Skip to content
  • Key Investors
  • Advocate
  • Ameren
  • AT&T
  • BP Logo
  • Cancer Treatment Center Illinois Chamber of Commerce
  • Cigna
  • ComEd
  • Dynegy
  • exelonshopped
  • Ford Logo
  • General Electric
  • Humana
  • John Deere
  • KPMG
  • Norfolk Southern
  • State_Farm_logo
  • United Healthcare

International Business Council


Illinois Business Council 2015 Calendar


Join us for the first Annual Illinois Chamber’s State-wide Exports Conference
An international panel of experts will break down the complex  transactions and the relevant issues into easy to follow and understand bites.

April 30, 2015  2:00 – 4:30 pm At The Cervantes Institute – 31 W. Ohio, Chicago, IL 60654


Cristina Falcone, Vice President of Public Affairs, UPS Canada


Andre Fiebig, Partner at Quarles & Brady

Matthew Stanley, Executive Vice President, RedRidge Finance Group

Matt Houchens, Principal KPMG

Crystal Cuellar, General Cargo Director, Paxton International

Donna Maluleke, President of CITCA & Consul for Economic Affairs, South African Consulate in Chicago

John Wagner, VP Business Development, Advanced Diamond Technologies

John Pierson, VP of Sales and Marketing, Carstens, Inc.

Keynote: Cristina Falcone is Vice President of Public Affairs for UPS Canada. During hechristinar fifteen year tenure at UPS, Cristina has held several management roles in the areas of Product Management, Customer Loyalty and Public Relations.  In her current role, Cristina works actively with governing bodies to enable global trade opportunities for Canadian and U.S. businesses; particularly on solutions that help to reduce friction at the North American border.  Cristina serves as the Chair of the board for the Canadian Courier and Logistics Association (CCLA) which represents a broad-based membership of time sensitive delivery and logistics services providers operating in Canada. She also serves on the board of the Canadian American Business Council; which is dedicated to elevating the private sector perspective on issues that affect Canada and the United States.  She leads UPS’s Women’s Leadership Development Committee; including mentorship of candidates for development into future leadership roles. Cristina lives with her husband and two children in Toronto and is an active volunteer with Scouts Canada and the United Way of Peel Region.


Register Now

Contact Brandon Saunders at

If you have any questions or would like to find out about sponsorship opportunities,

please contact IBC Executive Director Laura Ortega at or (708)369-4635.


Get Ready for Cross-Borders Transactions


1:45pm | Registration

2:00pm | Welcoming Remarks & Introductions

   Laura Ortega, Executive Director Intl Business Council at IL Chamber of Commerce

   Donna Maluleke, President of CITCA & Consul for Economic Affairs, South African Consulate in Chicago


2:30pm | Keynote Presentation

    Amgad Shehata, Senior VP International Public Affairs & Strategy, UPS


2:45pm | Experts Panel Presentations & Discussion


   Moderator:  Dr. John Kalaras, CEO Quality Training



oCross-border Business Law

                    Andre Fiebig, Partner at Quarles & Brady


            oExport Financing

    Matthew Stanley, Executive Vice President, RedRidge Finance Group

oInternational Taxation

    Matt Houchens, Principal KPMG


oGlobal Logistics

                                    Crystal Cuellar, General Cargo Director, Paxton International

oIL Company Participants

    Advanced Diamond Technologies

    Carstens, Inc.


4:15pm | Special Appearance & Message from the State of Illinois (tbd)


4:30pm | Closing Remarks

   Neli Vazquez Rowland, President/Co-founder of A Safe Haven Foundation


4:40pm | Networking Reception

5:30 pm | Adjournment


chicago trade commissionersibc logo

The First Annual ILCC Exports Conference will be catered by A Safe Haven Foundation, an IBC Partner Organization.

safe haven

Illinois Is Global

The Illinois Chamber is committed to expanding Illinois’ role in the Global Marketplace and increasing the state’s businesses import-export trading capabilities. This is critical to the future economic health of the state. The Illinois Chamber’s International Business Council (IBC) is central to helping meet these objectives.

The IBC focuses on building strategic partnerships to maximize the resources of the Illinois Chamber’s members to expand in foreign markets and foster trade and investment in Illinois.  The Illinois Chamber’s outreach includes Illinois businesses and a global network of local and foreign chambers of commerce along with state and federal agencies and high-level political and diplomatic circles.

In the 2012 State of the Union Message, President Obama said it best, “95% of the world’s customers and world’s fastest growing markets are outside our borders.” Many Illinois businesses are already active global traders, but future success requires greater awareness of the competition for those customers. Likewise, Illinois is well positioned for foreign investors to establish their enterprise in the third largest American market, have access to extensive transportation networks, settle in a world-class and multi-cultural metropolis and be in easy reach of the industrial heartland and agricultural center of the nation.

What are the International Business Council’s Goals?

  • To help Illinois companies expand their customer base into international markets by providing access, resources, business opportunities and connections to generate exports and economic growth;
  • To assist foreign trade missions visiting Illinois to find and connect with Illinois based suppliers of goods and services;
  • To facilitate international firms’ investment and job growth in Illinois by building strategic partnerships with public and private sectors to help secure successful enterprises;
  • To provide a forum for members to better understand, develop and promote constructive federal, state and local public policies that are important to the advancement of international trade.

Support Illinois Business and Job Growth

The global opportunities for Illinois businesses are vast. The Illinois Chamber and the IBC include member companies at the table for international business development and job growth.

Contact Laura for more information and opportunities to help your company expand into the international arena!


Laura Ortega-Lamela

Executive Director | International Business Council

Illinois Chamber of Commerce

(312) 983-7111 direct

(708) 369-4635 mobile

Follow us on Facebook | Upcoming Events


Membership application – click here

International Business Council Members; The Langham Chicago and Kimpton Hotels (Hotel Palomar l Hotel Allegro l Hotel Burnham l Hotel Monaco) are pleased to offer Illinois Chamber members a preferred discount rate.

Langham Hotels Discount

Kimpton Hotels Discount


Print this