Joann J. Hill keynote speaker at International Opportunities Seminar at Paine College

Posted by ncarter | 03/30/2011 09:10 AM

Augusta, GA -Paine College partners with the Western Hemisphere Unit of the International Trade Administration, United States Department of Commerce to hold the International Opportunities Seminar, “Competing in the 21st Century: Navigating the Global Marketplace”.  This one-day conference will be held on Thursday, March 31, 2011, from 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Paine College, 1235 Fifteenth Street, Augusta, GA 30901.  Registrants should arrive early at 8:30 a.m., go directly to the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel, collect their registration packets.   The Opening Session will begin at 8:45 a.m.   The College invites the media and conference participants to contact Natasha Carter at, (706) 396-7591; or Helene Carter at, (706) 755-4833. The conference is divided into two segments: 1) morning session: focused on the small business community and 2) afternoon session: targeted to college students and college administrators and faculty members.  Registration is free and all industries and businesses are invited to attend.
The morning session will be launched with remarks from City of Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver and Paine College President, George C. Bradley.  The keynote address will be delivered by Joann J. Hill; Chief of Business Development for the United States Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) – Atlanta National Enterprise Center.   The morning speakers following Hill will inform Augusta area businesses about global opportunities.  Additionally, businesses will learn about resources that could help their businesses grow through exporting their products to foreign markets.  Research shows that companies that export tend to be stronger companies and that there employees generally earn higher wages. There will also be a discussion regarding access to capital, trade finance and export credit insurance that protects against non-payment from foreign buyers.

About Joann J. Hill

Ms. Joann Johnson Hill, a native of Columbia, South Carolina. She is Chief of Business Development for the United States Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) – Atlanta National Enterprise Center.  MBDA is the only federal agency designed to foster growth and development of minority owned businesses throughout America.  This office covers eight states within the Southeastern United States.   

Hill has served at MBDA for ten years and has oversight of regional Business Development and Administrative staff.  She ensures regional business development goals of nearly $1 billion are met through the MBDA Regional Funded Center Network and business development staff. Hill will serve as Conference Director for the 2011 National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference.  This 29th Annual National MED Week Conference was held in Washington, DC.  The conference focused on educating the minority business enterprise community on the programs and resources available for growing and expanding their business domestically and internationally. In 2010 there was more than $30 billion dollars in procurement opportunities presented at the MED Week business to business linkage forum hosted by public and private sector partners.  Additionally, there was a cadre of training, development and one-on-one meetings to assist MBE firms with access to capital, access to contracts, access to markets, joint ventures and mergers & acquisitions.

Hill serves as the MBDA resident Africa Specialist promoting business to business linkages between U.S. MBE’S and African SME’S.  Prior to joining MBDA, Hill worked in the areas of operations management, banking and finance.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Benedict College, Columbia, South Carolina (Honors), Executive Masters of Business Administration degree from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia and Goizueta Business School, Atlanta, Georgia (Distinguished recognition for thesis on China in Africa: The Struggle between Democratic or Authoritarian Capitalism)

Following the success of its previous conferences at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA); University of the Incarnate Word (San Antonio, TX); and the Universidad del Este (San Juan, Puerto Rico), the Western Hemisphere Unit of the International Trade Administration is excited about bringing its conference to Augusta, GA and it is pleased to work with Paine College.

To register for this conference, we invite you to visit: 

For additional information on this conference, please contact: Shawn Ricks, International Trade Administration at 202.482.5564 or send an email to: <>  or, Natasha Carter, Paine College Office of Communications and Marketing at 706-396-7591 or send an email to: