Curated Session

Grow Your Business, Reach New Markets: U.S. Government Value-Add Services for U.S. Exporters

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
8:00 – 9:30
Convention Center

Moderator: Amy Kreps, Environmental Technologies Trade Specialist, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

This session will highlight the resources that the U.S. Government offers for U.S. industry exporters to enter or increase their presence in international markets. Participants will learn about:

  1. U.S. government export assistance resources and programs
  2. Payment methods in international trade
  3. How to export and get paid in foreign currencies
  4. How to finance international trade transactions
  5. How to access and utilize government-backed trade finance solutions when commercial financing is not available for export sales


Craig O’Connor, Director of Business Development, Renewable Energy & High Technology, U.S. Export-Import Bank

Craig OConnor

Bio forthcoming.

Rashanda Johnson, Business Development Specialist, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)

Rashanda Johnson

Rashanda Johnson is a business development specialist in the Small & Medium Enterprise Finance Department at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Ms. Johnson focuses on counseling U.S. companies seeking financing, evaluating new project proposals and loan applications, and developing new business opportunities. Prior to joining OPIC, she served at U.S .Commercial Service and USAID. Her primary responsibilities were assisting in outreach to the U.S. business and trade communities, and facilitating new business opportunities. Ms. Johnson holds an MPA degree with an emphasis on policy and management from Bowie State University and a Bachelor’s degree in international business from Wright State University. She also is alumna of a multi-country study abroad program, which emphasizes global comparative study.

David Vidal, International Trade Finance Policy Specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

David Vidal

David J. Vidal holds the position of international trade finance policy specialist of the Office of International Trade at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA. Mr. Vidal serves as chief of international trade finance policy and strategy, which includes the responsibilities of managing trade finance policy development and implementation, lender and agency export promotion training, and credit risk management of the trade finance programs He joined the Office of International Trade in November 2015 and brings years of experience in trade finance and banking. Prior to his role at SBA, Mr. Vidal was a relationship manager and director at U.S. Export-Import Bank’s (Ex-Im Bank) Business Credit Division. He was responsible for managing and administering a credit guarantee portfolio more than $470 million as part of the Ex-Im Bank’s Working Capital Guarantee Program. He was nominated by Ex-Im Bank and completed the Excellence of Government Fellows Program. Before joining the Ex-Im Bank, Mr. Vidal was a bank officer for BB&T Bank in various business lines, where he served the interests of SMEs to middle market companies. He is a graduate from BB&T’s Leadership Development Program and BB&T’s Leadership Institute. He is an alumnus of the University of Florida, where he earned a degree in finance with minors in economics and Spanish.