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  • Wednesday, January 06, 2021 10:01 AM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    Ms. Glasow has been a member of the ITC for 1 year and 4 months and joined as a result of interest in an ITC event, Women in International Business, an event which is inspired by International Women’s Day. Like many in the industry, Ms. Glasow has traveled extensively, including across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Some highlights of these travels include 8 years of studying and working in Mexico, as well as extended periods in Hong Kong over 10 years. Though choosing a favorite country is hard, after some thought Ms. Glasow settled on China. In her words, “The variety of cityscapes, from Shanghai to Chongqing to Beijing is incredible. The breathtaking scenery of the Himalayas (on the Tibet side) and multiple national parks are memories I hope to relive with my children. Even the long road trips between factory visits were enjoyable, mainly due to my delightful local colleagues and the variety of Chinese cuisine that I would anticipate at our destination.”

    Currently, Ms. Glasow is the Sales and Business Development Director for Hallmark Global Solutions. In her role, she helps to build the Hallmark brand globally through a variety of business models, such as licensing, distribution, direct-to-retail, and digital e-commerce initiatives. This is a role that she has been serving in since 2018. At present Hallmark has a presence in more than 80 countries and 30 languages. Her bilingual Spanish and English capabilities have been essential to her international career. Graduating with a degree in engineering, she began traveling to the Maquiladora region in Northern Mexico to work with local companies at Tyco Electronics. A career shift took her to DEMDACO where she served as an International Business Manager working on integrating international requirements into “global” operational capabilities. This then led to an opportunity to move to Hong Kong to learn about sourcing and procurement, which in time turned into an opportunity to work with Hallmark Cards, Inc. in Kansas City. Some of the goals that she has for her career are to help Hallmark (and other companies) develop a global vision through a global strategy and operational frameworks that can be leveraged and scaled for truly global business operations and growth in key markets. Her experience has taught her that a siloed approach by country leads to delays in scalability and resource duplication, which is costly and hard to unwind. Through the framework she helps develop, companies can avoid these issues and more quickly identify growth opportunities and operational next steps.

    Fun Facts & Advice:

    Name three people (dead or alive) that you would invite to dinner:

    • Mark Cuban – for his entrepreneurial sensibility and decision-making process.
    • Amelia Earhart- for her courageous character and world travel narratives.
    • Sir David Attenborough- for his incredible commitment to nature conservation.

    What was the last book you read?
    Nobel House by James Clavell. Set in 1963, the novel tells the tale of dueling international trading houses.

    Who inspires you?
    Christa McAuliffe. She was the first American Civilian selected to go into space. Her enthusiasm and passion to be a part of NASA’s Challenger space shuttle program (which sadly ended in tragedy as I watched the broadcast with my 3rd-grade classroom) are inspiring to me.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into International Business/International Trade?
    My advice would be to study how global companies, across consumer goods and B2B industries, have strengthened their international brand presence and sharpened their operational capabilities to identify areas of efficiency and desired international trade skillsets. Foresight into technology developments and general business trends would be important since these trends will likely impact international trade, as well. An entirely different point of advice would be to follow global trade trends and country positioning on the spectrum of free trade versus a more protectionist outlook.

    What else do you want to tell us about yourself/what is something unique about you that is generally not known?
    I can hold my own in a game of table tennis and have a Kansas City Corporate Challenge medal tucked away in a drawer somewhere!

  • Monday, November 30, 2020 2:50 PM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    ITC welcomes Baker University to our professional community as an Academic Gold member!

    Baker University is a private liberal arts institution in northeastern Kansas that educates traditional and nontraditional students through small classes, innovative instructors, and rigorous course work. Fortune 500 CEOs, New York Times best-selling authors, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and a Super Bowl champion all proudly claim Baker, the first university in Kansas, as their alma mater. According to Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Baker offers the highest return on investment of colleges in Kansas and ranks in the top 8 percent nationwide. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard has found that Baker alumni earn the highest average salaries among graduates of universities in Kansas. These rankings affirm the value of a well-rounded liberal arts education from Baker University that prepares its graduates to enter the workforce with the experiences and skills to be successful citizens and leaders. 

