As a friend and colleague for many years, I was delighted to interview Solange Warner, the Chairman and Founder of the World Chamber of Commerce, for the Inaugural Edition of iF Magazine. I want to publicly thank and congratulate her on her many years of service in providing leadership in the international space in Atlanta, Georgia, and for her willingness to also seek out ways to collaborate with me personally and with other members of the Diplomatic and international community to help make Atlanta a better place to do business and to help uplift members of the community.
First, tell us about yourself and walk us through your background.
With over 20-years of experience in international markets, I am the Chairman and Founder of the World Chamber of Commerce (WCC). I founded the WCC in February 2008. The WCC promotes global business, fostering cultural and humanitarian initiatives as well. WCC Board members include U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, Former President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, U.S. Ambassador Charles Shapiro, U.S. Ambassador Mark Lagoon, Ambassador of Germany, Lutz Gorgens, and Ambassador of France, Philippe, Ed Begley Jr, Actor and activist, Lou Gossett Jr., Oscar Winner Actor, among other Ambassadors, Consuls, Senators, Representatives, Mayors, and business leaders.
Furthermore, I am the CEO of Ashton International, a consulting firm providing in-depth Global Business consulting. Ashton International received an award from the U.S. Department of Commerce for “Export Achievement, Associated with Accomplishments in the Global Market Place.”
I worked at American Express as a senior manager for multinational accounts managing Fortune 500 corporations such as Microsoft and AT&T. I was born in Chile, traveled extensively through 56 countries, lived in Portugal, as well as Miami, where I owned and directed a travel company, S&S Travel. I obtained my International Business Degree, Summa Cum Laude, from American Intercontinental University. I speak fluently Spanish, Portuguese, and English and have knowledge of French, German and Italian. I am married and have two wonderful Children. My son Coston is an Architect at Portman Architects and my daughter, Ashley is a student at Berry College. I live in Buckhead, Atlanta.
What does the WCC Chairman do on a daily basis?
I am constantly working on initiatives that help businesses, such as, developing “World CC Television Channel”, an educational TV Channel, with access to 100 million viewers through Amazon and Roku television networks. World CC channel includes shows such as “Global Matters With Solange Warner”, produced and hosted by me, I interview business and government leaders, such as Ambassador Lutz Gorgens, Consul of Denmark, Chris Smith, among others. Another TV show I created is “Inspirational Heroes”, interviewing people that inspire the community with their accomplishments. World CC broadcasts international productions from countries such as Latvia, China, Ecuador, Chile, and Italy, as well as documentaries on such relevant subjects as Covid-19, health, and human trafficking.
Moreover, I work developing humanitarian initiatives, such as the campaign, “Human Trafficking Awareness to Keep Our Children Safe”, promoting awareness about the terrible crime of human trafficking. I develop related WCC events and television shows, creating such an awareness. Also, I developed the WCC International Trade Seminar Series, leaders and experts educate companies on how to penetrate foreign markets. Furthermore, I have developed the World Chamber of Commerce Trade Mission to Saint Lucia for business exchange between St. Lucia and U.S. businesses. It included dignitaries from Liechtenstein, France, and Germany. Also, I have developed the “Haiti Relief Effort” sending two airplanes to Haiti, with volunteers delivering humanitarian aid for the earthquake victims. I developed an initiative to aid victims of the Chilean earthquake, including WCC donations to the “Maria Ayuda” organization, assisting victims.
Recently, I organized a WCC Event at the Georgia Capitol, the “WCC Global Hero Awards”. Speakers included Ambassador Andrew Young, Actor Lou Gossett Jr., among other dignitaries. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Maestro, Juan Ramirez and Soprano Cindy Gutierrez preformed after the speakers. Other WCC Events include performances such as Tango dancers from Argentina, Classical dance from Russia, and music performance from Brazil. Mainly, the WCC Events I organize provide information and connections for local businesses to expand internationally.
What are some past, present, and future goals and how do you work with the international community?
Today, I am working on developing awareness about global markets, through the WCC Events and most importantly on television shows at World CC TV Channel, creating awareness and educating businesses about international markets and the opportunities in those markets.
What would you consider the biggest challenge you are
facing today and the greatest opportunity?
The biggest challenge is to educate local businesses regarding meaningful and profitable opportunities overseas. There is a significant purchasing power at a global level given the global economy. Local businesses should take advantage of such opportunities. The WCC has a role to support and educate businesses to continue develop a global economy.
What role does the WCC play in helping to promote internationalism in Atlanta?
The WCC conducts symposium, Trade Missions, and other speaking engagements to promote international trade. Additionally, the WCC and I produce TV shows that will educate the community regarding international opportunities.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us that we have not already discussed?
Please visit www.worldchamberc.org to become involved with some of the initiatives and opportunities at a global level, such as becoming part of a television show, promoting your business, or cultural and humanitarian initiatives.