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.
Zach Severin: MITA President
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.
Mindy L. Ruffalo: Vice President
International Business Consultant
Mindy Ruffalo is a tenured international business consulting executive specializing in market development in Asia and Europe. Prior to that she oversaw the International Economic Development Department for the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on numerous trade and international relations related boards. Mindy brings a wealth of world experience to her clients and board accountabilities with degrees in International Business Management and Political Science from Franklin University, Switzerland and studies in Chinese Business and Mandarin from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China. From an early age, Mindy developed her career in international business working for blue-chip companies in Europe, Asia and the U.S. Thanks to her education and career abroad, she is fluent in Italian and Mandarin Chinese. Currently, Mindy holds various posts serving as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Midwest International Trade Association, Board Member on the Omaha Sister Cities Association, Chair for the Nebraska Chinese Association Advisory Committee, Advisor on the University of Nebraska – Omaha Industry Advisory Board and Advisor on the University of Nebraska – Omaha Supply Chain Advisory Board. She has also served recently as Vice Chair of the Phoenix National Association of Asian American Professionals. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Mindy now lives in Omaha, Nebraska. She and her husband Barry, daughter, Ava, and stepchildren Kathrine and William, enjoy family time, travel, running, hiking, motorcycling and the great outdoors in general.
Karen Pinkall: MITA Treasurer
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 Secretary
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.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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.
Kathy Daniel, CFE, is the Director of International Business Development for Home Instead Senior Care. Home Instead is the world’s leading home care provider for the elderly operating in 12 countries and providing over 70 million hours of care annually by 65,000 trained caregivers. Kathy enjoys working with people around the world and is excited to be part of the MITA Board. She is also an active member of the International Franchise Association, serving on their International Committee.
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
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
Juan José Miceli is the Latin American Business Specialist at LI-COR Biosciences. In his role, he works with distributors in Latin American and India as well as direct sales territories to assess and develop the market potential through proactive means. Juan José manages sales and questions related to purchasing and shipping processes and export regulations. He 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. Along with his sales and technical responsibilities, Juan José is actively involved in the development of marketing initiatives, such as advertising campaigns and print/web marketing material. 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
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.
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.
Keith Larsen: MITA Past President
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.
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
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.
Michael is the Director of Logistics at Westin Foods, Inc. & Divisions Feaster Foods, Westin Cold Storage, Westin Packaged Meats, Westin Health and Wellness, Investments: Dominex, Mario Camacho Foods, Shelby County Cookers, Mae’s Health and Wellness, & Great American Appetizers since April 1, 2013. Michael first joined Westin Foods, Inc., Mario Camacho Food, America’s largest green olive importer, on September 01, 2001, as Senior Director of Supply Chain & Logistics & Director of Corporate Security. Michael has over 30 years of experience in Transportation/Supply Chain/Logistic/Warehousing Management. Michael is a past MITA Board of Director.
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.”