Megan Cullen Southern California District Export Council goes to the White House

Jul 12, 2016
Megan Cullen Southern California District Export Council goes to the White House

A Santa Ynez woman invited by the White House to participate in a talk with President Barack Obama on U.S. exports last week said she was honored to have been included in the select group.

Megan Cullen, marketing manager for CMC Rescue of Santa Barbara, was one of 60 people from across the country selected to attend the July 7 meeting in the East Room to discuss how to double America’s exports over the next five years.

Cullen said she was picked to be a part of the gathering through a vetting process of suggested representatives in the export industry.

She joined the Southern California District Export Council (DEC) in January and has worked for rescue equipment company CMC Rescue for four years. Some 51 DECs nationwide are dedicated to promoting exports in their local communThe White House invitation arrived a day before the event and getting to the nation’s capital was on her own dime, she said.

Before the event, Cullen strolled the halls of the White House admiring the presidential portraits of Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy.

“It was so awesome to be there and to see (the portraits),” she said.

She passed through three levels of security before reaching the East Room, the largest room in the White House.

Obama was introduced by Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, aid Cullen, the only Central Coast representative at the meeting.

During the brief event, between 20 to 30 minutes long, Obama said the U.S. needs to compete on a global scale with exports.

The nation’s sales abroad grew by 17 percent in the first four months of this year, leading Obama to declare: “Our efforts are off to a solid start.”

While the Commerce Department said exports of goods and services from January through April were up 16.9 percent, imports rose even more — up by 19.6 percent over the period.

Obama also named 18 business, labor and government leaders to a new presidential advisory council on exports. Walt Disney’s Robert Iger, Alan Mulally of the Ford Motor Co. and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg are among those on the President’s Export Council.

Although she did not speak to the president or shake hands with him, Cullen said it was an amazing experience to see the president in person and to have been a part of the event.

Posted in Featured Articles.