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generating success

It’s our breadth of experience, our diverse resources and our strategic, individualized approach that makes the Grow Trade Consulting team the partner of choice for companies seeking access to the Canadian market.  

The Canadian market offers a great deal of opportunity for global business development, in both traditional industries and emerging sectors like green technology, services and e-commerce. Be it distribution channel, e-commerce business, joint venture partner or manufacturers’ representative, our team can identify the optimal market entry approach for your product or service.

In fiscal year 2016-2017, we contributed to more than USD $38 million in sales for just one of our US client states. Let us help you achieve similar success in Canada.

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what our clients say about us
  • Here is the latest update on your great work: we have signed up Chieftain Equipment as a distributor and we have another project going on right now.  

    Peter Friedrich Industrial Magnetics, Inc.
  • I would like to personally thank all of you, on behalf of RSVP International, for your expertise and hard work during Governor Rick Snyder’s trade mission to Canada. This opportunity is just what was needed to grow my business. We had 11 excellent meetings, and all have proven beneficial for our expansion plans

    DOnald HammingRSVP International
  • You did a great job with the show. We met some really excellent contacts and we enjoyed being a part of the PA booth!”

    Diane SchwarztrauberRajant Corporation
Our Services

The Grow Trade Consulting team’s individualized approach starts with the basics: studying the client’s product or service, examining related print/web literature and social media presence, and consultation among our in-house trade professionals and other strategic resources embedded across all sectors of the Canadian economy. With these details, we then identify the best means to introduce or expand your presence in Canada.

This strong foundation helps the Grow Trade Consulting team offer services that include market overview and entry strategy analysis; product viability studies, product positioning, and partner searches; agent, distributor, and end user searches; complete trade show and mission management; general assistance, including customs and regulatory guidance.

Partner Searches &  APPOINTMENTS
DistributorS & End-userS
market entry STRATEGY analysis
market overviews
viability STUDIES
Clients & Partners

The team at Grow Trade Consulting has worked extensively with hundreds of small- to medium-sized companies in a wide range of industries in the United States and abroad.

Grow Trade Consulting has been the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers, Chicago (previously the Council of Great Lakes Governors) exclusive Canadian trade representative since 2004, a natural extension of the Canadian Trade Office relationship with Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that began in 1990. Since that time the Grow Trade team has networked through business development organizations in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.  Grow Trade was chosen in 2012 to work with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for export development, and to represent North Carolina in both trade and investment capacities. In 2013, Grow Trade Consulting became a registered consultant for the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), offering its North American market expertise to Canadian corporate clients. Grow Trade Consulting worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership from 2007 to 2014, offering both individual client assistance and trade mission organization and planning for Eastern Canada-based events. Grow Trade has previously contracted with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. In 2015 Grow Trade began to work with the Swiss Business Hub in Montreal, assisting Swiss companies find market opportunities in Canada. And in 2017, Grow Trade began to work with the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) for export development.

Internationally, Grow Trade Consulting has offered market assistance to Enterprise Ireland and Northern Ireland-based companies; organized a Mexican mobile market opportunity session for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada; and presented best practices for market entry for the Trade Facilitation Office of Canada (TFO) during a ProExport Colombia trade, investment and tourism event in Toronto.

Locally, the Grow Trade Consulting team liaises regularly with an extensive group of Canadian industry and government associations including The Council of American States in Canada, the Canadian Association of Importers & Exporters (IE Canada), The Toronto Board of Trade, the Bureau du Québec à Toronto, The U.S. Commercial Service in Canada, The American Chamber of Commerce in Canada, The Organization of Women in International Trade – Toronto, and Life Sciences Ontario.

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About Us

Grow Trade Consulting Inc. began operating in 2004 as a privatized offshoot of the Canadian Trade Office of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers and offers individualized trade consulting services to small- and medium-sized companies looking to introduce or expand their products and services into the Canadian market.

The dynamic team at Grow Trade Consulting is key to its success. Our members possess a myriad of trade and business development experience from a variety of global markets including Canada, the United States, Asia, and the Caribbean. Our industry portfolio specifics include export development, management consulting, automotive parts manufacturing, oil and gas, retail sales, consumer product marketing, health care, education, logistics, e-commerce, and customs brokerage.

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A Winning Team
  • The staff at Grow Trade Consulting is one of its key strengths. Our dynamic team brings a wide range of experience in trade and business development, from a variety of global markets – Canada, United States, Asia, and the Caribbean.

  • Our portfolio specifics include export development, management consulting, automotive parts manufacturing, oil and gas, retail sales, consumer product marketing, health care, education, logistics, e-commerce, and customs brokerage.

  • The staff at Grow Trade Consulting is one of its key strengths. Our dynamic team brings a wide range of experience in trade and business development, from a variety of global markets – Canada, United States, Asia, and the Caribbean.

