Laura Seitz, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Changes in the Utah governor's office mean there is a new president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah.
Derek Miller, Gov. Gary Herbert's chief of staff, announced Thursday that he is leaving his position to accept the leadership of the center based in downtown Salt Lake City.
Miller will replace Lew Cramer as president and CEO of the organization, which has become an epicenter of international business for more than 3,000 Utah entrepreneurs. Since the World Trade Center Utah was established in 2006, merchandise exports in the state have more than tripled, reaching a record high of $19 billion in 2012, according to the organization's chairman of the board, Scott Anderson.
Herbert in a press conference to announce the change, expressed the difficulty of relinquishing Miller as his chief of staff, but said he was confident in Miller's ability to excel in international commerce.
"There's no question in my mind that Derek has got the talent. He's demonstrated his ability to lead and bring people together and have positive outcomes economically," he said. "I expect that he's going to be able to take on this new assignment and really hit the road running."
The governor said he has a "short list" of people he is considering for the chief of staff position — a decision he expects to make within the next three weeks. Miller said he would stay on until the governor selects his replacement.
With the help of the World Trade Center Utah, Herbert says he hopes to increase the state's value-added export business by $9 billion by the end of 2015.
"That's a high number, but it's doable," he said. "The timing is extremely good for Utah."
Miller said he continues to support the governor's vision for economic expansion.
"The truth is that in today's world, we can't talk about business without talking about international business. And we can't talk about economic growth without looking beyond our own borders," he said.
"That's why I am grateful for this opportunity to continue to advance the governor's vision and expand even further our horizons for both business and for individuals in this new role."
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