For details about the International Entrepreneurship Summit, please visit this page.

Speaker bios for the summit can be found below:

Patricia Cook
Office Director, U.S. Commercial Service Iowa

Presentation of Export Award and Overview of International Trade Administration 

Patricia Cook is the Office Director of U.S. Commercial Service (CS) Iowa. Mrs. Cook has been on staff at the Des Moines office for 10 years and has assisted businesses across Iowa to export manufactured goods, agricultural equipment, processed foods, medical devices, technical and educational services, and all other types of Made in Iowa goods. Export ready clients receive counseling, research reports, and official guidance across a very wide range of sectors. As the head of the Department in Iowa, she is charged with referring clients for any further needs to trade desks in Washington, D.C., as well as worldwide CS locations.


Keynote Speaker:

Fritz Duroseau
Board Member, Member of the Monetary Policy Committee, President of Audit Committee | Central Bank of Haiti

Mr. Duroseau has worked for the Central Bank of Haiti (Banque de la République d’Haiti) since 1995 after completing his Master in Economics, in Montreal, Canada at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Before returning to Haiti, he worked as a teaching fellow for the undergraduate courses of Econometrics and Research Seminar. During the course of his career he had the opportunity to attend short term intensive Executive Education programs in the fields of Macroeconomic Development, Leading Economic Growth, Macroeconomic Policy Management and Financial Policies, Financial Programming, at the Harvard institute for International Development (HIID), The Harvard Kennedy School, The IMF Training Institute. He has been a Board Member of the Central Bank, since September 2007 and is presently the President of the Audit Committee of the bank and member of the Monetary Policy Committee. From 2001 to 2007, he was the Head and the deputy head of the International Affairs Department, responsible for the elaboration and implementation of the national foreign exchange policy and for the external debt management. Before, he was the division chief of the Balance of Payment and International Economic section.

Emily (Sukup) Schmitt
General Council, Sukup Manufacturing Co.

Breakout Session 1 Speaker

Emily (Sukup) Schmitt is the General Counsel for Sukup Manufacturing Co., making her the tenth family member to be active in the business. Emily holds a degree in Business Management from Iowa State and a Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa College Of Law. She and her husband Andy have two daughters. Emily has been a large proponent for improving and growing the family business, with one of her most recent charges being the philanthropic Sukup Safe T Home®. She is also very involved outside of the business, currently holding seats on five Board of Directors and Committees within Iowa.

Tony Bedard
CEO, Frontier Co-op

Breakout Session 2 Speaker

Tony leads Frontier Co-op’s mission to nourish people and planet with a passion for doing good that is rooted in operational excellence and service work. He joined Frontier Co-op as a Plant Manager in 1991, was promoted to Vice President of Operations, and then served as interim Chief Executive Officer in 1999 and 2000 before being officially named Chief Executive Officer in 2002.

Tony has led more than 25 delegations to El Salvador and Haiti to support a number of projects providing education, water, medical services and business support to people and organizations in need of assistance. Tony has a Bachelor of Technology from the University of Northern Iowa and a Masters from Kettering University

Tim Dwight_IES
Tim Dwight
Owner and Operator, Integrated Power Corporation

Breakout Session 2 Speaker

Tim Dwight is the owner and operator of Integrated Power Corporation. A solar energy EPC firm that performs business with commercial, industrial and utility customers. Tim Dwight also co-founded the Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association (ISETA) a solar energy trade group providing expertise in solar technology, energy markets and public policy. He is also the founder of the Tim Dwight Foundation that provides a youth summer football camp and road race. All proceeds of the program aid the Children’s Hospital of Iowa and the Tim Dwight scholarship fund. Tim Dwight graduated from the University of Iowa and played football and ran track and field for the Hawkeyes where he earned All-American and All Big Ten for football in 1997 and for track and field in 1999. He is a former NFL football player and played for Atlanta, San Diego, New England, NY Jets and Oakland. Tim Dwight enjoys community efforts regarding sustainability, youth education, healthy choices and a big advocate of renewable energy.

Mike Laas
President, Laas Company

Breakout Session 2 Speaker

Mike Laas is the president and owner of Laas Company an industrial automation distributor. He and his wife, Pat, have been involved in Haiti since 2010 after the earthquake as part of a parish twinning project in Jean-Denis. They have taken multiple trips to Haiti over the last eight years to work on medical, educational, and economic issues. They are currently finishing a school construction project and working with local rice farmers on improving production, marketing, and micro-finance initiatives. Their focus is on entrepreneurship as the key element of returning the community to sustainability.

Dumas M. Siméus
Chairman & Founder of Organisation Sové Lavi (Saving Lives)

Breakout Session 2 Speaker

Dumas M. Siméus was President and COO of Beatrice Foods International, a $2 billion corporation with operations in 25 countries. After leaving Beatrice, he founded Siméus Foods International and built it to be the largest black-owned business in Texas and the eleventh largest in the nation (Black Enterprise Magazine). He enjoys motivational speaking and lecturing in high schools and colleges. In 2000, Siméus founded Sové Lavi (Saving Lives), a non-profit that provides health care, potable water and education to the poor in Haiti. He is a graduate of Howard University (EE) and the University of Chicago (MBA).