LRI Appointed to the Board of Directors of the Southwest Illinois Trade and Investment Council

LRI is proud to have been appointed to the newly formed Southwest Illinois Trade and Investment Council. This joint initiative between Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the two primary counties in Southwest Illinois and the State of Illinois Export Trade Office at S.I.U. Edwardsville is designed to bring government, academia and industry together to promote exports from Southwest Illinois and encourage continued infrastructure support designed to enhance the area’s already stellar services and reputation as a hub for Midwest exporting across the globe. The Board of Directors will meet periodically to plan educational programs, create awareness amongst the exporting community, develop initiatives to further develop the region’s port, rail, truck and airport infrastructure and promote exports of the thousands of products manufactured by the area’s diverse manufacturing companies. LRI was asked to be a part of the leadership team as a result of our many years in providing education and export services to the region. Ric Frantz, LRI C.E.O. and Paul Jarzombek, LRI C.O.O. will serve on the board assisting the organization to meet its goals and objectives.

Illinois export facts:

  • Illinois placed fifth among the 50 states (No. 1 in the Midwest) in total exports last year with more than $68 billion in international shipments.
  • Since 2009, Illinois exports have increased by $24.2 billion, or 58%, outperforming the national average of 50%.
  • In 2014, products from Illinois were sent to 217 countries.
  • Top countries for Illinois’ exports are Canada, Mexico, China, Germany, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Belgium, United Kingdom and Netherlands.
  • 90% of Illinois exporters (22,770) were small and medium-sized businesses accounting for 24.8% of total state exports (2013 data).
  • International sales are the key to long-term business survival in today’s competitive global environment.