John Leonard

Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Mr. John P. Leonard is the Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner (DEAC) of Office of Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Mr. Leonard oversees a diverse portfolioof trade enforcement, security, and facilitation to enable legitimate trade, contribute to American economic prosperity, and protect against risks to public health and safety. Hiswork ranges from enforcing over 500 U.S. trade laws, to overseeing 14 trade agreements, todirecting CBP’s seven Priority Trade Issues in collaboration with 49 partner government agencies.

Mr. Leonard has over 30 years of experience at CBP and the former U.S. Customs Service, first beginning his career as an Import Specialist in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1989. Since then, he has worked in various leadership positions at CBP, from 2013 to 2017 as CBP Attaché to Singapore, and prior to this as the Area Port Director of San Francisco. As Area Port Director, Mr. Leonard oversaw the CBP clearance of nearly 5 million passengers per year at San Francisco International Airport and over 400,000 cargo containers per year at the Oakland Seaport.

Mr. Leonard holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a master’s degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University. He is a graduate of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School Senior Executive Fellows program and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Matthew S. Axelrod

Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement
at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s
Bureau of Industry and Security

Matthew S. Axelrod was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate and currently serves as the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security.

In this capacity, Matt leads an elite cadre of special agents and analysts dedicated to the enforcement of the country’s export control laws. Matt and his team protect and promote U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives by stopping exports of sensitive goods and technologies that can be put to malign purposes like weapons-of-mass-destruction proliferation, military and military-intelligence applications, terrorism, and human rights abuses. They also work to ensure U.S. persons do not participate in unsanctioned foreign boycotts.

A longtime public servant with deep criminal and national security enforcement experience, Matt previously spent over thirteen years at the U.S. Department of Justice. As an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida, he prosecuted a number of high-profile cases, convicting two founders of the Cali Cartel, a county sheriff who was taking undisclosed payments from a vendor, and a husband-and-wife team who were spying for the Cuban Intelligence Service. After six years in Miami, Matt was detailed to Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he worked as a Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division and then as an Associate Deputy Attorney General, responsible for overseeing the criminal enforcement work of the Department. From 2015 to 2017, Matt served as the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, one of Department’s highest-ranking officials. In that role, he advised the Deputy Attorney General and Attorney General on the Department’s most significant issues, including the most consequential criminal and national security enforcement matters. Matt directly supervised a staff of twenty-five lawyers and helped to oversee the Department’s workforce of 113,000 employees, including all of its prosecutors and law enforcement agents. In 2021, he rejoined the Department of Justice on Inauguration Day as part of the senior leadership team, serving as Senior Counselor in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General.

Matt has also previously served as Special Counsel in the Office of the White House Counsel, where he worked on both domestic and national security matters, and as a partner in an international law firm, where he did internal investigations and white-collar defense work on behalf of companies and individuals. Matt was also one of the founding corps members at City Year, a forerunner and inspiration for the eventual AmeriCorps national service program.

Matt received his B.A. cum laude from Amherst College and his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was Notes Editor for the Yale Law Journal. Following law school, Matt clerked for the Honorable Ralph K. Winter, Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and for the Honorable Janet C. Hall on the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Carl W. Benztel

Federal Maritime Commisson

Commissioner Carl Bentzel was nominated by President Trump on June 12, 2019, to a term expiring on June 30, 2024. The United States Senate confirmed his nomination on November 21, 2019, and he was sworn into office on December 9, 2019.

Prior to his appointment at the Federal Maritime Commission, Commissioner Bentzel created and established a consulting services company where he represented clients on regulatory and legislative issues within the areas of transportation, energy and other areas of federal regulatory oversight. From 2004-2014, Commissioner Bentzel served as Vice President and head of the federal advocacy division of a full-scale public relations firm, the DCI Group.

Prior to working in the private sector, Mr. Bentzel served the public sector for ten years as a Senate professional committee staffer including, most recently, as Senior Democratic Counsel of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation. He moved to his role in the Senate after spending four years on the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee where he served as Counsel for Maritime Policy.

Commissioner Bentzel’s primary areas of responsibility on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation were issues on maritime transportation; rail, surface and pipeline transportation; energy transportation and hazardous materials; and homeland security in these areas.  While working in the Senate, Commissioner Bentzel served as one of the principals in crafting the Maritime Security Act of 1996, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, and in 2002, after the attacks on 9/11, the requirements mandated for maritime security through the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.  He also dealt with matters impacting economic regulation of rail and surface industries before the Surface Transportation Board, and a variety of energy related regulatory issues.

For his efforts in developing and negotiating passage of Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, Commissioner Bentzel was awarded the Coast Guard’s Medal for Meritorious Public Service and the Maritime Security Council’s Man of the Year award.  Mr. Bentzel is also the author of the chapter on Port Security within McGraw-Hill’s Handbook on Homeland Security.

Commissioner Bentzel earned his Bachelor of Arts from St. Lawrence University, his Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama, and his Master of Laws from the Admiralty Law Institute, Tulane University.

Ben Hammersley

Hammersely Futures

One of the world’s leading Futurists, Ben Hammersley is the founder and principal of Hammersley Futures, an international strategic forecasting consultancy whose main work is in guiding corporations and governmental agencies to think clearly about the future. The company specializes in how society reacts to technological innovation: including the future of crime and conflict, the changing nature of the workplace and the market, and the new cognitive tools needed to flourish in the coming decades.

Previously Ben was executive editor of WIRED, the writer and presenter of the BBC’s “Cybercrimes with Ben Hammersley” (now on Netflix or Amazon Prime internationally), a war correspondent in Afghanistan, an advisor to the European Commission, a pilot and wilderness medic in the USA, the author of 5 books, and the inventor of the word “Podcast”.

Hammersley is the author of the acclaimed book 64 Things You Need To Know Now For Then, a guide to the new concepts of the modern world. His most recent book, Now For Then: How To Face The Digital Future Without Fear, is on the latest ideas in technology, culture, business, and politics. It demystifies the Internet, decodes cyberspace and ushers us through the innovation revolution in which we are all living. Additionally, Hammersley is editor-at-large for WIRED magazine, a columnist for BA Business Life magazine and the Principal of Onwards, Friend, a program that develops science and launch platforms for high-altitude and low-earth orbit. In fact, he is building his own personal satellite.

When Ben Hammersley speaks to audiences, he dissects intricate concepts and developing technologies and adds fascinating stories and analogies to make these topics accessible. While some speakers and pundits use a “doom and gloom” method to scare people about our rapidly developing future, Hammersley employs humor and common sense to illustrate his views. His methods are especially helpful when illustrating that spheres of power and influence have dramatically changed in the last generation, and how most of us employ a way of thinking that doesn’t line up with today’s society—or the future. “Our jobs, our businesses, our institutions and governments, and civic infrastructure, the marketplace, the flow of ideas, wars and the supply chain, are all—to a degree I think most would find terrifying—far more complex and weird than we’re generally aware. This is partly because of a reluctance to truly look, partly because orthodox understandings of the world are deeply culturally embedded, and partly because we lack the cognitive tools to actually do that thinking,” Hammersley says.

A speaker and consultant that can mold to any industry’s needs, Hammersley consults with organizations and corporations about trends, technology, and security, whether it’s in travel, financial services, human resources or government. But he doesn’t just talk to the big guys; he also consults with smaller associations and organizations. Through detailed research, he will sort through the issues troubling you, find your strengths, and devise a completely customized speech and action plan that will help your organization move forward. He’ll share what holds your company back, what or who the disrupters are in your sector and exactly how you to navigate, succeed and thrive—in the future.



Orisia Gammell

Chief Legal Counsel, U.S. Export Control and Head of the Export Control Innovation Team at SAP

Orisia Gammell is Chief Legal Counsel, U.S. Export Control and Head of the Export Control Innovation Team at SAP As the Head of the Export Control Innovation Team, Orisia manages a team of export compliance professionals tasked with developing and implementing new and innovative solutions for managing SAP’s global export control and sanctions compliance program, including implementation of new legal requirements, enhancement of IT solutions and integration of new acquisitions. As Chief Legal Counsel, Orisia also serves as a legal advisor and subject matter expert on U.S. export control and sanctions laws applicable to SAP activities worldwide.  Prior to joining SAP, Ms. Gammell was in private practice, focusing on a wide array of international trade matters. She worked with companies of all sizes in a variety of industries, advising on import, export and sanctions compliance, developing comprehensive, multi-faceted global compliance programs, and training business stakeholders worldwide. 

