April 28, 2021

Virtual Roundtable Recap: Global Partnerships, Local Impact in Toledo, OH

Today, a Zoom room full of elected officials, community leaders, and business and non-profit executives agreed—America’s agriculture and international affairs programs play a critical role for communities like Toledo. At a virtual roundtable hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and Cargill and led by Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture and senior advisor to USGLC, over a dozen participants from the Toledo area discussed the local impact of these global programs, including how they strengthen American global leadership and help to create jobs, feed the hungry, and reduce poverty across Ohio and around the world.

Here’s what some of these leaders had to say:

  • Christina Muryn, Mayor of Findlay, Ohio: “As we all know, we are a global economy and diplomacy plays an important role in making sure that we have a strong and secure country and world. Anything that we can do to continue to position the United States as a global leader is not only going to have positive ramifications for our country but for our local communities in Ohio as well. I’m excited to be able to join this virtual discussion on the importance of America’s global presence and how the United States can continue to be a global leader both today and into the future.”
  • Annie Kneedler, Senior Director of Corporate Responsibility, Cargill: “Cargill recently opened the doors of a major production facility in western Ohio, so this is the perfect time to have a conversation about the potential to grow our agricultural exports to global markets. Expanding exports from Ohio and across the country supports local economies and ensures that families around the world are fed. We’re delighted to partner with the USGLC on this conversation series to showcase how America’s leadership abroad strengthens our agricultural economy and national security.”

Statewide Network Supporting Global Leadership

Ohio has an active State Advisory Committee of more than 200 business, faith, military, government, and community leaders committed to strong investments in U.S. global engagement to help keep America safe and strengthen Ohio’s economy. They include:

  • Bob Taft – former Ohio Governor (1999-2007)
  • Suzanne Allen – President & CEO, Philanthropy Ohio
  • Heather Hodges – U.S. Ambassador Ecuador (2008-2011), Moldova (2003-2006), President and Ambassador-in-Residence of the Cleveland Council on World Affairs
  • Frank LaRose – Ohio Secretary of State (2019-present)
  • Alan Smith – Midwest Director & Senior Fellow, R Street Institute

You can find a full list of Ohio’s State Advisory Committee members here: https://www.usglc.org/downloads/advisory-committees/OH-Advisory-Committee.pdf

Global Engagement Supports Ohio Impact

The numbers speak for themselves. The strength of America’s global connections directly impact the Ohio economy and local jobs:

  • Ohio exported more than $53 billion worth of goods in 2019, with international trade supporting more than 1,396,900 jobs in the state
  • The U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $400 million in exports from Ohio companies since 1992
  • 37,314 international students were enrolled in Ohio colleges and universities and contributed $1.3 million to the Ohio economy in 2019

Celebrating Global Engagement in Dayton

Ohio leaders are highlighting the importance of global engagement and its impacts on the state. Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton, proclaimed March 10, 2021 as Global Engagement Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the many ways that Dayton and the state of Ohio are connected with the rest of the world.

Angelia Erbaugh, President of the Dayton Region Manufacturers Association and a member of USGLC’s Ohio Advisory Committee, wrote on the importance of this proclamation and of Ohio’s global engagement efforts in a recent USGLC blog: Global Engagement Day: Celebrating Dayton’s Connection to the World.

Building the Future

Three Ohio professionals were recently selected to join nearly 100 other young leaders from 33 states as part in the USGLC’s inaugural Next Gen Leaders Network. Through this year-long program, participants will receive leadership and advocacy training, interact with policymakers and opinion leaders, and draw connections between U.S. global engagement and their own communities:

  • Mariah Carna  International Trade Specialist, Ohio Small Business Development Center, Export Assistance Network at Youngstown State University; Youngstown, OH
  • Thomas Schultz – Building Data Analyst, Green Umbrella; Cincinnati, OH
  • Mike Steensen  Director of International Sales and Development, L.J. Star Inc.; Cleveland, OH

Liz Schrayer, USGLC President and CEO: “[T]his next generation is truly our future. Instead of seeing borders, they see solutions by working with partners around the world on issues like climate, hunger, global health and so many others that matter to American kitchen table issues. By investing in them, we are building a new cadre of advocates ready to educate policymakers about why leading globally matters locally.”

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.