Link to ARC home page.

Made in Rural America Regional Export and International Investment Forum: Birmingham, Alabama

August 2014

ARC, White House Rural Council, and Delta Regional Authority logos


Made in Rural America

Regional Export and International Investment Forum


August 18, 2014
8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Birmingham–Wynfrey Hotel
1000 Riverchase Galleria
Birmingham, Alabama

As part of the White House Rural Council's Made in Rural America export and investment initiative, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) hosted a regional forum on August 18 on expanding international market opportunities for rural businesses and value-added agricultural producers. This forum helped firms learn ways to grow their business by finding new customers abroad and selling more to their existing international customers. It also helped rural community leaders learn how to position their regions to attract and prepare for foreign investment. Co-hosted by the Delta Regional Authority, the full-day forum took place at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham–Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama.

Attendees heard from experienced exporters and from local, state, and federal organizations about resources and opportunities that can help rural businesses and community leaders access new markets and customers abroad. Speakers included White House Domestic Policy Council Senior Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs Doug McKalip, ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl, Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chair Chris Masingill, and international business professionals from the Alabama Department of Commerce, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Alabama Small Business Development Center Network, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Alabama District Export Council.

Forum events included panel discussions with successful exporters and community leaders on overcoming barriers to exporting and the opportunities exporting presents for community and economic growth; as well as sessions on trade financing and foreign investment. Business attendees had the option of participating in one-on-one introductory meetings with export-assistance providers.

Forum agenda (PDF: 223 KB)

For more information about the forum, please contact ARC at