Conference Speakers


Dina M. Amato
Center Director, Miami Field Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

 

Dina M. Amato

As the Center Director (CD), Dina Amato is responsible for all aspects of Center management including ensuring that the Center develops and maintains its industry expertise and provides assistance related to financial matters, commodity issues, industry analysis, industry accounts, enforcement actions, paralegal activities and account management. She ensures her personnel use of effective commercial targeting, coordinates with international partners and other agencies, partners with the importing community and trade associations and uses risk-based approaches to identify and address trade issues, and uses all legal tools and authorities available to CBP. Amato previously served as the Assistant Port Director, Trade Operations, at Miami International Airport (MIA) from 2009 until May, 2016 where she provided oversight to Air Cargo, Import Specialist Operations, Entry Specialist Operations, as well as the Foreign Mail Center/Couriers. Prior to her selection as the Assistant Port Director, she served as a Program Manager at the Miami Field Office from December 2006 to May 2007. In this position, she oversaw cargo operations throughout southern Florida, including the ports of Miami, Port Everglades, West Palm Beach, and Key West. Amato has 23 years of federal service. She is a graduate of the Customs and Border Protection Leadership Institute Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. and has a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Management from FIU.


Eric Andrews
President, EMO 24 LLC and Program Chair, Air Cargo and SeaCargo International Congress

 

Eric Andrews

Eric Andrews is President of EMO 24 LLC a trade and logistics consultancy firm. He began his commercial aviation career with Pan American World Airways in 1969. Over the past 40 years has held executive positions in administration, government affairs, industry affairs, sales, marketing, operations and planning with LAN Chile, Fast Air, Virgin Atlantic, Challenge Air Cargo, Tampa Airlines, Martin Aviation Group and Mission Cargo Management. He is one of the founders, past president and trustee of the Florida Foreign Trade Association as well as recipient of its Pioneer Award in 2002. He has served as director of the North America Federation of Airline General Sales Agents (FEDAGSA), has been the program chairman of the World Trade Center Miami’s Air Cargo & SeaCargo International Congress since its beginning in 1991 and served as a member of The Beacon Council Foundation’s One Community One Goal Trade & Logistics Taskforce 2015-2016.


Antonio  Arce
Regional Corporate Affairs & Communications Head Novartis, Latin America and Canada and Representative, Latin America Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry (FIFARMA)

 

Antonio  Arce

Antonio Arce is currently responsible for the Regional Corporate Affairs and Communications strategies for Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Latin America and Canada. He oversees the corporate external engagement of the company with other economic, political and social agents that are active in driving better health outcomes. With 15 years of experience, he has worked with an extensive range of markets and cultures such as USA, the European Union, Singapore, Peru and most recently Mexico. Previous to his current role, he was the Corporate Affairs Head for Novartis Mexico. He joined Novartis in 2009 in the area of Supply Chain and Logistics for Latin America. Arce holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Marketing and Management Information Systems from Florida International University, and holds a certificate in International Trade and Logistics from California State University.


Robert Balaam
National Operations Manager – Exclusion and Imports, USDA APHIS PPQ FO

 

Robert Balaam

Bob Balaam is a National Operations Manager for the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine. He serves in the Exclusion and Imports Unit of the Agency’s Field Operations functional area and is primarily responsible for offshore pest targeting and mitigation in the Greater Caribbean Region. He strives to reduce the threat of plant pests on U.S. imports by focusing on mitigation of those pests at the point of origin. An entomologist by training, Balaam has over 47 years of experience working in regulatory plant protection for both Federal and State governments in the U.S. Prior to joining the USDA, he served the New Jersey Department of Agriculture for over 32 years. He also served as President of the National Plant Board and Executive Director of the Interstate Pest Control Compact. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Entomology from Rutgers University and a designation of Certified Public Manager, also from Rutgers University. He has received number of awards and citations from various local and national agricultural organizations.


Edgar Baldizon
Founder, Cabal Foods

 

Edgar Baldizon

Edgar Baldizon is Founder, Cabal Foods, LLC and Commercial Manager, Linea Vegetal S.A. The family has over 15 years of experience in fresh produce in Guatemala, Europe and United States within different segments of the refrigerated supply chain. The family company involves growers, packers and exporters with an extensive knowledge in logistics and the commercialization of the products to wholesalers and retailers. The constant challenge has been to make sure the cold chain provides the perfect conditions for products that are fresh and at the right temperature. Cabal Foods seeks new markets and alliancea with companies that offer good alternative logistics services that understand the importance of cold chain.


