World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara (WTCBN) held their annual World Trade Celebration on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at the beautiful new event facility, Events at the Wurlitzer, in North Tonawanda, New York. Patrick Whalen, executive director for the Niagara Global Tourism Institute (NGTI) was the keynote speaker. Whalen's presentation was on "Trade Agreements, Tariffs and Tourism in the Trump Era."
“Pat’s involvement with World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara goes back to its earliest beginnings, and his leadership in our bi-national region’s efforts to grow international trade has been extensive. As we celebrate our 30th year serving Western New York and Southern Ontario’s international trade community, it was enlightening to hear Pat’s review of our region’s success and challenges, as well as his outlook for the future,” said Craig Turner, WTCBN president.
Whalen currently serves as the executive director for the Niagara Global Tourism Institute. Before joining the NGTI, Pat served for 8 years as the COO of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC). In addition to managing the BNMC day-to-day operations Pat was the BNMC’s unofficial “entrepreneur–in-residence" working to foster collaboration & job creation on campus and throughout the bi-national region.
Prior to Whalen’s keynote address, the event featured a panel discussion on "The Tumultuous Trade Environment: How Companies are Riding the Trade Roller Coaster." Panelists included: Christine Bonaguide, Partner, Hodgson Russ; Mary Kiener, SVP, Chief Procurement Officer, Rich Products Corporation; Dr. Yousef Haj-Ahmad, President and CEO, Norgen Biotek and was moderated by Dr. Kathryn Friedman, Research Associate Professor of Law & Planning at the University at Buffalo and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Canada Institute).