International Trade for Small Business: Opportunities and Best Practices

A free Defense Alliance Webinar

Thursday, June 6, 2024

11:00AM - 12:00PM

Join Defense Alliance, U.S. Commercial Service, Minnesota Trade Office, Export Import Bank of the U.S. (EXIM), and KnectIQ (a representative small business and Defense Alliance member) for a one-hour informational webinar: “International Trade for Small Business: Opportunities & Best Practices.” International markets represent fertile ground for new business development. Learn from the best about:


  • Export resources available through State and Federal Programs, including:
  • Local export counseling, education, and training opportunities
  • Market intelligence, business matchmaking, product promotion, and commercial diplomacy for small businesses
  • Export credit and export finance solutions
  • STEP Grant availability
  • Navigating international sales growth. Experience, insights and perspective from a St. Paul based cyber-security small business that has succeeded in the international market.


11:00 AM: Welcome Remarks

11:05 AM: U.S. Commercial Service (USCS), Minneapolis, MN Office

11:15 AM: Export Import Bank of the U.S. (EXIM), Central Region

11:25 AM: Minnesota Trade Office

11:35 AM: KnectIQ

11:45 AM: Q&A

12:00 PM: Conclude


Chris Petersen

Senior International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service

Peterson joined the U.S. Commercial Service in May of 2022. Prior to joining the International Trade Administration, Chris worked in various international trade related roles including as an International Trade Specialist with C.H. Robinson, global market research sales with Euromonitor, as well analysis and operations roles with the maritime shipping industry. He holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. 

Aeli Wiebolt, CPPM

Regional Trade Specialist & Protocol Officer, Minnesota Trade Office

Aeli has been a Regional Trade Specialist & Protocol Officer at the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO) since March of 2023, and before that was the International Marketing Specialist & STEP Grant Administrator since July 2017. Her main focuses are the organization of international trade missions/trade shows and incoming delegation visits from foreign countries, the administration of the Federal STEP Grant awarded by the Small Business Administration (SBA), development and implementation of programs and events to help Minnesota companies effectively respond to international trade opportunities, the execution of and professional policy advice for international protocol and assisting Minnesota companies with trade- and protocol-related issues as needed.

Ken Morris

CEO, KnectIQ

Morris leads the charge in effective, operational cybersecurity, driving advancements across vital sectors like national defense, critical infrastructure, national security, finance, banking, insurance, and healthcare. With expertise in cryptographic systems and network security, Ken ensures sensitive information remains secure while delivering enterprise scale data and decision advantage. Holding numerous patents, his focus is on desired outcomes rather than mere compliance.

As founder of KnectIQ and advisor to international organizations, Ken provides strategic guidance, leveraging his business acumen and technological prowess. With a law degree from Hamline University, Ken's multifaceted contributions span global industries. Beyond business, he actively shapes policy discussions and fosters collaborations to tackle evolving cybersecurity challenges. Committed to excellence and fueled by innovation, Ken is reshaping the cybersecurity landscape,

guaranteeing a secure digital future for organizations worldwide.

Ursula Wegrzynowicz

Deputy Managing Director, Central Region, EXIM Bank

Ursula is currently serving as the Deputy Managing Director for the Central Region at EXIM Bank supporting the exporting community by providing trade finance counseling related to the Bank’s products. Prior to re-joining EXIM Bank, Ursula founded a trade finance brokerage, Emelev, LLC with the goal of assisting US exporters reach their export potential.


Ursula’s experience includes working at LR International, an award winning freight forwarder, in addition to working with importer and exporter clients major banks. A trusted advisor and international trade expert, Ursula has dedicated her career to guiding small and medium- sized manufacturers on export strategy, trade finance, compliance and logistics.

Ursula is a proud member of the Board of Directors of the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago (ITAGC).  She also joined Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global, a non-profit dedicated to nurturing women business owners and entrepreneurs, and serves as a Specialist on trade finance. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Loyola University Chicago and her M.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in International Economic Policy from American University.

Questions about the webinar? Email Us!

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