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  • Friday, September 03, 2021 4:34 PM | Mary Odom (Administrator)


    Meet our intern, Kelsey Neufeld! She is a Senior at Baker University and is from Manhattan, Kansas. She will be graduating in December with two majors, International Business and Business Management along with two minors, Pre-Law and Spanish. Her interest in International Trade stemmed from a class taught by Narbeli Galindo where she discovered one way to quickly get connected to the the global business world, in which she hopes to pursue a career in, is through International trade! 

    Kelsey will be working with the ITC Global TradeWins® Committee, writing for social media and marketing campaigns, and supporting educational and networking events. We are very excited to welcome her to the ITC family!

  • Tuesday, August 03, 2021 3:56 PM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    Ms. Ramboldt has been a member of the ITC since 2019 and joined in an effort by previous President Anh Sirridge to increase trade representation on the board. She was also motivated to join because of a love for international business and cultures. As with many in the industry, Ms. Ramboldt has traveled extensively. The countries she has been to include China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, the U.K., Germany, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina; each of them she has loved. Of these countries, her favorite one to travel to was China, her home country. It is its size combined with the landmarks and culture, people, and food that are so different from place to place. It is this combination of differences in China that continues to amaze her.  

    Presently, Ms. Ramboldt is the Global Project and Solutions Manager at Staples Promotional Products. She helps to manage a global network of supplier partners that covers over 70 countries in North America, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific region, and the Europe-Middle East region. She has been in her current position since 2015 and has worked on many complex projects that involved sourcing and distribution to countries around the globe. Initially, Ms. Ramboldt worked in marketing but did not find it a satisfying job, because she felt that she did not have enough of an understanding of American culture. However, thanks to blooming US-China trade relations in the early part of this century, she found a job in Kansas City working for a manufacturer who wanted to import machinery parts from China. In this position, she learned about global sourcing and logistics which led to her first position at Staples as the Global Sourcing and Logistics Director. In her first 11 years there, she established a well-structured department that covers sourcing, import operations, compliance, export operations, and domestic freight. After this, she got involved in managing the Global Supplier network that covers markets in North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. From this, she learned how to conduct business in many countries, develop relationships, learn and experience different cultures, and make connections for customers and suppliers where it makes sense. Some of the goals that Ms. Ramboldt has include continuing to learn about international business and culture, help facilitate more global trade and exchange, spark more global interests in herself, and travel more of the world.

    Fun Facts and Advice:

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

    • Michio Kaku, because of his question for understanding the universe and our future 
    • Agatha Christie, because of her imagination and observation of life
    • Her younger self, to share the wisdom she has learned later in life

    What was the last book that you read?

    Family Trust by Kathy Wang.

    Who inspires you?

    My father. My father is a man of wisdom, integrity, and endurance. He lived through the brutal cultural revolution in China, but remained hopeful, and taught me a lot of great life lessons that still benefit me today. He is always looking forward and is now learning to drive at the age of 71!

    What advice would you give someone who wants to get into International Business/International Trade?

    Have the understanding that people in different countries do things very differently. Don’t assume the American way on others. Be respectful and open-minded, stay curious, keep learning, and really use your mind to apply your knowledge at work.

    What is something unique about you that is generally not known?

    I am an enthusiastic "RVer". My family has been camping since the early 2000s, and we have upgraded from a folding tent to a motor coach over the years. We have been to more than half of the states in the U.S. and hope to cover all the continental states one day!

  • Thursday, July 01, 2021 10:10 AM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    Joe Lohman has been a member of the ITC for 3 years now and joined to help fill a vacancy in the position of Treasurer, a role in which he still serves. As with many ITC members, Mr. Lohman was attracted to the ITC because of his enjoyment of international business, particularly in college, where those classes were his favorite. In between college and moving to Kansas City to work at Port KC, Mr. Lohman worked a with non-profit missionary agency that has 250 missionaries around the globe. He now works for Port KC and though Port KC is limited to the city limits of Kansas City, the ITC helps him to feel connected to the larger world around him. Mr. Lohman has spent a good deal of time traveling mainly through his mission trips, which included a 2-month trip in and around Narok, Kenya in 2017, and extending to Panama, Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Yangon, Myanmar.

