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Member Perspective - Special Section: COVID-19 Hero Stories From Around The Network

Europe

WTC Barcelona
Judith Llorente, Marketing Manager, WTC Barcelona

WTC Barcelona (WTCB)wanted to do its part in the fight against the pandemic, so the team encouraged their community to show their support to the COVID-19 healthcare workers and patients by launching an initiative called “No Esteu Sols” (You Are Not Alone). The initiative seeks to make professionals and patients feel more supported by the entire WTCB Virtual Community.

Partnering with Hospital Clinic de Barcelona, the WTCB team set up an email address to receive messages, letters, drawings, and videos from the community expressing encouragement and appreciation to these professionals and patients. A selection of these submissions is published on the Clinic’s website. To date, numerous submissions have been received, and the WTCB team is confident that this initiative has helped professionals and patients continue in the fight against COVID-19. Initiatives like this show frontline workers and patients that they are not alone because the #WTCBVirtualCommunity is with them.

Wtc Barcelona   Photo

Photo caption: In partnership with Hospital Clinic de Barcelona, WTC Barcelona launched an initiative called “No Esteu Sols” (You Are Not Alone) to support the professionals and patients of COVID-19.

Photo credit: Pexels.com

WTC Leeuwarden
E.J. Schouwstra, Managing Director, WTC Leeuwarden

Touched by first response efforts and a strong drive to make a small difference during the COVID-19 pandemic, Anniek van Aert and Dokkumer Vlaggen Centrale (DVC), a member of WTC Leeuwarden, joined forces and developed the Corona flag.

“The flag makes a great symbol by displaying two hands holding each other, shaping a heart. That’s what this is about — showing you care and support local heroes and those in need,” said Anniek van Aert.

Through this initiative, DVC offered the opportunity for citizens to give a shout out to first responders without leaving their homes and donate to the Red Cross in the Netherlands. Van Aert added that “It was heartwarming. I received pictures from all over the country where this flag was waving. We need to show we stand together and empathize with each other in these difficult times.”

To date, DVC has raised €37.500 for the Red Cross in the Netherlands.

Wtc Leeuwarden Bossche Parels Vlaggen Met Elkaar Voor Elkaar Anniek Van Aert St.Jan

Photo caption: Anniek van Aert displays the flag DVC created to support local heroes and those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo credit: WTC Leeuwarden / Dokkumer Vlaggen Centrale (DVC)


Member Perspective - Special Section: COVID-19 Hero Stories From Around The Network

Asia Pacific

WTC Metro Manila
Pamela D. Pascual, President and CEO, WTC Metro Manila

WTC Metro Manila (WTCMM) — a pioneer in world-class exhibition venues in the Philippines — was converted into a COVID-19 center on April 3 to help the government address the looming gap in hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the country. Private companies came forward to donate personal protective equipment, rubbing alcohol, hygiene kits, meals, beds, beddings, among others, to complete the facility’s infrastructure and meet the needs of the frontliners and patients. The medical team of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) managed the medical and operational needs of the center, ensuring the safety and care of the patients. To date, WTCMM’s We Heal As One Center has accommodated and treated more than 1,600 patients.

Wtc Metro Manila

Photo caption: Ms. Pamela D. Pascual, WTCMM President and CEO with government officials for the We Heal As One Center partnership. From left to right: Mr. Vince Dizon, Deputy Chief Implementer of NTF-COVID-19 and Chief Testing Czar; Secretary Delfin Lorenzana of the Department of National Defense; Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Chief Implementer of NTF-COVID-19; and Undersecretary Emil Sadain of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Photo credit: WTC Metro Manila

WTC Pune
Prakash Mirpuri, Executive Vice President - Communications & Marketing, Panchshil Foundation (WTC Pune)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Panchshil Foundation — the CSR arm of Panchshil Realty, one of India’s leading real estate developers and a member of WTC Pune — embarked on a multi-pronged initiative to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on daily-wage workers. The Foundation provided food hampers with basic essentials such as rice, dal, cooking oil, and eggs to those in need. Nitin Wankhade, Assistant Manager-Safety — who has been with Panchshil Realty for a decade — is the WTC Pune community hero as he led the initiatives from the frontlines. Over the past two months, Nitin oversaw and participated in the distribution of more than 35,000 food hampers to the impacted communities. Further, in partnership with a team from the 5th Battalion of the Elite National Disaster Response Force, Nitin also led and coordinated special community education drives to raise awareness about COVID-19 and the precautions vulnerable populations need to take at the community level.

Wtc Pune   Supporting Images

Photo caption: Nitin Wanhkade distributes food hampers and leads the community education drive with the Elite National Disaster Response Force team.

Photo credit: Panchshil Realty

WTC Taipei
Elina Lee, Executive Director of Planning and Finance Department, WTC Taipei

As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, Taiwan’s fight against the pandemic has drawn international attention and requests seeking exchange and collaboration. In response, Taiwan has been actively sharing lessons learned from the 2003 SARS outbreak and working with communities worldwide.

