College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

L&IT Annual Conference 2014

Map graphic 

International Entrepreneurship

March 12, 2014

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.


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: Elizabeth Belenchia
President at CPC Industrial

11:00 a.m. - noon

Panel of Entrepreneurs:
Paul Wetzel, President, Wetzel Services
Ramon Nieves-Lugo, CMO, UniComm Media Group
Ken Zwerdling, CEO, Foreign Staffing
Elizabeth Belenchia, President, CPC Industrial

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

2:35 - 4 p.m.

Round Table with Clemson students and international business leaders
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. Ice cream social

Register for the conference here  (Please fill out the form by Tuesday, March 4, 2014.)

Note: Attire is business casual for this event.

Keynote Speaker

         Elizabeth Belenchia

Elizabeth Belenchia, SIOR, CCIM, RICS
President, Carroll Properties Corporation 1976-Present

Elizabeth Belenchia, President CPC, Spartanburg, SC for 37 years has focused her business on Sustainable Real Estate Solutions.  A specialist in Foreign Direct Investment into the US she became engaged in the US EPA Brownfield Initiative in 1996 managing a Pilot 4 years to become a national “Success Story”.  Subsequently she was appointed to represent the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) on the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Land Use Property Rights and Environment Committee for 10 years.  The International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) elected her to their Legislation and Environment Committee ’04 where she led efforts with global water advocates and universities to create a juried Eco Film Festival on Water as it Relates to Real Estate in Amsterdam in 2008.  She was appointed twice to lead FIABCI UN NGO activities overseeing 20 UN Representatives worldwide. She was selected an Industry Expert to the International Standards Organization ISO 26000 Working Group on Social Responsibility (only RE representative in the world).  SC Governors appointed her to the SC Jobs Economic Development Authority Board where Industrial Revenue Bonds are cleared for the State Budget and Control Board.  Locally she has led 2 year-long initiatives with Clemson University Architecture Department to create the vision for a Sustainable Village along a 2 mile Rail Trail as well as a Water Centric Commercial Hydroponic Operation.  October 2011 the Society of International Business Fellows selected Elizabeth as Facilitator for a Middle East Leadership Academy in Egypt, she went on to be contracted by the Dubai Land Institute and Middle East North Africa Real Estate Society to teach in Dubai and throughout the Gulf, Levant and N. Africa. In May 2012 the Pachamama Alliance of Indigenous People loaned Elizabeth their juried films to host an Eco Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia during the World Congress of the International Real Estate Federation.  In June 2012,Elizabeth was selected the sole representative to Rio+20 for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), London, England where she sent daily blogs to its 120,000 strong global membership.  Belenchia holds a world record in Foreign Direct Investment having located companies from 26 countries into the Carolinas.  Her focus is in offering entrepreneurial multi-nationals with a complete corporate real estate outsource.  Elizabeth has a special talent for nurturing and mentoring. 149 domestic and international interns have sought her counsel in guiding their path.  Elizabeth is an active corporate member of the UN Global Compact and its US Network.  She participated in its Corporate Sustainability Forum in Rio de Janeiro.  In January 2014 Elizabeth was made part of the first sectorial steering group to advise the UN Global Compact along with 14 other colleagues of RICS.  This is a 2 year assignment to create outcomes for post 2015 Sustainability Goals of the Corporate members of the Global Compact.

Elizabeth hosted two Side Events in NY at the Uganda House for FIABCI in the past two years.  One event focused on Greening the Supply Chain and one NY Climate Week.

Elizabeth serves as a senior advisor to MENARES, The Middle East North Africa Real Estate Society where she has addressed professional audiences in Beirut, Jordan, Bahrain and Dubai.  Additional advisory services include the South Carolina Asia American Chamber of Commerce, and the Documentary Film Team preparing Arrival Cities.

Panel Discussion of International Entrepreneurs 

Paul Wetzel

Paul Wetzel
President, Wetzel Services

Wetzel Services, Inc., is a family-owned business in Greenville, S.C., that supports international companies in the Upstate. Its three divisions (Relocation, Realty, and Language & Intercultural Training) provide a full range of services that help international companies to quickly assimilate workers and their families into Upstate life.

Paul and Valerie Wetzel are the owners of the company, which was started over 18 years ago. The Wetzel Team consists of eleven employees. Five are native German speakers, and others speak French and Chinese. Wetzel Languages also has more than 15 teachers and intercultural trainers.

Mr. Wetzel has a master's degree in education (M.Ed.) along with his real estate brokerage license. He recently earned the National Association of Realtor's designation of "Certified International Properties Specialist."

Ramon Nieves-Lugo

Ramon Nieves-Lugo
CMO, UniComm Media Group

As CMO of UniComm Media Group, Mr. Nieves provides the strategic and marketing expertise necessary to deliver a successful product to a client. He is constantly meeting and consulting with clients in order to make sure objectives are met. He has lived in Greenville for seven years and has been active in the Hispanic community through the South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, where he has served as Marketing Director.

Mr. Nieves has a bachelor’s degree in marketing management and has earned an MBA with a concentration in marketing. Ramon serves on the Greenville County Human Relations Commission and on the Michelin Development Corporation Steering Committee

Ken Zwerdling

Ken Zwerdling
CEO, Foreign Staffing

With over 30 years of business experience, Mr. Zwerdling is currently the CEO of Foreign Staffing, Inc., an international, bi-lingual staffing and recruiting agency. For the past 16 years, Ken was the CEO of Foreign Translations, Inc. which he just recently sold. Ken is responsible for Foreign Staffing's business development, marketing and internet/website activities. Prior to forming these companies, he was the CEO of New Ventures Business Solutions, a management consulting firm specializing in the preparation of business, strategic, capital and marketing plans for emerging and expanding companies.  He also spent 5 years in Accounting and Finance with CRSS, Inc. (now Jacobs Engineering) and 5 years with Ryder System in Miami.  Ken started his career in New York City with Goldman Sachs.

Ken has extensive experience in financial modeling, strategic planning, technology and global business. He has an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York in Finance and Economics and an MBA from Nova's Graduate School of Business.

Elizabeth Belenchia

Elizabeth Belenchia
President, Carroll Properties Corporation

(See the keynote speaker bio)

Corporate representatives and Clemson Alumni:

View a list of corporate representatives who will host round table sessions.
Learn more about the L&IT alumni and faculty who will participate in the panel discussion.


Please click on the link below and fill out the form by Tuesday, March 4, 2014.
Register for the conference

Note: Attire is business casual for this event.

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