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  •   DENISE 
  •   AIMEE 
  •   CHRIS 
  •   NANCY 
  •   SHARI 
  •   KIRSTEN 
  •   LAURA 

Denise Scott
Senior Market Access Consultant

Denise Scott has worked extensively with government organizations and export programs, assisting companies with market expansion strategies throughout Canada. Her experience includes working with for Quebec Government Regional Office in Toronto, European programs for France and Portugal, and trade programs for numerous American states.

Over the past 30 years, Ms. Scott has acquired extensive knowledge of a variety of industry sectors including healthcare, oil and gas, machinery and equipment, environmental solutions, fashion apparel and consumer products. Her involvement in strategic initiatives have allowed industry clusters to expand their reach within the emerging technologies arena for advanced textiles, ICT solutions, and interactive digital media.

Ms. Scott has a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages and International Trade, and has pursued additional training in areas of marketing and business development.

Aimee Pao
Market Access Consultant

Aimee began her career in International Trade at the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA). At SUSTA Aimee assisted small- to medium-sized exporters of high-value food products to implement and complete their Unified Export Strategies (UES) for trade promotion. She also prepared and presented budgets as a Budget Analyst within the Division of Administration for the Governor of Louisiana. Upon immigration to Canada, Aimee worked at the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada (AMCHAM) where she developed content material for the Doing Business in Canada CD ROM. Aimee continued to seek out her passion for international trade while working at the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers (formerly the Council of Great Lakes Governors), where she assisted numerous U.S. exporters of food, environmental, biotech, and consumer products to create synergies resulting in distribution within the Canadian market. She has assisted with trade show delegations to the Canadian market and educated her clients regarding distribution channels within the market. Aimee has recently rejoined Grow Trade Consulting.

Aimee completed her Bachelor of Science in International Trade and Finance from Louisiana State University (LSU) and her Masters of Public Administration from LSU’s Public Administration Institute.

Chris Leslie
Senior Manager Trade, Technology & Administration

Chris Leslie has more than nine years of business consultancy experience, and has been helping U.S. SMEs find opportunities and partners in the Canadian market since joining Grow Trade Consulting in 2008. He has expertise in a variety of industries, with hands-on knowledge of the construction materials sector.

Chris currently serves as Vice President of Operations for the Optimist club of Rouge Valley, a member of Optimists International. He has also completed a Bachelor of Business Administration, a diploma in Finance, and a postgraduate certificate in Project Management.

Nancy Ward

Nancy Ward formed Grow Trade Consulting in 2004 after a successful career with the Canadian Trade Office of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers (formerly the Council of Great Lakes Governors). Since 1998 she has assisted U.S. and overseas SMEs to find Canadian partners and opportunities in a wide range of industry sectors. She has also coordinated multiple trade missions in diverse industry sectors, across Canada.

Prior to working with the Canadian Trade Office of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers for six years and establishing Grow Trade Consulting, Nancy held positions in the adult education field and the sales and marketing area, working with the Canadian subsidiary of a U.S. automotive parts manufacturer. Nancy completed an honors degree in Political Science and a postgraduate designation in International Business. She is past president of the International Trade Club of Toronto. She was also the Vice President of Communications in the Organization of Women in International Trade – Toronto for three years. Nancy was also the recipient of the 2011 Joanna Townsend Award for an Export Champion, recognizing an outstanding woman in Ontario who, through her business and personal networks, creates opportunities to actively support Canadian women entrepreneurs, to succeed in international business.

Charlotte Robertson
Senior Market Access Consultant

Charlotte Robertson has more than 20 years of business experience in international investment and trade. As the former director of the State of Pennsylvania Canadian Investment Office, she worked extensively with Canadian companies expanding their operations to that state. Her past position as director of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers (formerly the Council of Great Lakes Governors), Canadian Trade Office required both economic development and trade promotion with various U.S. states on an ongoing basis. Charlotte has hosted many governors’ missions to Canada and has assisted many Canadian companies in their efforts to set up subsidiaries in the U.S.

Charlotte is a past president of the Council of American States in Canada (CASC). She has an M.A. in English Literature.

Shari Stancer
Market Access Consultant

Shari Stancer comes to Grow Trade Consulting with more than 15 years of Business Consulting experience in the Human Resources Recruitment industry. Her experience covers working with a variety of small- to large-sized companies with many specializing in the manufacturing, import and wholesale apparel sector and retail markets. Retail market commodity experience includes: hardware, footwear, sporting goods, home fashions, grocery, health and beauty, accessories and apparel. She approaches her work with professionalism and integrity, drawing on previous business experience and strong customer relations, communication and sourcing skills to successfully meet our clients’ needs.