Steve Story

Executive Vice President at Apex Logistics International

Steve joined Apex Logistics International in 2019 with responsibilities for corporate North American Customs & trade compliance, Customs Brokerage, Customs Professional Services, eCommerce Customs Brokerage & management of Apex’s five Foreign Trade Zones.

President & CEO of Global Trade Solutions from 2003-2019, a US Customs and global trade professional services firm specializing in eCommerce Customs Brokerage, Customs Brokerage Services, import, export and global trade consulting, Foreign Trade Zone consulting & implementation, Drawback, C-TPAT and customs compliance services.

Steve was formerly a Sr. Manager of International Trade and Customs Services with Arthur Andersen LLP from 1996 –2002 and with Ernst & Young in 2003. While with AA and E&Y, Steve provided Global Customs Business consulting, Customs Compliance Consulting, Import / Export Best Practices, Export Compliance, Foreign Trade Zone, Drawback, and other global Customs-related services.

Mr. Story was formerly the Manager of Global Regulatory Services (GRS) for Federal Express Corporation in Memphis, Tennessee from 1989-1996. While at Federal Express, Mr. Story managed all Customs penalties, and established and managed the Regulatory Consulting Group to provide global import, export, and Customs consulting and compliance services, Export Compliance services and Air Freight Forwarder and documentation Services to customers.

Mr. Story was with The Flying Tiger Line from 1981-1989 as a Chief Services Supervisor with responsibilities for international and domestic operations for the Air cargo Hub at Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio from 1986-1989. While with Flying Tigers, Steve managed a staff of 25 supervisors, and over 700 hub employees. Steve initiated and managed Flying Tigers first Customs clearance small package service, while also managing the hub staff for Customs clearance and package sort for over 20 jumbo jet cargo aircraft and 45 tractor trailers per daily operation.

Steve received his Customshouse Broker License in 1997 and attended the University of Louisville and Northern Kentucky University.

With over 40 years import/export experience, Steve is a frequent speaker on import / export issues for various international trade events. Steve is a former member of the Board of Directors for the American Association of Exporters and Importers and served as a member of the Department of States Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG) for six years. Steve is currently the Chairman of the eCommerce committee for the Trade Support Network (TSN), a member of the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones, The Society for International Affairs, The American Association of Exporters and Importers, Professional Association of Exporters and Importers, Association of Trade Compliance Professionals, International Compliance Professionals Association and various other local and regional international trade associations.

Yuri Unno

Director, Trade and Supply Chain Policy at Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

Yuri Unno is a member of Toyota North America’s Government Affairs team in Washington, DC. Unno is responsible for representing the interests of Toyota on matters of international trade and supply chain issues before the Executive Branch, Congress, and Embassies in Washington, as well as in key diplomatic venues, like Geneva, Brussels, Paris, and Tokyo. Unno had negotiated trade agreements on behalf of the company and served as Toyota’s lead negotiator during the U.S. Mexico and Canada Agreement (USMCA) negotiations. Prior to joining Toyota in 1999, Unno worked as an Asia Analyst at the G7 Group, a political and economic research and advisory firm. Unno earned a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Political Science (Honors) from the Pennsylvania State University Erie, the Behrend College. She earned an M.A. in International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University.

Jessica Libby

Principal, Trade & Customs​ at KPMG LLP

Jessica held various senior level global trade compliance and supply chain roles in private industry for a Fortune 500 retailer. She worked as an international trade consultant for a customs and trade law firm, and was an attorney with the International Trade Administration in Washington, D.C.

Jessica’s diverse customs, supply chain and human rights background gives her valuable insight into the strategic and operational complexities U.S. importers face, and the opportunities available to them. She possesses extensive experience with import compliance, trade remedies, duty recoveries, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations.

Jessica leads KPMG’s Anti-Forced Labor Service Line, providing pragmatic support to clients as they respond to their responsible supply chain commitments, including requirements associated with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”). In this capacity, Jessica is also providing guidance to industry groups and C-Suite/Boards regarding implementation and compliance with the UFLPA.

Amy Albano

Vice President, Chief Ethics & Compliance/Privacy Officer at W.W. Grainger, Inc.

Amy Albano, Vice President and Chief Ethics & Compliance/Privacy Officer for W.W. Grainger, Inc., is a senior leader experienced in compliance culture and strategy, data privacy, global trade compliance, international operations, systems implementation, and program management. She has a proven history of building global programs, developing strategic relationships, meeting business goals, and enabling business growth. 

Amy joined Grainger in March of 2001. In her 20+ years of business and leadership experience, Amy has led global privacy, compliance and international expansion initiatives for the organization. Amy has also participated in cross-functional leadership activities such as the review of Grainger’s inclusion and diversity program and served in various roles on the Women’s Business Resource Group.  Prior to Grainger, Amy spent four years at Moore Business Forms (now R.R. Donnelly) in operational leadership roles. 

In addition to her responsibilities at Grainger, Amy is on the Board of Trustees of the Kohl Children’s Museum.  She’s also guest lectured at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and SCORE, which offers free advice to small businesses. 

Amy is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US).  She received a Master of Business Administration with a focus in Management Information Systems from DePaul University and a Bachelor’s in Business Logistics from The Pennsylvania State University. 

Eric Choy

Executive Director, Trade Remedy Law Enforcement at U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Eric Choy serves as the Executive Director for Trade Remedy and Law Enforcement at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, where he is responsible for threat assessment units, special investigations and enforcement programs focused on detecting, deterring, and disrupting illicit trade, with special emphasis on Forced Labor violations, evasion of special tariff cases, and civil penalties.

Previously, Eric was the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade at the Department of Homeland Security responsible for policies and initiatives that enable the flow of legitimate trade, services, capital, and technology across our Nation’s borders to protect the economy and assure a fair, competitive, and safe trade environment.

Prior to CBP, he led the Chemical Sector Specific Agency at the Department of Homeland Security. In this role, he oversaw the development and implementation of the sector’s partnership engagement strategy with regulatory stakeholders and industry partners as part of the national effort to strengthen the security and resilience of the nation’s Chemical industry.

Before his arrival at the Department, he served 23 years in the United States Army in numerous field and joint duty assignments in and outside of the Pentagon and around the world in Southwest Asia, Asia-Pacific, and North America.

Matt Varner

VP Trade & Customs at Aritzia

A cross-functional leader at heart, Mr. Varner has 20+ years of Fortune 500 experience in international trade and supply chain, compliance, operations and .com leadership.

He spent his formative career years with Tyco/Covidien/Medtronic in the Electronics and Healthcare verticals, supporting manufacturing and distribution organizations.  He partnered closely with legal and finance teams to conduct enterprise wide risk assessments and implement global import and export compliance programs.  He worked on acquisitions and divestitures, as well as strategic sourcing and tactical supplier management projects.

At Nike, Matt lead a direct team of 14 through organizational changes, government audits, and systems automation, achieving $150M+ in cost savings.  He partnered with regional and global leadership to develop and deploy multi-year strategic plans.  Matt spearheaded the start-up of Nike.com distribution operations in Southeast Asia, leading a cross-functional team, collaborating with P&L leaders to deliver $150M (FY17) in incremental annual revenues.  Matt drove site selection, vendor RFPs, pricing negotiations, and business process design all while keeping diverse stakeholders engaged in the success of the program.  He collaborated with business leaders on transition management, and facility ramp plans to realize a flawless, ahead of schedule go-live and significant scaling of the new business.

With TOMS Shoes, Matt took on Global Logistics and Product Compliance.  In 2018 Matt moved back into medical devices, with Fortive’s acquisition of Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP), leading their Global Trade Compliance organization reporting to the ASP General Counsel.

Matt’s combination of experience in non-profit, manufacturing, distribution and retail sectors, coupled with his functional leadership in operations, compliance, procurement and technology, uniquely positions him to deliver value.

Most recently Matt joined Aritzia as VP Trade and Customs and splits his time between the women’s apparel company’s HQ in Vancouver B.C. and home in Portland.  He is a Licensed Customs Broker and has lived and worked in over 25 countries.  He is comfortable conducting business in English and Spanish.  Matt is passionate about designing organizations, systems and business processes that deliver sustained outcomes.

