July 26, 2004

Key topics include international trade, tourism and downtown revitalization.  The eleventh annual Northern Networks Trade Conference (NNTC) is hosted this year by Kenora, Ontario, Canada, from September 8-10, 2004.  NNTC is a joint Canada-USA venue for business owners and managers, community leaders, and economic development practitioners throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and Northwestern Ontario.  Kenora is 200 km east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and 679 km north of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Over one hundred delegates are expected to attend.  Since the inaugural conference in Thunder Bay in 1994, NNTC has attracted 1,500 Canadian and U.S. delegates to explore the development of trade, tourism, and investment throughout the bi-national region.  “This year’s conference brings an outside perspective to many of the key issues facing Kenora and the region today,” says Grant Carlson, Economic Development Officer for the host organization, LOWBIC.  “Our speakers have been chosen for their varied backgrounds that bring solutions and ideas to the NNTC.”  This year’s Keynote Speaker is Former Grand Forks Mayor Pat Owens, who led the North Dakota city through a devastating flood in 1997.  Owens received numerous awards for her actions during the flood, including honors from the Salvation Army, the U.S. Department of the Army, the Red River Valley Heritage Society, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.  She was named Municipal Leader of the Year by American City & County magazine.  Other speakers include:  Janice G. Weiner, Political/Economic Officer for the US Consulate General in Toronto; Bill Boulton, Senior Trade Advisor for the Northwest-Midwest Alliance; Terry Mattson, Executive Director of the Duluth Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Paul Jordan, Manager of Programming and Operations at The Forks Renewal Corporation in Winnipeg.  The NNTC’s primary objectives have traditionally been business-to-business matchmaking, business-to-consumer networking, and strategic partnership/alliance development.  The main focus of the NNTC has always been to bring business people together, qualify leads and maximize results.  Host hotel is the Best Western Lakeside Inn.  For complete conference information and to register, please visit