College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

L&IT Annual Conference 2015

Map graphic 

Business Leadership and Society's Well-Being: The Task of Responsibility

February 25, 2015

Spotlight box linked to a brief history of the programThe purpose of the Language and International Trade Conference is:

  • To promote the Clemson Language and International Trade Program and business studies at Clemson University
  • To promote student awareness of international businesses in the region
  • To provide networking opportunities for students, alumni and international firms
  • To provide a forum for members of academia and business to exchange ideas
  • To raise awareness and understanding of globalization
  • To highlight Clemson University's relationship to the business community.

The L&IT Conference is sponsored by the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, the College of Behavioral Science, the Department of Languages, and the Center for China Studies.


9:30 a.m. Welcome Center opens
Ballroom A&B, Hendrix Student Center
10 - 10:15 a.m. Opening ceremony
10:15 - 11 a.m.

Keynote speech: Mayor Knox H. White
City of Greenville

11:00 a.m. - noon

Panel of Business Leaders:
Elena Colombarini, General Manager of Vetroresina LLC
F. Ben Haskew, CCE, Greater Greenville (South Carolina) Chamber of Commerce, President / CEO 
Andreas Abbing,  Executive Vice President, AFCO  Associated Fuel Pump Systems Corporation
C. Britt Beemer, Chairman, America’s Research Group, Ltd. (ARG)

12:15 - 1:15 p.m. Lunch
1:25 - 2:20 p.m.

Panel Discussion with Clemson alumni, moderated by Clemson faculty
Click here to learn about the L&IT alumni who will participate in the panel discussion.

2:30 - 4 p.m.

Round Table with Clemson students and international business leaders (Registration required)
Click here to learn about the corporate representatives who will host round table sessions.

4 - 4:15 p.m. Closing ceremony
4:30 - 5 p.m. Networking social

Register for the conference here: Fill out the form and submit by February 20, 2015  

Note: Attire is business casual for this event.

Keynote Speaker

Knox White

Mayor Knox H. White, City of Greenville

Knox White has served as Mayor of Greenville since December 1995.  As Mayor he has the goal of making the city of Greenville “the most beautiful and livable city in America.”  He has emphasized neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and transformational projects for downtown. 

Key strategic projects include:  removal of the Camperdown Bridge and creation of Falls Park, the restoration of the Poinsett Hotel and Court Street, new retail (Mast General Store), a downtown baseball stadium (Fluor Field), riverfront development and initiation of a bike and walking trail system (Swamp Rabbit Trail) throughout the City, public art initiatives along Main Street, record annexations, and a model infrastructure for Clemson ICAR. 

Neighborhood initiatives include enhanced beautification efforts, traffic calming, sidewalk construction, support for neighborhood associations, reinvestment in neighborhood parks, master plans for commercial corridors, and attractive new housing in the city’s special emphasis neighborhoods. 

Under the mayor’s leadership, the City maintains a “Triple A” (AAA) bond rating and enjoys a reputation for solving problems on an innovative and bipartisan basis. 

A native of Greenville, and a graduate of Christ Church Episcopal School, Greenville High School, Wake Forest University and the University of South Carolina Law School.  Knox White is a partner in the law firm of Haynsworth, Sinkler & Boyd, where he heads the firm’s immigration and customs practices.  He is married to Marsha P. White and they have two children.

Panel Discussion of Business Leaders

Elena Colombarini

Elena Colombarini, General Manager of Vetroresina LLC

Elena graduated from the University of Bologna with a degree in Business Administration and Economics in 1999. She then began work as a financial analyst for "Il Sole 24 Ore". At this daily financial newspaper, she was responsible for the assessment and analysis of the management and funding of a group of companies listed on the Milan stock exchange. These businesses belonged to diverse sectors including the manufacturing, electronics, tourism, nautical, and papermaking industries. She compiled financial reports of these businesses that were subsequently offered to banks and other financial institutions. She also wrote articles and commentary on behalf of the newspaper.