Shari holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Certificate in Communication Studies. She is an active community volunteer having held several senior leadership roles with various portfolio responsibilities, and is presently serving as the Immediate Past President with a not-for-profit organization.

Kirsten Ross
Communications Manager & Market Access Consultant

Kirsten Ross began her career as a reporter/photographer in Southwestern Ontario, covering everything from municipal council to criminal trials. She later transitioned to copy and professional writing, and over 25 years has applied her communications skills to a broad cross-section of industries, including hospitality, IT, engineering, documentary film, and health care sectors. Kirsten joined Twitter in 2008 and has spent the intervening years learning a multitude of social media platforms and contributing regularly in the online world.

Kirsten’s role within the Grow Trade Consulting team is two-fold: assisting clients with export facilitation and social media management, ensuring Grow Trade’s clients are highly visible, particularly during key trade events in the market.

Kirsten has a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Political Science) from Carleton University, a Journalism Diploma from Canadore College, and recently earned her Art and Design Studio Certificate from the Ontario College of Art and Design University. She is an active member of AFCA Toastmasters and is currently serving her second term as Club Secretary.

Laura McLeod
Market Access Consultant

Laura immigrated to Canada from El Salvador as a child and grew up in the Niagara Falls Region, where she spent 10 years working in the tourism industry while completing her high school and undergrad education. Laura began her career in International Trade by completing an internship opportunity with the U.S. Commercial Service Office of Toronto. There, she gained experience helping U.S. businesses with export development opportunities within the Canadian market. In 2013, Laura won the Student of the Year Award on behalf of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) for her contribution to the field.

Laura is fluent in Spanish and English, and is pursuing a French-as-a Second Language Certificate. After spending three years in Far East Asia, Laura also has a basic level of understanding of the Korean language.

Laura completed her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Brock University and a Graduate Certificate in International Business from Sheridan College.

Bay Communications & Marketing Inc.

Specializing in marketing communications and international trade, Bay Communications & Marketing Inc. began partnering with Grow Trade in 2016 to provide market research, market entry strategy and distributor search support. Bay has worked with clients in Canadian, U.S. and international markets. This has included writing trade reports, case studies of successful exporters and communication materials, as well as spearheading trade missions and organizing trade-related events and business matching. Clients include trade departments and agencies, financial institutions, corporations and organizations.

Susan Baka

A subject matter expert in global trade, owner Susan Baka has a deep network of trade contacts in business, industry and government. She is a prolific writer and frequent speaker on the benefits of going global, and served on the Canadian Minister of International Trade’s SME Advisory Board (2008-2011). A founder and Past President of the first Canadian chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT-Toronto), she continues to serve on the board as VP, International, and also on the OWIT International board as VP, Marketing & Communications. She has been honoured with two international awards as a woman entrepreneur. Ms. Baka has a journalism degree.

Allyson Warden

A marketing writer and content developer, associate Allyson Warden’s experience has encompassed trade assignments for a variety of corporate, association and government clients. Her background includes 14 years with a PR and communications consultancy, marketing for a national software consulting firm, and production coordination for a major mutual funds company – a wide-ranging experience base that provides her with an agility to learn quickly and manage numerous projects simultaneously. Ms. Warden has completed projects for the Japan External Trade Association (JETRO), the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) and numerous government trade departments.

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Upcoming Events
  • Wisconsin’s next trade venture to Canada is scheduled for March 18 - 23, 2018.
    Bookmark this site – we’ll post details as they become available.

    Wisconsin Trade Venture<
  • We’re pleased to be joining Pennsylvania at the Global Petroleum Show, June 12 - 24, 2018.
    Learn more at globalpetroleumshow.com or contact us for more information.

    Global Petroleum Show<
  • Join the tentative Michigan trade mission to Canada, June 24 - 28, 2018.
    Bookmark this site – we’ll post details as they become available.

    Michigan Trade Mission to Canada
Team Member
Michigan International Auto Show

February 1 - 4, 2018
Grand Rapids, MI


The Michigan International Auto Show runs February 1 - 4, 2018, in Grand Rapids, MI. Ticket prices and event details can be found HERE

Team Member
Wisconsin Trade Venture

March 18 - 23, 2018
Toronto, ON


Wisconsin’s next Trade Venture to Canada runs March 18 - 23, 2018. Learn more at www.inwisconsin.com/export/goglobal

Team Member
Global Petroleum Show

June 12 - 14, 2018
Calgary, AB


The Global Petroleum Show runs form June 12 - 14, 2018. Learn more at www.globalpetroleumshow.com

Team Member
Michigan Trade Mission to Canada

June 24 - 28, 2018
Locations TBD


Join the tentative Michigan Trade Mission to Canada from June 24 - 28, 2018.
Bookmark this site – we’ll post details as they become available.