Jeff Jorge is Principal at Baker Tilly, one of the world’s top 10 largest providers of professional services to companies in international markets. He joined the company in 2015 as a result of a merger of the very company he launched – GDP | Global Development Partners. GDP’s – and now Baker Tilly’s – proven methodology enables companies to capture market growth – internationally and domestically – with reduced risks, improved outcomes, and shortened time-frames. With clients spanning an eclectic mix of established corporations and start-ups, along with deep mindfulness for social responsibility, Jeff and his team help accelerate the growth of their clients by unlocking latent potential to capture sustainable market growth while benefiting people, planet and profits.
A native of Brazil, Jeff learned early the value of adaptability and resilience in overcoming the plight associated with life in a third-world country. As challenges often unlock opportunities, the need to help family led Jeff to an early start to his career: at the age of 16, assisting an international trade company in South America. Along with such early career start came the intrinsic knowledge related to capturing market traction as products and companies reached such foreign markets. From consumer products to automotive components, from apparel to raw industrial materials: the patterns of success were evident, and a career dedicated to international market growth began.
The personal and professional lessons learned since helped propel Jeff to become one of the youngest employees to lead large-scale global ventures for two Fortune 500 companies: TRW and Delphi. In multiple roles, Jeff was responsible for the launch and international market success of various business units that included medical devices, electronic modules, automotive systems and specialty vehicle components – some of which have remained growth engines for over a decade. The experience gained and results delivered as part of increasingly complex international assignments where he led corporate strategy, new facility development, operations, manufacturing, regulatory affairs, marketing and sales afford him a uniquely deep know-how of what it takes for successful international ventures to take flight.
In search of a more entrepreneurial opportunity, Jeff left Delphi to join Ann Arbor-based Solidica, where he became instrumental in the growth of the early-stage company. As its Director of Global Market Development, Jeff helped to concurrently diversify and significantly grow company revenues and client base to include top players in vertical markets such as defense, commercial vehicles and sporting goods. His leadership and collective team effort garnered awards such as 50 Michigan Companies to Watch, Best of Sensors, Frost&Sullivan’s Product Leadership AwardTM, in addition to enabling the company’s initial expansion into Asia-Pacific.
Mindful of the increased pressure on companies to expand internationally, Jeff elected to leave Solidica to launch GDP. His objective: to help organizations successfully deliver on the global growth imperative via a flexible, predictable and highly effective consultative approach. Additionally, for the companies that so choose, Jeff and the GDP team also work collaboratively with clients to subsequently integrate social responsibility programs that help drive social change. As he puts it: “Elevating the standing of society and the human condition is an inherent part of running a successful business.”
In all, Jeff and his team have helped companies reach double- and triple-digit annual growth rates and operational expansion into over 20 foreign markets – with special emphasis in the Americas. As Baker Tilly’s Principal, Jeff’s experience, non-linear life path, and ethno-cultural breadth afford him a highly unique view of the business world – in particular, of where opportunities exist. His extensive knowledge of international business and growth strategy, along with a proven methodology to drive growth give his business- and life-related seminars, rare insight and credibility.
An acclaimed speaker, author and active member of organizations such as US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, TEDx, American Society of Association Executives, National Association of International Advisors, and many others, Jeff is also the leading fund-raiser for a number of non-profit entities and socially responsible causes in the U.S. as well as abroad.
Fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, in addition to post-graduate studies at Harvard University in Global Leadership and International Negotiations, Jeff earned his MBA from The University of Michigan, With Distinction. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Design Engineering from Middle Tennessee State University, Cum Laude, where he has been awarded the Young Alumni Achievement Award – the highest University honor conferred upon a single Alumnus annually, and an award shared with fellow recipients Al Gore and James Buchanan (1986 Nobel Prize – Economics). Jeff has also been selected as one of Oakland County’s Elite 40 Under 40 – Class of 2014, an honor recognizing the professional, societal and economic impact achievements of professionals under the age of 40 in the country’s 10th most prosperous county and Michigan’s largest economic base region.
Invited often to meet with legislators and policy-makers on global growth and international business affairs, Jeff is a Board Member of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce (USMCOC) in a bi-national capacity, in addition to being a founding member and President of the organization’s Great Lakes Chapter. He is Vice-Chairman and board member of Automation Alley’s International Business Advisory Council – one of the United States’ most preeminent international trade and economic development groups, and has formerly served as the Deputy Executive Director of The BRICS-PED Chamber in the United States (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa Chamber for Promotion and Economic Development) in his quest to promote international trade and economic stability across national borders.
A smitten husband and father, Jeff became a United States Citizen in 2008.