Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pittsburgh to Host Global Great Lakes Conference in June; Discussion to Focus on Immigrant Attraction for Economic Growth, Connection with Underserved Communities

Pittsburgh has been selected to host the second annual convening of the Global Great Lakes Network on June 12, 2014, bringing together representatives of cities and organizations in the upper midwestern region working on immigrant-related economic development initiatives.

The focus of the day-long event, which is being hosted and organized locally by Vibrant Pittsburgh and GlobalPittsburgh, will be on attracting and retaining immigrants to the region to achieve economic growth, and also on ways to connect them with the existing population, especially underserved communities.

"We are excited to be hosting this event in Pittsburgh because it will allow participants to share best practices in this field, and also to map out future strategies for making sure everyone in our cities benefits from the positive impact of international newcomers," said Thomas Buell, Jr., Director of Marketing and the Study Pittsburgh Initiative at GlobalPittsburgh.

Building on the success of the initial Global Great Lakes convening last year in Detroit, the 2014 Convening will provide an opportunity for Pittsburgh once again to showcase its economic transformation and revitalization, and to highlight the numerous efforts to attract immigrants to the region and to engage them once they are here.

Although details of the program are still being worked out, the conference is expected to attract dozens of local leaders and nationally-recognized authorities on the topic of immigrant attraction as a tool for economic and community development.

The conference, which will be free and open to the public, will feature presentations and discussion related to the fields of economic development, education, high-tech, healthcare, government and social services.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald have agreed to welcome the group and also to participate in panels and discussion groups during the program.

In connection with the open conference, participating organizations in the Global Great Lakes Network will hold a private working session on the day after the open conference to review activities and develop future strategies.

With immigrant-driven economic development at the center of America’s political radar screen, Pittsburgh’s hosting of this event is expected to draw national and international media attention, Buell said. A fund-raising effort to pay for the program is currently under way.

Over the past four years, initiatives to promote immigration as an economic development opportunity have produced Vibrant Pittsburgh, GlobalPittsburgh, Global Detroit, St. Louis Mosaic, Global Cleveland, Welcome Dayton, Global Michigan and Global Lansing, as well as similar economic and community development focused programs emerging in other areas.

In June 2013, the Network held its first convening, attracting nearly 150 people from at least a dozen metros across the Great Lakes Region. The convening consisted of a public conference and a half-day work session to discuss the viability of a Global Great Lakes Network. Since then planning has continued through six work committees, enabling the participating organizations to continue communicating about the effectiveness of their work and discuss the best approaches to the challenges that lie ahead.

The Global Great Lakes Network’s mission is to engage in activities that strengthen the work, maximize the impact, and sustain the efforts of individual local initiatives across the region that welcome, retain, and empower immigrant communities as valued contributors to local economic development initiatives.

Participants in the Global Great Lakes Network seek to make their regions more appealing to immigrants by improving the quality of life and economic opportunities that exist in the region for immigrants as a tool to economic growth.

Immigrant communities, when welcomed in their new home, can generate greater economic growth, job creation, and prosperity for an entire city or region. The Global Great Lakes Network comprises regional economic development initiatives working to tap into the opportunities created by immigrants.

The Network embraces the following core values:

1. Immigrant communities are assets to be nurtured and grown as a means of producing economic opportunity for the entire region.

2. Welcoming immigrants into the economic and social fabric of a region helps to make that region more economically competitive and more attractive socially.

3. Regional economic development initiatives can play a role not just in attracting immigrants, but also in retaining them and in enhancing their role in the community’s economic and social fabric.

For more information, go to or send email to


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MIT Enterprise Forum Event to Focus on Helping Entrepreneurs & Startups Compete in a Global Economy

The MIT Enterprise Forum Pittsburgh in collaboration with GlobalPittsburgh will host a March 20 discussion for entrepreneurs and investors on how to make business models more globally competitive by leveraging the internet, supply chains and distribution channels.

