Metro Chicago Exports is an unprecedented collaboration between the seven counties in Northeastern Illinois (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will) and the City of Chicago to increase exports from small and medium-sized companies and to support regional job growth.

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Created by the Chicago Regional Growth Initiative’s working group in September 2014, Metro Chicago Exports is a strategic economic development program and is part of the region’s broader business retention and expansion strategy. Our program is a component of the metro Chicago area’s export development plan in conjunction with the Global Cities Initiative – a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase, which helps leaders in U.S. metropolitan areas reorient their economies toward greater engagement in world markets.

Metro Chicago Exports has also partnered with other leading Illinois-based and national organizations to help facilitate exporting.

Our organization recently began collaboration with the Regional Export Promotion Program (REPP) which brings state, county, and local nonprofit economic development entities together with the Export-Import Bank of the United States with a focus on increasing awareness of export opportunities.

Metro Chicago Exports has also signed Memorandums of Understanding with the U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce, the Export-Import Bank of the United States and the Illinois Manufacturing Center of Excellence (IMEC).

Our Founding Sponsors

Our Partners

Our Economic Development Partners

Our Resources

Leadership

Our experienced team serves as a conduit to opportunities in the global marketplace and brings vast knowledge to help companies like yours navigate the path to exporting. We provide resources, information and grant funding to help you maximize your exporting potential.

Tom Hulseman

Managing Director

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Tom was appointed founding Managing Director for Metro Chicago Exports in January 2015. In his new role, he will help lead an unprecedented collaboration between the seven counties in Northeastern Illinois (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will) and the City of Chicago to increase exports from small and medium-sized companies and to support regional job growth.

Prior to joining Metro Chicago Exports, Tom was International Director at Solo Cup Company, where he has over 25 years of international experience including the creation of an export initiative and was instrumental in building the international Division with locations in North and Central America, Europe and Asia. Tom’s experience also includes working with many global foodservice and consumer brand owners to launch new product and marketing solutions.

Tom is a native of Chicago and earned his Master of Business Administration from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Fairfield University. Tom is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP).