Paul Bollinger, after serving as vice president of a micro-electronics firm, decided to retool himself as an American wood-carver and artist specializing in Father Christmas pieces. After expanding to supply Neiman Marcus and being featured as one of the 100 top traditional craftsmen in the United States he gradually expanded his reach to move beyond the U.S. He gradually expanded his reach to move beyond U.S. production and had figurines made as well in Mexico, the Philippines and China. He spoke about the many international challenges he and his wife Camille encountered when shipments unexpectedly varied in dimensions such as color and shape. Nonetheless, individual figures reached a sales volume of over 50,000 items.
Mr. Geir Haarde, Who visited our seminar last year in the roles of Prime Minister of Iceland and Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the United States, came back to us, now as the Executive Director of the World Bank, representing the countries of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden. Director Haarde explained how the World Bank addresses issues at the level of the firm and seeks to improve standards of living and economic performance. Though the bank has more than 9,000 employees in Washington, he conducts his work with a staff of 10. The interest and questioning was very engaged and answers were well received.
We truly enjoyed having Mr. John Diamond to come and share his thoughts on working in the World Bank. He talked about the different projects that are being done in the institution. One of them is We-Fi, which is the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative. He also talked about the formalization of businesses and how it affects international development. He covered the topic of FDI and how it fluctuates with different countries. The students showed a lot of interest in getting to know about Mr. Diamond’s journey to the World Bank as well as the opportunities to work in the prestigious institute.
It was our honor to host Mr. Alan Beard, who leads Interlink Capital Strategies a management-consulting and private equity firm. He provided insights on the role of emerging markets in driving global growth, the concept of global export credit and the work done by Development Financial Institutions among various other topics. It was an interactive session where he discussed case studies and answered various interesting questions that the students had. One of the students wrote “His discussion of the variety of risks that inhibit cross-border capital flows, which are especially prevalent in the emerging and frontier markets, helped me contextualize and better understand the domain in which Interlink Capital Strategies operates and their institutional obstacles.”
It was our pleasure to welcome Mr. Barry Rhoads to share his insights with the students at Georgetown on Oct 23rd. Barry described a fascinating journey from serving a member of the military to working in the private sector and then chairing one of the largest lobbying firms in Washington DC. “I was already curious about the lobbyist field, and this interest was only further encouraged by his wonderful presentation. “, one of the students wrote after Barry’s visit.