Christine Boldt
Executive Vice President, Association of Floral Importers of Florida (AFIF)

 

Christine Boldt

Christine Boldt joined the Association of Floral Importers of Florida (AFIF) in 2004 and is responsible for day-to-day operation of AFIF and implementation of its advocacy and regulatory compliance initiatives including collaboration with all government and Federal regulatory agencies. She is responsible for all the activities to ensure the efficient, cost effective and timely clearance of flowers and directs AFIF’s promotional, statistical and member programs. Prior joining AFIF, she worked for World Flowers Inc., in many capacities; was president of the Miami Floral Importers Credit Association (MFICA) and worked for AFIF with the first three planned trade shows from 1999 through 2002. She has received several award including the Florida Shipper Magazine Transportation Leader in 2007; the World Trade Center Miami’s International Women’s Day Award in 2008 and the CBP Exceptional Service Award in March 2009. She has been an active leader in Cub Scouts and Boy Scout Troop 457 since 2005 and has a Bachelor Degree in Accounting from Florida State University.


Patricia Compres
CEO, Advance Customs & Consulting LLC

 

Patricia Compres

Pat Compres founded Advance Customs Brokers & Consulting LLC in 2013, a firm dedicated to clearing produce through US Customs, USDA and FDA nationwide. The firm also provides consulting services for C-TPAT, ISA and other government programs. She also advices customers on importing process, structuring commercial transactions, advocate and troubleshoot for them on issues that affect their imports. She commenced her career in the produce industry in 1986, when she founded C &C Trading Company, which imported produce from the Caribbean. In 1989, she founded Customized Brokers Inc., a U.S. Customs Brokerage dedicated to clearing fresh fruits and vegetables which she later sold to Crowley Maritime. Throughout her career, she has lobbied Washington on behalf of produce importers and she has also changed the way the clearing process is approached by the U.S. Customs brokerage industry. Compres is the USDA Committee Chair for the Florida Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association, and CBP User Fee Advisory Committee. She has also served as a member of the Board of Director for the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Global Committee.


Linda Cullen
Assistant Port Director, Agriculture Operations, Miami International Airport

 

Linda Cullen

Linda Cullen has served at Miami International Airport since August 2014. She directs, leads and provides oversight to Agriculture Air Cargo Branch, Agriculture Passenger Operations as well as Foreign Mail Center/Couriers Agriculture Operations. Her responsibilities include passenger and aircraft inspections, cargo inspections, foreign mail and express consignment inspections, Agriculture Canine, Agriculture Targeting Unit and the authorization of Compliance Agreements for handling regulated garbage. She currently manages a workforce of approximately 214 employees. Prior to this, she was an Agriculture Specialist Branch Chief responsible of Agriculture Air Cargo OperationsMs. Cullen began her career with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She later transferred to Miami, Florida worked at the Miami Seaport as a first line supervisor and then became a Supervisory Customs and Border Protection Officer responsible of the Trade Enforcement Team. In 2005, she served as an Operations Specialist, Trade Operations at the Miami Field Office. Additionally, she worked with USDA-APHIS-PPQ; International Services (IS) in several temporary assignments in Chile, Costa Rica and Guatemala supervising USDA pre-clearance programs. Cullen has 32 years of government service and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR).


Rodrigo De Narváez
Director, Business Development, 21 Air

 

Rodrigo De Narváez

De Narváez is responsible for creating, developing, and finding new business opportunities that will ensure the fleet optimal utilization, market awareness and year-round hour ACMI budget compliance. He is charged with assessing new market trends and generating business plans that will follow the changes and will ensure the company’s growth and sustainability. 21 Air services mayor accounts such as UPS, DHL, and SOLAR Cargo. Before that, he was with MartinAir Holland NV where as General Manager for Perishables Logistics, he handled three continents and created MPL as the responsible division to provide high quality value added services and the handling expertise oversight for Martinair, Air France, KLM, and Alitalia perishable clients. De Narváez has also held marketing and logistics positions with Tampa Cargo Logistics, Universal Flower Exchange and Aerofloral.


Frank Diaz
Executive Vice President - Logistics and Distribution, PriceSmart

 

Frank Diaz

Frank Diaz has been Executive Vice President of Logistics and Distribution since November of 2015. He joined PriceSmart in September of 2008 serving as Vice President of Logistics. As the head of global logistics at PriceSmart, Mr. Diaz is setting the strategic and business direction of the supply chain network encompassing distribution, transportation and international trade compliance throughout Latin America and the Caribbean supporting 39 retail outlets with over $2.9B in sales.Prior to joining PriceSmart, Diaz worked more than 20 years in progressively responsible positions in the areas of operations, strategic planning and commercial development with top-tier logistics companies including UPS, CS Integrated and DHL. He has a Bachelors of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Logistics Management Certification from the Georgia Institute of Technology.


