As the year closes, and the holiday season is in full swing, I find myself in a reflective mood. First, I can’t believe that 2015 has come and gone. I almost feel like the year has only begun, when in reality it is ending. From our program’s standpoint, it was another productive year. We helped clients explore and/or enter markets in Mexico, Europe, Latin America and Asia. New Mexico’s export growth to Mexico led the world in 2014 and 2015 seems to be at least as strong. For the past 25 years, I have held firm to the belief that New Mexico’s biggest economic development opportunity is increasing its trade with Mexico. At long last, this is happening and new investments and jobs are being created.
The past year was also filled with extreme sadness, as we lost the IBA’s founder and visionary, Linda Kay Jones, who passed away on September 2, after a long illness. Linda Kay was a pillar of the state’s economic development community and the person who put the pieces together to launch the IBA in 2003. She saw the need to incorporate into the Small Business Development Centers Network an international trade counseling component. Like most everything she would undertake, she was successful in creating the IBA. Our IBA staff’s thoughts are with Linda Kay’s friends and family this holiday season.
To all of our friends, colleagues, supporters and clients, have a safe and joyous holiday season.