This month’s leadership message was contributed by Russ Keller, a member of Conexx and managing executive of Advanced Technology International (ATI). Russ joined the recent 6th annual SC-Israel Collaboration Mission to Israel and below is his first-hand account of the mission.
From January 6-13, 2017 I was proud to have participated in the sixth annual South Carolina – Israel Research and Business Collaboration’s week-long trip to Israel. I have participated in five of the six visits based upon my responsibilities in administering the South Carolina portion of the South Carolina – Israel Industrial Research and Development Program.
As in previous years, my principal reason for traveling with the delegation was to spend some time with my counterparts in Israel who are responsible for administering the R&D Program on the Israeli side. Additionally, in my capacity of managing a large, national US medical research and development collaboration, I have been looking, increasingly, at forming partnerships with the Israeli government, nationally-focused incubators, academic research institutions and private sector companies operating in the medical and life sciences domain as future members of this medical R&D consortium.
Our agenda while in Israel was packed with group and individual meetings, but Conexx and the SC Israel Collaboration were careful to build in some sightseeing time, which is a significant plus for the first-time travelers. The Old City of Jerusalem, the Holocaust Museum (Yad Vashem), and city tours of Tel Aviv were this year’s highlights; previous delegations have visited other biblical and ancient sites such as Caesarea and the Galilee region.
While the number and pace of the meetings has remained high throughout the previous delegation trips, I can see the fruits of the continued engagement in that more and more of the meetings we have today are with partners and friends – business people we have met with before which helps us enhance and further our relationships. Our delegation’s goals include advancing these relationships to the point where long term partnerships form for the mutual benefit of both parties.
I hope to continue participating in these visits in the coming years, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of these engagements in Israeli companies landing in South Carolina, and Israeli researchers joining and securing R&D funding from our Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium.
New Year, New Board Members
Conexx is happy to welcome new members to our board and Executive Committee. New to the Executive Committee is Jordan Arogeti. In addition to the Executive Committee, Jordan (Sales Loft – Atlanta, GA) also serves as the Chair of Conexx’s Young Professional’s group. Other new board members include Adrian Cohen (Georgia Pacific – Atlanta, GA), Jeff Goldberg (Global Payments – Atlanta, GA), Nachum Korman (Landa Digital Printing – Milton, GA), Alan Lubel (Berman Fink Van Horn – Atlanta, GA), Josh Mandell (Stone River Company – Birmingham, AL), Jeff Neil (Georgia Ports Authority – Savannah, GA), Arthur Perlen (Centennial Retail Services – Nashville, TN), and Maurice Rosenbaum (Health Systems – Atlanta, GA).
Conexx is proud to be expanding our board to include more young professionals, women and members from around our region and Israel. We look forward to the contributions of our new board members through ideas, programs, networking and regional activities.
We would like to extend our many thanks to the board members who have served our organization over the past few years. Ron Arkin, Ramesh Barasia, Jack Belz, Pamela Dubin, Robert Franco, Jim Haisler, Brad Reznik, Adam Shapiro and Terry Walts have contributed their time, hard work, ideas and so much more to the success of our organization. Thank you for your devoted service to Conexx and for helping us truly fulfill our mission of connecting Americans and Israelis through business.