Plugging in to international business development can be risky unless you know what to look for. This is your opportunity, courtesy of NEIA’s International Business Development Symposium, Friday, May 24, to find the right outlet for your business initiatives. There are still openings for you to participate in the available one-on-one sessions. They include consultation on international financial institutions, intelligent international marketing, and methods to enhance the success of your business model.

Tailoring your Market Research and Business Networking

9:00 to 12:00 pm: Chris Palmer, Principal & Partner, Connections Research / Islands North has a few sessions available for 30 minute one-on-one discussions with firms at no cost. Registrations are limited and will be booked in advance by e-mail or the morning of the session. Appointments can be booked on a first come – first serve basis.

Opportunities with the World Bank and other International Financial Institutions

From 2:00 to 5:00 pm Amber MacKereth, Senior Consultant, The Barrington Consulting Group Inc. has a few sessions available for 30 minute one-on-one discussions with firms. Registrations are limited and will be booked in advance by e-mail or the morning of the session on a first come – first serve basis.

Facilitating Business Growth

Geoff Tooton, Partner, Consulting, The Business Development Bank of Canada has a few sessions available for 30-minute one-on-one discussions with firms at no cost. Registrations are limited and will be booked in advance by e-mail or the morning of the session. Appointments will be booked on a first-come, first-served basis and can deal wioth a range of topics including Business Planning, Marketing, Human Resources; Operational Efficiency, SR&ED Tax Credits, Information Communications Technology, or Business Transition/Succession

Spending a few minutes with Geoff to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these attributes of your business will help you to determine your readiness to either start exporting or to increase the amount of exporting you’re now doing.



Amber Mackereth: Amber is  a Senior Consultant with the Barrington Consulting Group in Nova Scotia.  She leads the firm’s international business development efforts and manages their international portfolio of World Bank and Asian Development Bank contracts.

Amber was previously the Trade Commissioner responsible for the Washington, D.C. Office of Liaison with International Financial Institutions (OLIFI). In that position she acquired extensive experience delivering support to both public and private sector entities seeking to pursue IFI-financed opportunities. While in this position, Amber provided strategic advice and assistance to Canadian businesses in their pursuit of opportunities financed by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and coordinated DFAIT’s OLIFI network of offices in Manila, Bridgetown and Tunis.

Amber worked from 2005-2010 as the Director of International Projects for NS’s association of universities, colleges and private sector firms, where she led the association in bidding and positioning itself for IFI financed contracts. She has spent time at all of the main IFIs, is intricately familiar with their operations and procurement, and is familiar with the success factors of winning IFI-financed contracts.

Amber has worked in more than 20 countries over the last ten years and is intimately familiar with the role of the TCS in supporting Canadian exporters. She has a Bachelors degree in Spanish, a Masters in International Affairs and is a certified Project Management Professional.

Chris Palmer: As a Principal/Partner in Connections Research/Islands North, Chris’ main research interests include identifying business, tourism and cultural opportunities for Newfoundland and Labrador interests overseas and promoting regional and sectoral development in the province. He is currently working on building trans-Atlantic business, cultural and research linkages with the UK, Ireland and Iceland; developing sectoral strategies in areas such as the environmental industries, boat building, life sciences and tourism; devising marketing strategies in a number of industrial fields; and, assisting small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in researching and preparing business, export and marketing plans.

Through his position with Connections Research/Islands North he is a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA). He was elected to NEIA’s Board of Directors in 2004, Vice President in 2006 and President in 2007-08. He has been Connections Research/Island North’s representative in Destinations St. John’s. He is also a member of both the Canadian and Atlantic Farm Writers’ Federations and he sat as the only representative from Atlantic Canada on Trade Team Environment’s South American Working Group.

For 8 years, Chris was a municipal Councillor and Deputy Mayor for the Town of Bauline on Conception Bay (until 2001). Chris Palmer obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Triple Honours) degree in Scandinavian Languages and Literature, Modern Industrial History and Transportation / Economic Geography from the University of Newcastle On Tyne, England in 1971. Chris spent six years in a research doctoral programme at McGill University. His work focussed on developing evaluative techniques in environmental perception and behaviour for application to tourism, outdoor recreation and economic / regional development.

Geoff Tooton is an expereinced business generalist with diverse experience in the private and public sectors. For the past 3.5 years, Geoff has been with BDC Consulting, offering customized consulting solutions for the challenges entrepreneurs face every day by helping them assess, plan and implement results-driven, cost-effective management solutions, whatever the company’s stage of development. Geoff earned his MBA at Athabasca University.