    Presently, Mr. Lohman works for Port KC and has been with the agency for 7 years. His current position is as the Director of Finance, which converges well with his interests in the intersection of accounting, finance, economics (the micro/local impacts of business more than macro), and international business. His career has unfolded in a way that intersects well with these interests, which has made him able to explore each of them in small and different ways. His faith has had an impact on the way that his career has unfolded, most notably through the mission trips he has taken. Being a part of ITC helps him increase his awareness of global trade in Kansas City, something he views as important to his career. His career goals are fairly open-ended and not well-defined, but they include an openness to continuing education with an acknowledgement that we always need to be learning. From this mindset, Mr. Lohman sees his goals less as career goals and more as self-development goals. This way of thinking led him to become a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), similar to a CPA, and to join the board of a local CMA chapter. He is currently also enrolled in the Development Finance Certified Professional program and would like to pursue a master’s degree after he has completed that program.

    Fun Facts and Advice

    Name Three People (dead or alive) that you would invite to dinner:
    • His mother, who passed away when he was 14
    • An International Ambassador to hear about their experiences
    • Patrick Mahomes (because he would be fun to hang out with).

    What is the last book that you read?

    Trade Is Not a Four-Letter Word

    Who inspires you?

    Those with great experiences to share.

    What advice would you give someone who wants to get into International Business/International Trade?

    Throw your expectations about international business in the trash. Always be a learner.

    What else do you want to tell us about yourself/what is something unique about you that is generally not known?

    I led vocals and guitar in a band in college. The largest groups that I have played in front of was about 200 people.
  • Wednesday, June 02, 2021 2:53 PM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    President Alyson Schroer has been a member of the ITC for nearly 5 years and is currently serving as President until the end of August. Her company, The Scarbrough Group has been a member of the organization for much longer. She was motivated to join the ITC after attending the first Women in International Business Luncheon and enjoyed the event and meeting the people who were part of the organization. It was that day that she decided to become a member. As with many members of the ITC, President Schroer has traveled extensively, visiting Central America on several occasions. Her favorite place was Belize where she got to go snorkeling with her husband.

    Currently, President Schroer is working as the Corporate Compliance and Consulting Manager at The Scarbrough Group in Kansas City. Originally beginning as a receptionist for the company, she continuously took advantage of more and more opportunities and as the company has grown, she has grown with it to the position that she is in today. She has been with the company since 2005.

    Fun Facts and Advice:

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

    • Her Grandmother
    • Ryan Reynolds
    • Eleanor Roosevelt

    What was the last book you read?

    The Murmur of the Bees by Sofia Segovia.

    Who inspires you?

    Her parents. They are very hard working and taught me the importance of hard work in achieving what you want in life.

    What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into International Business/International Trade?

    There are so many different aspects to explore, so be comfortable exploring them. It is a constantly changing industry, and it is one of the reasons that I enjoy being involved in it. It is never the same.

    What else do you want to tell us about yourself/what is something unique about you that is generally not known?

    I love spending time with my family, my husband and our two kids, as well as the Corgi puppy. I love to spend a lot of time in the garden, planting, and enjoy harvesting in the fall to make my salsa.

  • Thursday, April 29, 2021 9:12 AM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    Ms. Moore has been a member of the ITC since 2018, for a little more than 2 and a half years now. She joined the ITC, because at the time, she was starting out as a Remote Sales Representative and wanted to help build the brand locally for the company she was working for and give them good brand exposure through a local network, a need that she thought was met by the ITC. As with many in the international trade industry, she is well travelled, having been to the Caribbean, Peru, Honduras, and China. Of these places, China is the country that she enjoyed visiting the most, because it provided her with a direct, personal insight to the people with whom she works every day. Additionally, it gave her an appreciation for the life, the culture, and the hard work they do.

