by Ed Lallo & Springfield Lewis/Louisiana Seafood News
For the second time in less than eight days, business people and officials from Asia’s seafood industry sought out the crisis management expertise of the Louisiana Seafood Promotions and Marketing Board.
This week, seafood officials from the Peoples Republic of China met with Ewell Smith, executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Board.
They came to hear firsthand how Louisiana’s seafood industry dealt with a series of natural and manmade disasters – from Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Last week, business people and officials from Japan spent time with Smith as well, learning how the Seafood Board and its industry addressed – and continue to address – the aftermath of these disasters. (See related story.) The Japanese visit was arranged through the Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation.
The Chinese visit was under the International Visitor Leadership Program, which brings distinguished professionals chosen by U.S. embassies worldwide to America.
Visitors are given the opportunity for observational study tours, lasting from a few days to three weeks.
The leadership program is a partnership among the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affair, and Office of International Visitors – as well as private sector partners in Washington, D.C. and other U.S. cities.
Smith answered questions from the eight member Chinese delegation, including both public and private sector representatives, for more than an hour.
“This meeting, as well as the recent meeting with members of a Japanese delegation, shows that the Louisiana Seafood Board is a well-respected, industry source in crisis communication and preparedness,” said Smith.
“It is a great honor to share our experience and insight with worldwide leaders in the seafood industry.”