Focused on Getting California’s Products into Foreign Markets
Founded in 1989, the mission of the California Center for International Trade Development (CITD) at State Center Community College District is to promote California’s international trade and competitiveness, assist exporters and importers, and advance economic and job growth. CITD assists California business with expanding internationally, as well as helps colleges become more globalized.
Fresno’s CITD specializes in export assistance serving California through export training, one-on-one counseling, customized market research, and hosting various buying missions. CITD is an invaluable resource to California-based food processing, agri-business and manufacturing industries by providing a wide-array of services at no or low-cost and advocating on behalf of the industry such as:
- Lead and host incoming buying missions and matching international buyers with California exporters
- Coordinate outgoing buying missions in which California exporters are taken to other countries to meet with buyers and sell their product
- Provide one-on-one-counseling and export training services
- Provide foreign market research and strategic planning
- Complete industry studies, surveys and analysis of trade opportunities and problems
In 2003, CITD entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to become the “defacto export arm” of CDFA whereby Fresno’s CITD leads all incoming international buying missions to California and maintains a statewide agricultural force.
CITD boasts a proven track record having coordinated more than 175 agricultural trade missions on behalf of the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Services and California Governor’s Office. Contributing to global trade missions, CITD has trained more than 6,500 companies to promote California food and agricultural products in foreign markets.
This success is documented by more than $100 million in direct export sales and more than $750 million in continuous export sales attributed to participation in CITD trade activity since 1990. During the 2013 program year alone, California led the nation in agriculture exporting totaling $26.1 billion. During that same period, CITD helped to generate more than $32 million in new export sales for California. Along with these noted economic achievements, CITD has received numerous awards including the President’s “E Award” for Export Excellence in 2001 and 2013.
CITD has developed a well-trained and highly specialized staff that has the experience to anticipate clients’ needs and the knowledge to respond rapidly to any and all requests for training and technical assistance. Meet some of our team members now.
Alicia Rios, Director
Alicia Rios serves as the Director for Fresno’s CITD, as well as the Statewide Ag Coordinator to implement the Memorandum of Agreement the CITD entered with the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Ms. Rios began her career with the CITD in 1999, serving a duel role as a California-Mexico Trade Assistant and a Program Development Assistant. She was responsible for the implementation of the California-Mexico Trade Assistance grant activities and also pioneered the development of many of the same export training programs offered today. In 2001, Ms. Rios became the International Trade Specialist and served in that capacity until 2013, when she was appointed as the Director of Fresno’s CITD, replacing longtime past Director Candy Hansen-Gage.
Ms. Rios has personally coordinated and monitored over 30 grant application processes; obtained over $2 million in federal and state grants in 2012 to fund CITD programs; and over the last 10 years, coordinated over 15 statewide international buyer’s programs each year in cooperation with various federal and state agencies, resulting in $45 million in export sales. As an export consultant to more than 200 California companies, she has also led several high-profile trade missions that have established long-lasting and beneficial partnerships, both domestic and abroad. Ms. Rios has administered the statewide Ag HUB since 2007, and serves as the lead CITD in coordinating, facilitating and reporting program activities between WUSATA, CDFA, other California CITDS, agricultural associations and California commodity groups. She is also an active member of the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE), California Women for Agriculture, Global Cities Initiative Committee Member, World Ag Expo – International Seminar Committee Chair, and member of the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council.
Ms. Rios is a graduate of California State University, Fresno, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business.
Frank M. Nuñez, Program Development Assistant
Frank M. Nuñez first began his career with the Fresno CITD in 2007 as the Program Development Assistant, a position he still holds today. He also serves as the coordinator for the statewide implementation of the California Agricultural Export Training Program “CalAgX”. As the CalAgX coordinator, Mr. Nuñez has already provided more than 300 “new-to-exporting” food and agricultural companies with advanced export training with many companies already making export sales in excess of $100,000. In addition to this responsibility and all other training programs, Mr. Nuñez is charged with facilitating advisory board meetings, focus groups, international seminars at the World Ag Expo, and new grant research and development.
Prior to Mr. Nuñez’ tenure at the CITD, he was the director at a local vocational school for nine years during which time he was instrumental in developing the training curriculum for nine vocational programs, expanding business capacity, training students, job placement of graduates, and acquiring over $500,000 in grant funding to train young adults.