    Presently, Ms. Moore is working with a tech company called Optimally, as a Senior Account Executive. Optimally is a technology company that brings big data to small and medium sized businesses to help with operations and managing expenses. Her role in this is introducing people to Optimally to see how Optimally can help their business. Her career has included a lot of hard work and making genuine connections with others is the reason she is successful today. Her current position came through a friend who knew the owner and a unique circle of women who through professional connections created this opportunity. The main goal in her career is balance between being a career-driven woman and all the other things that she is in life. Additionally, she wants to know that the things she is doing in her career are having a positive impact. Therefore, she works hard, taking her job very seriously and studying early on to be able to help her clients.

    Fun Facts and Advice:

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

    • Jesus 
    • Tom Petty
    • A friend of hers who shares the same palate as her so she can try more foods

    What was the last book that you read and what are you currently reading?

    Presently, she is reading Women Who Run with Wolves, a kind of collection of fables about the ‘wild’ women who are in tune with themselves.
    The last book that she read was called Educated.

    Who inspires you?

    In some ways, everyone, because the negative aspects that you see in others give you an opportunity to see what you do not want to be and want to avoid
    Additionally, her mother, who was also a very career driven woman who had four children and basically did it all. She wants to emulate the happiness and love of her mother.

    What advice would you give someone who wants to get into International Business/International Trade?

    Definitely do it. To someone who wants to get involved, try to immerse yourself in the industry, in what is going on, talk to other people who have been in the business, especially in the aspect of it that you want to get into. It will make your journey easier. And stay engaged, it is an industry that changes on a regular basis. When you look at historical trends, breathe, the world will not end.

    What else do you want to tell us about yourself/what is something unique about you that is generally not known?

    She is a proud Delaware Lenape Indian, and is active in her tribe. Her grandmother has tried to teach her to do beading, and some of the other cultural aspects of Native American life.
  • Wednesday, April 28, 2021 5:01 PM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    Narbeli Galindo – GlobalEITRade LLC President & CEO, Mealman Business Leadership and Innovation Chair, and Associate Professor of Business and Economics – presented on “NextGen International Trade Professional: Preparing a Pipeline for Kansas City”. 


    Narbeli has had quite the expansive and impressive upbringing and career. She was born in Colombia, grew up in Switzerland, attended University in Austin, TX and then pursued graduate school at Thunderbird in Arizona. Her career jumpstarted in New York City with Warner Lambert/Pfizer where she travelled and lived throughout Japan, UK, and Colombia. She then joined AT&T as an International Marketing Manager Senior Strategist, before relocating to Kansas City to serve as the Global Marketing Strategist for Sprint. In 2003, Narbeli seized the opportunity to start her own importing business – Narbeli’s Imports LLC – where she imported items from over 20 countries with clients such as Nelson Atkins and Kauffman. She has also served as Senior Marketing Strategist at Cerner and Professor of International Management at UMKC. 

    Community Involvement is clearly a passion of Narbeli’s, as evidenced by her work and leadership with International Trade Council of Greater KC, International Relations Council, KC International Steering Committee, South KC Chamber of Commerce, and the FBI Kansas City Citizens Academy. Her work with these groups led to another career change landing Narbeli at the Economic Development Council of Kansas City serving as the Director of International Trade & Affairs. Unsurprisingly – Narbeli was recognized with several awards throughout her time in this role. 

    Throughout her career, Narbeli quickly realized that companies need help understanding and utilizing their resources to go global. To satisfy this need, Narbeli founded GlobalEITrade LLC to consult on all things global!

    Narbeli left the group with a few tips that she has learned over the years:

    1. Stay informed
    2. Network
    3. Volunteer
    4. It is all up to you, how far you want go
    5. Learn to prioritize
    6. Be curious
    7. Be adaptable and flexible
    8. Partner with others
    9. Keep learning
    10. Get vaccinated 

    Watch the recording and/or download the slides.

    Written by Kelly Steck, ITC Board Member   

  • Monday, April 05, 2021 4:32 PM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    On March 26th Chris Gutierrez, President of Kansas City SmartPort, Inc. joined the International Trade Council to provide an update on Kansas City’s logistics industry.


