Participating in the special ceremon9ies
were Taft Mayor Bill Baker, Taft District Chamber of Commerce Executive
Director Debbie Reed, Fox Theater Manager Wade Holland, WBE-Net
Founder and Chief Executive Officer Roosevelt Roby, WBE-Net Vice
President Cathy Gogola, Los Angeles businessman Howard Newman, public
relations specialist Dean DeLorean and Chris Harris, and los Angeles'
Alain LeRoy Locke High School instructor Cliff Webb. On March 20,
Webb became the first teacher in the U.S. to teach international
trade utilizing WBE-Net, a course he developed with Roby.
After logging on to the program, the World Business
Exchange Network extended its invitation to entrepreneurs and small
businesses in town with populations under 7,000 to join the website
for three months at no cost.
Taft District Chamber of Commerce is also participating
in the program. Reed noted that the Chamber of Commerce will be
represented on the website, as will various other businesses in
the Taft area.
The Fox Theater is another of Taft's early participants
in the program. The theater was highlighted during Wednesday's ceremony,
showing its availability as a movie theater, concert hall and venue
for other local events.
According to Roby, the World Business Exchange
Network used Wednesday's event to officially launch its Global Public
Awareness campaign entitle "Engage in International Trade with the
The campaign will help inform citizens around
the world that anyone regardless of their geographical location,
education and financial status can engage in international trade
from their home or office as long as they have a computer, access
to the Internet and a determination to earn money.
Over the next year, WBE-Net will provide people
around the world with free information by calling 1-800-537-7347
The World Business Exchange Network started collecting
data on small companies in Europe and Asia in 1987. Since establishing
the website in 1993, the WBE-Net has amassed a database of more
than 125,000 contacts from around the world and has been responsible
for everything from a $25,000 blue jeans deal to an $18 million
Some of the more popular product lines to be featured
include pharmaceuticals, new and used clothing, automotive vehicles
and pars, laboratory equipment, food products, construction machinery,
medical products, paper products, oilfield equipment, environmental
items, computers, mining equipment, chemicals and cosmetics, air
conditioners, water treatment, generator, hardware items and fertilizer
and farm equipment.
Reed said the program offers Taft residents and
opportunity to reach other parts of the world.
"This is a wonderful opportunity that we don't want to miss", said
Reed. She added that it's "not going to be a piece of cake" because
it will take a lot of hard work to be a successful program.
Baker used the current movie title "As Good
As It Gets" to get his point across to those in attendance at
the Fox Theater.
He mentioned that times have been though in recent
years and Taft is showing signs of rebounding. But he noted that
Taft does not want to settle for complacency.
He said the city is full of optimism as 1998 winds
up its third month. And he noted that "there's better yet to come".