About

Based on years of experience, research and refinement, the ExpandUSATM team developed a process shared internationally to thousands of global professionals working within hundreds of companies. This flexible and proven process helps you accelerate your success with market entry, market penetration, and market acceleration services in the U.S.  The ExpandUSATM team includes Ira, Andres, Sylvia, and Ilbay. Each has a biography below.

About Ira Koretsky, Managing Director  

expand_usa_bio_site_ira_koretskyIt all began some 30 years ago, at a high school science fair. Ira Koretsky had presented his computer program on the heart and the circulatory system. One by one, the prizes were announced… third…second…first place. After nearly 100 hours of programming evenings and weekends, he slumped his shoulders and thought to himself, “I lost.” Then…Ira heard the chairwoman announce, “We are awarding the grand prize to a young man who could sell me my own pair of shoes!” And his name was called.

He was a US Army Captain in the Medical Service Corps serving as both a public affairs officer (PAO) and chief information officer (CIO) in the military health system. He designed presentations for himself and over 40 military and civilian executives in technology and healthcare. At just 21 years of age, he gained invaluable insights into messaging, communications, and storytelling.

Ira has held various leadership roles in marketing and product management. After earning his MBA from the University of Maryland, Ira entered into the world of leading edge technology in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley areas. It is there he started The Chief Storyteller®, the parent of ExpandUSATM.

Like all good communicators, Ira loves the stage. He performed improvisational humor professionally with ComedySportz in a career spanning 12 years and more than 1,000 shows.  He put to good use these skills as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business and has continued to guest lecture at Maryland along with George Washington and Georgetown universities.

You’re sure to be inspired by Ira’s mantra, “Think deliberately.” For more than 26 years, Ira has been a global speaker, active blogger, in-demand trainer, and has had over 40 articles published in publications such as Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) Network Magazine (UK), Washington Business Journal, ThinkBusiness, MENG, Pharmaceutical Representative Magazine, Latino Hotel and Restaurant Association (LHRA)The Resort Trades, ASAE, Potomac Meeting Planners International (PMPI), and Universum Quarterly (Europe).

Today, The Chief Storyteller® is a globally recognized brand. Some quick examples of his success stories include:

  • oXya:  Differentiating its value proposition and creating compelling set of sales tools increasing response rates, engagement, and revenue (HQ, France)
  • Eszter:   Designing and delivering the best presentation in her “American life” (from Hungary)
  • Brace Pharma:   Refining its value proposition and then localizing its key sales and social media tools (HQ, Brasil)
  • TCIG quadrupling its revenue in just six months
  • U.S. technology firm winning a $94 million multi-year project with the Federal government
  • Yovanna:  Developing a personalized communications plan to redefine the way she communicates (from Honduras)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):  Securing Affordable Care Act dollars for the National Youth Fitness Survey

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About Andres Jordan, Accelerating Global Potential

Four countries. Four cultures. Four ways of doing business. Andres Jordan grew up in Santiago, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, and USA. His passion about all things international arose from hearing stories from his father, Hugo, who was an international development executive. Stories such as breaking bread in a farmhouse in the depths of the Colombian jungle in the company of a 12-foot pet anaconda, inspired Andres to experience the world.  From his teen years exploring new businesses and friendships, he has always been about openness and growth.

From the beginning of his career in telecom, Andres has been driven by new initiatives in the pursuit of constant improvement. Via his career path in technology over the last 25 years, he has developed deep capabilities in innovation, marketing, strategy and business development. His efforts have led to the creation of $100M+ in foundational revenues in corporate and startup environments.

In 2006, he initiated and co-launched an innovation lab in Deutsche Telekom for a $1.0Bn business unit designed to speed product development. In his role as Vice President of Innovation and Market Development, he became known as the  “intraprenuer,” inspiring global teams to launch new products and develop new markets via innovation management methodologies, time-to-market imperatives, and best-in-class technology partners. This spurred the launch of a new business with a potential of $300M.

Andres is a growth catalyst and a passionate promoter of innovation-based frameworks as a way to create and manage value creation in all organizations. He is a regular public speaker with invitations to speak at prestigious organizations such as UNDP, The Milken Institute, Frost & Sullivan, and TM Forum in venues located in North America, Africa, Middle East, Europe, and Latin America.

Andres holds a Masters in International Business and a BS in Finance. Currently he serves as interim CMO and advisor for two startups; one in Germany and one in Chile. He also serves on the board of directors for Creative Cauldron, a grassroots performing and creative arts organization based in Falls Church, VA, USA. Andres resides in Alexandria, VA, USA outside of Washington DC with his wife and two children.

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About Sylvia Baffour, Bridging Culture and Business

expand_usa_bio_site_sylvia_baffourSince the age of five, Sylvia Baffour’s dream was to be a professional tourist. That’s right, a professional tourist. Her appetite for looking at pictures and for listening to stories from friends and family holiday trips was insatiable. She read books and magazines and watched every movie she could, to get as close to an actual trip as possible. In fact, Sylvia’s mother would have a hearty, belly laugh whenever she overheard Sylvia declare her dream to anyone who would listen.

Sylvia was born in Accra, Ghana. When she was two years old, she found herself on her first global trip to Maseru, Lesotho, marking the beginning of her cultural journey. From the Taj Mahal in Agra, India to the snow-capped Mountains of the Swiss Alps to the breath-taking plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania, Sylvia has traveled far and wide, living in seven countries and visiting more than 20.

Her travels opened her mind and senses. She appreciates different cultures, different perspectives, and different people. Today, she speaks five languages. Her travels inspired Sylvia’s international career, which began as a change management consultant with a former “Big Five” global accounting firm.  It was here where she earned the distinction as top consultant among her peer group. After making a transition into the entrepreneurial world as a Life coach and professional speaker, she traveled along the northeast of the United States conducting over 600 presentations to student and corporate audiences.

Sylvia knows what it is like to be a global professional. She is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of College Shine, which connects global students to educational opportunities at colleges and universities in the United States.

Sylvia knows what it is like to be an open-minded thinker. She lives it every day. She is passionate about being a cultural bridge to global professionals.

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About Ilbay Ozbay, Global Technology Executive

expand_usa_bio_site_ilbay_ozbayIlbay Ozbay worked with his father, Necmi in Tripoli, Libya during the summer of his second year in college. They worked hard building highway bridges in the desert. On the weekends, you would find them on the beach. One day Ilbay found himself “trying” to converse with a young Bulgarian woman.

Unfortunately, this 20-year old Turkish man spoke very little English. As you could imagine, he struggled to talk with her. As a result, this was the first and last time he would see her. Her parting words, “You really need to learn English.”

That seemingly simple sentence changed Ilbay’s life forever. He returned to home to Istanbul, Turkey and spent the entire summer in school learning English. Subsequently, he was selected for an English-speaking position in Groningen, Netherlands in the North Sea. Shortly thereafter, he was awarded a full scholarship in the United States for a masters in structural engineering.

Today, Ilbay is a founder of two successful Internet technology companies. His first company InnoEngineer, focused on an online ecommerce marketplace providing solutions to engineering problems. In the summer of 2012, Ilbay started Outroop. It is an old English word, which means bidding. Homeowners post projects on the bidding platform. Home improvement contractors bid on the project. With Outroop, homeowners get the best price and quality while saving time and money and contractors gain a broader audience for their services.

Ilbay’s background is in infrastructure engineering and project management and he is a licensed professional engineer. He has an MBA from the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi / Istanbul Technical University.

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