Cynthia Whittenburg

Associate Director of the NCBFAA Educational Institute

Ms. Whittenburg is a committed champion of international trade education and training, currently serving as the Associate Director of the NCBFAA Educational Institute whose mission is to provide relevant content via multimedia platforms to equip our nation’s 21st century cross-border, trade-related workforce. She is a civil service and U.S. Army veteran helping American businesses design clear, legally compliant, and socially responsible cross-border international trade strategies. In her 10+ years as a Senior Executive and director, she oversaw a complex mission of facilitating lawful trade and exercising trade enforcement to ensure fair and competitive trade; and drove key enforcement strategies over priority trade areas, including Antidumping and Countervailing Duties, Intellectual Property Rights, Broker Compliance, Import Safety, Textiles, Trade Agreements, and Responsible Sourcing/Forced Labor. She led efforts to ensure that cargo processing/trade community stakeholders, participating Federal government agencies, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) were actively involved in the planning, development, deployment, and sustainment of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Single Window, while managing a highly diverse staff of CBP professionals in pursuing transformative trade policies that promoted economic security and growth for American businesses, along with ensuring only safe and legitimate products entered the U.S. commerce. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science/Business at Dillard University, holds master’s degrees in both Public Administration from Georgia Southern University, and Legal Studies in International Business Law from the University of Oklahoma. Ms. Whittenburg also completed the Senior Managers in Government course at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. As an active member of the Executive Women in Government, Ms. Whittenburg has served as the President of this organization whose objective is to advocate for the advancement of women in senior leadership positions in the Federal Government.

Rebecca Allen

Senior Manager at Deloitte Tax LLP

Rebecca is a Senior Manager with Deloitte’s Global Trade Advisory (GTA) practice. Rebecca serves multinational clients throughout the United States and leads projects within GTA’s import service offerings. Rebecca has been heavily involved in the creation of an artificial intelligence classification software solution. She leads GTA’s Operate Transformation offering helping large global enterprises reinvent their trade compliance functions to better manage trade compliance obligations while maintaining quality and reducing costs.


Rebecca has over 18 years of experience in international trade. She has significant experience managing cross-functional compliance activities with large global organizations. Prior to joining Deloitte, Rebecca was in charge of creating, implementing and managing the Global Trade Compliance organization for a global manufacturer of agricultural and construction equipment, trucks, commercial vehicles, buses and specialty vehicles, where she gained hands on experience related to foreign trade zones, classification, customs valuation, duty preference programs, system automation, prior disclosures, broker management, country of origin, export controls, export documentation, ruling requests and more. She successfully facilitated numerous audits with both US and Canadian Customs covering topics such as C-TPAT, foreign trade zones, and classification and also has experience designing, creating and implementing company-wide training programs, and numerous import and export compliance policies and procedures.

Cindy DeLeon

Founder & Sr. Trade Auditor at Deleon Trade LLC

Cindy DeLeon, Senior Trade Auditor. Cindy is founder of Deleon Trade LLC and Senior Trade Auditor. Cindy utilizes her audit experience to assist clients in strengthening internal control program to ensure U.S. Customs compliance and passing of focused assessments and customs audits. She works with clients to identify risks in import operations and develop compliance manuals and procedures. Cindy has prepared prior disclosure documentation and statistical samples using the same
EZ-Quant software used by U.S. Customs, prepared transaction value reconciliations covering multiple types of value adjustments, prepared cost submissions and computed value reconciliations, and conducted comprehensive special trade program reviews in response to U.S. Customs inquiries. Her technical expertise of the U.S. Customs audit process has helped clients achieve favorable audit results.Before starting her consulting career in 2007, Cindy served as a Senior Auditor and Assistant Field Director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Regulatory Audit Division in Chicago for 12 years. While working at U.S. Customs she conducted and supervised multiple focused assessment
audits, quick response audits, fraud investigations, free trade agreement reviews, drawback audits, NAFTA audits, and prior disclosure reviews of Fortune 500 and midsize companies. In addition, she designed and led the mentoring and recruiting programs for the Chicago field office and conducted advanced training sessions on technical audit issues and special trade program audits. In addition, she has successfully completed multiple advanced Customs training courses including: Advanced Focused Assessments, Advanced Value, Quick Response Audits, Evaluating Internal Controls (a COSO/SOX based approach), Management Leadership, Advanced Fraud, and Advanced Statistical Sampling.

Phil Poland

Founder at Poland Trade Law

Phillip Poland has two decades of experience in international trade and business law.

Prior to starting his own firm, Poland Trade Law, joining , Mr. Poland worked at LimNexus LLP, DHL Express and DHL Global Forwarding. At DHL, Mr. Poland oversaw export control compliance, import compliance, dangerous goods compliance, and regulatory affairs for North America and the Caribbean.

Mr. Poland was a member of the DPDHL Global Trade Law Practice Group which provided guidance to all Deutsche Post DHL business units globally on trade law issues. He oversaw internal auditing and investigated non-compliance matters, submitted disclosures, and mitigated penalties issued by U.S. and foreign government agencies. He also advised senior management on changes to relevant regulations and their impact to the business.

Earlier in his career Mr. Poland handled international contracts and trade law for two major U.S. defense contractors.

Mr. Poland is admitted to practice law in Missouri and is pending admission to the DC Bar. He practices under the direct supervision of a DC Bar member.

Tom Cook

CEO and Managing Director at Blue Tiger International

Tom was former CEO of American River International in New York and Apex Global Logistics Supply Chain Operation in Los Angeles.   Tom has over 30 years’ experience in assisting companies all over the world manage their import and export operations. 

He is a member of the NY District Export Council, sits on the board of numerous corporations and is considered a leader in the business verticals he works in.

He has now authored over 19 books on Global Trade and is in the middle of an eight book series, titled “The Global Warrior; Advancing on the Necessary Skill Sets to Compete Effectively in Global Trade”.


Tom is also the Director of the National Institute of world trade (niwt.org) a 30-year-old educational and training organization.

Michael Cerny

Chief Legal Officer at Charter Brokerage

Michael Cerny, an attorney, has more than 30 years of experience in customs and international trade, with extensive work in duty-drawback law and practice. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University at Albany, where he played varsity lacrosse for the Albany Great Danes. He earned his Juris Doctor from Albany Law School.

Mr. Cerny practices in the U.S. Court of International Trade and is a member of the Customs and International Trade Bar Association, the American Bar Association section of International Law and Practice, the New York State Bar Association, and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He is a member of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trade Support Network and was selected by CBP to serve as a TSN Trade Ambassador as well as a Trade Leadership Council member; further, he is the TSN Drawback Committee chair. In addition to his TSN roles, Mr. Cerny serves on the board of governors for the American Association of Exporters and Importers and is chair of the Drawback Committee for the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America and co-chair of AAEI’s Drawback and Duty Deferral Committee. He writes and speaks frequently on customs and trade issues, including duty drawback.

Dave Corn

Executive Vice President at Comstock & Theakston, Inc.

Mr. Corn was selected to take an active role for the trade in the Trade Support Network’s Drawback Working Group, leading efforts to write new regulations for drawback through the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 and to support the development and transition of drawback to the Automated Commercial Environment. David currently serves as the co-chair for AAEI’s Drawback and Duty Deferral Committee, as the vice chair for the NCBFAA’s Drawback Subcommittee, and he represents the New York/New Jersey region as a member of the board to the NCBFAA. In January 2022, Mr. Corn was appointed to the 16th term of the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC).
David actively discusses drawback with congressional representatives from NJ and NY, and the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. Mr. Corn is a frequent speaker on duty drawback in venues across the country each year.
David has a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University in Consumer Affairs and is both a Licensed Customs Broker and Certified Customs Specialist.

Brandon Morris

Branch Chief, Drawback & Revenue, Commercial Operations Revenue and Entry Division, Trade Policy & Procedures, Office of Trade at U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Thomas J. Kendrick

Assistant Center Director, Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Minerals Center at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Myles Getlan

Partner at Cassidy Levy Kent LLP

Myles Getlan’s practice focuses on international trade and investment disputes and import/export compliance and enforcement matters. Mr. Getlan has significant experience litigating antidumping, countervailing duty, and safeguard disputes before US and foreign administrative agencies, US courts, and dispute settlement panels convened under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other trade agreements. In both trade regulation and litigation, Mr. Getlan has represented multinational corporations and trade associations in a variety of industries, including agriculture, consumer products, metals, energy, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and wood products.

Mr. Getlan also advises clients in customs, export controls and economic sanctions matters. Mr. Getlan assists clients with the development and implementation of compliance programs, import and export audits, disclosures, and government investigations.

Mr. Getlan has been named to the U.S. roster of panelists for U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) disputes and serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law teaching International Trade Law & Regulation.

Before entering private practice, Mr. Getlan was an attorney in the Office of the Chief Counsel for Import Administration at the US Department of Commerce where he defended the agency’s determinations in unfair trade investigations before U.S. courts and WTO and NAFTA dispute panels, and directed the implementation of WTO decisions in the United States. Mr. Getlan also has experience working at the Office of the US Trade Representative and the Trade Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee, US House of Representatives.