Robert Fay
President, Florida Freezer

 

Robert Fay

Robert Fay is the President of Florida Freezer, a public cold storage and logistics company based in Fort Myers, FL. He is also Vice President of Seminole Gulf Railway and Bay Colony Railroad operating in Southwest Florida and Southeastern Massachusetts. Fay has spent his professional career in cold food logistics, in both the 3PL and wholesale grocery industries, working with small and large companies to improve their temperature controlled logistics. Most recently, Florida Freezer has significantly grown its distribution capabilities to specialize in first mile / last mile service of frozen and refrigerated goods. Its fleet of lift gate refrigerated trucks now cover over 90% of Florida’s population and are now serving southern Georgia. In the community, he serves as a member of the U.S.D.A. NAREEE Advisory Board, and was recently elected as Chairman of the International Refrigerated Transportation Association, part of the Global Cold Chain Alliance. He also spends time working with the regional children’s inventors’ fair, encouraging the scientific and market development of transportation and supply chain solutions.


Alban François
Vice President Cargo, Brussels Airlines (SN)

 

Alban François

Alban François, appointed in January 2016, is responsible for developing and rolling out the new commercial strategy of the growing Brussels Airlines Cargo Unit. Brussels Airlines is Belgium’s flag carrier specialized on Africa and member of the Lufthansa Group. He leads the global cargo team which aims to be the preferred air cargo provider across SN’s network, known for its reliable service & flexibility. François is Secretary and Member of the Board of Air Cargo Belgium, the newly established air cargo community at Brussels Airport grouping all cargo stakeholders. Previously, he was Strategic Sourcing & Procurement Manager at Brussels Airlines. A civil engineer, he started his career in the Belgian Air Force working on C-130 and NH90 helicopters.


Charlotte Gallogly
President, World Trade Center Miami

 

Charlotte Gallogly


Gregg Gildemann
Regional Director, Cargo Market Analysis, Boeing Commercial Airplanes

 

Gregg Gildemann

Gregg Gildemann is a Regional Marketing Director in the Market Analysis group for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. In this role, he specializes in both passenger and air cargo traffic forecasting (Boeing’s yearly Current Market Outlook and World Air Cargo Forecast) and understanding commercial aviation market trends and their impact on Boeing and the marketplace. Prior to his time in Market Analysis, he worked in North America Regional Marketing, Northeast Asia Regional Marketing and the Airline Economic Analysis organization. Past areas of expertise and focus include airframe maintenance cost modeling and introductory cost modeling for Boeing and competitor airplanes. Gildemann recently reached the milestone of thirty years at Boeing. He has enjoyed his work experiences in the commercial aviation industry including seeing how much it has transformed over the years; the opportunity to meet many interesting people in the industry and to visit many different places in the world.


Emilio T. González, Ph.D.
Director and Chief Executive Officer, Miami-Dade Aviation Department

 

Emilio T. González, Ph.D.

As Director and CEO of the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, Gonzalez oversees operations at Miami International Airport (MIA) and four general aviation (GA) airports in the Miami area, which together support $33.7 billion in business revenue and more than 280,000 direct and indirect jobs. MIA leads the way, handling in excess of 44 million passengers and two million tons of cargo annually, placing it among America’s busiest international passenger and cargo airports. Dr. González has overseen the completion of one of the largest airport expansion programs in the U.S., a $6.5-billion capital improvement program that has added new terminals, roadways and other infrastructure to MIA and the County’s GA airports. In addition, Dr. González personally directs the Department’s government affairs functions at the local, state, federal and international levels. Dr. González has spent most of his career involved in foreign affairs and international security policy. He completed a distinguished 26-year career in the U.S. Army and retired with the rank of Colonel, after serving as Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House. He was then appointed – and subsequently confirmed by the U.S. Senate – as Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an Under Secretary position within the Department of Homeland Security in Washington. He earned his M.A. in Strategic Studies and National Security Affairs from the U.S. Naval War College; and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Miami. He has also served as a member of various boards in the banking, technology and social services industries and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations


Tom Grubb
Manager, Cold Chain Strategy, American Airlines Cargo

 

Tom Grubb

Tom Grubb is Manager of Cold Chain Strategy for American Airlines Cargo and is responsible for leading the airline’s global time and temperature-sensitive logistics services. A 24-year veteran of American’s Cargo division, Grubb previously served in Operations as Manager of Customer Service Strategy, where he was instrumental in the development of ExpediteTC, American’s active and passive cold chain services. Prior to his role in operations, he served in other management roles including Global Accounts Sales, Capacity and Pricing Management and Information Systems development. During his tenure with the airline, he has implemented strategic sales initiatives and operational solutions for the carrier’s products and services portfolios. American Airlines Cargo is a division of American Airlines Group, the holding company for American Airlines and US Airways. American provides one of the largest cargo networks in the world with cargo terminals and interline connections across the globe. Grubb is currently a member of the IATA Time and Temperature Task Force (TTTF).


