September 2023 TechCast | Arizona: A Growing Leader in International Trade
The September 2023 episode of the Arizona Technology Council's AZTechCast podcast featured experts including Representative David Cook of the Arizona House of Representatives; Leandro Solorzano, director at the U.S. Commercial Service; and Tina Waddington, executive director of the Phoenix Commit...
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No longer just a flyover state, Arizona is rapidly gaining more and more attention globally for its business-friendly environment and interest in international trade opportunities.
The September 2023 episode of the Arizona Technology Council’s AZTechCast podcast featured experts including Representative David Cook of the Arizona House of Representatives; Leandro Solorzano, director at the U.S. Commercial Service; and Tina Waddington, executive director of the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations. These leaders joined Steve Zylstra, president and CEO of the Council, and Karen Nowicki, president and owner of Phoenix Business RadioX, in sharing plans that are already underway to deepen Arizona’s international alliances.
In this hour-long episode, the panel of three experts discussed how Arizona has become “open for business” and an attractive partner for international trade opportunities. They highlighted the key changes that have contributed to this evolution, why international trade is important to Arizona’s continued growth and which organizational stakeholders are most involved in expanding Arizona’s global presence. Finally, they touched on Arizona’s statewide strategy for creating foreign trade offices in various cities and countries around the world and bringing foreign dignitaries to Arizona to create new international alliances.
Representative David Cook has been a member of the Arizona State Legislature since 2017. Originally from Ponca City, Oklahoma, he moved to Arizona in 1985 and graduated from Miami High School. David has attended several community colleges here in Arizona but is most proud to be a graduate of Arizona State University’s certified public manager program. In 2000, he and his wife started their own ranching company called DC Cattle Company, located in his hometown of Globe, AZ. Prior to starting his own ranching company, David has also served as a Sergeant in the Department of Corrections. David has served on many different associations as a board member and past president and is still involved in them to this day. He is a strong advocate for the availability of dual enrollment programs for all rural students and on many other issues affecting rural Arizona.
Leandro Solorzano is the Director of the U.S. Commercial Service in Arizona where he oversees the agency’s programs. He leads a team of International Trade Specialists who work with Arizona companies to increase their exports helping them develop and implement their export strategy. He works with local, state, and federal agencies to provide companies with a full suite of programs designed to help them enter foreign markets. Mr. Solorzano began his career with the U.S. Commercial Service in Philadelphia, PA, and later transferred to Fort Lauderdale, FL. He was awarded the Department of Commerce’s Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medal Awards for his work in promoting U.S. exports around the world. He has been in the international trade field for over 15 years and holds a master’s of International Administration degree from the University of Miami and a bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from Florida International University.
Finally, Tina Waddington is the executive director of the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations (PCFR). She has been a PCFR member since 2016. Prior to joining PCFR in a leadership capacity, Tina was the Public Affairs Committee co-chair and served on the board of directors. Tina started her career as a political intern at the U.S. Embassy in Rome before going into the private sector, where she helped Arizona companies expand across the nation and around the globe. Tina volunteers with multiple organizations with the goal of increasing Arizona’s prominence internationally, including Phoenix Sister Cities Business Relations Committee, USGLC Arizona Advisory Committee and the Diplomatic Corps of Arizona. Through her community engagement, Tina works to advocate for Arizona and increase economic development opportunities through international trade and diplomacy. In 2022, Tina was selected by City of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego for the Phoenix Sister Cities Global Citizen Award.
In conclusion, these experts were confident about Arizona’s future when it comes to international trade and business opportunities. Take a listen below to hear more of what they had to say!
REP. DAVID COOK
The official podcast of the Arizona Technology Council, AZTechCast is dedicated to covering innovation and technology in Arizona and beyond. Through the art of the connected conversation, AZ TechCast’s hosts and guests share success stories, tech news and analysis about the region’s leading startups, companies and emerging technologies, as well as the latest industry trends and critical issues propelling Arizona’s growing technology ecosystem. Visit www.aztechcouncil.org/techcast to learn more or to listen to recent episodes.
About Phoenix Business RadioX
Karen Nowicki is the owner and president of Phoenix Business RadioX. Amplifying the voice of business, Phoenix Business RadioX helps local businesses and professional associations get the word out about the important work they’re doing to serve their market, profession and community. A successful author, speaker and the creator of Deep Impact Leadership™ and SoulMarks Coaching™, Nowicki is a two-time recipient of the prestigious national Choice Award® for her book and personal development retreat. In addition, Nowicki has been an expert guest on regional TV and radio shows, including Fox Phoenix Morning Show, Sonoran Living, Good Morning Arizona, The Chat Room and Mid-Day Arizona. Recognized for her leadership and business acumen, she has been a regular contributor to many print and online magazines – publishing articles and blogs for business and education.
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