    Next year Baker will offer a new entrepreneurship program, led by Narbeli Galindo, a global entrepreneurship expert who has served as the William Everett and Mary Ellen Mealman Endowed Chair of Business Leadership and Innovation at Baker since Aug. 1, 2020. Galindo’s international connections will have a direct impact on Baker students pursuing real-world opportunities, and she will engage with the Greater Kansas City business community to promote the interests of students. In addition to teaching international trade and introduction to international business courses, she will lead the development of courses related to entrepreneurship, emphasizing the importance of business leadership and innovation. Baker is excited to be a member the International Trade Council (ITC) and to engage with its community members. The university has already taken advantage of the ITC Global TradeWins trade simulation program by implementing it in international business courses, exposing students to how trade works in the real world.

  • Thursday, November 12, 2020 9:09 AM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    Written ITC records from 1995 are unfortunately somewhat scarce. But to the best of our belief, Global TradeWins, our dynamic international business transaction simulation, celebrates its 25th year in existence in 2020. Indications are that an early version of the program was run during 1995 in our nation’s capital, in cooperation with the former US Department of Commerce agency the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA). Ceded to the ITC in 1996, Global TradeWins was substantially modified and run with an enthusiastic group of students at Doane University (formerly College) in Nebraska during the fall of 1997.

    Global TradeWins, which exposes participants to many aspects of an international business transaction in an enjoyable environment, has since been presented at a number of colleges and universities in Kansas and Missouri and was once featured by an area educator while teaching on assignment in the Netherlands. It featured as an integral portion of several early World Trade Week presentations, and has been provided in a corporate setting for ITC board members and members at large.

    Finally, another significant milestone was attained in September this year when Global TradeWins received its registration from the US Patent and Trademark Office, thus formalizing its status as a viable educational tool for international business. We are confident that additional opportunities for its use will open up throughout the Kansas City and surrounding areas. To bring Global TradeWins to your academic institution or corporate education program, contact ITC staff at office@itcgkc.org.

  • Monday, September 28, 2020 8:26 AM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    Mrs. Samantha January has been a member of ITC since March of this year and decided to join for the networking opportunities and to get involved in her community while interacting with professionals in her field. Like some in the industry, Mrs. January has not traveled internationally often, and instead has done so domestically. Of all the places that she could go to internationally, Japan is at the top of the list. And thanks to being in quarantine, she has had plenty of time to plan her next trip.

    Currently, Mrs. January works as the Logistics and Compliance Coordinator for Essence of Australia. It is a position that she has been in since November of last year. She transitioned into the field of International Trade when she began a position as International Supply Chain Analyst for Dean and Deluca. In her words, “I fell in love with the challenges it presented and working with people all over the world. No day is like any other, and I was able to put some of my Anthropology degree to use!” Some of the goals that she currently has for her career include wanting to continue to work for companies that have remarkable workplace culture and to be continue to cultivate knowledge in her role and use that expertise to drive the business forward.

    Fun Facts & Advice:

    Name three people (dead or alive) that you would invite to dinner:
    Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    What was the last book you read?
    The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes and curr
    ently reading An African American and Latinx History of the United States by Paul Ortiz. She has also been reading Moby Dick on and off for 3 years and her goal for 2020 is to finish the book.

    Who inspires you?
    My biggest inspiration comes from my daughter. Becoming a woman that she looks up to and is encouraged by is my utmost goal. I also find inspiration in ambitious and powerful women. I am fascinated by the great thinkers and doers, past and present. I love reading their stories about how they overcame great odds to change the world.

    What advice would you give someone who wants to get into International Trade/International Business?
    Cultivating your love of learning is instrumental to longevity. Understand and respect cultural differences and remain flexible in workflow expectations.

    What is something unique about you that is generally not known?
    I am a novice interior decorator! My husband and I are renovating an outdated home from top to bottom. Juggling home renovations, during a global pandemic at home full time with a toddler, has been interesting to say the least!

  • Tuesday, September 01, 2020 2:56 PM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    Ona Coker has been a member of the ITC for 2 years and decided to join in order to gain a better network of professionals within the international trade industry in Kansas City, as well as a better understanding of the events and activities in International Trade happening in Kansas City. Like many in this industry, Mr. Coker has traveled quite a bit, including noteworthy countries such as England, France, China, Nigeria, Mexico, and Canada. Of all these places, his favorite has by far been Shanghai, China. In his words, “The reality of the city far exceeded my expectations. My experience traveling there further bolstered my philosophy that there is so much learning that can be done when you travel, as long as you keep an open mind.”

