Trustee Spotlight: Barry Sobel

Barry was involved with international business dealings over a decade before the first time he visited Israel. In 2001, he attended the Chamber of Commerce and was astounded by the level of entrepreneurial spirit in the country. Recalling that everyone there had three business cards. One for their actual job, another for a startup they were involved in, and a third for a startup they wanted to incubate. He quickly learned the importance of knowing the culture of someone before you interact with them and not making assumptions. In Israel, for example, not everyone is Jewish and unlike America, it’s not which university you attend, but the military outfit one serves in that gives prestige.  In UIEC, Barry brings his experience of cross-culture literacy, along with over 30 years of experience in international business dealings. Don’t walk into a meeting with any assumptions. Another difference Barry discovered in his experience is that Israel doesn’t have as strict as a chain of command as we do in America. Someone who just started at the company is in meetings and having conversations with the CEO. Barry believes that most people look at Israel and recognize their Silicon Wadi, along the coastal plain, for tech innovation, but that’s not where most of Israel’s importance comes from. It is the constant development in the agriculture and water technologies helping people across the globe. Barry states the importance of being on the board of UIEC when going to Israel with the goal of international investment, UIEC provides vital connections that will make your visit more effective than trying to infiltrate the country on your own.

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