Titled "It’s a Global Economy: Can Your Business Compete?",  the event will be moderated by GlobalPittsburgh Board Chair Michael J. Malloy, Managing Partner/Senior Advisor with Business Beyond Borders.

Michael J. Malloy
"Today’s entrepreneurs have to be globally-minded," Malloy said. "We need to think about the international dimension in our business models and market segments."

Panelists for the event are:
- Kirk Botula, CEO, CMMI Institute
- Michael Elchik, CEO,
- Udi Hershkovich, VP of Business Development, Safaba
- David Palmer, CEO Rewyndr, Bossa Nova Robotics

"Even if you just do business locally, you are subject to the crosswinds of a globalized marketplace through international competition, partnerships, markets, and events that will impact your business here," the MIT Forum said in announcing the event. "Attendees will hear from local companies who lead with this global perspective."

Participation and involvement in the MIT Enterprise Forum Pittsburgh is open to any member of the entrepreneurial community and attracts executives, business leaders, venture capitalists, industry experts and service organizations.

The event will take place Thursday, March 20 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association in Oakland. Registration is free for MIT EFP members, $45 for general admission, $20 for students, $25 for GlobalPittsburgh members by selecting "Pre-Approved Group Discount" upon registration. Register online at

Applicants are also being sought to make 90-second “elevator pitches” on this topic, which will allow them to gain exposure, get feedback and connections for their company. To apply to make a pitch to this expert panel, visit

"The 21st Century global message is really about how to conceive and to execute your business model with awareness of global customers, partners, employees, and competitors," Malloy said. "This event is a great opportunity to talk with entrepreneurs making this happen in Pittsburgh with their successful companies."

The MIT Enterprise Forum Pittsburgh is a networking organization for entrepreneurs, investors and experts, producing an entrepreneurship event series in Pittsburgh focused on building a platform for networking, knowledge sharing and wealth creation for entrepreneurs from all industries. MIT Enterprise Forum Pittsburgh is one of 29 global chapters of the MIT Enterprise Forum. For more information, visit

The MIT Enterprise Forum Pittsburgh’s Board of Directors consists of 24 members including leaders from the business and academic communities in the region.

Source: MIT Enterprise Forum Pittsburgh


Monday, February 17, 2014

Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto Fulfills Pledge to Bolster City's Global Ties by Meeting International Delegations

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto today welcomed two international delegations to the city today as part of his continuing effort to strengthen Pittsburgh’s international ties. In the morning, he met with a delegation of journalists from Pittsburgh’s first sister city, Wuhan, China. Later in the day, Peduto also met with a European delegation to discuss the role of public-private partnerships coordinated by GlobalPittsburgh.

“Of course there are economic benefits to having strong relationships with our global partners and sister cities, but the benefits of cultural exchange cannot be overstated either,” Peduto said. “Whenever Pittsburgh has the opportunity to strengthen our international bonds, we should do it for the good of the city and of the country.”

The first visit involved two journalists from Wuhan. They were Yangtze Daily Senior Journalist Yu Xi and Wuhan TV Station Chief Journalist Zhang Jun. The visit was facilitated by the University of Pittsburgh. During the meeting they interviewed Mayor Peduto, former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy, film director and producer Rick Sebak of WQED and PBS, and renowned interdisciplinary artist Vanessa German.

Xi is writing a book that will promote Wuhan’s 20 sister cities of which Pittsburgh has the distinction of being the first and only in the United States.

In the afternoon, leaders representing nine European countries heard from Mayor Peduto about the role of public-private partnerships in restructuring economies as part of a project of the U.S. State Department in conjunction with GlobalPittsburgh.