Evelyn Suarez

Principal at The Suarez Firm

Evelyn Suarez advises companies engaged in international trade on customs, anti-corruption and trade policy matters. She has represented clients in all aspects of the supply chain including importers, customs brokers and transportation companies. She represents clients before all trade agencies, in litigation before the U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court and on legislative matters. She has led representation in high profile investigations, including the U.N. Volcker Committee and various U.S. Congressional investigations.   

Ms. Suarez spent her early professional career at the U.S. International Trade Commission where she worked on antidumping and countervailing duty as well as Section 337 investigations and U.S. Customs, where she worked in both legal offices.

Ms. Suarez is a frequent speaker on customs and international trade topics, including supply chain issues, tariff and trade policy and U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). She is a past President of the Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT) and serves on the Advisory Councils to George Washington University Center for International Business Education & Research and Georgetown University Law Center International Trade Update. She serves on the DC/ Virginia District Export Council.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Douglass College, Rutgers University and her Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a member of the DC Bar. She is proud to have received the Martindale-Hubbell Judicial AV Preeminent rating and is consistently listed in The Best Lawyers in America for International Trade and as a “Super Lawyer” in International Trade law in Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers magazine.

Joe Kramek

Director of U.S. Government Relations for the World Shipping Council

Joe was a U.S. Coast Guard commissioned officer for twenty-eight years, and most recently served as the Chief of Maritime, International and Environmental Law, as well as head of the Coast Guard’s Legislative Affairs program. 

Joe was selected as a Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution where, in 2013, he completed one of the first research projects on maritime cyber security. He was also detailed to the Department of Justice for two years as an Admiralty Trial Attorney and served four years at sea as a deck watch officer. 

Joe has been admitted to the bar in Florida and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is also a member of the Maritime Law Association and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Subcommittee for Autonomous vessels.

Joe holds a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (1993), a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law (2000), a Master of Laws in Environmental Law from the George Washington University School of Law (2012), and a Certificate of Public Leadership from Washington University’s Olin Business School at Brookings (2013).

Cathie Vick

Chief Development & Public Affairs Officer for the Virginia Port Authority (VPA)

Cathie J. Vick is the chief development and public affairs officer (CDPAO) for the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) where she oversees The Port of Virginia’s government relations, community outreach, development and transportation policy, sustainability, and maritime incident response.

Before accepting her role at the port, Cathie served as deputy director for energy policy in the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, where she helped to implement energy policy initiatives in the Commonwealth. She also worked as director of government relations for Virginia Natural Gas, where her responsibilities included advocacy to state, local, and federal officials, guiding the company’s civic and charitable sponsorships and donations, and managing its conservation programs.

Cathie takes an active role in political and civic life in the Commonwealth. She serves on various Boards, such as The Alliance, Optima Health, TowneBank Virginia Beach, Virginia Clean Cities, and Greater Norfolk Corporation, among others. Cathie was named as one of the region’s Top 40 under 40 in 2005, Top Women in Business in 2010, was awarded the Julian Hirst Alumni Leader Award by Lead Hampton Roads in 2014, received a VA Business Women in Leadership Award in 2022, and was named the WTS Woman of the Year in 2022.

Cathie has a law degree from Georgia State University College of Law, a master’s degree in business administration from the College of William and Mary, and a bachelor’s degree in political science and communications from James Madison University. She is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. Cathie is also a 2005 Fellow of the Sorenson Institute of Political Leadership, a 2009 graduate of LEAD Hampton Roads, a 2015 graduate of LEAD Virginia, and a 2019 graduate of AAPA’s PPM program.

Cary Davis

Vice President of Government Relations and General Counsel for the American Association of Port Authorities

Cary heads Government Relations and serves as General Counsel for the American Association of Port Authorities. He tells the story of seaports and their workers when the President and Congress make decisions on infrastructure, transportation, trade, and security.

Prior, Cary served in the Federal Government as a Presidential and Congressional appointee for international trade and security.

He has appeared in the New York Times, the BBC, Politico, and Bloomberg to discuss supply chains and economics. He has written and passed legislation on infrastructure for climate change and international trade. His work has been featured in The Drudge Report, CNN, Newsweek, Breitbart, and Zero Hedge.

Cary serves on the board of the Propeller Club of Washington, D.C. and was nominated CEO Update Lobbyist of the Year in 2021 for his work to address supply chain disruptions from the pandemic.

He received his J.D. and Masters from the University of Pennsylvania and his B.S. from Pitt, spending his early years in his beloved home state of Pennsylvania.

Cary also loves his family, golf, and his rescue pittbull, Maddie.

Doug Jacobson

Managing Partner at Jacobson Burton Kelley PLLC

Doug Jacobson has more than 25 years of experience representing U.S. and non-U.S. companies on a wide range of international trade-related issues. He serves as principal outside international trade counsel to a number of U.S. and non-U.S.-based multinational companies that import, export and produce a wide range of products, including oil and gas equipment, medical devices, electronic products, industrial, defense and aerospace products.

Prior to establishing Jacobson Burton Kelley PLLC, Doug practiced international trade law with several well-known law firms in Washington, DC.

With respect to export matters, Doug counsels clients on compliance with U.S. and multilateral regimes governing the export of dual-use items, software, technology, defense articles and humanitarian products. He assists companies in understanding and navigating the complex rules set forth in the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the various sanctions regulations administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Doug also represents companies in enforcement proceedings conducted by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS),  BIS’ Office of Antiboycott Compliance, the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and OFAC.

Doug served as the BIS and OFAC approved independent auditor in one of the largest criminal and civil export controls/sanctions enforcement cases brought by those agencies.

Doug also advises companies on the legal and regulatory aspects of importing goods into the U.S. He assists U.S. importers in performing internal customs audits and implementing and maintaining effective internal customs compliance programs. He represents clients before U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in focused assessment audits, NAFTA verifications, penalty investigations and enforcement actions as well as the U.S. Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission in trade remedy cases. Doug also advises companies regarding the U.S. regulations governing the classification, valuation and marking of imported products.

Doug also has extensive experience in advising and training companies on compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He also served as an expert witness on Incoterms in a high-profile patent litigation matter in U.S. Federal Court.

In addition, Doug has served as an expert witness on US sanctions laws and Incoterms® and sanctions matters in U.S. courts and international arbitrations.

Doug is the author of a number of articles on international trade compliance topics and is the editor and publisher of International Trade Law News, a Web-based compilation of news and information on export controls, sanctions and other international trade issues.

Doug is active in a number of international trade organizations and serves as general counsel to the National Council on International Trade Development and served as co-chair of the export committee of the American Association of Exporters and Importers.

Doug is active in a number of international trade organizations. He is currently general counsel to the National Council on International Trade Development (NCITD). He is a member of the American Association of Exporters and Importers’ Board of Governors (AAEI) and served as co-chair of AAEU’s export committee.

He is a frequent speaker on international trade matters. Doug serves on the faculty of Lawline, a leading provider of continuing education courses to attorneys, the Export Compliance Training Institute and the AWA Foreign Trade Academy in Germany. 

Doug is a Senior Advisor of the Trusted Trade Alliance, a global network of leading trade practitioners.

He is ranked by Chambers and Partners as a leading export controls and sanctions attorney in the United States.

Doug received a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin (1983), a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Washington University in St. Louis (1987), and a Juris Doctorate from the American University’s Washington College of Law (1990), where he was an editor of the American University Law Review.

He is a member of the District of Columbia and Maryland Bars and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Charles Wall

Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security

Erik Grossman

Senior Compliance Officer at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

Erik Grossman is a Senior Compliance Officer at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).  Erik is a member of OFAC’s Sanctions Compliance division,  which is responsible for implementing U.S. economic sanctions through outreach to public and private sector partners.  Erik routinely advises financial institutions and other organizations from around the world on OFAC sanctions compliance and implementation issues and regularly speaks at conferences and seminars about complying with OFAC sanctions.  Erik’s recent focus has been on non-governmental organizations, agricultural exports, precious metals and stones, construction materials, and Iran.  Erik previously served as Special Advisor to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, and as Senior Advisor to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes. 

Elizabeth Merritt

Senior Trade Advisor at A.N. Deringer

Elizabeth Merritt is a Senior Trade Advisor at A.N. Deringer, assisting importers with a variety of customs compliance and international trade issues including classification, country of origin, free trade agreements, trade remedies and AD/CVD. 