    Currently, Mr. Coker leads the Export Services/Fulfillment team at Dairy Farmers of America in executing global trade operations. His current position is Assistant Director of Export Fulfillment, and he has been with the organization for 5 years in this capacity. He has always had a passion for international business and trade and is motivated by the opportunities to facilitate trade and global business across cultures and countries. After graduating with a degree in International Trade and a minor in French, Mr. Coker worked with Expeditors International of Washington as a broker. During the 7 years that he spent at Expeditors International, Mr. Coker worked concurrently in a consulting capacity with a U.S. based company to help them penetrate the West African market with their product. He helped them to source their product from China at a competitive rate and then worked to import the product into Nigeria where it was distributed locally. Shortly after, he got the opportunity to work as a multinational company under the Koch umbrella, called INVISTA. There, he worked as a Global Customer Service leader and Trade Compliance SME with dotted line responsibilities to teams in Latin America, Asia, and Europe. Through the skills acquired at this organization, he was led to an opportunity with Dairy Farmers of America and his current post. Some of the goals that he has for his career include becoming an influencer and thought leader, as well as a catalyst to bring about change in the global trade industry, specifically within the realm of global digitalization.

    Fun Facts

    Three people (dead or alive) that you would invite to dinner: 
    Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela, and Sam Walton

    The last book you read: 
    Start with Why by Simon Sinek, and currently reading Good to Great by Jim Collins.

    Who inspires you? 
    My mother has been my biggest inspiration. From an early age, I have seen her take the opportunity to further educate and improve on herself time and time again. This philosophy has been embedded in me from such a young age and became one of my core principles. One must always look for the opportunity to improve one’s self in every facet of one’s life.

    What advice would you give someone who wants to get into international business/ international trade? 
    I would say be open. Never be rigid in your thinking and how you deal with people, especially in the global arena. Understand that most people in the world are different from you. Their cultures are different, and you have to be able to be ‘fluid’ enough to cope when you deal in those circumstances.

    Something unique about you that is generally not known? 
    I love farming. I have engaged in several farm projects to help improve agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Mechanized Farming/Sustainable Agriculture done right will have a big impact on Africa.

  • Tuesday, September 01, 2020 2:51 PM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    Narbeli Galindo, a dedicated member of the International Trade Council, has begun a new chapter in her career. She went from leading the Kansas City's global trade efforts under the Economic Development Council for the last five years to teaching at Baker University as the William Everett and Mary Ellen Mealman Endowed Chair of Business Leadership and Innovation. In addition to teaching international trade and business courses at the school, Galindo will help develop courses in entrepreneurship, according to a release.

    Galindo’s interest in international relations goes back to her childhood. The daughter of a United Nations diplomat, she lived in Geneva, Switzerland from age 10 through high school. She came to the Kansas City area to pursue a job in international marketing at Sprint. As of August 1st, Galindo will actively engage with the Greater Kansas City business community in meaningful ways that promote the interests of students, the Department, and the University, as well as to teach a couple of courses in International Trade and Introduction to International Business. She will also lead the Entrepreneurship Department helping to demonstrate the importance of business leadership and innovation; coordinating with the University’s Development Office in producing an annual event that will celebrate business leadership and innovation with awards given to leaders in the business community and students; and developing relationships with potential donors that will advance the Department’s mission and academic reputation. Baker ranks No. 3 on the Business Journal’s list of area MBA programs, with local enrollment of 274 last fall and is the oldest university in Kansas.

    In addition to working for Baker University, Galindo will also be running her own Global Expansion Consulting firm working with various local and international businesses and organizations to expand their global reach and promote EB5 investment projects.

  • Tuesday, April 14, 2020 7:52 PM | Mary Odom (Administrator)


    In an interview with Tony Harrelson, Domestic Transportation Manager at Scarbrough International, more questions than answers seems to be the new normal. Tony provides his insights below.

