By working for multinational firms such as Beloit, Wisc.-based Beloit Corp. where he was global director of business development and sales, Fernando Mera knew well the advantages such a company has in international markets.

But today as president and CEO of the non-profit International Trade Center Inc., he is focusing on the needs of small- to medium-sized companies that want to conduct business internationally. “Small businesses propel business in all communities and often they generate the greatest number of jobs,” he told GlobalAtlanta in an interview last week.

Active in community affairs by serving on several boards of directors including the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority and the advisory board of the Hispanic American Center for Economic Development, his main preoccupation, he said, is to assist the smaller companies conduct international business.

His career has taken him around the globe and currently he continues to operate internationally as president of Trade Latin LLC, a consulting firm. It is through his position at the International Trade Center, however, that he seeks to develop the infrastructure for the small- to medium-sized companies to develop the resources that larger firms enjoy when they operate internationally.

He would like to see the center located at the International Village in Chamblee where it could become an integral part of its infrastructure and services. He said, also, that as an “exchange” it could operate virtually, thereby connecting businesses globally.

“The center will be as strong as its associate, global and alliance members,” he added. While multinational companies may have well established resources such as freight forwarders, banking, accounting, legal, human resources, courier, relocation, insurance and travel, small- to medium-sized companies are more likely not to have them, he said.

Mr. Mera seeks to attract three groups of members including associate members who will operate from facilities at the International Village by providing services and logistic support to small businesses.

Global members are to participate in a global network and alliance members are to provide strategic partnerships for sharing data and marketing information with local, national and international organizations that promote trade.

To learn more about the center, call Mr. Mera at (678) 530-1375 or send an email to