Before joining Deringer, Elizabeth served as Managing Director of Cargo at Airlines for America, a Washington D.C.-based trade association representing major North American airlines. While there, she co-chaired subcommittees of the Customs Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) and TSA’s Aviation Security Advisory Committee, and served as vice-chair of the International Air Transport Association’s Cargo Customs Working Group. Prior to that, she managed customs and immigration compliance at Delta Air Lines and served as a policy advisor at the American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow. She is a licensed customs broker and holds Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.

Gerry Horner

Chief, Trade Regulations Branch at U.S. Census Bureau

Gerry Horner has been employed with the U.S. Department of Commerce for over 33 years. He rejoined the Census Bureau in December 2018 where he is currently the Branch Chief of the Trade Regulations Branch, responsible for overseeing the formulation of the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR); ensuring that the FTR are consistent with Partnership Government Agencies Regulations and Statutes and the trade community’s business practices; contributing to the development of the Electronic Export Manifest; and managing the Census Bureau Voluntary Self Disclosure program.

Prior to rejoining the Census Bureau, Mr. Horner spent seven months in private industry, working as the Director of Training and Onboarding for OCR services, a trade-compliance software provider.

Between 2006 and 2018, Mr. Horner was a Senior Analyst and Director of the Office of Technology Evaluation for the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). He transformed BIS’s data mining efforts, deployed the Consolidated Screening List and BIS license decrementation program, and assisted in the rewrite of the export clearance, destination control statement, and shipping tolerance regulations. Mr. Horner liaised with the Census Bureau and U.S. Customs and Border Protection on all matters pertaining to the Automated Export System (AES) while coordinating the authorization of BIS’s access to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) single window portal.

Mr. Horner began his career at the Census Bureau in 1989, where he worked until 2006. In those 17 years, he was a major player in the multi-agency team that developed and implemented AES and AESDirect; formulated the AES outreach program; established the AES customer service call center; launched the AES compliance review programs; and contributed to the FTR rewrite addressing AES requirements.

Mr. Horner has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master’s certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.

Matthew Zehner

Vice President at Roanoke Insurance Group Inc.

Mr. Matthew Zehner is Vice President of Surety Information and
Analysis at Roanoke Insurance Group Inc. He represents Roanoke in
matters before U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Federal
Maritime Commission (FMC), and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration (FMCSA) – especially for those issues that involve
regulatory and technology matters. His responsibilities also require
external and internal communications regarding important statutory,
regulatory, and operational changes of CBP, the FMC, the FMCSA, and key
judicial actions. Mr. Zehner is a member the Trade Support Network, is
active with several import/logistics-focused trade associations and is
the President of the International Trade Surety Association (ITSA).

Mr. Zehner has presented or co-presented CBP and customs bond-related
topics to a diverse group of audiences. His presentations range from
discussing the nuances of antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD)
to hundreds of Canadian lumber exporters, to explaining the “24-Hour
Rule” before hundreds of non-U.S. freight forwarder representatives at a
International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association World
Congress, to reinforcing the risks and troubles of AD/CVD bonding with
many local customs broker associations throughout the United States. Mr.
Zehner continually gives in-house training webinars and updates to his
co-workers. In conjunction with ITSA, he has been part of presentations
before the Assistant Commissioner of CBP and congressional staffers
explaining customs bonds and the surety industry’s role.

JD Gonzalez

Licensed Customs Broker at JD Gonzalez C.H.B.

Jose D. Gonzalez is a licensed U.S. customs broker who has operated a customs house brokerage business under the same name since 1994. He currently serves as President of the NCBFAA which represents over 1,150 member firms. He was previously appointed to the 15th term of CBP COAC. Mr. Gonzalez was Executive Chairman of the LLUSCBA, president of the Laredo Customs Brokers Association in 2010-2011 which represents one of the largest concentrations of customs brokers in the nation who works closely with CBP and was also reappointed for the 16th Term COAC.

Mr. Gonzalez has been actively involved in the international trade industry on a consistent basis for 28 years and has held various positions in the import and export operations, consulting, and compliance and continues to be involved in many trade and civic related entities. Mr. Gonzalez proudly served in the United States Navy from 1982 until he was honorably discharged in 1992. In addition, during his enlistment he continued his education and graduated in 1992 from National University in San Diego Ca, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Accounting.

James Min

Partner at LimNexus LLP

James Min has over two decades of extensive and practical experience advising clients on international trade and business law. Prior to LimNexus, Mr. Min served as the global chair of international trade law for Deutsche Post DHL that serves every country in the world including North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Syria. Previously, he was a senior trade attorney for FedEx Express where he assisted the company’s entry into markets such as Libya, Vietnam, China, Russia and Kazakhstan by utilizing international trade laws. He also served as a private sector trade advisor to the U.S. Government during the Bush Administration. Earlier in his career, Mr. Min served as a trade attorney for the U.S. Department of Treasury, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Mr. Min specializes in economic sanctions, export controls, customs, import regulations, free trade agreements, CFIUS, internal corporate compliance, internal investigations, and other cross border transactional and regulatory law. As counsel for multinational companies that conduct business around the world, Mr. Min has deep experience in advising clients with a practical and solution-focused approach even in difficult topics such as U.S. secondary sanctions and extraterritorial impact of U.S. export control laws. He also advises foreign investors and U.S. businesses in hi-tech sectors on CFIUS requirements, ICTS, as well as obtaining requisite licenses and approvals from U.S. trade authorities.

In addition, Mr. Min has led large national and international internal investigations for multinational companies dealing with customs, export controls, sanctions, and FCPA violations as well as filing voluntary disclosures and mitigation petitions for clients to reduce potential fines with government agencies. Mr. Min has formulated and developed internal compliance programs for U.S. and foreign companies in the areas of customs, export controls, economic sanctions, and anti-bribery laws as well as managing external government monitors resulting from settlement agreements with U.S. government agencies.

He has also previously advised the U.S., Lebanese, Russian, Ukrainian and Moldovan governments on international trade law as well as at the WCO, the United Nations, EU Commission, BAFA, Saudi Arabia, China, UAE, Russia, Singapore, Morocco, and elsewhere on export control, customs and sanctions law matters.

Julie Parks

Executive Director, Global Customs at Raytheon Technologies

Julie Parks is a trade strategist with over twenty-three years’ operations and compliance experience in the areas of import, export, valuation, classification, free trade, drawback, supply chain security, subsidiary integration, divestitures, ecommerce, and audit.  She has extensive knowledge of the other government requirements of the ITAR, EAR, EPA, DOT, ATF, and government contracting declaration requirements.  Her talent resides in drawing cross-functional teams together to design and implement sustainable solutions that meet both regulatory and speed-of-business needs, whilst modernizing government trade.     

Ms. Parks is involved in the shaping of many legislative, regulatory, and policy issues, including achieving US automated processing of licenses, and ultimately endeavors to secure streamlined trade for American businesses.  

She is the current chair-elect of the board of governors of the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI).  Through AAEI, she continues to be instrumental in creating the voice of Aerospace and Defense on Customs matters 

She recently completed a 7-year appointment to the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC), elected by the membership as a trade co-chair.  Additional COAC roles included the Export Subcommittee co-chair, a One US Government at the Border Subcommittee member, and the Trade Survey chair.  Previously, she also served as the vice-chair of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers’ Customs Committee.    

Todd Smith

Founder at KYG Trade

Todd R. Smith, LCB is Founder CEO of KYG Trade, the Know Your Goods Trade Attestation Platform and Marketplace™. The platform provides AI-powered global trade and forced labor compliance, collaboration, and workflow in one place.

Before forming KYG Trade, Todd was a partner and provided trade and customs consulting services to the Fortune 50 at Big 4 Accounting, Tax, and Advisory firms EY and KPMG. He has advised and presented several times at the WCO Technical Committee on Customs Valuation in Brussels, Belgium.

Todd also recently founded and serves as co-chairman of the OriginBX OASIS Open Project (OriginBX). OriginBX™ is a non-profit vendor-neutral open-source product attribute standards-setting initiative. Members of OriginBX consist of global brands, customs brokers, freight forwarders, trade technology providers, track and trace blockchain platforms, eCommerce platforms, customs authorities, and global trade policy-setting organizations, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Elizabeth Lomax

Founder and President of Lomax Associates, Inc.,

Elizabeth has over twenty five years of experience in the trade compliance field. She is the founder and president of Lomax Associates, Inc., a boutique trade consulting practice focusing on the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Elizabeth’s other experience includes the position of Head of Global Trade Compliance for Novartis Pharma AG in Basel, Switzerland. Prior to the global role, Elizabeth was responsible for trade compliance for Novartis’ U.S. pharmaceuticals business located in New Jersey. Elizabeth also worked in the customs and trade compliance group at Ernst & Young in New York and in the international trade practice of the law firm of Katten Muchin Zavis in Chicago. She began her career in trade in international purchasing at the V. Mueller division of Baxter Healthcare in Chicago.