    SmartPort is a non-profit economic development organization that works to attract freight-based companies, such as manufacturing, distributions, and warehouses to the 18-county, bi-state Kansas City region. Chris and his team at SmartPort contributed to record development in 2020, and are confident that 2021 could surpass 2020’s growth. 

    • Chris has worked in development, logistics, and international business for more than thirty years – in both the public and private sectors. His passion around international business actually started at a young age when he and his Dad realized that if they sent American beer overseas, they would receive Foreign beers back. He started quite the beer can collection!
    • Throughout Chris’s career, he has traveled to about 40 different countries, and has some great (sometimes scary) travel stories.
    • SmartPort was responsible for bringing in 12 new companies to KC in 2020 – about 4.4 million square feet of space and $900M in capital investment, 3,000+ jobs, and $123M in payroll. Companies that added new locations in KC in 2020 include: Chewy, Urban Outfitters, Dot's Homestyle Pretzels, Melaleuca, Pretzels Inc., Tuthill, Kenco Logistics, Project Frosty, UPS, Phoenix Package Logistics, BoxyCharm, and World Pantry.
    • Much of the current and anticipated growth stems from the Food & Beverage and E-commerce industries.
    • Chris and his team have been leaning on social media and technology to tell the story of KC during the pandemic and plan to incorporate this strategy, in addition to in person conferences and meetings, in the future. The team’s passion for Kansas City economic development is evident and allows them to really explain why Kansas City is a crucial area in which to invest.

    Written by Kelly Steck, ITC Board Member     

    Access the presentation slides here.                               

  • Thursday, April 01, 2021 11:57 AM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    Kelly (Stokes) Steck has been a member of the ITC for seven months and joined because of her background, passions, and interest in international trade. Additionally, she joined because she was interested in learning more about other companies’ views on international trade, as well as learning more about the Kansas City companies with a global footprint—whether that be well-established ones or just-getting-started ones. She was fortunate enough to begin working for a company with significant foreign operations right out of college. Like many in the industry, Mrs. Steck has travelled extensively. She has traveled predominantly in both Latin America and Europe. Of all the places that she has been to, her favorite country is Spain, specifically the city of Barcelona. In her words, “the city, beaches, history, culture, and food are hard to beat!”

    Kelly is a Senior Account Manager at Lockton Companies. She coordinates non-US risk management for US-headquartered companies and has been in this role for around 4 years. One of the goals that she has includes continually learning and getting out of her comfort zone, a goal that she applies to both her personal and her professional life.

    Fun Facts and Advice:

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

    • Michelle Obama
    • Hedy Lamarr
    • Sacagawea

    What is the last book that you read?

    “The Lost Girls of Paris” by Pam Jenoff. (She is a sucker for anything WWII related!

    Who inspires you?

    “This may be cliché, but my Mom is one of my greatest sources of inspiration. She is a fun-loving, hard-working, barrier-breaking professional woman and the best Mom a family could ask for!”

    What advice would you give someone who wants to get into International Business?

    “Do it! Get curious, be open-minded, do your research, travel, create meaningful relationships, and be ready to work some weird hours…”

    What else do you want to tell us about yourself; what is something unique about you that is generally not known?

    “I love interior design and real estate – you can frequently find me searching through warehouses in the west bottoms for the best vintage finds or at random open houses throughout the city!”


  • Wednesday, March 10, 2021 3:56 PM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    On February 26th the International Trade Council partnered with Nabil Nahra, President of Premium Products International, for an overview of international sales and distribution. With 37 years of experience in global marketing, Nabil has a treasure trove of unique stories evidencing just how necessary a global perspective is to succeeding and growing your business.


