Annual Global Edu-Preneur Summit

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March 6, 2015 marked the very first Global Edu-Preneur Summit for the SF Bay Area region – at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA. Petural “PJ” Shelton, Deputy Sector Navigator (DSN) for Global Trade & Logistics and Director CITD for San Francisco, Marin and the Inland SF East Bay regions, hosted the event, bringing industry and academic keynote speakers as well as successful teams from K-12 schools and community colleges, collaboration leaders and global business executives together in a one day summit dedicated to ‘Developing Entrepreneurial Mindsets for Global Trade & Logistics.’ There were more than ninety participants in the full day showcase, which began with breakfast, included a lunch and ended with an interactive discussion of how the examples, tools and initiatives shared could be supported and continued to ensure forward momentum.

Following is a recap of the day’s presentations, discussions and highlights: 

the Mouse Squad from Valley View Middle School, Pleasant Hill, CA
Joan Buchanan, then Candidate for CA State Senate, the former State Assembly Member

Joan Buchanan, then Candidate for CA State Senate, the former State Assembly Member who served 18 years on the San Ramon Valley School Board, delivered the day’s kick off keynote address, “Why Education Must Be Our First Priority.” Joan shared her vision for our state’s education and addressed quite a few questions from a highly engaged audience. Joan described the importance of education related directly to the needs of California’s growing economy and the needs of a transforming global work environment.


the Mouse Squad from Valley View Middle School, Pleasant Hill, CA
the Mouse Squad from Valley View Middle School, Pleasant Hill, CA
Mouse Squad to the Rescue
Mouse Squad to the Rescue

Next up – the Mouse Squad from Valley View Middle School, Pleasant Hill, CA kicked off the ‘WOW Classroom Showcase,’ in what became a highlight of the day for many. Mouse Squad is a group of 22 tech-savvy seventh and eight graders who serve as technology experts and instructions for teachers and peers at Valley View. 

They meet with their advisor, Ms. Shauna Hawes weekly to discuss the program. As participants witnessed, the program is teaching them workplace skills, communication, confidence and leadership as well as tech skills. All these great qualities, so desirable to employers were on display as the Mouse Squad introduced itself and shared stories of helping their teachers and administrators with their IT.


The next Summit highlight featured collaboration between local industry and local community colleges. In January 2015, Chris Rochette, Training Manager for Bay Ship & Yacht partnered with the College of Alameda by establishing the “Working Waterfront Cohort Job Training Initiative.” This innovative partnership will train students for working in their unsurpassed shipyard services and on the working waterfront. What a great way for students to gain real world job experience in this field. Another program getting a lot of attention is the “Oakland Global” initiative at the Port of Oakland. As one of the Bay Area’s largest employers, they are hiring aggressively and expanding in multiple areas. The strong collaboration with Doing What Matters has created an internship program that can help develop skills in logistics.


After lunch, participants were treated to candid perspective on the critical need for supply chain management talent from Doing What Matters Advisory Board and industry leaders from an array of companies headquartered in the SF Bay Area.

Joan Kerr, Director of Supply Chain Diversity for PG&E, 3-time winner of National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Leader of the Year award, was the industry keynote speaker. Joan has been a highly respected leader in the utility industry for 24 years. In her five years with PG&E the firm has more than doubled its annual spend with diverse business enterprises, now up to more than $2.3 billion. (She was with AT&T before this role, where she served as Executive Director and led creation of a best-in-class supplier diversity program. 


There is a world of opportunity out there. In the massive, growing global logistics market, the US spends $1.3 trillion on transportation and logistics services. o only is California one of 10 largest economies in the world, but right here in the SF Bay area, we are a leader in innovation, technology and global trade. Key executives from Matson Logistics, Give Something Back, Process Weaver and Dreisbach Enterprises shared their consensus opinion in the importance to industry of developing the right skill sets for this highly dynamic, growing and transforming market place. To sustain the projected growth, the biggest challenge facing the global trade and logistics industry is educating and training people.


Director of Gnosis Communications, Angela Cordell, shared with the group the interactive website ‘My Scary World,’ which introduces students to CARL, a Career Alien-Really Loveable. Saying that ‘Life’s really not so scary when you have a friend to show you around,’ My Scary World’s animated character helps middle school (7th and 8th grade) students navigate through an exploration of their own interests and introduces possible careers and life opportunities. Another dedicated leader in education who is preparing the next generation for tomorrow’s global economy is CITD Director Leah Goold-Haws, DSN for California’s Far Northern region. She reviewed Global Edu-Preneur course modules with digital badging or certification awards which she has helped develop, as well as a virtual internship pilot program with China.


Petural “PJ” Shelton and her “Doing What Matters” initiative followed up with all attendees and requested ratings of the day, the speakers, venue and content along with recommendations for any improvements for next year’s Global Edu-Preneur Summit. If the first Global Edu-Preneur Summit was any indication, watch for great things to come as we build collaboration between industry and academia to lay the foundation our young students will need to excel in global trade and logistics. Click for the complete summary of survey results.