Frank Hercksen
Regional CEO Americas, Panalpina

 

Frank Hercksen

Frank Hercksen has over three decades of extensive international experience in the freight forwarding industry with a strong background in ocean freight. Hercksen began his career at Panalpina Welttransport in Hamburg in 1979, after graduating from business school in Germany. In 1985, he joined K+N and then held various management positions in New York, Bremen, Toronto, Hong Kong and, London. He was Senior Vice President, Sea Freight, North America Region, before re-joining Panalpina in 2011 as the Global Head of Ocean Freight based in Morristown, NJ, USA. On January 1st 2016, Hercksen assumed the role of the Regional CEO Americas. In this role, Hercksen focuses on strategically growing and solidifying Panalpina’s market share in North, Central and South America. He has the regional responsibility for all of Panalpina’s air freight, ocean freight and logistics activities.


Kevin Lynskey
Deputy Director, PortMiami

 

Kevin Lynskey

As Deputy Director, Lynskey oversees cargo and cruise contract development, finance, architecture and engineering, as well as planninghas been and remains a County point person for the Port of Miami Tunnel project and the development of its intermodal rail program. Previous to his employment at PortMiami, Lynskey supervised an internal consultancy for Miami-Dade County for nearly a decade. Lynskey also worked at the US Department of State in the Presidential Management Program. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown in Foreign Service and a Masters degree from Columbia University in International Affairs where he specialized in international business.


Leandro Moreira
Director, Brink's Global Services

 

Leandro Moreira

As the director of Brink's Life Sciences, Leandro Moreira leads operations, sales, marketing, training, regulatory compliance and business development. His professional career in the transportation industry begun in 1995 during which time he has held management positions in airport and flight administration, operations, sales and marketing with experience in the areas of operational process improvement, labor negotiations, regulatory compliance, quality assurance, new business and product development, pricing, ground and in-flight security, crisis management and corporate communications. He is a frequent lecturer at global conferences from several organizations such as IATA, TIACA, Cargo Facts, and the US Department of Commerce. Moreira is also engaged in different global initiatives to promote trade, supply chain security, regulatory compliance, product integrity and patient safety. He proposes collaboration between industry stakeholders to streamline processes, reduce vulnerabilities and create efficiencies in the supply chain. He currently serves as the Chairman for Health Technologies Distribution Alliance (HTDA)


Craig Mygatt
CEO, SeaLand

 

Craig Mygatt

Craig Mygatt was appointed as CEO for SeaLand in December 2013, with a career spanning 28 years in the Maersk Group. Previously, he was Senior Vice President of North America Inland Operations responsible for all activities within intermodal services and contracting, domestic transportation services, equipment control and dispatch operations. Prior to this, he was the Senior Director of Commercial Planning Desk responsible for corporate sales activities and Senior Director, Northeast Sales region responsible for all Maersk Line and Maersk Logistics sales activity from Maine to Maryland. In addition, Mygatt was Director of the Central America Services where his responsibilities included the Maersk Sealand Central America liner services to and from Europe, Asia and North America. He served as a board member for each country in Central America and the Caribbean where Maersk Sealand had agency functions. Mygatt graduated from the University of Vermont and received a Masters of Science from the University of Denver.


Diana Najera
International Business Manager, Estafeta

 

Diana Najera

Diana Najera joined Estafeta on September 2001 when they started the operation of their own airline with 2 Boeing 737-200. Since then, she has held a variety of roles at the international air cargo area such as developing air cargo processes, internal audits, interline agreements, and sales in Mexico City and in Cancun when they started the Cancun-Miami direct flight. In 2007, she was assigned as International Cargo Manager and was responsible of the sales from the international SLP-MEX-MID-CUN-MIA route and in 2012, she was appointed as International Business Manager and is responsible of Estafeta´s air cargo, courier, LTL and cross border e commerce international business in terms of strategy, sales, alliances, administration, operation and systems. Najera’s early experience included a position in Amerijet International as assistant to the General Director in Merida 2000-2001; at Lufthansa Cargo in Mexico where she lead the implementation and certification of ISO 9001-1994 in 1998, and implemented the time definite services in 1999. She started her career at the sales department in Delta Air Lines Mexico. Najera earned a degree in Tourism and Business Administration, specialized in Finance 1990-1991 and finished a Diploma on Senior Management at Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey in 2017.