Mr. Nuñez is a graduate of California State University, Fresno where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
Keigan Roos, Social Media Marketing Intern
CITD intern Keigan Roos is currently a senior at Fresno State and will be graduating in May 2016 with a degree in Agricultural Business. Ms. Roos’ primary responsibility includes promoting CITD trade activities and services through Social Media, and assisting staff with developing and implementing outreach strategies, client communication, press releases, and database management.
Ms. Roos is a member of the Agricultural Business Club and Delta Gamma sorority, and is a Campus Involvement Ambassador through the Student Involvement office at Fresno State. Following graduation, she plans to pursue a career in marketing or public relations within the wine industry.
Jessica Rojas, International Trade Assistant Intern
CITD intern Jessica Rojas is a junior at Fresno State and is pursuing a degree in Business Administration. Ms. Rojas’ duties are assisting staff in implementing project marketing strategies, market research, client communication and with the logistics associated with coordinating trade activities.
Ms. Rojas volunteers often with her local church where she is a youth group leader and Sunday school teacher. Ms. Rojas plans to pursue a career in human resources.
Jacob Awrabi, Accounting Intern
CITD intern Jacob Awrabi is currently a sophomore at Clovis Community College and will be graduating with an Associate's Degree in Business Administration in May of 2016. On campus at Clovis Community College, Mr. Awrabi is an active member of the CEO Business club, affiliated with the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization.
Mr. Awrabi plans to continue his education and earn a Bachelors Degree in Economics with a minor in Accounting. Due to a strong interest in business analytics, Mr. Awrabi plans to pursue a career in the financial services industry.
Larry Dixon, International Trade Expert/Trainer
Larry works as an international trade consultant to California organizations, businesses and individuals. He has worked for the past 40 years in the areas of international trade, logistics, and supply chain management. Larry was previously employed by Grundfos Pumps Corporation, an international company, as the Foreign-Trade Zone and Transportation Manager where he developed two trade zones, provided in-house customs broker capabilities, and transportation strategies.
Larry holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fresno and has completed post graduate courses at California State University, Fresno; Arizona State University; Georgia State University;, Atlanta and Pace University at the World Trade Center, New York City.
Larry is an active member of the International Compliance Professional Association.
Fred Klose, International Trade Expert/Trainer
Mr. Fredrick W. Klose has more than 24 years of experience in the international trade of various agricultural products, with a primary focus on fruits, nuts, and vegetables, which makes him a valuable asset as the International Trade Expert and Trainer at the Fresno CITD. In his role as Executive Director of the California Agricultural Export Council (CAEC), Mr. Klose develops strategies and oversees the Council’s activities in more than 10 key foreign markets, managing an annual promotional budget of $1 million+.
Prior to his appointment as Executive Director for CAEC, Mr. Klose worked for 12 years with the Agricultural Export Program of the California Department of Food & Agriculture, where he rose to the position of Director of Program.
Mr. Klose is an alumni of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Science at the University of California, Davis, where he graduated with a degree in Agricultural Economics.
Dennis Lynch, International Trade Expert/Trainer
Dennis Lynch, M.I.B.A., CGBP, is a 32-year veteran of international trade. He has held a variety of positions that have provided him with a strong background in both public and private enterprise, as well as in academic and hands on applications.
Since 1997, he has worked for the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA. As counselor of the “Food Export Helpline,” Dennis provides one-on-one customized export assistance for a wide variety of businesses in the Midwest, including farmers, ranchers, food processors and entrepreneurial exporters of value-added food products.
Mr. Lynch holds a master’s degree in International Business Administration, M.I.B.A. He also became a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) in 2011, and is a member of the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE). For 19 years, Mr. Lynch also taught international trade courses at a variety of Southern California colleges.
- The Fresno’s CITD is the leading provider of export trade research, education and training in Central California since 1989.
- When state budget deficits caused the closure of CDFA’s Ag Export Program in 2005, the Undersecretary of Agriculture asked the Fresno CITD to coordinate a pilot program designated to represent the CDFA in coordinating inbound buying missions from the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) on a statewide level, as well as represent the United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS). Because of the success of this pilot program, the Fresno CITD was designated the lead for the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with CFDA, and has maintained it ever since.