In April, WTC Taipei worked with the National Cheng Kung University Hospital to host an online seminar for 9,000 doctors in India and share Taiwan’s epidemic prevention experience. Since then, over 20 online seminars have taken place with more than 15,000 medical professionals in attendance from various countries, including Bangladesh, Colombia, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Peru, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

To help people from both public and private business sectors, WTC Taipei has worked with more than 2,000 companies and 21 hospitals, as well as diplomatic and economic organizations, to launch the “Taiwan Global Anti-COVID-19 Pavilion.” The Pavilion offers resources for epidemic prevention, and matches global demands for medical technology and devices with their corresponding suppliers.

Wtc Taipei Photo

Photo caption: Taiwan Global Anti-COVID-19 Pavilion.

Photo credit: Elina Lee


Announcing the 2020 WTCA MAC Chairs and Vice-Chairs


In June, the WTCA MACs held their annual Chair and Vice-Chair elections. More than 20 individuals ran for a leadership position for the forthcoming year to lead and engage MAC members around the world, facilitating membership dialogue and taking actionable steps towards a stronger Association. 

Please join us in congratulating the 2020 MAC Chairs and Vice-Chairs, who will hold their positions until July 2021:

Agriculture
  • Chair: Zhang Hongshan (World Trade Center Harbin)
  • Vice-Chair: Rani Dabrai (World Trade Center Dublin)
Business Club
  • Chair: Ahmed Tibaoui (World Trade Center Algiers)
  • Vice-Chair: Luciano Menezes (World Trade Centers Curitiba & Lisboa)
Conferences & Exhibitions Americas
  • Chair: Cheryl Smith (World Trade Center Las Vegas)
  • Vice-Chair: Don Atchison (World Trade Center Saskatoon)
Conferences & Exhibitions APAC
  • Chair: Dato'Sri Dr. Irmohizam (World Trade Center Kuala Lumpur)
  • Vice-Chair: Rupa Naik (World Trade Center Mumbai)
Conferences & Exhibitions EMEA
  • Chair: Alex Savrasov (World Trade Center Moscow)
Real Estate
  • Chair: Ed Allison-Wright (World Trade Center Gibraltar)
  • Vice-Chair: Charles Johnson (World Trade Center Chicago)
Trade Services Americas
  • Chair: Karen Gerwitz (World Trade Center Denver)
  • Vice-Chair: Josias Cordeiro da Silva (World Trade Centers Curitiba & Joinville)
Trade Services APAC
  • Chair: Dr. Bose K. Nair (World Trade Center Bengaluru)
  • Vice-Chair: Christina Shen (World Trade Center Shenyang)
Trade Services EMEA
  • Chair: Rani Dabrai (World Trade Center Dublin)
  • Vice-Chair: Evert Jan Schouwstra (World Trade Center Leeuwarden)

The WTCA would also like to give a sincere Thank You to the outgoing Chairs and Vice-Chairs for their commitment and leadership over the past two years — Linda Conlin (World Trade Center Greater Philadelphia – Trade Services Americas); Pamela D. Pascual (World Trade Center Metro Manila — Conferences & Exhibitions APAC); and Virginie Blida (World Trade Center Lille — Trade Services EMEA). We thank you for all your hard work and look forward to working alongside our newly-elected Chairs and Vice-Chairs to further strengthen our collective global network!


TECHNOLOGY ISSUE: REMOTE WORK TRENDS (WTC Kansas City)

Kaitlin Bast; Manager, World Trade Center Kansas City

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Like many of our counterparts, WTC Kansas City’s initial days of working remotely and understanding the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic involved postponing and delaying programs and events until we could formulate a plan to continue our mission: Education, Connect, and Trade. Shortly after transitioning to remote work, we made the difficult decision to postpone our largest and most profitable event, Go Global KC, from June 2 to August 11. 

We had already secured the Kansas City Mayor as the keynote speaker, which now proves to be ideal since local governments have been in the spotlight throughout the crisis. We cannot think of anyone better to talk about Kansas City going global and reinforcing the positivity of trade to recover our economy. When we reconvened to discuss the event several weeks into the crisis, the mentality had shifted, and we were decisive — the event will be virtual. We were no longer looking to delay until we could have our normal event — we were innovating and thinking creatively. 

While on a brainstorming call, we decided to bring the WTCA network into the event in a way we could not do when the event was in-person. Our team has been experimenting with breakout rooms with great success. And collectively, we all agreed that our local businesses could gain networking opportunities from a virtual event that would not otherwise be possible to coordinate with different parties around the world.
One of the challenges we have encountered in past years is creating an event that was valuable for our large sponsors and small export clients alike. By taking the event virtually, we can add value for all parties. From hosting a VIP room ahead of time with our keynotes and sponsors, to holding breakout rooms so small and medium businesses trying to enter the Canadian, European or Asian markets can network with the respective WTCs and, simultaneously, with their peers and service providers, every attendee is bound to gain something by attending this virtual event.

The technology we’re considering allows a company to spend some of their time in one breakout room and then leave to enter another. Attendees can virtually travel from Singapore to Toronto to meet with those representatives in less than two seconds. Further, this technology saves costs. Our entrepreneurial clients who do not yet have the capital to enter trade shows can now connect with experts in their target markets from their living room. 

The idea of going virtual, while not finalized, has WTC Kansas City more energized than ever to refresh this event and enhance the experience. 

Photo caption: Last year’s keynote speaker Colonel Miguel Howe at WTC Kansas City’s “Go Global KC 2019” event. 

Photo credit: Kyle Rivas Photography