Elizabeth is a licensed customs broker and holds a Certificate of Purchasing and Inventory Management (CPIM) from APICS. She holds a B.A. in International Studies and German from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

John Verbeten

Director, Division of Import Operations at U.S. Food & Drug Administration

John Verbeten is the Deputy Director for Import Operations Enforcement within the Office of Enforcement and Import Operations. He provides leadership and direction for FDA’s national Import Program and is responsible for all aspects of investigations and compliance activities. Mr. Verbeten oversees a staff of more than 600 FDA investigators, inspectors, compliance officers, technical and support staff, and managers.

Throughout his 33 years with the FDA, John has specialized in import operations. He spent his first 14 years in FDA field offices in Dallas District and Chicago District, primarily as an import investigator, and was named FDA’s Inspector of the Year in 2000. John has been a member of the national instructor cadre responsible for training employees on import law and FDA import procedures since 2001.

As a staff member, manager, and ultimately director of the Division of Import Operations, Mr. Verbeten has long provided leadership, instruction, and support for all aspects of FDA’s import operations, including investigation and enforcement activities, interagency collaboration, IT systems development, and management of FDA’s Import Alert program.

John became Deputy Director for Import Operations Enforcement in April 2021.

Laura Rabinowitz

Shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Laura Siegel Rabinowitz counsels domestic and multinational businesses on complex supply chain issues and other complicated challenges associated with trade, advising on mitigation of duty exposure and compliance. Laura has deep experience handling international trade projects for multinational importers, exporters, manufacturers, retailers, customs brokers, and freight forwarders in industries such as renewable energy, steel, apparel, consumer products and industrial equipment among others.

Laura advises on supply chain strategies including the enforcement of forced-labor and the mitigation of tariffs on Chinese-made products, steel and aluminum. She helps clients navigate the maze of regulations, customs, and other government agency scrutiny, as well as the broad array of commercial and enforcement laws and policies administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, including trade compliance and audit programs, and duty savings initiatives such as free trade agreements and the use of “first sale.” Laura’s practice also includes advising on the enforcement of antidumping and countervailing duties.

Laura’s depth of knowledge regarding global customs law extends to audits, marking, penalty defense, valuation, tariff classification, entry procedures, and antiterrorism initiatives. She advises on other import requirements administered by federal agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Environmental Protection Agency, and requirements involving the health and safety of imported goods.

Prior to entering private practice, Laura served as an attorney with U.S. Customs’ Office of the Assistant Chief Counsel, representing Customs in litigation in the Court of International Trade.

Jerry Cook

Vice President, Government and Trade Relations at Hanesbrands Inc.

Jerry Cook is vice president of Government and Trade Relations for Hanesbrands Inc. Hanesbrands Inc.’s leading brands include Hanes, Hanes Her Way, Bali, Champion, Bonds, L’eggs, Playtex, Maidenform, Bonds and Gear For Sport with sales of +$6 billion annually.
Cook joined Hanesbrands Inc. in 1987 and managed various engineering functions and strategic planning roles.

In his current strategic role as VP of Government and Trade Relations, Cook overseas the various trade, government, global trade relations, strategic risk and DHS/Customs programs.

Hanesbrands Inc. operates several operations globally, with emphasis in the USA, North America, Central America, Australia, Caribbean, Asia, Europe and Mid-East.

Cook is currently serving on the NC Ports Authority. Cook served as an Advisor and Board member in several key areas: Department of Commerce ITAC-13 Advisor for textile and apparel related products as well as ITAC-14 Customs, USDA Cotton Board, US Treasury Advisory Committee for Customs Commercial Operations (COAC), TSN and a member and founding/charter member with CTPAT. Cook is a licensed US Customs Broker.

Cook is intimately involved in the trade related agreements, Customs facilitation/operations and the development of key strategic relations with the US Administration, US Congress, WCO (World Customs Organization), WTO (World Trade Organization) and Foreign Markets. Cook is the Hanesbrands customs account manager and oversees the Hanesbrands DHS and CBP related programs including the Center of Excellences and CTPAT.

Cook is a Board member to key trade, business, and economic groups. He currently serves on the Board for the National Foreign Trade Council, TRIP (National Transportation Research Council) and member of the US-ASEAN President’s Council. Cook previous in multiple industry roles as an active Board member to USCIB (US Chamber of International Business), Chair of USCIB Custom’s Committee, ASEAN Board, NCTO (National Council of Textile Organizations, and NC Chamber of Commerce.

Through Cook’s various roles, Cook provides key strategic guidance to facilitate the growth of commerce, rule of law and better international relations that create better opportunities for Hanes and others to exceed in multiple international markets.

Jerry is married, two daughters, two son-in-laws, two grandsons and a graduate of Auburn University. Cook resides in Winston-Salem, NC.

Rich DiNucci

Senior International Trade Advisor at Venable LLP

Richard DiNucci is an adept leader and skilled strategist who leverages his experience with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to advise clients on issues related to international trade and customs. Richard most recently served as director of field operations in San Francisco, where he managed operations in six states and two U.S. territories carried out by more than 1,700 employees. He previously served as the area port director for both San Francisco and Newark/New York, overseeing immigration and cargo operations at the associated airports and seaports.

Richard played an integral role in the creation of pivotal CBP policies and programs. As the deputy assistant commissioner in the Office of International Trade, he initiated the formation of the Centers of Excellence and Expertise and managed CBP’s post-entry compliance programs, audits, and broker compliance efforts. Earlier in his tenure, he was appointed director of border targeting and security. In this role, he oversaw CBP’s Automated Targeting System and initiated the Importer Security Filing (ISF) requirement designed to refine CBP’s cargo security efforts. He led the ISF effort from its inception as a proposed rule to its final implementation as a full-fledged operational program. In 2008, Richard was named director of the Secure Freight Initiative (SFI), overseeing the Safe Port Act requirement for the scanning of all cargo containers bound for the United States. He oversaw operations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Central America.

In the early stages of his career, Richard was assigned to the U.S. Customs Headquarters Office of International Affairs, where he served as a program manager overseeing customs cooperative work at the Customs Cooperation Council (now the World Customs Organization) in Brussels. Richard worked on commercial cargo issues and customs enforcement matters in Brussels and was the original U.S. representative presenting the first draft of the revised Kyoto Convention on Customs Clearance Procedures.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Richard was assigned to the original team that created the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program, a voluntary security program focused on improving the security of private companies’ supply chains. In addition to working on the first security criteria for C-TPAT partners, he drafted and secured Office of Personnel Management (OPM) approval of the original position description for the supply chain specialist, a position that is the cornerstone of C-TPAT.

Brandon Lord

Executive Director, Trade Policy and Programs at U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Mr. Lord serves as the Executive Director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Trade Policy and Programs directorate and is responsible for policy, enforcement priorities, and stakeholder outreach related to CBP’s Priority Trade Issues. He also oversees CBP’s 21st Century Customs Framework initiative and two ongoing pilots the Section 321 Data Pilot and the Entry Type 86 test that cover de minimis/e-Commerce shipments. Mr. Lord also directs teams responsible for the implementation, enforcement, and stakeholder communications related to Section 201, 232, and 301 trade remedies.

Mr. Lord has been working for CBP for over ten years. His experience includes providing technical trade advice and guidance as well as conducting data analyses to identify risk areas in global supply networks. Since 2011, he has held a variety of roles within CBP’s trade enforcement mission where he has designed national enforcement operations to combat trade evasion schemes. He also serves as a leading voice within CBP on risk management and is regularly consulted regarding import targeting strategies and potential data system enhancements to better identify risk.

Jason Kenner

Member at Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.

JASON M. KENNER is a Member of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg and leads the firm’s Litigation Practice. He oversees the firm’s efforts to secure favorable results for clients in court proceedings involving the full range of customs and trade issues. Mr. Kenner is located in New York. 

Prior to joining ST&R, Mr. Kenner served as a trial attorney and then senior trial counsel for the International Trade Field Office in the Justice Department’s Civil Division. He was responsible for all aspects of litigation in customs-related matters including classification, valuation, drawback, and country of origin. Additionally, over the last several years of his nearly 15-year career at DOJ, he worked extensively with the Department’s Trade Fraud Task Force on customs penalty related matters. 