Joseph Napoli
Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor, Miami-Dade Aviation Department

 

Joseph Napoli

In February 2014, Joseph Napoli was named Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, responsible for assisting the Aviation Director with directing all administrative, financial and operational activities for the department. Along with these responsibilities, Napoli manages long-term special projects for the Aviation Director; helps to shape departmental policies; oversees MDAD’s Communications, Fine Arts and Cultural Affairs, Intergovernmental Affairs, Professional Compliance and Protocol and International Affairs divisions. He brings an impressive depth of senior leadership experience and organizational management knowledge to the post. Before joining MDAD, he held the position of Senior Associate and South Florida Lead at the Miami office of Booz Allen Hamilton, a leading national strategy and technology consulting firm. Prior to that, he completed a distinguished career in the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of Colonel during his nearly 30 years of service. During his time in the military, Napoli held numerous top-level management positions with a focus on Latin America, including: Operations Manager of the U.S. Embassy/Military Group in Caracas, Venezuela; Military Group Commander/Senior Defense Official at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Chief of Staff/Deputy Director Strategic Effects of the Multinational Force in Iraq; and Senior Executive Advisor at the U.S. Southern Command in Miami. He earned his undergraduate degree in Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and holds a master’s degree in National Security Studies from the U.S. Army War College and in International Relations from Columbia University.


Dimitrios "Jimmy" Nares
Section Chief of Aviation Marketing, Miami Dade Aviation Department

 

Dimitrios "Jimmy" Nares

Dimitrios “Jimmy” Nares is the Section Chief of Aviation Marketing for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD), which operates Miami International Airport (MIA). His duties include forming and implementing cargo development marketing programs in the areas of pharmaceuticals, perishables, and manufactured products. He also holds the seat of Vice-Chairman of Pharma.Aero, an association whose mission is to advance the air pharma transport industry through international collaboration with other stakeholders. Prior to joining the Aviation Department Nares worked for eleven years at the Miami-Dade County Economic Development and International Trade Unit (EDIT) where he was Chief of the Unit. While at EDIT, he was responsible for overseeing the office’s day to day operations whose primary purpose was to promote Miami-Dade County as a Global Gateway and enhance access to economic development opportunities. Previously, Nares served as Mayor’s Assistant to the Mayor of Miami-Dade County between 2002 and 2004, and prior to joining Miami-Dade County he served as Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer for the non-profit organization, Easter Seals Miami-Dade, Inc. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Florida International University in Miami, Florida USA.


Emir Pineda
Manager Aviation Trade & Logistics, Marketing Division, Miami-Dade Aviation Department

 

Emir Pineda

Emir Pineda is the Manager Aviation Trade & Logistics for the Marketing Division of the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, which operates Miami International Airport (MIA). His duties include marketing, trade analysis, logistics and facilities expansion and air service/route development. His career began at Miami International Airport in 1988 as an intern and was then promoted to the position of Marketing Specialist. He recently re-joined the Miami Dade Aviation Department in September of 2015, after more than 20 years working in the public and private sector in various positions such as: Director of Cargo Trade Development at DFW International Airport; consultant at Leigh Fisher Associates; and Director of Marketing and Business Development for Air France/KLM Martinair Cargo where he also served on the Board of Directors of Tampa Cargo. Before returning to MIA, he was the Commercial Route Development Manager for Cargolux, responsible for sales and operations throughout Latin America. Pineda serves on the Florida Customs Brokers & Forwarders Safety and Security Committee whose purpose is to promote applicable cargo security/safety communications between federal agencies and trade associations with the intention of maximizing the State of Florida ability to effectively compete for international trade resources while minimizing barriers for its members. He is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.


Steven Polmans
Head of Cargo, Brussels Airport Company

 

Steven Polmans

Steven Polmans spent most of his career in the world of aviation. For 15 years, he held management positions, both operational and commercial, in the handling industry at various airports and in a variety of sectors: from catering, cleaning, ramp handling to cargo. In 2010, he joined The Brussels Airport Company as Cargo Marketing Manager to explore business development opportunities. In 2012 he was appointed Head of Cargo at Brussels Airport. In this position, he is responsible for developing and implementing the overall cargo strategy of the airport. He leads the cargo team and heads the different projects to further strengthen BRUcargo into Europe’s most efficient cargo airport. He is also in charge of maintaining the relations with the different cargo stakeholders, government agencies and strategic partners in close cooperation with the cargo management team. Since 2016, Polmans is also the first chairman of the newly established air cargo organisation at BRUcargo, grouping all stakeholders involved: Air Cargo Belgium. He is also on the board of TIACA, The International Air Cargo Association.


