MAPLE Business Council Launches to Promote Trade and Cross-Border Investment Between Southern California and Canada

TUSTIN, California – May 20, 2015 - Today MAPLE Business Council announced the launch of its new organization focused on promoting trade and cross-border investment between Southern California and Canada.  Based in Orange County, MAPLE will connect senior executives from across the region interested in exploring cross-border business opportunities.

“Strong ties already exist between California and Canada”, said Robert Kelle, chairman & president of the MAPLE Business Council. “Bilateral goods trade between us exceeded $46 billion in 2014 and over 1.1 million California jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada.”

It is estimated that over one hundred thousand California residents were born in Canada. “Canadian social networks have been well-established in the region but what we have lacked is a business community focal point for cross-border business and investment networking,” said Stephen Armstrong, chief marketing officer of MAPLE. “Southern California firms are already active in Canada and are among the latest international listings on the TSXV, part of Canada’s largest stock exchange.”

Represented on the board of directors for MAPLE are Stephen Armstrong, principal of The 360 Marketer; Hank Blank, president of Hank Blank Inc.; David Gagnon, president of Allura Printing Inc.; René Gagnon, ceo of Allura Printing Inc.; Robert Kelle, managing partner at Axellium, LLC; Garth Stevens, partner at law firm, Snell & Wilmer LLP; and Marko Zoretic, partner at law firm, Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP.

Membership in the MAPLE Business Council is open to individuals and businesses with sponsorship opportunities also available. MAPLE will be hosting its first networking event in Irvine at the offices of Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP on June 3rd. Open to members and invited guests, the event will feature information on trade between Southern California and Canada and insights on how a business council has successfully supported trade between Canada and Arizona. For those interested in attending, they should contact MAPLE at

About The MAPLE Business Council

The MAPLE Business Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting senior executives for exploring trade and investment between Southern California and Canada. Through its membership, allied partners and sponsors, MAPLE provides access to subject matter experts, service providers and information resources. For more information, please visit and follow at @maplesocal