World Trade Week West Michigan


"Grand Rapids is increasingly connected to the world through a growing web of business relationships. World Trade Week affirms the importance of those relationships and enables them to expand. Grand Valley State University does our region a great service with this annual series."

Mayor George K. Heartwell, City of Grand Rapids


World Trade Week West Michigan

WTW 30 years

World Trade Week is a dynamic network of organizations supporting West Michigan region focusing on international trade and business growth in foreign markets.

For the past 30 years West Michigan trade organizations, businesses and other community stakeholders have come together to promote and facilitate the importance of international trade.

Founded by the late Tom Maguire of the U.S. Commercial Service in 1985, World Trade Week in West Michigan was created supporting the annual proclamation issued by the President of the United States declaring a full week each month of May be designated as World Trade Week. 

Each year World Trade Week offers an agenda of educational seminars, global business networking events, a WorldQuest trivia competition, and a VIP World Trade Week Reception which recognizes the international trade achievements by practitioners in the field.

Community working together to:

  • Highlight the link between international trade and the region’s economic well-being
  • Recognize the contributions of international trade to job creation in the West Michigan region
  • Celebrate companies succeeding in the global marketplace
  • Share knowledge, resources and ideas to facilitate business success internationally

Who are our partners? 

The World Trade Week West Michigan Planning Committee is comprised of volunteers from over 20 internationally focused companies and organizations.  The Committee leadership alternates on an annual basis between the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce and Grand Valley State University’s Van Andel Global Trade Center (VAGTC).  Kendra Kuo, Director of U.S. Commercial Services - Grand Rapids Office is Chair of the 2015 Planning Committee. 


In addition to the World Trade Week Planning Committee, over 30 corporations financially support the business conference and other key student programs, showing their commitment to leverage experiences and grow international opportunities for West Michigan businesses. Christine Henisee, CEO of Ranir LLC is Chair of the Host Committee to develop program sponsors for 2015.

The week of collaboration of key organization events include:

  • The Economic Club of Grand Rapids Luncheon
  • West Michigan World Trade Association Dinner
  • World Affairs Council of West Michigan WorldQuest™ Competition
  • World Trade Week International Business Conference  

We invite you to join us!


Page last modified January 29, 2015