade overview and forecast. One of the most popular program segments, Export Success Stories, will feature Robb Dorf, founder & CEO of PureFit and Sharla Marocchi, export manager for Grandma Lucy's pet food. Marv Sepe, COO of CTC Global and vice chair District Export Council and Rima Nashashibi, of Nashashibi International Consultants will serve as program moderators.

Exporter of the Year award will be presented to an area company that has grown its business by successful exporting. Nominations for this award are generated by trade organizations and partner chambers. Two John Colvin Memorial Scholarships are also presented during the OCWTW 2017 event to students who submitted applications from local high schools and colleges, and who demonstrate high academic achievement and an active, healthy lifestyle.

Partner organizations supporting this event include: Small Business Development Center; Orange County Small Business Development Center; Small Business Administration; California Center for International Trade; U.S. Commercial Service, Export Assistance; Ex Im Bank; Women in Trade OC; World Affairs Council of OC; So Cal Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals; SCORE Orange County; Orange County Association of realtors; Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; OC Iranian American Chamber of Commerce; Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce; Hong Kong Association of Southern California; MAPLE Business Council - Canada; WATCH - US Western American Turkish Chamber of Commerce; Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce; British American Business Council of OC; Nashashibi International Consultants, LLC United Nations Association of Orange County; Wells Fargo; Mercatura Global; and California Manufacturing Technology Consulting.

The event begins at 7 a.m. encouraging attendees to meet with trade organizations and International Chambers at the Trade EXPO, held concurrently with the OCWTW program in the Irvine Marriott ballroom. The program commences at 8 a.m.

Irvine Marriott is located at 18000 Von Karman Ave.

Tickets are $65.00 for non-members, and $60.00 for members of any partner organization. Tables and tickets are available at

One of the most influential Chambers in Orange County, the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce represents nearly 800 businesses in the area. The Chamber serves as a catalyst for local economic growth by promoting the city as a dynamic business and tourism destination, providing valuable training and networking opportunities, and advocating for the interests of the business community with federal, state and local officials. Our mission is to promote an economic climate that strengthens the competitiveness of local businesses while offering members a wide range of benefits, services, programs, and information.

The mission of the Chamber's Economic Vitality Council is to empower the Chamber's capacity to influence Irvine's competitiveness in a global economy, attract new business, improve business retention, expand and grow businesses, help stabilize and energize start-ups and entrepreneurships, facilitate and expand international market opportunities and cultivate a collaborative workforce development platform that fuels our future.

Contact Information:

Media Contact:
Laura Perdew
Director of Communications
Greater Irvine Chamber
(949) 502-4122