I am excited for 2024. It will mark the beginning of my second year as CEO and Executive Director of Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast. Much of my first year was spent evaluating where we were as an organization, actively listening to staff, suppliers, board members, and stakeholders about where we can better amplify our strengths and better navigate challenges present now and in the future. We made changes to the structure of the leadership and realigned teams to ensure that we work cohesively as a unit and not as separate program areas. The accomplishments of Food Export staff this year have been nothing short of transformative.
This year, we brought in new team members, said farewell to some esteemed colleagues, made technological upgrades, and reevaluated procedures. It has been a dynamic and productive year for our team in Chicago and Philadelphia.
The most critical project we worked on was refining our sense of shared purpose and culture: our Mission, Vision, and Values. It was important to me to develop statements that authentically reflect who we are as an organization, represent our beliefs, and reaffirms our commitment to exporting American agricultural and seafood.
I am exceptionally proud of the work and effort that was put into developing these statements. We conducted numerous interviews and synthesized thoughts and comments into cohesive pieces that embody Food Export’s Mission, Vision, and Values. As organizations committed (and well-positioned) to grow in the years to come, these will be invaluable as guiding principles.
Let me share with you our Mission, Vision, and Values.
At Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast, our mission is to empower small- and medium-sized businesses in our regions to sell their food and agricultural products internationally by:
At Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast, we envision a future where small- and medium-sized businesses in our regions thrive in the global marketplace. Our vision is to lead this transformation by fully embodying our mission:
1. Simplifying Success
In our vision, we see a future where exporting value-added food, agricultural, seafood, and forestry products is simple, accessible, and low-risk for small- and medium-sized businesses. We take a leadership role, leveraging technology, expertise, and innovation to provide businesses, especially the underserved, with customized tools and unwavering support to thrive in international markets.
2. Enriching Exchange
We aim to create a global network where importers, distributors, manufacturers, and retailers actively seek out the finest products and producers from our regions. By connecting businesses, we envision economic vitality, thriving enterprises, and flourishing local communities. Our organization serves as the bridge that fosters partnerships and trade relationships worldwide.
3. Realizing Resources
In our vision, we serve as the linchpin of collaboration and support, forming strong partnerships with our 23 member-state agencies and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. We see a future where these alliances drive significant investment in the growth and prosperity of our member states and U.S. agriculture. As mindful stewards, we ensure the effective and optimized use of these public resources for the benefit of businesses and for the positive impact on the communities they support.
Over the course of the next several weeks, we will begin implementing language from these statements into our different methods of communication. We will have visual reminders throughout our offices, and we plan to have products that we can share externally that showcase our Mission, Vision, and Values.
Happy holidays and best wishes for 2024.
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Food Export–Midwest and Food Export–Northeast reserve the right to deny services to any firm or individual which, in the sole opinion of Food Export–Midwest and Food Export–Northeast, does not comply with FAS, MAP or Food Export–Midwest and Food Export–Northeast regulations or policies, or otherwise offer the best opportunity to achieve its mission of increasing food and agricultural exports. Submission of any false or misleading information may be grounds for rejection or subsequent revocation of any application or participation. Food Export–Midwest and Food Export–Northeast are equal opportunity employers and providers.