April 4, 2012

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

Seminar To Focus on International Business Etiquette

MONTGOMERY -- In today’s global economy, it is more important than ever for companies to take international protocol into consideration when planning a new venture abroad. 

In an effort to educate Alabamian business leaders on the importance of international protocol, Alabama State University, in cooperation with the Alabama Department of Commerce’s International Trade Division, will host a seminar on April 26, 2012. 

The event, sponsored by a Title VI-B grant from the U.S. Department of Education, will be held at ASU’s Acadome Banquet Room from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Lunch will be provided.  While there is no fee to attend, registration is required. 

Hilda Lockhart, director of the International Trade Division for the Alabama Department of Commerce, said it is imperative that all levels of management be aware of the intricacies of doing business with a culture different than one’s own.Alabama’s global community continues to grow and anyone who is involved in hosting foreign visitors or traveling overseas should attend this program. Gaining international protocol intelligence will increase an individual’s ability to work in a global environment by learning how to communicate and minimizing language barriers.” Lockhart said.  


Lockhart said first impressions carry a lot of weight; something as simple as a greeting could, potentially, make or break a deal.  "Having a basic understanding of the culture of the country one plans to do business in conveys to a potential client that one is sincerely invested in creating a strong and lasting business alliance," she said.


Chief of Protocol and Director of International Affairs for the State of Georgia Chris Young will be the speaker for the event. Young has extensive knowledge and experience in the field of international protocol.  He has held his current position with the State of Georgia since 2005 and was the first individual to be appointed to this post.  His duties include handling the state’s foreign affairs (on behalf of the Governor and Commissioner of Economic Development), organizing visits for heads of state, ambassadors, and prime ministers, and planning and participating in official trade missions to 25 foreign countries.  Effective May 1, 2012, Young will begin his tenure as the Executive Director of The Protocol School of Washington®, “the first and only accredited institute of higher education and training devoted to protocol, cross-cultural communication, and business etiquette.” 

For more information and/or to register for the event, please send an e-mail to Dara Steele (Dara.Steele@commerce.alabama.gov) or call her at 334-353-1762 at the Alabama Department of Commerce. 

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