The European dignitaries are:
- Dhimitraq Marko, Executive Director, Fier Regional Development Agency, Albania
- Alexander Biach, Managing Director, Austrian Business Association, Austria
- Michel Martone, Professor of Industrial Relations and Labor Law, Italian National School of Government, Italy
- Veland Ramadani, Assistant Professor of Business and Economics, South East European University, Macedonia
- Daniel Chilea, Director of Industry and Energy, Romanian Competition Council, Romania
- Angel Prieto Sotos, Castilla-La Mancha Region Managing Director, Institute for Foreign Trade Development, Spain
- Jessica Rosencrantz, Member of Parliament, Sweden
- Dr. Ilhan Karakoyun, Secretary General, Karacadag Development Agency, Turkey
- Peter Reekie, Director of Finance, Scottish Futures Trust, United Kingdom


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

GlobalPittsburgh Welcomes New Additions to Board of Directors, Plans for "Big Year Ahead."

GlobalPittsburgh has welcomed a new group of members of its Board of Directors, effective immediately.

“We are excited about the wide range of skills, experience and energy these new members bring to the GlobalPittsburgh Board,” said Chair Michael J. Malloy. “We have a big year planned for this organization, and we feel that we have assembled a strong team to continue and expand upon the good work that has been done by current and former board members.”

The new members of the Board of Directors are, in alphabetical order:

Fred Brown
Associate Director of Program Development
Kingsley Association

Susanne Cook
Director, Cohen & Grigsby
Board Member, Western Pennsylvania District Export Council
Board Member, University of Pittsburgh School of Law Center for International Legal Education

Francois Gau
Vice President, Strategic Marketing & New Business Development

John Hindman
Senior International and Public Affairs Advisor

Rachel Mauer
President, The Mauer Group
Senior Advisor, Business Beyond Borders

Max Miller
Executive Vice President  & COO, Urban Innovation21
Chair of Board, Kingsley Association
Principal, 42 Rock Street LLC

Andrew Place
Corporate Director, Public Policy Research
EQT Corp.

Brent Rondon
Manager, Global Business
Center for Green Industries and Sustainable Business Growth
Small Business Development Center
Duquesne University

Kenneth Service
Vice Chancellor for Communications
The University of Pittsburgh

The new board members join current members:

Michael J. Malloy, Chair
Founder and CEO
Business Beyond Borders

Kevin Douglass, Vice Chair
Babst, Calland, Clements & Zomnir, PC

Stephen H. Heilman, CPA, Treasurer

Guillermo M.A. Campaña
Manager, International Sales
Axiall Corp.

Jean-Pierre Collet
Consular Association of Pittsburgh

George M. Lies
Director of Grants & Strategic Planning
Office of International Programs
West Virginia University

James W. Marczak
Chief Information Officer
Tube City IMS, LLC

For information about GlobalPittsburgh, contact Thomas Buell, Jr., Director of Marketing, at 412-392-4513, by email at, or go to


Carnegie Mellon University Announces $10 Million Partnership with Yahoo! To Develop Mobile Technologies

Carnegie Mellon University and Yahoo! have announced a five-year, $10 million partnership highlighted by an industry-first mobile toolkit that will enable CMU researchers to easily experiment with Yahoo's real-time data services, letting them test new ways that machine learning and interface technologies can improve personalized user experiences.

"We're thrilled to be partnering with the exceptional faculty and students at Carnegie Mellon, which has established itself as a premier institution for machine learning and user interface technologies," said Ron Brachman, chief scientist and head of Yahoo Labs. "By creating a way for Carnegie Mellon University researchers to work directly with Yahoo software and infrastructure, we hope to speed up the pace of mobile and personalization research and create a better user experience."

The mobile toolkit serves as the infrastructure for a living laboratory for researchers to explore new approaches to understanding human behavior by using machine learning algorithms to more accurately predict user needs and intentions. It is also expected to enable the development of new personalization techniques and interfaces to provide a more compelling user experience. Members of the CMU community who opt-in to use the experimental mobile software will provide researchers access to real user data and the opportunity to rapidly iterate on the technologies.

