President, World Trade Center Delaware
Leading a career that’s seen her work all over the world—for projects ranging from geophysics and mineral economics to wastewater, public health and public policy—nobody was better positioned to help Delawareans navigate international business than Carla Stone. “I’m an engineer, and that gives me the ability to take seemingly disparate pieces of information or situations and put them together, understand the process, make it understandable to others, so that it can be acted on for a project for good,” she says.
That’s exactly what she does at World Trade Center Delaware. Having business relationships outside of the U.S. is critical for growth. “Less than 3 percent of American companies export, and those who do, the vast majority export to only one country,” Stone says. “They are missing out on tremendous opportunities for building their company, for selling their products.”
World Trade Center Delaware helps companies connect outside of their traditional trading areas and even works with them on importing, something that became critical this year as organizations scrambled to find reliable PPE. With a network of more than 300 World Trade Centers in over 90 countries, businesses are better primed to make connections.
Thanks to its location and port, Delaware it well suited to international trade. “We can reach 40 percent of the consuming population within a day,” she says. Helping fledgling companies strategize beyond their home base is among her goals. “I would like to see more companies exporting to parts of the world they previously hadn’t considered,” she says.