    From your perspective, how is the trucking industry handling the COVID-19 crisis?

    I can understand why no one has been able to answer the question. It is truly a challenging time. I see and hear conflicting information each day. For example, I talked to one of my truck load carriers last week, and Monday and Tuesday he moved nothing; then Wednesday to Friday he moved enough to make his weekly average. Then I talked to him again yesterday, and he has already made his weekly average in one day.

    Large Domestic Brokerage companies like Echo Global and TQL are laying off and furloughing employees.  

    What are you experiencing at Scarbrough Freight?

    • LTL wise, no real delays, outside of deliveries to Amazon DCs, if the product is not considered “essential”.
    • LTL carriers are making deliveries on time. The only exception is if the delivery is in an area that is hit hard by COVID (New York) they will not deliver until they confirm the business is open. So, there could be an extra day of transit while the terminal schedules a delivery appointment.
    • I have spoken to and received emails from carriers that service the airports or CFS locations in California and NY/NJ area, and they are seeing a reduction in freight. One carrier in NY/NJ area only has about 2-3 drivers coming in each day, and he rotates his driver everyday so he can have some work for each driver.

    What are seeing industry wide?

    • At the start of COVID, there was a sharp increase in the total number of shipments and now it has dropped off sharply and is at or just below pre-COVID levels. Shippers, that are not essential and the auto industry, have scaled back. Dedicated asset-based carriers that have dedicated lanes now have fewer lanes, and they may not be in the same lanes they normally run, so capacity is displaced.
      • For example, XYZ trucking normally does 10 loads from KC to Philadelphia. Now there are only 2 loads, and the other drivers are going in different directions and not ending up in the normal locations, so companies are trying to get drivers back into position.
    • Spot rates are coming down in most markets.
    • Read today where LA and Ontario, CA are starting to see imports arriving and freight is coming into the warehouses, and this will cause the capacity to starting firm up but, currently still a little below pre-COVID levels.

    What is your concern for the near future?

    My concern is what will happen to capacity when the produce season starts up. Will it coincide with companies coming back online after being down for COVID? Then we could have a large swing back in the other direction from a loose market to a tight market.

    Tony Harrelson, CTB
    Domestic Transportation Manager
    Scarbrough Transportation

  • Thursday, April 09, 2020 3:12 PM | Mary Odom (Administrator)


    New resources have emerged in the spirit of international cooperation to track the status of ports worldwide. This article compiles several of these resources for the Kansas City international trade community.

    1. World Ports Sustainability Program Task Force has established the World Ports COVID19 Informational Portal. The portal features latest industry updates based on a daily screening of reports from individual ports, port associations, shipping organizations, governments, international regulators and specialized news outlets.

    2. Hellmann Worldwide Logistics has created a portal with daily updates to all the airfreight, seafreight, road & rail, and contract logistics for all countries in which they operate. The portal includes 80 countries. 

    3. Wilhemsen Group, ship agents have created an online map showing port-related regulations and restrictions. 

    4. North P&I Club provides a daily country update on its website of port-related measures that are impacting shipping. Their data feeds into a live COVID-19 map created by the V. Group showing restrictions by country. 

    5. BIMCO, the global association of shipowners, operators, managers, brokers and agents, you will also find latest information on measures taken by various countries to combat the COVID-19 outbreak that could impact sea transport. 

    6. MH&L, Material Handling & Logistics created a slide show of COVID-19 Transportation Rules for US Trading Partners. 

    Jay Devers, ITC Board Member
    Managing Partner
    Bestway International / Hellmann Worldwide Logistics


  • Thursday, April 02, 2020 8:43 AM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    The last 4th Friday Breakfast event hosted by ITC on February 28, 2020 was about the much discussed and confusing USMCA, United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, also known as “the new NAFTA”.

    If you ever wondered how “the single worst deal ever approved” turned into the “largest”, “most significant”, “modern” and “balanced” trade agreement, you are not alone. This event attracted professionals from various local businesses as well as the academic sector and government agencies. Representatives from the Department of Commerce, Economic Development Council, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, KS Foreign Trade Zone, Consulate of Mexico, University of Kansas, Benedictine College, as well as local international lawyers, freight forwarders, manufacturers and traders gathered to learn more about this new trade deal.

