Business leaders from across the Gem State will learn new ways to innovate, compete and grow jobs in an increasingly global environment at the 2nd annual Governor’s Trade and Business Conference presented by Zions Bank on Friday, Oct. 16, at the Boise Centre. 

Former First Lady Laura Bush will keynote the event and share reflections from her time in the White House. Additional presenters include Bret Stephens, Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and Dan North, chief economist for Euler Hermes North America.

“We’ve designed this conference to appeal to all leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises, not just those currently involved in trade,” said Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson. “As Idaho’s economy continues to strengthen and its companies expand overseas, these top-notch speakers will offer strategies for businesses to succeed at home and abroad.”

Following are the conference details:

Time:              7:30 a.m. – Registration

                  8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Speaker presentations and luncheon

Date:               Friday, Oct. 16

Place:             Boise Centre, 850 W. Front St., Boise

Cost:               $35, includes lunch


Zions Bank and the State of Idaho will present the 2015 Idaho Global Pacesetter Award and 2015 Idaho Pacesetter Award to recognize two outstanding Gem State companies that have demonstrated business success internationally and at home.

The conference comes at a time when companies in the Intermountain West are growing overseas.  Since 2003, Idaho exports have almost tripled from $2 billion to $5.14 billion in 2014, according to the Idaho Commerce Department. Gem State companies are selling goods and services to 168 countries around the world, with the top export destinations being Canada, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Mexico, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.