Rasheme Richardson
Vice President of Airport Operations, Amerijet International. Inc.

 

Rasheme Richardson

Rasheme Richardson has over 27 years of experience in the aviation and logistics industry. He has held progressively responsible operational and management positions at several passenger and cargo airlines. He has extensive experience in both international and domestic airline operations. Joining Amerijet in 2004, Richardson holds the position of Vice President of Airport Operations. He is responsible for the airline’s ground operations, which includes the ramp and warehouse at the company’s main hub at the Miami International Airport, and the operations in Port of Spain, Trinidad and San Juan, Puerto Rico. As an aviation enthusiast, he holds a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Dispatcher License as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Florida International University’s Chapman School of Business. He also obtained a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Aeronautics and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Professional Aeronautics, both from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.


Richard Roffman
Publisher CubaTrade Magazine and LatinTradeReport.com, Co-Host, nationally syndicated radio talk show, "Made in America"

 

Richard Roffman

Richard Roffman is a 30-year veteran publisher with extensive national and international experience. He is the founding publisher of CubaTradeReport.com and LatinTradeReport.com. Mr. Roffman currently co-hosts Neal Asbury’s “Made in America” radio talk show nationally syndicated in 72 cities throughout the United States by Radio America. Mr. Roffman has founded and published Latin Trade, LatinCEO and South FloridaCEO magazines. He is a past chairman of the World Trade Center Miami, was appointed to the District Export Council by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was a member of the Board of Directors of the FTAA, Inc. for the State of Florida. Mr. Roffman has also published the Miami, Broward and Palm Beach Daily Business Reviews and was a Senior Vice President at Strategy Research Corporation—specializing in Latin American and US Hispanic marketing research. Channels Magazine voted Mr. Roffman into “The Top 25 Most Accomplished Men in South Florida.”


Albert Saphir
Principal, ABS Consulting

 

Albert Saphir

Albert Saphir is a senior trade compliance and international logistics supply chain consultant with over 30 years of management experience in international and domestic logistics, transportation management, supply chain security and import-export operations and compliance. He has worked for multinational and small companies during his career in the U.S. and Germany and has done extensive work related to U.S. trade compliance program development (import & export), global trade security initiatives such as C-TPAT, Advance Manifest Rules and the “10+2” Secure Freight initiative (a/k/a ISF – Importer Security Filing). He has broad transportation service, pricing and negotiation knowledge with ocean, air, truck and parcel shipping modes. Client projects often involve transportation RFP facilitation, freight and/or customs/trade compliance audits, training, development and implementation of new trade compliance and/or logistics concepts to improve overall supply chain capabilities and performance. He is an active member in multiple industry associations including AAEI, CSCMP, ICPA, ISM, NASSTRAC and NITL.


Romaine Seguin
President, Americas Region, UPS

 

Romaine Seguin

Romaine Seguin, president of UPS Americas Region, is responsible for all UPS package and cargo operations in Canada and more than 50 countries and territories across Latin America and the Caribbean. Additionally, she has oversight of the UPS Supply Chain Solutions operations throughout Latin America, Miami and the Caribbean. She held a variety of operational and management roles in Missouri and was later promoted to hub manager. In 1989, Seguin accepted a five-year assignment in Europe as part of the integration team with F&A and operations, and lived in both the UK and France. In 1994, she returned to the U.S. as controller for the air district, based in Louisville, Kentucky and was eventually promoted to managing director of the Gulf South district. In October 2007, she moved to Milan, Italy as the managing director of UPS South Europe and was shortly promoted (March 2008) to Chief Operating Officer for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, based in Brussels, Belgium. In September 2010, Seguin was promoted to her current position as president of the UPS Americas Region based in Miami, Florida. She is currently the Chair of the World Trade Center Miami and sits on several boards, including the Florida International University (FIU) School of Business Dean’s Council, the board of Trustees of William Woods University, the United Way of Miami-Dade board and the Conferencia Latinoamericana de Compañías Express (CLADEC) board – Latin America Conference of Express Companies. She holds a degree in Marketing Management from William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri and an MBA from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.


