On March 28, 2011, USGLC hit the road in Florida, meeting with top leaders from the business community to discuss how the International Affairs budget helps create jobs and keep Floridians safe.
At a luncheon in Tampa Bay headlined by Bill Lane of Caterpillar, Inc, members of the business community came together to discuss international trade, exports and other ways the International Affairs Budget is important to the local economy.
Thanks to a great partnership with the Tampa Bay International Business Council, the discussion was lively and informative. After the event, Lane said “The business community, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are some of the strongest supporters of our International Affairs programs. This modest investment reaps important dividends for local businesses across the country, including here in Florida, by creating new markets for American goods and services overseas. The fastest growing markets anywhere are in the developing world, and selling our products in those countries is critical to our future economic growth and job creation here at home.”
The USGLC team then hit the road, traveling I-4 to Orlando for an evening event. A torrential downpour didn’t keep the crowds from coming out to hear about the International Affairs Budget, and a broad cross-section of local leaders mingled among the lights of local TV cameras before settling in for a panel discussion.
Caterpillar’s Bill Lane was joined in Orlando by Lt. General Donald Kerrick, who focused on the national security aspect of our International Affairs programs. General Kerrick said “A ‘smart power’ foreign policy, which includes the civilian tools of development and diplomacy alongside defense, is critical to keeping our troops safe. Based on my experience, strong civilian components strengthen national security and enable the success of our missions in the most dangerous parts of the world. That’s why so many senior leaders, from General Petreaus to Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates, support a strong and effective International Affairs budget.”
The panel was also enriched by contributions from Dr. Lewis Duncan, President of Rollins College, and Dr. John Hitt, President of the University of Central Florida. The college presidents talked about what today’s interconnected world means for young people, and the importance of international engagement in education and job preparation. In addition, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs was on hand to introduce the panel and former Florida State Senator Dick Batchelor was there to give closing remarks.
The event was held in conjunction with the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission.
Lt. Gen. Donald L. Kerrick, USA (Ret.)
Lewis M. Duncan, Ph.D.
President, Rollins College
William C. Lane
John C. Hitt, Ph.D.
President, University of Central Florida
Orange County Mayor