Spotlight Latvia: Gateway to Business in Europe and Beyond Conference Program

October 26, 2017

Waldorf Astoria Chicago Hotel:  11 E. Walton Street Chicago, IL 60611


8:00am – 8:30am


8:30am – 8:35am

Opening remarks

Ambassador of Latvia to the United States, H.E. Mr. Andris Teikmanis

8:35am – 8:45am


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economics of Latvia, Mr. Arvils Aseradens

8:45am – 9:00am

Presentation “Spotlighting Latvia as a Place for Business” by the Chairman of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency, Mr. Andris Ozols

9:00am – 9:40am

“Finding Success in Latvia” – International Companies Successfully Operating in Latvia

Moderator: Robert Blumberg – Honorary Consul of Latvia in Illinois

Panelists: Max Jegorovs: Accenture; Toms Zunna: Microsoft; Laura Ludika: Axon Cable; Larisa Lacis: Baltic Technology Group

9:40am – 10:10am

“Ready for Business”-U.S. Companies Interested in working with Latvia

Moderator: Peter Blumberg- President of American Latvian Association

Panelists: Dick Gauthier: Universal Forest Products, Inc.; Ernest Sabine: Ernest Alexander; Linda Cukurs: Mitchell Enterprises LLC

10:10am – 10:20am

Coffee Break

10:20am – 10:45am

Latvian Companies Successfully Operating in the U.S.

Moderator: Toms Zvidrins-Latvian Investment and Development Agency

Panelists: Janis Bergs: SAF Tehnika; Maris Lucans: Printful; Andre Schwiontek: Valmiera Glass

10:45am – 11:25am

“Taste of Latvia” Food & Dairy Panel

Moderator: James Staples-City Capital Advisors

Panelists: Aigars Germanis: Amber Beverage Group; Normunds Stanevics: Food Union; Peteris Zimants: Pure Chocolate; Janis Garancs: Aloja-Starkelsen, Baiba Puzule: Orkla Confectionary & Snacks

11:25am – 12:15am

“Byte of Latvia” IT Panel

Moderator: K. James Kleinops-Black Swan Consulting
Panelists: Andrejs Strods: Blue Bridge Technologies; Rihards Kalnins: Tilde; Sergejs Skusovs: MEDITEC Ltd: Sandis Kondrats: Anatomy Next; Vismands Menjoks: Apply Ltd; Mihails Scepanskis: CENOS

12:15pm – 1:15pm

Lunch + Remarks by Baiba Rubesa, Rail Baltica Chairwoman

1:15pm – 2:00pm

“Shortcut to Latvia” Transportation and Logistics Panel

Moderator: Uldis Sipols-US Associates,LLC
Panelists: Gundars Abols: Latvian Railways; Kaspars Briskens: airBaltic; Normunds Volbets: Sonora; Julia Kociasvili: REFTRANS Logistics Ltd; Andrejs Petrovs: Kreiss Ltd.

2:00pm – 2:30pm

“Quick Take” Manufacturing Panel

Moderator: Jeffery Scott-Scott Machinery
Panelists: Valdis Kulpe: Latvijas Finieris; Janis Simins: Jauda; Dzintars Celms: Friteks

2:30pm – 2:45pm

Latvian Business Law and International Investment Issues

Presentation by Maris Vainovskis, Eversheds Sutherland Partner

2:45pm – 3:00pm

Coffee Break

3:00pm – 4:15pm

Breakout sessions by industry group; private meetings

For the IT sector: Technology “Shark Tank” Format Feedback Session

Featuring Imran Ahmad – Principal with OCA Ventures

4:15pm – 4:25pm

Launch of Latvian Chamber of Commerce in USA

4:25pm – 4:30pm

Concluding Remarks-Peteris Blumbergs, President of American Latvian Association

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4:30pm – 6:00pm

Cocktail Reception