A delegation from the city of Kokomo is set to travel to China next week on a commerce mission. The visit to Dongyang, Kokomo's sister city, will be led by Mayor Greg Goodnight and include leaders from the area's education, economic development and business communities. The trip comes as the city is experiencing an economic resurgence, which Goodnight discussed during an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television. October 21, 2013

News Release

KOKOMO, Ind. – A delegation of local leaders, headed by Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, will travel to Dongyang, China later this month to continue the sister city partnership started earlier this year between the greater Kokomo community and Dongyang officials.

Joining Mayor Greg Goodnight will be Steve Whikehart, Development Director for the City of Kokomo; Paul Wyman, business representative; Dr. Sue Sciame-Giesecke, Interim Chancellor for IU Kokomo; Rodni Lytle, Dean of the Ivy Tech School of Applied Science and Engineering Technology; Dr. Christian Chauret, faculty member IU Kokomo; Yan He, faculty member, IU Kokomo; Dr. Jeff Hauswald, Superintendent of Kokomo Schools; Joe Dunbar, Board President of Kokomo Schools; Mike Sargent, Principal of Kokomo High School; Craig Simon, Kokomo High School student, and Andy Baker, President and co-owner of AndyMark, Inc.

“The goal of this delegation's visit is to further develop ties between Dongyang and the greater Kokomo community by collaborating on strategies for business, education, and cultural partnerships for the betterment of both communities,” said Mayor Goodnight. “It is vital to the relationship that we show Dongyang the courtesy of visiting their community, just as two of their delegations did ours recently.”

Dongyang city officials visited Kokomo in April, followed by a Dongyang educational delegation that visited Kokomo in June. The Kokomo delegation will leave for China on Friday, October 25th and return Wednesday, October 30th.

“By traveling to their community we can foster goodwill and build relationships that have unlimited potential to generate leads that will benefit almost every area of the community, including commerce and education,” said Mayor Goodnight.

The Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance (GKEDA) is a primary sponsor of the delegation visit. GKEDA President and CEO Chris Hamm stressed that the trip is crucial for developing ties with China.

“The recently-formed sister city relationship was the first step in establishing any future business ventures with Dongyang, but we must continue to build on that,” said Chris Hamm.

“The Chinese cope with obstacles in business by first forming very strong bonds and friendships and typically will only move forward with these trusted individuals in a business venture. For this reason it’s important that we return their courtesies and show that we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to develop business ties with them.”

BJ Moyars of Moyars Consulting, LLC has negotiated several Chinese-American, Sister City relationships. Mr. Moyars, who is fluent in Mandarin, will be the group’s translator and coordinator.

Source: The City of Kokomo

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