Don Gallion (MBA Accounting and Finance,’76) found business opportunity in China long before the world realized its economic power.
As a partner in a firm manufacturing products to the U.S. aviation industry, Don found several factors that limited the firm’s success in the domestic market, the lukewarm reception largely a reflection not of the company’s technology but because it was young. In 1987, he looked beyond the borders to discover an International market place that needed the firm’s aviation products.
As president of the company, he became the point man to build relationships internationally and develop a distributor base and educating their sales force. The first company he worked for was in China and that was his first exposure to a passion for international business. Eventually, he built a global network of distributors.
His passion for and skill in developing international business for West Virginia companies led to other positions. He helped West Virginia banks develop systems to handle International business for in-state Companies. He served as Chairman of the National District Export Council Steering Committee (which directs 1600 DEC Members for the Department of Commerce throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico) and Chairman of the West Virginia Export Council. He also went on many trade missions that led to him meeting several Heads of States including those in China, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and UAE. In all, he has traveled to more than 90 countries conducting business internationally.
Now an international consultant with his own firm, iGlobal Trade Connections, LLC, Don stays connected with Marshall through his many friends that still live in the Huntington area. He has also taught an Export Management Class on campus, an experience he says really brought him to Marshall through the experience of giving back to a new generation of students.
“I believe the biggest thing that was helpful for me doing International Business from my Marshall education, was teaching me to think on my feet,” said Gallion. “Learning to really listen was also very helpful when doing business in languages you don't know. If you really listen, you will be amazed at things you will pick up without knowing the language.”