3rd regional trade mission aimed to broaden, deepen business partnerships

At Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa (L to R): Greater Dayton Area Hospital Assn. Exec. Dir. Martin Larson, State Sen. Peggy Lehner, Grandview Medical Ctr. Pres. Richard Haas and Debbie Haas, Montgomery Co. Commissioner Dan Foley, Mary Kaye Manchur, Kettering Health Network Pres. & CEO Fred Manchur, and Maayan Katz, international relations & resource development, Rambam Health Care Campus

By Marshall Weiss, The Dayton Jewish Observer

From Sept. 7-13, 23 local business and government leaders participated on the Dayton region’s third Israel trade mission since 2008. The goal of the trip — coordinated by the two-year-old Montgomery County-Dayton Region Israel Trade Alliance — was to expand the breadth and depth of relationships among Israeli and area businesses.

“Certainly the number-one focus was our attention to the aerospace industry that has so much synergy between Israel and the Dayton metropolitan area because of our defense industry,” said mission participant Phil Parker, president of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Parker also serves as president of the Montgomery County Community Improvement Corporation, the entity that oversees Dayton’s trade office in Haifa, Israel’s aerospace technology hub. The Montgomery County-Dayton Region Israel Trade Alliance opened that office in April 2010 under the direction of Uri Attir.

The Dayton area is the only region in Ohio with its own trade office in Israel; it is funded by private donations from business leaders in the Miami Valley.

According to Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley, Attir has had “collaboration efforts” with 21 companies in Israel since Attir took up his post.

Among these, Foley said, is a possible agreement between Sinclair Community College and the Themis company in Herzliya for Sinclair to provide unmanned aerial vehicle training in simulation.

Attir’s prospects go beyond aerospace.

“There are companies in Israel that manufacture products in the health-care industry that we would like to have connections with and I’m sure they would love to have connections with our marketplace here,” Parker said.

Fred Manchur, president and CEO of Kettering Health Network — the Miami Valley’s third largest employer — toured Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa. He saw how Rambam deals with the trauma of attack.

“They went and put up an underground parking garage that can be converted to a hospital and can handle 2,000 patients,” Manchur said. “It was good to see their trauma center because we’re just opening up a trauma unit at Kettering.”

Foley also cited a meeting of sensor technology expert Larrell Walters, executive director of the University of Dayton Research Institute, and Dayton Water Department Director Tammy Clements with Technion Institute of Technology about environmental sensors for water.

“Technion looks at sensors and environmental impacts, making sure you can protect groundwater, for example, by using sensors to understand if your groundwater is in danger of being polluted by some kind of an industrial issue,” Foley said.

Parker added that Dayton has one of the largest natural aquifers in the nation. “So we were able, I think, to start some dialogue with Technion that I think could carry on,” Parker said.

Another partnership in the works, Foley said, is between Miamisburg’s JatroDiesel and TransBio Diesel in Shfar-Am, to team up on bio diesel efforts.

Parker also met with the Haifa and Northern Israel Chamber of Commerce and a manufacturing trade association.

“Northern Israel is a center of manufacturing and that’s who we are,” Parker said. “That is still the largest single area for (Dayton) chamber members.”

Parker said next steps include hosting Haifa chamber members here and introducing Dayton and Haifa members through webinars and sharing sales information opportunities.

“Businesses from Israel and the Dayton area, we’re all looking for how to expand our marketplace,” Parker said. “In some cases it may mean more customers and in some cases it could be better products to sell. I think that’s going to have a tremendous opportunity for us in this next year coming forward.”

September 2011 Israel trade mission participants

• Jim Akers, president, Akers Packaging Service Group, and spouse Jodi Akers
• Tammy Clements, director, City of  Dayton Water Department
• Shelley Dickstein, assistant city mgr., strategic development, City of Dayton
• Bruce Feldman, president, Economy Linen & Towel Service
• Debbie Feldman, Montgomery County administrator
• Carol Fisher, community volunteer
• Dan Foley, Montgomery County commissioner
• Kery Gray, executive assistant to the Dayton City Commission
• Richard Haas, president, Grandview Medical Ctr., and spouse Debra Haas
• Martin Larson, executive director, Greater Dayton Health Information Network, Greater Dayton Area Hospitals Association
• Peggy Lehner, state senator, Ohio 6th District
• Fred Manchur, president & CEO, Kettering Health Network and spouse Mary Kaye Manchur
• Dr. S. Narayanan, director, Wright State University Research Institute
• Michelle O’Neil, president, O’Neil Consulting Co.
• Phil Parker, president, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce/president, Montgomery Co. Improvement Corp.
• Maureen Patterson, V.P., stakeholder relations, Dayton Development Coalition
• Steve Petitjean, senior V.P., market  manager, Fifth Third Bank
• David Pierce, vice president, treas., Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton /attorney, Coolidge Wall Law Firm
• Larrell Walters, executive director, UDRI/IDCAST
• Joe Zeis, V.P. & chief strategist, Dayton Development Coalition

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