- At the request of state and federal partners, each year the Fresno CITD receives 12-15 incoming buying missions, which services 20-25 California companies per mission, developing new foreign markets for business expansion. Additionally, the Fresno CITD hosts 1-2 outbound buying missions to emerging international markets each year, servicing 7-10 California companies per mission, and developing more than 30 new overseas client contacts.
- Fresno’s CITD hosted the California Ag Trade Forum on June 27, 2013 with United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Ag Service Administrator Phil Karsting, California Agricultural Secretary Karen Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Ambassador Islam Siddiqui (via teleconference) and more than 20 California commodity boards. The purpose of this trade forum was to introduce the newly appointed USDA-FAS Administrator to current issues that are affecting California international competitiveness. Also during this meeting, Ambassador Siddiqui (a California native) was able to teleconference in and provide updates to current negotiations under the U.S.’s free trade agreements and discuss the impact these will have on California agriculture and agri-business.
Significant agri-business projects completed in 2013/2014 include:
- The Fresno CITD facilitated the California STEP Agricultural Mission to China and Vietnam, led by California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, on September 15 - 21, 2013. The CITD had 12 STEP qualified companies participate in this mission and had the following outcomes:
- $2 million in projected sales over the next 12 months.
- Mission delegates participated in the California Week Opening Ceremony
- Market Briefings were USDA Agricultural Trade Office in Shanghai, and Ms. Rena Bitter, Consul General of the U.S. in Ho Chi Minh City.
- Delegation met with over 132 buyers in Shanghai, China and 120 buyers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
- The Fresno CITD hosted "A Taste of California Trade Show" that took place in Los Angeles, Fresno and Oakland, California from September 8, 2014 to September 12, 2014. This event supported 61 California small businesses and introduced them to 39 foreign buyers from 5+ markets. The participating California exporters were very satisfied with the quality of the buyers attending "A Taste of California Trade Show," as well as the format whereby appointments were prearranged at 30 minute intervals. Based off initial evaluations, sales booked during this activity were $570,000. Participants also indicated that they project $6.2 million in sales will take place over the next 6 to 12 months.
- 2014 Fresno Food Expo: On July 24, 2014, the Fresno CITD participated as the lead partner for International Trade (for the 2nd straight year) and brought 15 buyers from China to the Fresno Food Expo. At the 2014 Fresno Food Expo, the international buyers had an opportunity to walk the show and meet with 126 food and beverage company exhibitors, and also had specific one-on-one meetings arranged with more than 27 export-ready exhibitors. Initial feedback from evaluations has been very positive and projected sales are at $1.3 million over the next 12 months.
Examples of other agri-business and program achievements include:
- President’s “E Award”: Recipient of the U.S. Department of Commerce President’s “E” Award in 2001 and 2013.
- Export Achievement Certificate (EAC): Received the EAC from the U.S. Department of Commerce in recognition of Fresno CITD’s entry into new international markets (2008).
- California Agricultural Export Training Certificate (CalAgX): Partnered with California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to provide a comprehensive training program designed to meet the educational needs of specialty crop producers, marketers and distributors seeking to export their products worldwide (2005 – Present).
- Trade Missions: Provide diverse and reverse trade missions and catalog shows for the San Joaquin Valley and California (1998-Present).
International education highlights include:
- Faculty Development: Since 2003, the Fresno CITD has provided more than $109,000 in funding to 58 faculty members for projects and continuing education to enrich SCCCD’s curriculum with international content, as well as the development of student cultural awareness in preparation for a global economy.
- International Internship Program: Fresno CITD initiated and implemented a program that trained and mentored more than 300 interns from Fresno City College; Reedley College; Willow International; California State University, Fresno; Fresno Pacific University; and University of Oregon. After having served in an internship role, all program interns have been placed in work positions worldwide for companies such as PeopleSoft, Citicorp, Nike and Sun-Maid China.
Center for International Trade Development
State Center Community College District
390 W. Fir Ave. Ste. 303
Clovis, CA 93611
Bus – (559) 324-6401
Toll Free – (888) 638-7888
Fax – (559) 499-6016