Header - Elaine Potoker, PH.D. Loeb Sullivan School of Intl. Business and Logistics
A View of the Pasantías (Stays) with my Colegas Ticos, by Elaine S. Potoker, Ph.D.

Travel & Highlights: November 1 – 9

Also see “Food,” below, which is always updated every week.

Playa Flamingo. About 5 hours from here on the Pacific Coast, and north of Tamarindo, is some lovely area, and where I visited a friend of a friend who up’d and moved here 5 years ago. Twas lovely, and a needed rest. Development to the south has gone wild, and unfortunately, what was pristine is now becoming congested. The Leatherback Turtle groups have been quite actively compaigning against the development, and the government is considering expropriating land that has already been developed and lived on. One can only imagine concerns among people who bought property and already moved here.

Limón. Despite concerns regarding dengue, I made a day trip to Limón to keep an appointment there. The return was scary: Torrential rains, fog, houses flooded and water 1/2 way up the sides of the house, and one bridge near collapse. The road from San José to Limón is the only major route for cars and trucks from the Port, so it gets much use, and rains do not help. I may attempt to go back to the Caribbean side before I leave, but really…the Pacific side is more reliable right now, weather-wise.

SEF2Conference. I attended the Supply Exchange Forum in Cariari City, about an hour from San José.

The purpose of this conference was to bring together businesses of all sizes—to include transnationals (TNC’s) and small to medium sized business, logistics and logistics consultancy providers, and governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) to address best practices and regional and global trends in supply chain management.

Over 86 exhibitors, 28 of which were TNC’s, exhibited at this event and were represented by individuals at a high management level. *APL, *Maersk, *Intel, *Atek Medical, *Texas Instruments, *Tyco Corp, *Intel, Boston Scientific, Sodexho were among the many.[1] Others included the European Institute of Purchasing Management, sponsors, 3PL’s, outsourcing agents, logistics “solutions” companies, and banks. Schenker, Expeditors, *UPS and Scotiabank are a few examples. Georgia Tech. had high visibility through their Institute of Supply Chain and Logistics. Sponsors included export promotion NGO’s (PROCOMER, Costa Rica’s equivalent to MITC here in Maine), the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), AMCHAM, Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), Continental Airlines, and Scotiabank. Former Astronaut Franklin Chang Díaz, Chairman and CEO of AD Astra Rocket Company, was a main attraction speaker. They have research operations in Houston and their recently built Guanacaste, Costa Rica location. Session topics included, but were not limited to lean supply chain manufacturing, outsourcing in developing countries, development of flexible supply chains, and global transportation challenges.

[1] *denotes that these companies were also represented in keynote presentations. Examples include: UPS’s Asia Pacific Regional Director; Maersk’s Regional General Manager of Logistics, and member of their Refrigerated Product Development Team. Most of the TNC’s brought their stateside and regional management team. Many have operations in Costa Rica, which explains their presence.