WE ARE HERE TO HELP
The Midwest International Trade Association (MITA), is an organization that encourages the expansion of trade between the Midwest and foreign markets by sponsoring. Take a moment to learn more about our great leadership group.
Brian Gordon: MITA President
Senior Vice President & Manager
International Banking Group
Brian joined Commerce in May 2012 with a wealth of knowledge in the international banking industry.He started his banking career at National Bank of Commerce in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1989 while attending the University of Nebraska, working in their international banking department.In 2000, he moved to the Wells Fargo HSBC Trade Bank where he focused his business development efforts in 7 midwestern states.He then joined Sovereign Bank in the MidAtlantic & New England markets to set up a structured trade finance group. Before returning to the Midwest to join Commerce he was with HSBC in New York City as an international business development officer covering CT, NJ, NY, PA, MD, VA, and Washington DC.He has 30 years experience in trade services operations, trade finance, and structured trade finance areas and has also worked closely with global treasury and foreign exchange.He serves as board president for MITA (Midwest International Trade Association), is on the advisory board of the World Trade Center-Kansas City. Is currently Co-Chair of the BAFT (Bankers Association for Finance & Trade) Regional Banks Council, and serves on the memberships committee of BAFT globally.
Karen Pinkall: MITA Vice President
First National Bank of Omaha
Director, Global Banking
Karen Pinkall serves as senior manager for the Global Trade Services Group at First National Bank of Omaha. In that role, Karen manages a team that oversees trade finance sales and operations for the bank. In addition to offering trade solutions to customers, Karen and her team conduct training to customers and bank professionals. Karen is a 1995 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she received her bachelor’s of art degree in international affairs. She went on to earn a master’s degree from Florida State University, where she studied international affairs. Prior to joining First National, Karen worked on the international trade desk at Wells Fargo Bank in Omaha, Neb., and managed two Omaha retail banking stores at Centris Federal Credit Union. In the community, she is a guild member for Angels Among Us, a nonprofit that helps meet the financial needs of families with children battling cancer, and is a member of the Crestridge Elementary School’s Parent-Teacher Organization. She also is an active member and past board president at St. Michael Lutheran Church. She currently resides in Omaha with her husband Andy, and their children, Lily and Anna.
Janie Ogg: MITA Treasurer
Janie Ogg is the Logistics Manager for Lindsay Corporation, responsible for both domestic and international transportation for the Irrigation Division. Janie manages their in-house domestic truck brokerage division, Lindsay Transportation Inc. She is also responsible for international transportation for all other Lindsay USA entities. Janie has been in the import and export business for 26 years, working for both importers and exporters, as well as freight forwarding companies, which gives her experience in handling import/export documentation, compliance and freight negotiations.
Jim Hushka: MITA Secretary
Jim Hushka, CCE, CICP is the Credit Manager for Warren Distribution, Inc. located in Omaha, NE. He began his more than 19 year career in credit management shortly after receiving his Bachelor of Arts from Creighton University. Jim has held board positions for the Nebraska Connect affiliate of the National Association of Credit Management (NACM), the Omaha/Lincoln Chapter of the Credit Financial Development Division (CFDD), as well the national board of CFDD. Jim currently lives in Omaha, NE with his wife Carrie and sons Stephen, Henry, and Jude.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Oxbow Animal Health
Director of Business Development
Jeremy Baker is currently with Oxbow Animal Health where he has served in multiple capacities within the sales division both domestically and internationally. Jeremy joined Oxbow Animal health in 2007 after moving back from Chicago, IL where he held several roles in both sales and marketing for Black & Decker and Dewalt. You always come back home right? At least if home is Nebraska! Currently Jeremy serves as the Director of Business Development for Oxbow Animal Health. Leading a sales and customer service team of eight is only part of the fun. He is a member of the leadership team at the organization and works to support the strategic direction of a rapidly growing animal health company, in a global marketplace. Oxbow Animal Health currently supplies products throughout all of North America in addition to 30 other countries. Jeremy earned a degree in Marketing and Management from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He currently lives in Omaha, NE with his wife and two amazing boys with a third on the way! My philosophy is to always believe in yourself, your dreams, learn something new every day and strive to make a difference in the lives of others through knowledge and wisdom.
CFO Systems, LLC
Neal Greenberg has more than 30 years of financial and operations experience specializing in the renewable fuels, transportation, healthcare, communications, and advertising industries. He works closely with clients to improve operational efficiency, develop strategic plans, be SEC compliant, improve balance sheet management, and strengthen board relations.