She later became the Overseas Sales Manager for Vetroresina SPA. When she took over this position in 2003, she also gained the responsibility of developing new strategies for widening the American market particularly regarding new applications for flat glass-fiber laminates. She maintains close relations with the new US plant, and she manages all relations with the American branch of the company. She also coordinates the activities of the research laboratory.

In 2005, she was promoted to General Manager of Vetroresina LLC. Vetroresina is a distributor of Italian-made products in the U.S. market. Thereafter, she also became responsible for variety of areas including book keeping, general accounting, and relations with the general contractor for building construction and equipment installation projects.

She has obviously made use of her skills in English, Italian, and French. She now lives in Greenville, SC, and maintains relations between Italy and the USA for Vetroresina.

Ben Haskew

F. Ben Haskew, CCE, Greater Greenville (South Carolina) Chamber of Commerce, President / CEO 

Ben Haskew began serving as President / CEO of the Greater Greenville (South Carolina) Chamber of Commerce in December 2003 – a membership organization serving 2,300 business and organization members.  The Greenville Chamber’s Vision states “We will Build One of the Premier Business Communities in the World”. 

Haskew is a 39-year veteran of chamber of commerce management, and has also served as the CEO of chambers in Cobb County (Marietta), Georgia; Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Suwannee County, Florida.  He held key staff positions at the Tallahassee, Florida and Chattanooga, Tennessee chambers, as well as the Florida Chamber of Commerce.  He is a graduate of the Institutes for Organization Management program, the Center for Creative Leadership and the Diversity Leadership Academy at Furman University.  He received the Certified Chamber Executive [CCE] distinction from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives [ACCE] in 1991 and was named South Carolina’s Chamber Executive of the Year in 1994. 

Haskew serves as Chair-elect of ACCE’s Certified Chamber Executive Commission and has served as a member of the CCE Commission for the past six years.  He is a Past President of the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.  Additionally, Haskew’s active community role includes service on the Boards of Directors of the Blue Ridge Council – Boy Scouts of America, the Metropolitan Arts Council and the Commerce Club.  He is married with three grown children.

Andreas Abbing

Andreas Abbing,  Executive Vice President, AFCO  Associated Fuel Pump Systems Corporation

After completing his degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Applied Sciences Rhineland-Palatinate – Bingen, Andreas Abbing began working for Robert Bosch, GmbH in 1984. During his time with Bosch, Mr. Abbing has worked in Japan, Germany, China and the US.  In Japan, he was general manager of Bosch Automotive Systems – Higashi Matsuyama – JP Chassis Systems and general manager  of  Project manufacturing restructuring with Bosch Braking Systems  in Tokyo. From 2004-2010 he was vice president of Corporate Purchasing – Technical Support in Shanghai, China. A native speaker of German, he is also fluent in English and Japanese.  He has used his language capabilities throughout his career, and they have allowed him to do many interesting jobs, see many interesting places, and do many interesting things.

Britt Beemer

C. Britt Beemer, Chairman, America’s Research Group, Ltd. (ARG)

Britt Beemer holds a BA from Northwest Missouri University and has a MA from Indiana State University.  He worked for Congressman Bill Scherle (R-IA) from 1966-1974.  After his work with Congressman Scherle, he was a senior research analyst for the Heritage Foundation.  He then began to manage and conduct fourteen senatorial campaigns, which included exacting research and demanding strategic planning.

In 1979, Beemer founded America’s Research Group, a full-service consumer behavior research and strategic marketing firm.  Recognized nationally as a premier marketing strategist, Britt Beemer has gained wide acclaim for his work on how, when and why consumers select their products and services.  His client list represents America’s top retailers, leading brands and smaller entrepreneurial companies which need marketing direction and long term strategic planning.

He is the author of Predatory Marketing, a book on strategic marketing.  His second book, It Takes A Prophet To Make A Profit, is about emerging trends of the millennium.  The Customer Rules, his most recent book, details how customer focused businesses win.

Registration: Click here. Fill out the form and submit by February 20, 2015. 

Click for Prior conferences