Mr. Kenner began his legal career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel with the New York City Law Department defending the City of New York in civil lawsuits. As an ACC, Mr. Kenner litigated extensively and achieved many favorable resolutions including defense verdicts and settlements. 

Mr. Kenner holds a J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude, and a B.A. in public justice from Oswego State University. He has been admitted to the bar in New York state, the Court of International Trade, the Central District of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Heidi Woods

Americas Trade Director at Medtronic

Heidi Woods has over ten years of experience in the trade compliance field. She is currently the Americas Trade Operations Director at Medtronic, the world’s largest medical device company. Heidi oversees import/export activities in Canada, US, and 10 countries within Latin American. Heidi is a co-chair on the AAEI Healthcare Industries Committee and has been actively involved in HIC for the past 7 years. Prior to Medtronic, Heidi worked for Target Corporation, leader of the apparel and footwear HS classification team, followed by a year on the Target First Sale Team. She is a passionate about team building, working on cross-functional, international projects, and identifying efficiency opportunities and solutions.

Heidi is a licensed customs broker, Green Belt Lean Sigma certified, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree, majoring in International Business and German from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN.

Lisa Schroeter

Global Director of Trade and Investment Policy for The Dow Chemical Company

Lisa Schroeter is the Global Director of Trade and Investment Policy for Dow. As a member of the corporate Global Government Affairs Leadership Team, Lisa’s responsibilities focus on trade policy, negotiations, and investment issues that foster growth in Dow’s global businesses. Responsibilities of the role include developing corporate advocacy strategies, from tariff reduction to regulatory simplification; from export controls and sanctions to IP protection and to promote growth of environmental markets and diverse, inclusive workforces.

Within the global chemical industry association (ICCA), she leads the ICCA Trade Policy Network, as well as the Global Regulatory Cooperation (GRC) task force.

Before joining Dow, Lisa was the Executive Director of the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD). TABD was a unique trade facilitation process by which American and European CEOs worked with the U.S. Administration and the European Commission to implement practical, detailed recommendations. Ms. Schroeter joined TABD in 1999 and managed the process on behalf of 4 successive CEO chairs including the Boeing Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, United Technologies Corporation and Xerox.

Lisa is currently Chair of the WIIT (Women in International Trade) Trust, driving the Trust scholarship program and a women’s empowerment and skills sharing outreach to local universities. Previously, Lisa served as WIIT President from 2018-2019. In addition, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); the GWU Institute of International Economics (IIE) and a Board member of the Washington International Trade Association (WITA). She recently and successfully completed the Georgetown University Qiyadat Women’s Leadership program.
In 2022, Lisa was honored with the WIIT Lifetime Achievement Award, and previously in 2018, received the WITA Lighthouse Award on behalf of WIIT DC.
As a long-term DC resident, Lisa serves on the Board Member of Cultural Tourism DC, celebrating the unique heritage and history of Americas capital city. She graduated from the George Washington University, Eliot School of International Affairs, and studied abroad in Paris and Brussels.

Patrick J. Togni

Partner at King & Spalding LLP

Patrick Togni is a partner in the firm’s International Trade practice. He represents clients in customs and import compliance matters, including civil and criminal investigations, audits, rulings, prior disclosures, protests, and admissibility issues relating to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”).  Patrick has extensive experience in trade remedy proceedings and related appeals.  Patrick also has worked with clients on a variety of projects in connection with international trade policy, including China tariffs (Section 301) and Miscellaneous Tariff Bill legislation.  Patrick also has represented clients in legislative and policy matters relating to unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAV”)/drones. Patrick is resident in both the Washington, D.C. and Charlotte offices.

Tom Gould

Vice President of Customs and Trade Advisory at Flexport

Tom Gould currently serves as the Vice President of Global Customs and Trade at Flexport, where he has worked since 2019. As Vice President of Global Customs, Tom leads a team of global trade experts and licensed customs brokers to build sophisticated, data-driven service offerings for Flexport’s client base. With the belief that trade chaos breeds opportunities for savings, Tom has spent the past 25 years in trade advisory, helping clients save millions through duty saving and deferment strategies, origin engineering, classification services, and more.

Tom uses his skills as a licensed customs broker and experienced consultant to advise clients, provide training and speak to audiences throughout the industry on all manner of U.S. Customs and trade compliance issues – including reasonable care, classification, valuation, supply chain security, free trade agreements, and tariff engineering.
Prior to working at Flexport, Tom served as Senior Director, Customs and International Trade, for Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. In 2022, Tom was appointed by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to serve on the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) to advise the Secretaries of Treasury and DHS on the commercial operations of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and related DHS and Treasury functions. Tom currently serves as co-chair of the COAC Next Generation Facilitation Subcommittee and the ACE 2.0 and Bond Working Groups.

Mukesh Mahajan

Senior Director at ArchLynk

Mukesh Mahajan is a Senior Director at ArchLynk & a thought leader in the field of Global Trade & Supply chain with extensive experience in consulting globally. He has been leading global teams in Implementations & helping multinational companies in their Journey for the supply chain & global trade transformation. He has successfully led multiple global implementation technology projects at fortune 500 companies.

He worked at one of the Big 4 accounting firm, Ernst & Young (EY) in New York in their Global Trade practice & helped various companies in their Trade technology transformation.

He has been a widely recognized speaker at conference like ICPA, SAP Sapphire, SAP Insider, ASUG speaking on various topics on Global Trade and upcoming innovations in the market including the Artificial Intelligence.

Kim Strosnider

Partner at Covington & Burling LLP

Co-chair of the firm’s International Trade Controls practice group, Kim Strosnider advises companies on the application of international trade controls, including export controls, economic sanctions, and antiboycott laws and regulations.

Kim counsels clients across a range of industries on trade control matters, including resolving complex compliance, enforcement, licensing, and jurisdiction/classification issues. She regularly advocates for clients before the key trade controls agencies, including the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury.

Kim has led numerous internal investigations for clients on trade controls matters, and has helped companies design and implement compliance programs. She also frequently advises on trade control issues in mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures.

Among the areas in which Kim counsels clients are compliance with the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), economic sanctions programs administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and antiboycott programs administered by the Commerce and Treasury Departments. She also advises on compliance with ATF regulations.

Kim also has represented clients in state and federal court litigation and before arbitration panels.

Karen Wyman

Senior Manager, Trade Compliance Division Lead at Teledyne FLIR LLC

Currently at Teledyne FLIR, Karen is the Division GTC lead (and Empowered Official) for the Solutions (US) business, overseeing all of its Global Trade Compliance (GTC) activities. Her previous position at FLIR was as Senior Manager of Licensing for the Surveillance business, helping FLIR complete its requirements to exit the Consent Agreement. She is the lead for all activities related to LO/CLO and FMS.

Prior to FLIR, Karen spent ten years at Elbit Systems of America, most recently as head of all US licensing. She also sat on the BIS SITAC committee for six years, being part of the team that worked with BIS, DDTC and DTSA on the Category XII rewrite for ECR.

Karen is currently on the Board for the National Association of District Export Councils (NADEC), having been elected to the Executive Committee as Secretary this year. Joining the Board in 2017, she is one of the two Northeast Representatives to the Board, as a member and past chair of the Granite State District Export Council.

Her aim: to help business at the intersection of Economic Security and National Security.

Vanessa Sciarra

VP, Trade & International Competitiveness at the American Clean Power Association (ACP)

Vanessa Sciarra is Vice President for Trade and International Competitiveness at the American Clean Power Association (ACP), where she leads work on all aspects of trade policy as it affects the renewable energy industry. Prior to joining ACP, she worked at the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and at the Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT), where her work involved advocating for trade and international investment issues for companies in many sectors of the economy. In addition to her trade association work, she has served as a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice and as an Assistant General Counsel with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). A member of the District of Columbia Bar, she also has had a significant career in private practice representing clients in international trade matters at two law firms. She currently serves as President of the Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT), based in Washington, DC, which works to promote the professional development of women in international trade and business and to raise public awareness of the importance of international trade. She holds her B.A. and J.D. from Yale and her M.Sc. from the London School of Economics.

Charles Capito

Partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP

Charles Capito is a partner in both Morrison Foerster’s National Security and Government Contracts + Public Procurement practices.

In the National Security space, he has significant experience counseling clients on the complex and evolving considerations related to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Charles frequently helps investors and U.S. businesses through every aspect of the CFIUS process, from understanding and allocating CFIUS risk on the front end, to presenting cases before the Committee, to negotiating appropriate mitigation measures, and ultimately to implementing and complying with mitigation agreements after the fact. Charles’ experience includes securing clearances for some of the largest and most sensitive cases reviewed by CFIUS, as well as dozens of more discreet transactions and investments.