The partnership, named Project InMind, also includes a new Yahoo-sponsored fellowship program at CMU. The program will provide financial and research support to computer science students and faculty members. Yahoo Fellows will have the opportunity to pursue research in disciplines such as machine learning, mobile technologies, human-computer interaction, personalization, novel interaction techniques, and natural language processing, with annual financial support from Yahoo and mentorship from world-class computer scientists at Yahoo Labs and CMU.

"The InMind program provides unique new opportunities for the outstanding faculty and students at CMU to partner with Yahoo and its talented scientists and engineers to potentially further the frontiers of mobile applications and technologies," said CMU President Subra Suresh. "This partnership is a clear demonstration, in the tradition of CMU, of how scholarly scientific research combined with industry relevance and perspectives could advance technologies that have a global social impact."

"This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for our students and faculty to work directly with a team of leading-edge researchers from Yahoo Labs on technologies that could benefit hundreds of millions of mobile users," said Randal E. Bryant, University Professor and dean of the School of Computer Science. "The overall commitment in this new partnership is a testament to our shared desire to advance the science of machine learning, user interfaces, and mobile technologies."

The InMind Project will be directed at CMU by Tom Mitchell, Fredkin University Professor of Computer Science and Machine Learning and head of the Machine Learning Department, and by Justine Cassell, the Charles M. Geschke Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

Since its establishment in 2005, Yahoo Labs has served as the Company's incubator for bold experimentation, applying its scientific findings to create personalized, delightful experiences for Yahoo's users and enhance value for its advertisers. Yahoo Labs continues to innovate across numerous research areas including machine learning, personalization, mobile, advertising science, image processing, natural language processing, and more.

The Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, now celebrating the 25th anniversary of its transformation from a department to a school, is consistently ranked as one of the world's top computer science schools. Its programs reflect a broad view of computer science, encompassing such disciplines as robotics, language technologies, machine learning, human-computer interaction and computational biology, while preparing students to use computation to transform society.

About Yahoo
Yahoo is focused on making the world's daily habits inspiring and entertaining. By creating highly personalized experiences for our users, we keep people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the world. In turn, we create value for advertisers by connecting them with the audiences that build their businesses. Yahoo is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and has offices located throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC) and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. For more information, visit the pressroom ( or the Company's blog ( 

Source: Carnegie Mellon University READ FULL ARTICLE

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Tribute to Mr. Iwao Koshimae - Recalling Long-Term Connections with an International Visitor Who Became a Friend

By Gail Shrott
Director, International Leaders Program

For well over 20 years, I have been exchanging holiday cards with Mr. Iwao Koshimae and his wife, Mie. This year, instead of a card with a photo or humorous caricature of the Koshimaes, I received a letter from their son, Mr. Ryuya Koshimae, informing his father’s friends that his father had passed away in late May 2013.

Gail Shrott during a 1989 dinner with
Iwae Koshimae of Japan (right)
and Dennis Unkovic of Pittsburgh.
When I began working for the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors (now GlobalPittsburgh) in April of 1989, I was told that in October, we would be hosting Mr. Koshimae and a group of Japanese executives from the Kansai Productivity Center in Osaka.

Anticipation mounted throughout the summer as we waited to receive a list of participants from Mr. Koshimae and a note expressing how much he and the group were looking forward to their trip. On the group’s first day in Pittsburgh, Mr. Koshimae would enjoy a golf game with PCIV’s  Board Chair, Attorney Dennis Unkovic.

On that first night that the group arrived in Pittsburgh, Mr. Koshimae would host PCIV staff members and Dennis Unkovic and our spouses for an elegant dinner in what had been Christopher’s Restaurant atop Mt. Washington. Mr. Koshimae would present his Pittsburgh friends with memorable gifts at that dinner, and we, in turn, would present Mr. Koshimae with a "Pittsburgh" gift of sports memorabilia and a trophy for the golf game earlier that day.