Juan Carlos Serna
Vice-president Global Product Development Americas, CEVA Logistics

 

Juan Carlos Serna

Juan Carlos Serna is Vice-president Global Product Development Americas for CEVA Logistics. In this role, he is responsible for the strategic product development of both Air & Ocean for North and Latin America leading key initiatives for Trade Lane growth and revenue optimization. He joined CEVA in September 2013 from Air Logistics Group where he was Regional Director Americas. Previously he served as Regional Commercial Director for TAMPA Cargo (Avianca Cargo subsidiary), with management responsibility in key markets in South America, including Ecuador and Peru, providing transportation solutions for perishable cargo. He holds an International MBA Degree from University of Greenwich (United Kingdom) and a Bachelor´s Degree in International Business from EAFIT University (Colombia).


Kemisha D. Sherrell
Assistant Port Director (APD) for Trade Operations, Miami International Airport

 

Kemisha D. Sherrell

Kemisha D. Sherrell is the Assistant Port Director (APD) for Trade Operations at the Miami International Airport, responsible for both inbound and outbound operations in the cargo, express, and postal mail environments. In this role, APD Sherrell oversees a highly-skilled cadre of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers to safeguard trade enforcement, the facilitation of legitimate trade, and the identification of illegal drugs and commercial fraud. APD Sherrell has over 14 years of Federal Service with CBP. After performing both passenger and cargo operations at the Atlanta International Airport, she transferred to the PortMiami where she worked with all types of maritime cargo to determine the admissibility and movement of goods and assessed numerous penalties while conducting inbound and manifest audits. In 2008 she transferred to the National Targeting Center (NTC) where she established national security policy for cargo operations and worked to integrate other government agencies, international partners, and industry stakeholders with the CBP mission. She served as the subject matter expert for key national security initiatives, led change in global supply chain security through the development of the Air Cargo Advance Screening Pilot, and increased visibility of innovative processes within CBP’s automated targeting enterprise. APD Sherell has received the CBP Commissioner’s Anti-Terrorism Award for collaboration with the Transportation Security Administration and private industry to enhance aviation security and the integrity of air cargo. She is also a recent War College graduate at the National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs.


Brenda Smith
Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

 

Brenda Smith

Brenda Smith is the Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade, at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Selected in the fall of 2014, she oversees a diverse portfolio of trade facilitation and enforcement matters. This work ranges from determining the direction of Priority Trade Issue enforcement to the oversight of national compliance audits and the management of trade data—along with CBP’s regulatory process for administering trade and border operations. Most recently, Smith served as the Executive Director for the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Business Office. In this role, she oversaw the development of ACE as the Single Window, the primary system for imports and exports and also spearheaded the integration of Partner Government Agency requirements through the development of ACE, serving as a "One U.S. Government" approach to border management. Smith holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Economics from Rutgers University and is also a graduate of the Customs Leadership Institute and the Federal Executive Institute.


Emily Stavis
Owner, Shrimp Buyer, Commodity Frozen Buyer & Import Manager, Stavis Seafoods

 

Emily Stavis

Emily Stavis is an Owner and serves as the Shrimp Buyer, Commodity Frozen Buyer and Import Manager of Stavis Seafoods. She ensures the profitability of the company by maintaining proper inventory and stocking of numerous seafood items and working closely with sales to ensure the company meets customer's needs. In charge of all shrimp buying, a complicated and essential species for the company, she also manages the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the Import Department. Her duties as Import Manager include developing lasting relationships with vendors and ensuring the legitimate and legal sourcing of seafood from more than 50 countries. She also maintains external and internal communication with employees, vendors and the FDA to expand Stavis' global sourcing capabilities and bring more seafood to the table for customers. She joined the family business in 1986, training in multiple departments including buying, accounting, operations and sales. She was promoted to the newly created Import/Export Manager position and developed the department from the ground up. She also managed the Stavis plant as the company's Chief Operating Officer from 2003 to 2008. In 2008, she took on the complex role of shrimp buying. Stavis earned an International Relations Degree from the University of Delaware in 1984. She is an active volunteer for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Charities.


Michael T. Steen
President and Chief Executive Officer, Titan Aviation Holdings, Inc., Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Atlas Air Worldwide

 

Michael T. Steen

Michael T. Steen joined Atlas Air Worldwide in April 2007 and was appointed Executive Vice President in 2010. He is responsible for all aspects of the Company's global sales and marketing activities, including strategy, new products and services, brand positioning and marketing communications. Additionally, he is President and Chief Executive Officer of Titan Aviation Holdings, Inc., a wholly owned dry-leasing subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. He has gained both broad and unique experience during his career in the aviation and logistics sectors. He has served in global leadership roles for market-leading companies such as DHL, Exel Plc and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Steen also served as a Board Member of The International Air Cargo Association from 2008-2015 and served as Chairman of TIACA from 2010-2013. He is currently serving on the Cargo Committee of the International Air Transportation Association (IATA). He also serves on the Board of Directors at CHC Helicopters. He earned a degree in economics in Gotenburg Sweden and is an alumnus of the Advanced Executive Program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.


