September 2020 Newsletter
Screenshot from a recent WTC Utah Board Meeting in which members joined online and in-person adhering to health guidelines.
This month, we are excited to welcome the newest member of our team, Aaron Starks, who will be joining World Trade Center Utah as the Vice President of Growth Services. Now more than ever, Utah companies are poised to compete and win in international markets, and Aaron will play a critical role in connecting them to the resources they need.
WTC Utah leads Utah’s international business development and elevates Utah’s global status to promote prosperity and build economic resilience. As the VP of Growth Services, Aaron will work to accelerate the growth of Utah companies by refining, marketing and delivering WTC Utah’s trade and investment services. This includes leveraging the skills of our trade services team to provide companies with market research and recommendations. As an example of our refined market research product, click here to see an example of a WTC Utah Global Opportunity Report created for Utah company Soundhelm. If your company is ready to go international and would benefit from this or any one of our many trade and investment services, please reach out so we can get you connected with Aaron and our growth services team.
Aaron will also collaborate with WTC Utah’s public and private partners to develop integrated consulting services and execute new strategies to accelerate growth for Utah companies, improving our refining Team Utah’s ability to deliver our various technical services and grant programs to Utah businesses.
Regarding his new role, Aaron shared that “as I looked for opportunities to maximize my contribution to Utah and ways to support our economy, there was no question that World Trade Center Utah is the very best place for me to apply my experience building businesses internationally by bringing tangible benefits to companies of all sizes across the state. I am honored to join such a wonderful team and eager to work with WTC Utah’s many members, stakeholders and partners to make a contribution to our businesses and economy.”
Prior to joining WTC Utah, Aaron worked seven years for a company with Utah roots and international ties – FranklinCovey. He helped grow the International Division while overseeing business operations throughout Asia. While expanding the business into 21 countries, Aaron successfully led staff members varying in culture, ethnicity and level of economic development to record growth numbers for five straight years. During this time, he opened a new division in Tokyo, Japan, where he and his family of five lived for three of those years. A Utah native, Aaron concluded his education at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he studied international business and strategy before receiving his MBA and returning to live and work in Salt Lake City. Active in the community, Aaron has served in many public and community positions, including as the statewide, elected Vice Chair of the Utah Republican Party.
Aaron is joining the WTC Utah team at a critical time for the state’s economy. As a country, we’ve learned from experience that businesses that export are more likely to not only survive but thrive during times of economic uncertainty. The United States International Trade Commission found that small and medium-sized businesses that exported prior to and during the Financial Crisis had more than twice the total revenue of their non-exporting counterparts and were far more resilient throughout the last recession. The same dynamics are true today as we work aggressively to recover from the pandemic even stronger than we were going into it.
Aaron’s hands-on experience growing businesses in countries across Asia combined with his strong motivation to roll-up his sleeves and serve as a catalyst of growth for companies across the state will enable WTC Utah to take our trade and investment services along with the value they create to an even higher level. With nearly 1 in 4 Utah jobs tied to international trade and international sales adding $5 billion in additional revenues for Utah small businesses, Aaron’s efforts will prove invaluable in strengthening our economy by connecting Utah companies with opportunities abroad.
Please join me in welcoming Aaron to the WTC Utah family, and please partner with us as we all work to redouble our efforts to help Utah companies compete and win around the world.