    Here are some key takeaways:

    • Understanding what your clients' (and their clients') needs and wants is key. Hone in on who the real decision maker is and be sure they are included in the conversation.
    • Always offer more, ask additional questions, and seek to understand the local market needs.
    • Build your business plan anticipating setbacks/difficulties. For Nabil, samples seem to be a constant difficulty – traveling with them, having enough, clients requesting to keep them, etc.
    • Think outside the box, identify your obstacles, and problem solve creatively.
    • Be able to identify and discuss what makes your offerings different than your competitors – honor your commitments, and deliver on your promises.
    • While technology is helpful, never underestimate the value of visiting local markets.

    By Kelly Steck, ITC Board Member

  • Wednesday, March 03, 2021 4:32 PM | Mary Odom (Administrator)

    Multimodal Infrastructure Opportunity: Missouri River Terminal

    Project Overview

    Port KC plans to pursue the development of MRT as an advanced state-of-the-art intermodal development which will enhance the region’s rail, water and highway trade platform.

    —Port KC is in the advanced planning stages for the MRT after purchasing the 415-acre site in 2018 from AK Steel Corporation.

    —To enable development of the MRT, Port KC is looking to engage with partners through long-term master development agreement(s) to finance, construct and develop the capital investment, future operational management and maintenance of the Project.

    —In October 2020, USDOT awarded Port KC a Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) Grant for $9.88 million to accelerate the planning and early works construction activities required to advance the MRT’s progress to full site construction quickly after environmental approvals are received.


    Opportunity Overview

    The Port Authority of Kansas City, Missouri (“Port KC”) is seeking a partner(s) for the development of a large-scale intermodal facility along the Missouri River in Kansas City, Missouri. The Missouri River Terminal (the “MRT” or “Project”) will offer new access points and significant market reach which will expand Kansas City’s capacity for efficient management of intermodal containers into and out of the local and regional freight markets in Missouri, Kansas and beyond.

    The MRT will expand beyond Port KC's current bulk and breakbulk facilities to establish and construct:

    • New river terminals leveraging existing dock infrastructure to accept vessels with container vessels, container on barge, and storage services;
    • Creation of new short line railroad with over five miles of new track to serve containerized cargo that can be switched to five Class 1 railroads or truckload transfer;
    • Direct access to Interstate 435 and the Kansas City interstate highway system;
    • Warehousing and office buildings; and
    • Industrial activities and production zoning.

    Investment Highlights

    Well positioned for multiple transportation modes

    Kansas City’s vast transportation network includes:

    • Four interstate highways;
    • Missouri River Marine Highway;
    • Rail connections through five Class I railroads; and
    • Unique central national freight lanes serving Kansas City’s North-South and East-West trade access points.

    Demand

    ―Since reopening barge traffic in 2015, Port KC has seen nearly 51% annual growth in total tonnage.

    ―Intermodal container volumes are expected to grow at approximately 3.9% annually over the next 20 years, doubling the need for TEU container capacity in the Kansas City region.

    ―Kansas City is one of the fastest growing regions in the U.S. freight market, resulting in significant demand to increase freight capacity for all modes of transportation including container, intermodal and transload activity.

    Project development and approvals

    Port KC has been awarded a PIDP grant of approximately $10 million.

    Port KC has purchased the 415-acre MRT site and is the process of conducting environmental mitigation on the site.

    Port KC is in the process of applying to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to become its own Class III railroad and will be point agency for environmental approvals of the site.

    Superior location

    ―Property is approximately 415 acres that is bound by road rail and water access

    ―With close proximity to the Missouri River on the North, Interstate 435 to the West and rail access from the Kansas City Terminal Railroad to the South, the MRT has potential to be a major multimodal freight transfer facility.


    Process and Timeline

    PortKC is contemplating a variety of public private partnership(P3) models to finance, develop, manage, and operate the Project. Once a preferred approach(es) are identified, the Port is anticipating to commence the process to identify potential partners through procurement in calendar year 2021.

    Some key anticipated dates include (subject to change):


    Contacts:

    Ted Hamer, Managing Director
    thamer@kpmg.com

    Justin Clarke, Director
    justinclarke@kpmg.com

    Thanks to Joe Lohman and Richard Grenville for sharing this exciting news!

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