One of the Christmas cards sent
by Mr. Koshimae to Gail Shrott
every year.
Mr. Koshimae’s enthusiasm for his trip was infectious and he always seemed to be genuinely delighted to be with his friends in Pittsburgh. On the second day in Pittsburgh, PCIV organized a daylong business seminar for the Kansai Productivity Center delegation, which would include experts in the field of Japanese-American business relations like Dennis Unkovic, and faculty from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, among others.

A highlight of the program for the participants was an evening of home hospitality with PCIV host families. PCIV’s Executive Director, Marion Hook, as the senior member of our staff, would host Mr. Koshimae for dinner at her home.

Following this highly successful model, Mr. Koshimae brought groups to Pittsburgh for over 20 years, ending in the mid 1990s. Mr. Koshimae and his groups were missed long after the exchange ended following his retirement. I discovered that a number of our hosts and former staff members continued to exchange holiday cards, as I had done, for decades.

I expect that we all have warm memories of Mr. Koshimae’s smile and his sincere joy at being back in our city, year after year. I feel so very fortunate to have been able to call Mr. Koshimae a friend.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

GlobalPittsburgh's Gail Shrott and Nadya Kessler Tell Pittsburgh Story at Parent Organization National Meeting in Washington, D.C., Jan. 29-Feb. 1

GlobalPittsburgh's Gail Shrott and Nadya Kessler recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to tell the Pittsburgh story at the national meeting of Global Ties U.S., the national citizen diplomacy organization of which GlobalPittsburgh is a charter member.

Shrott, who is GlobalPittsburgh's Director of International Programs, conducted a workshop on "Training and Engaging Your Volunteers'' (see photo at left), upon whom GlobalPittsburgh and our 90-plus sister organizations around the country accomplish our mission of connecting our respective regions with the world.

Global Ties U.S., formerly the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV), and its member organizations have served as private sector partners to the U.S. Department of State's prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). World leaders, ranging from former British Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Gordon Brown to Mexico's last president Felipe Calderón, developed close ties to the United States through their experience as IVLP participants.

During the meeting, which ran from Jan. 29 to Feb. 1, Shrott and Kessler, who is GlobalPittsburgh's Assistant Director of Operations and CONNECT program, met with program officers who choose where to send visiting IVLP delegations from around the world. In the past year, GlobalPittsburgh design and implemented 34 programs for 262 international leaders, including 26 itineraries designed for 171 distinguished leaders through the IVLP program.

They also attended events at foreign Embassies and interacted with members of the U.S. Congress to emphasize the value of international exchange programs carried out by Global Ties U.S. member organizations.

With an impressive alumni roster of more than 350 current and former heads of state worldwide, the IVLP and members of the Global Ties network have played a role in shaping U.S. international relations for decades. GlobalPittsburgh changed its public identity from the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors in 2009.


GlobalPittsburgh's Gail Shrott Commended by Library of Congress Open World Program for Program Coordination

Gail Shrott, Director of the International Leaders Program at GlobalPittsburgh, has been commended for her work coordinating visiting delegations through the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Gail Shrott
"Pittsburgh ranks among Open World's most-visited U.S. host cities, and one of the reasons is Gail Shrott, who has hosted for Open World since its inception in 1999," Open World writes in its latest newsletter.

Open World also points out Gail's recent recognition for her international work by the Women & Girls Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, which included her among a select group of women honored for having a global impact in the region.

"Reflecting on her association with Open World, Shrott says 'I do have the unique perspective of having worked with the Open World program from its beginning. I am very impressed with the development of the program and the high quality of the participants recruited for it,'" the article says.

"And she says that Open World exchanges have benefited her region on several different levels. 'Professionals in the Pittsburgh region have met professionals from other cultures with whom they have developed ongoing linkages; hosts have maintained friendships with Open World participants; and members of our community have expanded their understanding of other cultures through their informal interactions with Open World participants.'"

Read the full article at