April 22, 2008

Harfst earns global commerce certification

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Marketing in the 21st century typically isn't accomplished just door-to-door or even regionally, but rather it's more of a global undertaking.

The Office of Economic and Regional Development at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is becoming more involved in international trade and now boasts the only Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) in Southern Illinois.

Kyle L. Harfst, director of business and technology enterprise development, recently passed the CGBP exam. The certification, awarded by the North American Small Business International Trade Educators Association International, denotes competency in various aspects of global commerce. The international professional global business community organization's members include global business educators and trainers from academic institutions; federal, state and local trade assistance organization trade specialists; and other professionals involved with global business activity.

The certification designation is illustrative of Harfst's ability to conduct global marketing, global business management, supply chain management and trade finance.

"International trade is becoming a focus of our office and this adds further credibility to this type of technical assistance, Harfst said. "Something like 95 percent of all trade activity is accomplished outside the United States. It is important that our clients recognize this and view international markets as opportunities."

Harfst earned his doctorate as well as his master's of business administration at SIUC. He received his bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of Northern Iowa. Harfst has worked with the SIUC Office of Economic and Regional Development since 1994. He oversees the Southern Illinois Research Park and the Small Business Incubator program.

In addition to those programs, the Office of Economic and Regional Development is home to the Southern Illinois Entrepreneurship Center, the Illinois Small Business Development Center, the Illinois Manufacturing Center and the Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development. For more information, look online at http://www.siu.edu/~econdev/.