What brought three SMU Law School grads to the Nashville international trade mission? At the Santiago Airport, three delegates on the Nashville Chamber of Commerce/Nashville Health Care Council trade mission sat at a table at Dunkin Donuts, drinking coffee while waiting for the flight to the mission’s next stop, Buenos Aires. They talked about the three days they just spent in this cosmopolitan Chilean city.
John Scannapieco, Jeff Jones and John Lowry have a common bond, other than being members of the Chamber or Health Care Council. Each is a graduate of Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law in Dallas – in different years. And each has followed a different career path to end up on this international trade mission as leaders of organizations seeking health care industry opportunities in South America.
Scannapieco graduated in 1990 and joined Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Nashville, where is now a partner and leader of the international practice team which includes many health care clients.
Jones graduated in 2001. After three years working on mergers and acquisitions at Vinson & Elkins, he left law for investment banking and is now director of health care investment banking for Deutsche Bank Securities in New York.
Lowry graduated in 2004, joined the health care practice at Strasburger & Price. He is now the assistant dean for executive education at Lipscomb University College of Business.
So what did they think of their Santiago visit? Scannapieco said the personal connections he made both with the participants in the programs and the embassy officials are valuable in many ways. “It’s not only an opportunity to meet face-to-face with some potential clients, but it allowed me to develop relationships with resources our clients can access in financial, legal and governmental realms for them to do business in this country.”
Jones is responsible for health care and Latin America for the bank. “I came on this trip to strengthen our relationships in Chile and Argentina. We work with a variety of health care companies based here so meeting with the scope and level of professionals helps build those relationships.”
Lowry has several goals on this trip. He’s leading Lipscomb’s effort to build out a portfolio of programs in the health care industry universitywide and in its role as education partner for the new Nashville Medical Trade Center. Lipscomb is also starting an international program that will be held in Santiago in January.
“Lipscomb wants to be a leading global education provider leveraging the Nashville health care industry in anticipation of its work in the Nashville Medical Trade Center, which is targeting an international market,” Lowry said. “I was able to speak with hospital administrators about training for nurses and administrators.”
As the trio gathered their bags to head for their gate, they summed up their thoughts about the trade mission. “I was surprised at how stable and prosperous the country is. They weathered the worldwide financial crisis by having the wherewithal to have a sovereign wealth fund to serve as a rainy day fund, and a balanced budget,” Scannapieco said.
Jones explained that the country takes its copper reserves and puts in the fund that was used to support its economy during crisis – so their stimulus package was actual “cash in the bank.”
As they walked to the gate, Scannapieco added, “Chile’s stability, low barriers into the market, ease of access and its existing free trade agreements with Europe, Asia and North America make it an excellent entry point into South America for businesses. That, coupled with its experience with a public and private health system, make it clear we have a lot we can learn from each other.”
The 30-member trade mission delegation is now in Buenos Aires to learn about Argentina’s health care system.
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