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Global Implications of a Volatile FX Marketplace; 2016 Annual Meeting of Plexus

On Thursday, March 3rd, our first event for the day was an International Business Network (IBN) program that took place at the KeyBank Campus on Tiedeman Road in Brooklyn.IMG_8570

It was titled "Global Implications of a Volatile FX Marketplace" and during the course of it such matters were talked about like the impacts of the Swiss National Bank removing the EUR/CHF peg; the introduction of record stimulus by the European Central Bank; the People's Bank of China's shock yen devaluation; Greece's threatening to exit the European Union; the negative deposit rates introduced by the Bank of Japan; and China's slow growth and the "severe pressure it is placing on commodity prices and top commodity-dependent nations."

It was a very detailed presentation and we were very impressed by the knowledge of the presenter who was Mr. Mark Monroe, Associate Sales Representative in the division of Enterprise Commercial Payments Foreign Exchange and International Trade at KeyBank. Of course Mr. Greg LaMonica and Mr. David Renta, KeyBank officials who we have heard speak before, were there and they offered occasional input but Mr. Monroe, a young man with a lot of potential, mostly conducted the program himself.

It is our intention when we go to such as program as this, to learn and to connect with people. Accordingly on this day, we made about 10 new contacts like Ms. Deborah Mongomery, President of Larr & Associates, LLC in Munroe Falls; Ms. Veronica Jiajia Xu, Attorney with Brennan, Manna and Diamond which is a law firm in Akron; and Ms. Bonnie Fogel, Senior Account Manager at Kuehne and Nagel in Middleburg Heights.

We also talked to people who we have known for a while like Ms. Marie T. Ball, Business Development Director; Mr. Dick Erickson, Strategic Planners; and Mr. John Senese of NEOTEC.

We had a particularly pleasant conversation with Mr. Doug Wheeler from the division of Business Banking at KeyBank who told us that, in spite of what goes on in the international marketplace, we could still get a "Veggie Big Mac" at Pura Vida downtown and some great pierogis at Grumpy's Cafe in Tremont.

IMG_8579Our second event for Thursday was the 2016 annual meeting of Plexus that was held at Cibreo Italian Kitchen on Euclid Avenue.

Ms. Michelle Tomallo, President and Co-Founder of Plexus, reviewed the successes of the organization for 2015 including a 27% increase in LGBT certified businesses and the receipt of a grant from the Cleveland Foundation which will "help us strategize the best ways for us to serve the community to advance inclusion and equality."

A good example of this was, as the program notes for the evening indicated, the workshops sponsored by PNC "to build LGBTQ Competency for local businesses to fosterIMG_8572 better customer service, employee relations, and business opportunities." Moreover, as Ms. Tomallo said, "marriage equality made 2015 a big year." It gave everyone an opportunity to tell his/her story and consciousness was raised. Through the course of it all, it was shown that the marriage equality and non-discriminatory policies were good for business. Along these lines, Plexus and its members contributed to many stories that appeared in the local news.

IMG_8568Before dinner, we were divided into several groups that each brainstormed in a fun fashion about what it meant to us to be Plexus members, what its priorities should be, and what could be done to enhance Plexus' stature in the Cleveland/Northeast Ohio community.

We really liked a suggestion that Plexus align itself more closely with Global Cleveland because Mr. Joe Cimperman, its soon-to-be president, is very committed to achieving social justice for both the LGBT and immigrants and the two definitely had the potential to overlap.



Written by:

Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.


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