Networking Event Recap: International Business

The Corbett administration sees international growth as one of the growth drivers for our local industry.  If your business is considering international expansion, or if you have an interest global business, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from and connect with leading experts in this field.

Robin Alex (Global Insights Expert for Hershey Foods) will help you understand how to differentiate US consumers and global consumers, and why this is important. Janet Kolokithas, (International Program Manager for Pennsylvania’s Center for Trade Development) will help connect you to the many international development programs offered by the state.

This breakfast networking event took place on December 4th, 2012 from 7:30 to 9:00 AM at the Eden Resort and Suites in Lancaster, PA.


KolokithasJanet Kolokithas
International Program Manager – Pennsylvania’s Center for Trade Development

Janet Kolokithas is an International Program Manager with Pennsylvania’s Center for Trade Development (CTD). CTD’s mission is to support Pennsylvania companies find, maintain and expand their international export markets through a network of 21 Authorized Trade Representatives located around the world and 10 Regional Export Network partners. Pennsylvania companies reported exports valued at $831.2 million this past fiscal year and staff worked with 1,176 companies.

Ms. Kolokithas manages two of CTD’s international offices: Japan and India. She also is the Program Director of the Small Business Administration’s STEP grant of over $2.3M, the largest STEP grant awarded in the nation. In addition, she works directly with Pennsylvania companies to determine their export readiness and provides consul on export issues.

Ms. Kolokithas joined the Center for Trade Development in August of 2005.  Prior to her current position, she served as the International Marketing Manager and as a Brand Manager for the United States Mint in Washington, DC.  Prior to joining the Mint, Ms, Kolokithas worked as a Small Business Development volunteer with the United States Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa.

Ms. Kolokithas received her Bachelor’s Degree in Japanese from Georgetown University and a Masters in Business Administration in International Business and Marketing from the University of Maryland, both in Washington, DC.


Robin_AlexRobin Alex
Global Insights Expert – Hershey Foods

Robin is part of The Hershey Company’s Global Knowledge Insights group, located at the company headquarters in Hershey, PA. Robin works in Global Innovation Insights which provides management with objective, comprehensive, consumer-based insights and actionable recommendations.

Robin currently manages Chocolate based innovation research initiatives for US, Latin America, and Asia. Prior to his new role at The Hershey Company he supported research initiatives for Hershey’s Variety Brands such as Kit Kat, Almond Joy, York, etc. He also supported US and global research initiatives for Hershey’s Chocolate World with stores in Hershey, Chicago, New York, Shanghai, Singapore, and Dubai. Typical research projects within his scope include concept testing, consumer-driven ideation, product testing, package testing, ad testing, financial valuation, qualitative (traditional and non-traditional) research, segmentation, A&U, and brand/ equity tracking. He has supplier and client side (US and International) experience in multiple verticals such as CPG, retail, consumer electronics, transportation, and security to name a few.

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