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Virtual Program: Globally Connected – Minnesota Businesses on the World Stage

Thursday, February 15 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


East-West Connections, in partnership with Global Minnesota, Zerkalo – Russian Media MN, and The Museum of Russian Art, presents

Globally Connected | Minnesota Businesses on the World Stage

Thursday February 15 | 7:00 PM

Free online webinar. Pre-registration required for access


This session will feature leaders of Minnesota-based businesses who have developed robust international connections. These visionary entrepreneurs will share the stories of why and how they built foreign markets for their products as well as the impact on their companies and communities here at home. They will reflect on the enabling conditions in Minnesota that supported the development of their international connections.

This session will be moderated by East-West Connections Board Member and Program Chair Bernadine Joselyn. Key questions for our presenters:

  1. How did your business get started? Why Minnesota?

  2. What is the nature of your international connections? How did these connections develop and why?

  3. What has helped or hindered your participation in the global marketplace?

  4. In your experience, what difference has it made to Minnesota and your community to be globally connected?


  • Kent Lee is a Graduate of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (MIA, 1988); ABD in Political Science, Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; University of Minnesota (BA, summa cum laude, 1985). Previous positions: Research Associate for the Institute of Defense Analysis, Research Assistant for the Institute for East-West Security Studies, and Teaching Assistant, International Security Studies Program at Columbia University

  • Lane Powell is responsible for the market research and strategy, content development, SEO, brand awareness, social media, and company communications at Harmony Enterprises

  • John Schleiter spearheads business and legal affairs, including Regulatory, Trade Compliance, Warranty Claims, Risk Management, and Insurance. He has led efforts to open restricted global markets to product sales. As a member of the global and North American senior leadership team, John also provides guidance to the Board of Directors domestically and abroad. He has assisted over thirty foreign companies enter the US market


The Governor’s International Trade Awards recognize Minnesota companies that have shown exceptional progress and success in exports to foreign markets, as well as foreign-owned companies that have made significant economic contributions through their investments in the state.

East View received this award for 2023; Uponor North America for 2019.

East View Companies is made up of three distinct companies, all based in Minnesota. Each earns revenue from selling to international entities and importing a majority of their products from foreign products/publishers. While Minnesota has been the headquarters since 1991, East View has established offices in Moscow, Kyiv, Beijing, Berlin, Nairobi, Brisbane, and Bogota. East View Companies handle orders and supple custom quotations to persons, companies, universities, NGOs, and government agencies for more than 100 countries.

Harmony Enterprises, Inc. was founded in 1962 by local business people who had a vision to create jobs and diversify the local economy. The company’s core purposes has always been career, community, and culture. Today Harmony is one of the largest employers in the area and is internationally known as a provider of waste and recycling solutions in the form of recycling balers, trash compactors, and full product destruction equipment. Presently 20% of the company’s revenue is from international sales, in 90 countries.

Uponor North America is a global pioneer in intelligent plumbing and climate solutions for single-family homes focused on conserving water and energy, supporting the future of skilled labor, and creating healthier places to live and work. Uponor has manufacturing in Apple Valley as well as Hutchinson along with distribution in Lakeville. The company’s global headquarters are in Helsinki, Finland.


Thursday, February 15
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm