Baruch's Weissman Center Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

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Baruch College's Weissman Center for International Business celebrates its 10th anniversary this week, honoring its patron and benefactor, George Weissman at a dinner at the Sky Club in New York City.

The center was founded in 1994 -- with an endowment from Weissman, a 1939 Baruch graduate and former chairman of Philip Morris – with a mission to develop programs that promote international trade and encourage active engagement between students and international business professionals.  To that end, it sponsors programs, conferences, and forums for New York business professionals and, through internships, study-abroad programs, and fellowships, provides students first-hand experience at companies involved in international trade

Bread-and-butter programs for the center include its Global Market Breakfasts, which  bring together panels of experts to discuss a particular region, country, or emerging business sector, and its Lunchtime Forums sponsored by Mitsui & Co. (USA), which focus more broadly on issues facing the global business community. At a forum held earlier this year, Jack Caldwell, director of trade and environment for the National Wildlife Federation, Kent Jones of Babson College, and Mark Levison, chief economist of UNITE challenged participants to answer the question, “Who's Afraid of the WTO.”

According to Terrence Martell, Baruch professor of finance and the center's director, one of the center's most ambitious projects is the International Business in New York City Directory, published biannually in cooperation with the city's Division of International Business. More than 2,600 foreign companies from 100 countries are listed in the directory along with consulates, missions, trade offices, and binational chambers of commerce. “The Directory is a comprehensive and authoritative source of information on New York's international business community.

The center also conducts original research on major trends such as offshoring.

Looking ahead to a second decade, Martell plans to increase the number and breadth of opportunities for students by expanding current programs, such as the overseas programs, attracting a diverse faculty, and continuing the focus on research.

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