    Tiffany Melvin, JD. President of North American Strategy for Competitiveness (NASCO), presented a session to explain USCMA beyond borders and politics. Here are some key take-aways:

    • USMCA keeps intact 90 percent of the old NAFTA, but modernizes the governance of digital trade; though one could argue USCMA is truly NAFTA 2.0 or NAFTA 0.8.
    • Most people don’t realize that with NAFTA being in place for the past 15 years, 25 cents of every dollar of goods that are imported from Canada to the US is actually “Made in USA” content, and the number for Mexico is as high as 40 cents of every dollar.
    • USMCA could be put into force as early as July, but there is still much work to be done, and it could be pushed back.
    • Changes to NAFTA in USMCA
      • Features new auto manufacturing regulation (might negatively impact economy)
        • RVA was increased from 62.5% to 75% (new methodology)
        • 40% labor value content to be produced by workers with minimum $16/hr pay
        • 70% steel & aluminum need to originate within North America
        • Core Auto parts: 75% RVC in average (value)
        • 5-year transition
      • Opens Canada’s dairy market to U.S. farmers
      • Stronger enforcement and improved dispute resolution system
      • Customs and Trade Facilitation
        • Reduced need of NAFTA Certification of Origin (spreadsheets acceptable)
        • Focus on Technology
        • No more preferred brokers at ports of entry
        • Transparency in Customs Audits
      • Modernizes the governance of digital trade
      • High Standard for environmental rules – clear and enforceable
      • Regulates Mexico trucks crossing the U.S. boarder
      • Offers more protection for patents & trademarks

    The lifespan of the agreement is 16 years and its effectiveness will be reviewed after 6 years.  North American companies need to comply with the agreement on day-to-day basis, yet the uniform regulations are still being developed. It is important for the companies to work with lawyers and software companies to develop tracking mechanism to prove compliance and measure the effectiveness of USMCA.

    Ruiping Ramboldt, ITC Secretary
    Director of Global Sourcing & Logistics
    Staples Promotional Products

  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020 11:33 AM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    Beyond cash, there are 3 main ways a company can protect their Accounts Receivable in this environment: Trade Credit Insurance, Letter of Credit, or Non-Recourse Factoring.   

    Trade Credit Insurance is intended to ensure that any invoice you send out to a customer will be paid, even if the customer defaults on the payment, or enters bankruptcy. Depending on your policy, you may be able to insure a single large customer, segment of export only buyers, or your entire accounts receivable portfolio (domestic customers can also be included).  The way that export insurance works is simple. If you deliver a shipment, goods, or services to a customer, and they do not pay due to bankruptcy or simply do not have the ability to pay, your insurance company will compensate you, up to the limits set by your policy.  Transactions over a certain value must be approved by your insurer, via credit checks to verify the legitimacy of a buyer.  In today's environment this 3rd party extension of your credit department can be a valuable tool.

    An export Letter of Credit (LOC) is another very popular way to safeguard your cash flow and ensure that you are paid by a buyer when your goods or services are delivered. Unlike Trade Credit Insurance, export letters of credit are issued by banks.  A letter of credit is, essentially, a commitment by a bank to pay your company (the exporter), on behalf of the foreign buyer (the importer). When properly drafted, a typical letter of credit is an extremely secure document.  Once issued, the LOC will be “called” as soon as your credit terms are met. For example, if your goods are delivered on “Net 30” terms, and must be paid for 30 days after delivery, the issuing bank will draw and send the funds to you exactly 30 days after the delivery of goods. This ensures that you receive payment in a timely manner.

    A Non-Recourse Factor will purchase your Accounts Receivable for a discounted amount of the face of the invoice.  These discounts can be based on a variety of considerations including the credit worthiness of the customer.  Once purchased, the Factoring company will assume all risk of non-payment if they are using a Non-Recourse contract (Recourse contracts will make the client pay back any un-collected debt).  

    Which option is best for you?  When considering the ways to mitigate the risk of export trade take into consideration cost, administrative responsibilities, customer relationships, and the ability to cover the risk needed.

    David Clark, ITC Board Member
    Vice President, Trade Credit and Political Risk Insurance
    ARI Global, Inc. 


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