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A brief look back

We are a full-service business consultancy group, helping companies assess their strengths and weaknesses and achieve their objectives, especially when it comes to exporting. We’ve assisted scores of companies in foreign markets in Europe and Asia. We know what it takes to BE successful overseas. Our contacts in government and in the private sector are solid and time-tested, and we’ve used them frequently to benefit companies needing to navigate difficult foreign regulatory systems and find a path to profitability. The Second Opinion was formed in 1981 by Stephan Helgesen. It was first created as a service for companies in need of an independent assessment of their communications, marketing plans and advertising strategies. 


In 1984, the Second Opinion went on the shelf when Helgesen became a Commercial Counselor for the U.S. Department of Commerce overseas. For the next 20 years he lived and worked in over 30 different countries in Europe, the Pacific Rim and the Caribbean Basin, helping U.S. businesses become export savvy and export ready. By assisting companies and even whole states in developing strategies for mastering the marketplace and understanding changing B2B and retail buying patterns, he racked up impressive gains for U.S. exporters. From 2006-2010 he was the State of New Mexico's Director of the Office of Science and Technology and worked closely with Los Alamos and Sandia National labs, New Mexico’s research universities and the private sector. In 2008/9, he co-authored the State’s science and technology plan: “Technology 21.” In 2010, the Second Opinion was re-born, this time as a private company dedicated to helping technology entrepreneurs, manufacturers and service providers profit from exporting.