Brandie Tardie
Acting Director, Miami CTPAT Field Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

 

Brandie Tardie is currently the Acting Director of the Miami CTPAT Field Office and has been a supervisor in the office since 2008. She is currently responsible for managing 30 Supply Chain Security Specialists (SCSS) in the Miami office and all work that pertains to performing CTPAT validations. She also held the position of an SCSS from 2004 through 2008. Brandie Tardie is close to serving 20 years of government service and has worked in many areas during her career. Since 1998, she has worked in the areas of passenger enforcement, cargo, seaport targeting unit, seaport and airport specialized narcotic and terrorism teams as well as a Supervisory Customs and Border Protection Officer before moving to the Miami CTPAT Field Office. Brandie Tardie is a graduate of Salve Regina University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Administration of Justice with a minor in Political Science.


John E. Verbeten
Director, Division of Import Operations Office of Enforcement and Import Operations, US Food & Drug Administration

 

John E. Verbeten

John Verbeten is the Director of FDA’s Division of Import Operations. His team provides 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. Throughout his 27 years with the FDA, he has specialized in import operations. As a staff member and manager in the Division of Import Operations since 2004, Verbeten has been integral to issuance and maintenance of instruction to the field including Regulatory Procedures and Investigations Operations; development of import procedures for FDA field offices and headquarters; development of new regulatory/statutory programs, and training of FDA staff on all aspects of FDA’s import operations. He has been heavily involved in issues related to imported pharmaceuticals, International Mail Facilities, and in issues specifically dealing with US Customs and Border Protection laws, regulations, and procedures.


Louis Volpe
South Florida Area Director, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine

 

Louis Volpe

Lou Volpe started his career in the agriculture field as a landscape contractor and grower in the South Florida area. After several years of landscape design and installation he began his government career working as a temporary employee with the U.S. Customs service. While working for U.S. Customs at Miami International Airport, Volpe was exposed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the career opportunities directly in his field and decided to become a full time employee with the USDA in 1996. Since then he has risen through the ranks starting as a technician, an officer, a Supervisor of the Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance Team and now as the South Florida Area Director located at the Miami Plant Inspection Station.


Doug Wheeler
President and CEO, Florida Ports Council

 

Doug Wheeler

Doug Wheeler serves as the President and CEO of the Florida Ports Council (FPC), a nonprofit corporation that serves as the professional association for Florida’s 15 public deepwater seaports and their management. The FPC provides leadership, advocacy and information on seaport-related issues before the Legislative and Executive Branches of State and Federal Government. Wheeler has more than 20 years of governmental affairs and association leadership at both the state and federal levels where he previously held positions with the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), and more recently, the Florida Chamber of Commerce where he served as Vice President of Grassroots Advocacy and Political Action Development. Under Wheeler’s leadership and management of Florida’s largest federation of businesses, associations, and local chambers of commerce – encompassing more than 139,000 grassroots members – the Chamber worked aggressively and effectively to represent the interests of business in Florida. He worked closely with ABC chapters and members on all areas of political affairs at the federal level including candidate outreach, PAC fundraising, lobbying and grassroots efforts. He has also worked for the Florida House of Representatives during five Legislative Sessions and the Republican Party of Florida during the 1994 elections. Wheeler graduated from The Florida State University with a degree in Political Science, with an emphasis in Political Communications.


Nigusu Worku
Regional Director Sales and Services USA, Ethiopian Airlines

 

Nigusu Worku

In 2004, a few years after attending Addis Ababa University and receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management, Nigisu Worku joined Ethiopian Airlines as a college trainee. In those early years at the airline, he served in variety of roles that included analyst, senior analyst, assistant to the COO, and assistant to the CEO. He briefly served as interim country manager in Equatorial Guinea and then in Canada before being appointed as the Country Manager for Canada in 2013. In that role he headed sales and marketing, as well as airport operations. Currently he is in charge of marketing, sales, and operations of Ethiopian Airlines in the United States designing programs that exceed customers’ service expectations. According to IATA, Ethiopian Airlines is the top airline in Africa in revenue and profit. Worku finished his education at Addis Ababa University, earning a Master of Arts Degree in Marketing Management.