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2nd SABA Conference – Lemont, IL

In September 2014, The Slovenian American Business Association announced the organizations 2nd Business conference titled “Slovenia: Business Opportunities for US Companies”. SABA conducted a conference on Monday November 17, 2014 in Lemont, Illinois. The location of the conference was at the Slovenian Catholic-cultural center whose President is Mrs. Tina Hozjan Ruda.

In the program of the conference we had introductions and welcome speeches, presentations of good practice, the possibility of entering in the US market, along with the activities that can have a positive influence on the development of the economy or the participation of Slovenian companies with companies form the US.

In the welcoming the conference was supported by Tina Hozjan Ruda, the president of the Slovenian Catholic cultural center in Lemont, Rudolf Krašovec, the president of the Krajnsko Slovenian Catholic Union (KSKJ), Jože Kokal, the president of the Slovenian American Business Association (SABA), George Schafer, a representative of the town of Lemont and Dr. Bozo Cerar, the Slovenian Ambassador to the United States.

The introductory presentation entitled “The Case for Doing Business in Slovenia” of Jurček Žmauc, Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia in Cleveland (the material for the presentation was prepared by Gorazd Renčelj, the economic advisor to Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Washington D.C.). The presentation included an overview of the economic situation in Slovenia, its position in the European Union and the opportunities.

As an example of good practice an already established Slovenian company operating in US markets, Dean Kravos from Chicago, representing the company HIDRIA from Idrija in the US. The presentation displayed  ways of conducting business, the company’s products and confirmed the possibility of success with quality products of high technology, which is still an open alcove in the United States.

The company, which is paving its way in the US, MIK Celje, was introduced by the owner and CEO, Franci Pliberšek. The company is also a member of SABA and has had a couple of visits and meetings with businessmen in Ohio, Illinois and California. Their product is unique and thus the potential for entering the US market or investment in the rest of the world in specific economic sectors in the Republic of Slovenia.

In the second part of the conference, there were presentations for  activities, which may be a great contribution to economic development. Dr. Peter Rožič from San Francisco presented the work of American English Education Foundation (ASEF), which has a program to bring students from the Republic of Slovenia and the USA for scientific training.

Prof. Luka Zibelnik, the lector of the Slovenian language at Cleveland State University, presented his patent – Learning the Slovenian language online and with that introducing the Slovenian language to a broader audience – interests from the US. He also introduced a new project  called “Pocket Slovenian” (all in their capacity as ) ”World Days of Slovenian language”! At the end of the presentation he stressed the importance of “Slovenian business” on learning which will actively cooperate with SABA.

As SABA has already published, they are working closely with a related organization in Canada. John Doma from Toronto, Slovenian Honorary Consul General in Canada and one of the “engines” of the English Canadian Chamber of Commerce spoke as a gesture of good cooperation. The presentation emphasized the importance of integration and cooperation in North America and thus better assisting Slovenian companies with an interest in entering the market.

In the final part of the conference Nevio Prosen, editor of the SABA website and member of SABA, presented the website, the prospect of membership and the way of business through the SABA website. He did a presentation about SWICH wireless charger from Lutman Design which is also a member of SABA and about PentaSens Inc. and their smart solution SensMesh (www.sensmesh.com).  The presentation of members was running in parallel throughout it.

Concluding remarks at the conference had been given by Joe Vidmar, representative of the company LPL Financial in Chicago, which became a member of SABA during the conference and Vladislav Nikolic, representative from the company Theobroma Export-Import, Inc., which operates in the tread of cocoa beans.

Among the listeners were also representatives of companies Mah Machine, KSKJ Life, MIK Celje, Mirotek, Inc., MFurniture Import, Inc., Theobroma Export-Import, Inc., CSU, Hidria, Santa Clara University, LPL Financial, Bateman MacKay, Calfee financial and Eleven Eleven Studio.

Among the participants was also Miro Medved, Slovenian Honorary Consul in in which it Minnesota which will be a future host of “The 3rd SABA Business Conference” in November 2015. At the time of the conference SABA had created and issued an opportunity brochure which was given to all the participants.

Written by: Jurček Žmauc

– See more at: http://www.sloaba.com

Picture courtesy of Luka Zibelnik

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