May 19, 2020

Which US companies attended Cuba's International Business Fair?

American Airlines
USA Poultry & Egg Export Council
Fifth Street Management
Cummins Engines
Catherine Rowell
4 min
Which US companies attended Cuba's International Business Fair?

This year, Cuba held their 34th International Business Fair situated outside Havana, where over three thousand exhibitors showcased their products, with Cuban enterprises incorporating the main share of the fair. Cuba has increasingly been in the news since President Obama’s visit to the country back in March this year, with the vision of thawing the frosty relations between the two countries, with the aim to open up vital trade networks which will provide a multitude of advantages for Cuba’s economy and open up tourism and trade within the country. There have since been a limited number of US trade deals with the country, but it is moving and a key work in progress.

Whilst several European countries attended the fair, such as Spain, Italy and Germany, only a select number of US companies attended.

We take a look at the key 8 US exhibitors at Havana’s International Fair:

1. JetBlue

Launching in 1998, JetBlue has since become a key low-budget US airline, becoming the fifth largest aviation company in the US. Although predominately serving US and Caribbean destinations, the company is aiming to expand their operations and include Cuba if the embargo is lifted for a deal to be reached.

2. American Airlines

Based within Texas, American Airlines has been successfully running for 90 years, providing vital air travel within the US. As a result of several mergers, the company has expanded, which similarly to JetBlue, will aim to expand their destination list to include Cuba, enabling US citizens to visit the country.

The airline is currently a member of the Oneworld airline alliance, incorporating European and international airlines which dominate the aviation market, with over three thousand aircraft in over 160 countries, so are a big contender to gain increased accessibility to the country.

3. General Electric (GE)

Since its inception, GE has become an influential conglomerate business, with several subsidiaries under its umbrella, ranging from oil and gas and healthcare, to research and aviation expertise. It has become one of the largest companies in the world, enabling other businesses to grow and expand their operations worldwide, whilst obtaining and retaining a multitude of sophisticated technologies and sustainable initiatives.

The company are focused on moving and supporting local communities, from undertaking vital research, including a new research center in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil, in addition to providing first-class transportation services and equipment.

4. Napa Auto Parts

With over six thousand stores across America, alongside 58 distribution centres, parts company NAPA Auto Parts has expanded their operations to the Caribbean and Latin America, partnering with a number of firms to deliver first-class services, such as RLO Training, Lincoln Tech, Universal Technical Institute, Northwood University, J-Tech Institute and many more.

5. Rust-Oleum

Established in 1921 by sea captain Robert Fergusson, Rust-Oleum has since dominated the paint market in the US, producing products which are long-lasting and sustainable, with many LEED compliant products on offer alongside solutions to minimize any potential environmental impacts, something which would appeal to the Cuban market in order to retain their sense of heritage and history once paint is able to be exported to the country.

6. Cummins Engines

Responsible for America’s first diesel-powered automobile, Cummins Engines had cemented their claim to being an innovative, front running company producing first-class technologies. Founded by mechanic Clessie Cummins, the company is now a world-class engine and equipment supplier.

First entering international markets in the 1950s, with a base in Scotland, the company now is situated in nearly 200 countries. Entering Cuban markets and furthering their business operations would increase the company’s accumulated revenue.

7. USA Poultry & Egg Export Council

Alongside several partners and international suppliers, the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council will be aiming to promote and market their business through a trade deal with Cuba once the embargo is lifted, adding to their current number of offices and products exported worldwide.

8. Fifth Street Management

Financial firm Fifth Street Management has been officially running in the US for nearly 20 years, providing essential finance solutions, linking with investments through private equity sponsors, winning several awards within America for their first-class services.

For further information:

Follow @BizReviewUSA and @NellWalkerMG

Read the November issue of Business Review USA & Canada here

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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