Supporting Exporters Across the State

South Carolina International Trade Coalition

The South Carolina International Trade Coalition is an organization made up of associations and organizations that provide export services to companies across the state of South Carolina. Members meet regularly to collaborate on export training events, international trade missions, and company outreach opportunities.


What We Do

Here to Serve You

The South Carolina International Trade Coalition is a one-stop-shop for all your exporting assistance needs. The coalition members are a close-knit group of governmental and non-profit associations and organizations who are prepared to collectively lead companies from step to step in the learning process to succeed at exporting. From expert guidance on crucial matters to strategic advice on important decisions, the coalition members are here to guide you through it all. Contact any of our members today to start growing your exports and expanding your markets.


Export Plan Development

Putting You On the Path to Success

Coalition Members


Dorette Coetsee

U.S. Commercial Service

As director of the U.S. Commercial Service in Columbia, Charleston and Greenville, part of the ITA and linked with 80 trade centers in the U.S. and linked with over 100 overseas offices, Dorette leads a team to assist U.S. businesses with export planning, and locating qualified overseas buyers.


Aaron Wood

SC Department of Agriculture

Agricultural trade is not only critical to farmers, it is important for a strong economy and for the creation of jobs. South Carolina’s export numbers have increased by 157 percent since 2000, averaging more than $950 million in annual revenue since 2012.


Clarke Thompson

SC Department of Commerce

As Chief Protocol Officer for the state, Clarke leads most in-bound international, governmental and business delegations and interactions with diplomatic visitors, consulates, embassies and their staff members.


Anita Patel

SC Department of Commerce

As International Trade Manager, Anita assists companies with increasing sales and revenue through exporting.  She manages the Export Incentives program for the state, provides export counseling, conducts workshops, and organizes trade missions.


Norris Thigpen

SC Department of Commerce

Norris works with companies throughout the Pee Dee, Low Country and coastal areas.  His role is to implement the SC Export Incentives program and to provide trade counseling and research, and organize international trade missions and training events.


Andy Carr

SC Manufacturing Extension Partnership

As SVP of Operations, Andy helps companies with Competitiveness Reviews, certifications to international standards, and more. SCMEP is a private, non-profit group that serves South Carolina businesses, providing them with a range of innovative strategies and solutions.

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Elizabeth Feather

Upstate SC Alliance

With the assistance of its Export Task Force, the Upstate SC Alliance implements the Regional Export Plan, refers companies to export resource providers and supports training activities and company outreach. Elizabeth also serves on the SC District Export Council.

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Stewart Bauknight

SC International Trade Conference

Stewart serves on World Trade Center Charleston’s Executive Steering Committee, the SC International Trade Conference board, and the SC District Export Council. She has worked on international trade policy issues for the World Trade Organization.


Edgar Arias

SC Forestry Commission

As Forest Products Marketing Specialist, the focus of Edgar’s work is on increasing demand for the state’s forest resources through market research, product promotion through trade shows and missions, and improving the flow of market information.

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Frank A. Anderson

U.S. Small Business Administration

The SC District Office assists small businesses with counseling, capital access, free training and contracting. The SBA also works with lenders to provide loans up to $5 million and trains socially and economically disadvantaged businesses on federal contracts through the 8(a) Business Development program.


Anastasia Mukherjee

U.S. Commercial Service

As Sr. International Trade Specialist, Anastasia, a certified Global Business Professional, works one-on-one with local companies to help them determine their export strategies, answer export-related questions, and increase international sales.


Phil Minard

Charleston U.S. Export Assistance Center

As Director of the Charleston USEAC, Phil Minard covers the entire coastal area of South Carolina. He is a native of France and offers one-on-one assistance to local companies.

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Shannon Christenbury

Greenville U.S. Export Assistance Center

As Director of the Greenville USEAC, Shannon provides export assistance and helps small to medium-sized businesses with export planning, processes, and locating qualified overseas buyers.

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Dan Holt

U.S. Small Business Administration

As regional manager of the Export Solutions Group within the SBA's Office of International trade, Dan helps companies understand and access export financing. He serves North Carolina, South Carolina and Eastern Tennessee from his office in Charlotte, NC.


Rene Dentiste Mueller, PhD

Global Business Resource Center, College of Charleston

Rene serves as the director of the International Business Program and Global Business Resource Center at the College of Charleston. The center provides export and import planning, market research, and training opportunities.

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David Desplaces, PhD

Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business, The Citadel

David is Professor of Strategic Mangement and Entrepreneurship.  He is a CGBP (NASBITE) certified trainer and supports global trade education efforts in Charleston.


Michele Abraham

SC Small Business Development Centers

Michele has served as the director of the state's Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) since 2010. SBDC representatives offer private consulting in all areas of business, including export planning, export market identification, and export financing.

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Charles Kerekes

SC District Export Council

Charles serves as the treasurer of the South Carolina District Export Council (DEC). DEC members volunteer their time to sponsor and participate in trade promotion activities and to provide specialized expertise and mentoring to small and medium-sized businesses that are interested in exporting.

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Margie Hardwick

Charleston Women in International Trade

Charleston Women in International Trade (CWIT) champions the role of international trade professionals, particularly women in Charleston and throughout South Carolina. Programs include monthly luncheon programs, networking opportunities, continuing education scholarships, academic scholarships and recognition for excellence.

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Nick Wong

Maritime Association of SC

The Maritime Association of South Carolina (MASC) is a member-based trade association that connects the Maritime Association industry and entities that support maritime commerce. MASC advocates for issues impacting the industry and serves to advance, promote, and protect the interests of the maritime community across South Carolina.


Beth Armstrong Smith

SC Small Business Development Centers

Beth is a NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional and a senior business consultant with the SC Small Business Development Centers. Her areas of specialization include: business strategy/growth; business process, workflow analysis & organizational design; international trade/business diversification; talent assessment, recruitment & development systems


Upcoming Events


Grow Your Business: Resources for SC Exporters

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 | 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

The SC Department of Commerce offers assistance to companies in the state that wish to start exporting, or increase their current export activity by entering new markets. Join Anita Patel, Deputy Director of International Trade & Strategy for the S.C. Department of Commerce, as she provides an overview of the trade training and funding opportunities available to eligible businesses.

SC International Trade Conference

October 18-20, 2021

The SCITC is excited to announce it will be returning to Wild Dunes in 2021! The conference will be held Oct. 18-20, 2021, at the new Wild Dunes Conference Center.

Trade Winds Forum & Mission: Middle East & North Africa in Dubai

March 6-8, 2022

Trade Winds is a multifaceted program designed to help companies achieve growth and exposure in specific markets or regions around the world.


Contact Us

Need assistance? Contact any of the above members directly.  Or, if you don't know where to start, contact 2019 Chair Edgar Arias (, to be directed to the most appropriate member for your issue.

To stay informed about upcoming events and opportunities, use the subscribe option below. This will notify coalition members to add you to their email notification lists. To unsubscribe, please contact the individual coalition members.


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