Neal has served companies in the roles of President, CFO, Director of Operations and Controller. He has led efforts to improve efficiency, reducing staff and overtime by 50% while improving productivity. In addition, Neal has designed reporting packages to provide a Board of Directors with needed data to make timely management decisions. He eliminated the need for capital contributions by developing a rolling five-week cash flow report and improving overall cash flow by cutting invoicing time from three weeks to one week. He has negotiated debt instruments totaling over $25mm and is experienced in XBRL detail tagging and SEC reporting for many companies.
As an entrepreneur, Neal has experience securing funding through venture capital firms and leading company acquisitions. He founded and ran his own wholesale and manufacturing enterprise and led an improvement in productivity that increased production volume over 300% over two years while lowering production time and costs by 20%.
Husch Blackwell LLP
Grant is a highly adaptive transactional attorney and a member of the firm’s Energy & Natural Resources team. He focuses his practice on international trade, international compliance, securities, mergers, acquisitions and general corporate matters. Prior to his time at Husch Blackwell, Grant was an associate attorney at another law firm, and then spent six years as an in-house attorney for an international agricultural equipment manufacturer.
Terry McMullen: MITA Past President
AIT Worldwide Logistics/Cargo Zone LLC
Branch Owner of AIT Worldwide Logistics/Omaha
President of Cargo Zone LLC
Terry McMullen is the Branch Owner of AIT Worldwide Logistics/Omaha and the President of Cargo Zone LLC – the General Purpose Foreign Trade Zone Operator for the Omaha Chamber of Commerce. With over 35 years in the transportation industry, Terry and his wife, Lori, co-founded T.L.K. Air Care, Inc. currently dba AIT Worldwide Logistics in 1991. TLK is a Nebraska company that has grown from just two employees to over 30 transport specialists, serving hundreds of clients across the Midwest with global supply chain needs for all import, export, and domestic transportation modes.
Juan José Miceli
International Operations Manager
Juan José Miceli is the International Operations Manager at LI-COR Biosciences. In his role, Juan José manages regional environmental distribution and Direct International Sales. Establish and maintain solid distributor relationships to ensure focus. Help to coordinate regular distributor meetings (regional and worldwide). Plan and implement product demonstrations, seminars, exhibitions, equipment installation, and customer training. Oversee and evaluate distributor sales and technical training. Organize distributor visits and related support activities. In conjunction with distributions partners, develop sales and support strategies and operating plans with metrics to ensure the performance of established revenue targets. Manage daily sales activities within the International Sales Group and make decisions for technical sales issues. Lead the technical sales process and development/implementation of sales strategies and objectives. Prepare market analysis on request. Develop metrics to quantify and predict market potential by geography and customer segments. Carry out the Export Compliance program to ensure ongoing export compliance privileges. Train distribution partners on screening techniques to confirm compliance through our global distribution network. Improve distribution partners’ ability to support customers by arranging technical training. Work with distribution partners to prepare local-language marketing collateral. Provide input on the unique needs of markets with different geographies, languages, business cultures, and procurement processes.
Juan José provides technical support to researchers in English, Spanish and Portuguese, as well as on-site and remote training, workshops and demonstrations to customers and distributors. Juan José holds a Master’s of Science in Agronomy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy Engineering. He likes traveling and trying new foods and learning about new cultures and languages. In his spare time, he enjoys running and reading.
Russell L. Schertz
Leo A. Daly
Market Sector Leader – Food/Distribution/Manufacturing
Russell has designed and managed an array of expansion projects directly for major food companies over the last 21 years, managing projects that include ammonia refrigeration, automated crane systems and robotics. He is experienced in design of the site, building envelope, utility systems, manufacturing lines, control systems, material handling and finished goods distribution for both green field projects and plant expansions. His specialties include ammonia refrigeration and clean room design details. With a unique perspective as an owner’s representative, Russell always maintains focus on the owner’s needs and expectations by continually communicating with the client and right-sizing the engineering effort to provide the best value.
Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce
Senior Director, International Business Development
Andrew Schilling joined the Greater Omaha Chamber as senior director for international business development in October 2018. His responsibilities include export promotion, foreign direct investment, and other business development opportunities with international partners. Andy comes to the Chamber via the First National Bank of Omaha, where he was employed in the enterprise marketing department, with previous experience in the Bank’s mortgage, credit card and risk management areas.
Before joining First National, Andy was a career diplomat with the U.S. Department of State, specializing in public diplomacy and strategic communications. In his 24 years with the foreign service, Andy served as a public affairs officer at U.S. embassies in Warsaw, Oslo, Vienna, Rome and Tokyo. He is fluent in German, Italian and French, and speaks or reads six other languages, including Japanese. Andy graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in Modern Languages, and served four years in the Navy as a surface warfare officer.