Charles regularly advises clients on critical regulatory regimes in the national security space. Whether in the context of specific transactions or day-to-day counseling, clients rely on Charles to help them comply with and operate under U.S. export controls, in particular, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR). These regimes, especially the EAR, are undergoing noteworthy and complex changes, and now play key roles in other legal regimes like CFIUS. In addition, government contractors with access to classified information and their investors go to Charles to understand their obligations under the National Industrial Security Program (NISP) and, in particular, the sensitive issues presented by foreign ownership, control, or influence (FOCI) in this space.

Companies operating in today’s national security space are wise to take a holistic view of the legal environment incorporating not only their legal obligations today, but also the wider geopolitical landscape to plan for the future. Charles speaks and writes regularly on these and other topics in the national security space, and has been recognized by legal publications like Chambers USA and Best Lawyers for his expertise in these areas.

Charles is also a seasoned Government Contracts practitioner, assisting government contractors with a wide variety of compliance and litigation issues. This includes the numerous national security issues government contractors face when they are subject to FOCI, manufacture or export defense articles under the ITAR or sensitive dual-use technology under EAR, or are required to understand and comply with recent compliance regimes like Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. Charles also has years of experience on pre- and post-award bid protests before the Government Accountability Office and the Court of Federal Claims, and contracts claims and disputes before the boards of contract appeals, and other judicial and administrative tribunals. Additionally, he counsels clients on prime- and subcontractor disputes, small business issues, compliance with federal procurement regulations, and government contracts mergers and acquisitions.

Charles graduated from Washington & Lee University School of Law, where he served as senior articles editor of the Washington & Lee Law Review. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University.

Alexandra Whittaker

Chief Trade Counsel and Trade Staff Director to the Democratic Members of the House Committee on Ways and Mean

Alexandra Whittaker is Chief Trade Counsel and Trade Staff Director to the Democratic Members of the Committee on Ways and Means. She previously served two years on the Committee as Trade Counsel.

Before joining the Committee staff, Alexandra was Assistant General Counsel for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) with responsibility for providing legal counsel and policy guidance on a wide variety of international trade matters, as well as litigating trade remedies and agricultural disputes before the WTO. During her time at USTR, Alexandra also served as Assistant Legal Advisor to the U.S. Mission to the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland, where she was a U.S. negotiator for the WTO dispute settlement reform negotiations and represented the United States in all disputes and dispute-related matters before the WTO.

Alexandra previously worked as an environmental attorney for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and counsel for a trade association. She is currently a lecturer at Columbia Law School.

Alexandra is a proud graduate of Spelman College and Howard University School of Law.

Amy Wert

International Trade Compliance Manager at McCormick & Co., Inc.

Amy Wert is an International Trade professional with over 20 years expertise at McCormick & Company, Inc in import and export compliance. Her current role includes responsibilities for preference programs, valuation, HTS classification, CTPAT, SAP-GTS, government programs and trade policy for the Americas region. Ms. Wert has an undergraduate degree in Spanish and Russian from Muhlenberg College and a graduate degree in International Commerce & Policy from George Mason University. She holds a U.S. Customs Broker license. Ms. Wert lives in Towson, Maryland, with her family. When not working, she is an avid traveler and enjoys culinary adventures.

April Snyder Bolden

Manger - Government and Regulatory Affairs at IBM

April Snyder-Bolden joined IBM’s Export Regulation Office in 2010. She is focused on IBM’s compliance with U.S. export regulations with an emphasis on end user/end use controls, engagements in Asia Pacific, technology transfers within IBM development organizations, and classification of hardware and software. In addition, she conducts internal reviews of IBM’s export programs implemented around the world.

April has a master’s degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University.

David Garcia

Outbound Program Manager, Outbound Enforcement and Policy, Cargo Security and Control Division, Office of Field Operations at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Dennis Krepp

Export Controls Trade Manager at Caterpillar Inc.

Dennis is the Export Controls Trade Manager within the Trade Center of Excellence at Caterpillar Inc. He joined Caterpillar in November 2019 and has responsibility for export policy, licensing and classifications, as well as restricted party screening and sanctions compliance. Prior to joining Caterpillar he was the Division Director for the Sensors & Aerospace Division (S&AD) within the Office of National Security and Technology Transfer Controls, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Export Administration. Dennis is a retired U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Engineer and while on active duty he also spent four years at the Department of State as a political-military advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation on space and missile proliferation issues and was the Head of the U.S. delegation to the multinational Missile Technology Control Regime Technical Experts Meetings.

Brett Bruen

President at the Global Situation Room

Brett Bruen is president of the Global Situation Room and a former U.S. diplomat.

Brett uses sophisticated strategic communications strategies to influence the course of crisis and change. As Director of Global Engagement at the White House, he built President Obama’s legacy international initiatives and his counter-crisis management strategies were successfully used against Russian propaganda. As an American diplomat, he worked on the frontlines of crises in Ivory Coast, Venezuela, Iraq, and Madagascar.

Now, Brett helps clients survive and thrive amidst the regularity of today’s risks. He teaches crisis communications at Georgetown University and serves on boards at Harvard and University College Dublin. As a columnist at Business Insider and daily commentator in major media outlets, he is an influential voice on global issues. Brett speaks fluent Spanish and French.

Wes Sudduth

Counsel at Venable LLP

Wes Sudduth assists clients primarily with issues related to international trade and customs, including cross-border regulatory compliance, import and export controls, customs, and transportation. Wes has assisted on matters before several regulatory authorities, such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the International Trade Commission (ITC), Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

While attending law school, Wes was a judicial intern for the Honorable Judge Marian Blank Horn of the United States Court of Federal Claims. Prior to attending law school, he served as a paralegal at a Washington, DC law firm.

Wes earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, his master’s degree from the University of Virginia, and his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Amy Wert

International Trade Compliance Manager at McCormick & Co., Inc.

Amy Wert is an International Trade professional with over 20 years expertise at McCormick & Company, Inc in import and export compliance. Her current role includes responsibilities for preference programs, valuation, HTS classification, CTPAT, SAP-GTS, government programs and trade policy for the Americas region.

Ms. Wert has an undergraduate degree in Spanish and Russian from Muhlenberg College and a graduate degree in International Commerce & Policy from George Mason University. She holds a U.S. Customs Broker license.

Ms. Wert lives in Towson, Maryland, with her family. When not working, she is an avid traveler and enjoys culinary adventures.

Hardy Boeckle

Head of the Economic, Trade, and Finance Department at the Embassy of Germany

Dr. Hardy Boeckle has been the Head of the Economic, Trade, and Finance Department at the German Embassy since July 2021. Before arriving in Washington, Dr. Boeckle was responsible for relations with the southern E.U. member states at the German Foreign Office in Berlin. From 2014 to 2017, he served as press spokesperson of Germany‘s Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels, and before that Dr. Boeckle was head of the cultural and education department at the German Embassy in Beijing. He has also led the division for coordination of German Government European policy at the Federal Chancellery and held postings in Berlin, Paris, and Brussels with responsibility for European policy issues, as well as questions regarding European economic and fiscal policy and the European single market. Dr. Boeckle holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Cologne. Directly following his studies, he worked at the Institute of Economic Research in Cologne.

Robert Morris

Vice President Compliance and Business Development at Daniel B. Hastings, Inc.

Robert Morris Jr. is a licensed US customs broker currently employed as the Vice President of Compliance and Business Development for Daniel B. Hastings, Inc., a US Customs Brokerage company specializing in trade between the US and Mexico for over 84 years. Part of his responsibilities is to ensure that the company stays on the cutting edge of current trends in the Customs Brokerage and Warehousing industry. He oversees a staff of 9 Licensed US Customs Brokers, and his 28 years of experience include having taught Graduate Level classes in US Customs Brokerage in the MBA in International Trade & Logistics program at TAMIU in Laredo, Texas.

Mr. Morris has been actively involved with international trade with Mexico for his entire career. Nationally, for COAC, he was appointed to the ACE 2.0 Working Group and to the Cross-Border Recognition Working Group. Also nationally, for the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA), he serves as Area 8 Representative for the Customs Committee and he actively participates in both the 21st Century Customs Framework Committee and the Regulatory Affairs Committee. Regionally he serves as President for the local Customs Brokers Association (LLUSCBA) and as both Special Advisor and Transportation Committee Chair for the Laredo Economic Development Corporation (LEDC).