After his naval service, he earned an MBA in marketing from The Wharton School, and worked four years on Madison Avenue as an advertising account executive at Young & Rubicam New York. Following his foreign service career, Andy resettled his family to Omaha and accepted a position as the command speechwriter at U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt AFB. Andy is a board member and Vice President of the Omaha Sister Cities Association. He serves on the UNO International Studies Community Advisory Board. As an adjunct professor at Sheridan University (WY), he teaches online courses in International Business and Electronic Commerce. He and his wife Tracy have two grown sons: Tony, a graduate of Creighton; and Jamey, who graduated last year from Marquette.
Zach Severin: Immediate Past President
Ascent Global Logistics
Director of Strategic Accounts / Business Development
Zach Severin is the Director of Strategic Accounts / Business Development for Ascent Global Logistics in Omaha, NE. Ascent Global Logistics is a C-TPAT validated NVOCC and Licensed U.S. Customs Broker authorized to operate in every U.S. Port of Entry. Ascent provides a full range of Customhouse and freight-forwarding services along with discerning attention to U.S. Customs and other government agency compliance demands. Zach, a licensed custom broker, has spent time with Ascent in Kansas City, MO and Chicago, IL prior to returning to his Omaha roots.
Vantec Hitachi Transport System (USA), Inc.
Adam is a Regional Sales Executive for Vantec Hitachi Transport System (USA), Inc., a full-service international freight forwarder, NVOCC, and U.S. Customs Broker. Experienced in international transportation and logistics services, he customizes supply-chain solutions for Midwest companies involved in global trade and procurement. Adam preserves his “heartland” values and volunteers at UNO’s International Professional Development (IPD) program and is an active participant in the International Traders of Iowa (ITI) organization. In his spare time, he enjoys connecting with friends, traveling, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A native of Manchester, Iowa, he is a 2007 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa’s College of Business. He currently resides in Omaha, Nebraska.
U.S. Commercial Service – Omaha
Meredith Bond is the Director of the US Commercial Service’s Omaha office, a federal agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Commercial Service works with companies who are expanding their international business as well as those just beginning export sales. As the Director covering Nebraska, she manages a diverse portfolio of clients by developing international marketing strategies, performing market research and locating overseas business contacts. She has served as President of the Midwest International Trade Association (MITA) and served on the organization’s Board Advisory Committee. In 2007 she achieved “CGBP” certification. The Certified Global Business Professional exam provides a benchmark for competency in global commerce. Meredith is a graduate of Bucknell University and received a Masters in International Affairs from American University.
Keith Larsen: MITA Past President
McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, PC LLO
Keith is a partner in the McGrath North law firm in Omaha. He has acted as lead counsel on acquisitions, divestitures and joint venture transactions in numerous countries, and advised on a variety of international trade, distributorship and other commercial transactions for over 20 years. He is also a former adjunct professor of International Business Transactions at Creighton University School of Law. Keith is also a past president of MITA.
Crane Worldwide Logistics
Global Account Executive
Ronn Nolin is a Global Account Executive for Crane Worldwide Logistics, a licensed Freight Forwarding, NVOCC and US Customs Broker, globally headquartered in Houston, Texas. In addition to freight forwarding, Crane Worldwide also has a Full Truckload subsidiary, Crane Freight and Cartage, that operates throughout North America. Mr. Nolin has 18 years of transportation industry experience and is responsible for account management and driving sales for logistics solutions throughout the world. He has been active in MITA for 10 years serving on the Board of Directors as well as the Advisory Council. Crane Worldwide was founded in 2008, and has grown from 12 offices and $40M in business that year, to 72 offices in 22 countries and plans to exceed $650M in 2013. Ronn is a native of Colorado who graduated from Doane College in 1992, and has lived in Nebraska since.
Susan Rouch: MITA Past President
Nebraska Department of Economic Development
Office of International Trade & Investment
Susan joined the Department of Economic Development in 1983 to establish a state-wide export trade lead program. She has since initiated and manages a variety of programs to support and expand international trade and investment for Nebraska businesses. As director of the Office of International Trade and Investment, Susan has led a number of international trade missions abroad, traveling to Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Great Britain, Germany, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Russia and the Ukraine. She is past president and member of the Board of Directors of the Midwest International Trade Association (MITA) and currently serves on their Advisory Committee.
Gloria has served as the Executive Assistant for the Midwest International Trade Association for the past fourteen years. She provides support to the MITA President, to the Board of Directors and to the Advisory Council as well as current MITA member companies. Gloria is a past Board of Director of the Midwest International Trade Association while working as an International Banker at Wells Fargo.
“MITA helped us expand our business by venturing into internation trade. Thanks for all your help.”