Gina M. Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce
Gina M. Raimondo serves as the 40th U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on March 3,2021. As Secretary of Commerce, she is focused on a simple but vital mission — to spur good-paying jobs, empower entrepreneurs to innovate and grow, and help American workers and businesses compete.
Secretary Raimondo was formerly the 75th Governor of Rhode Island and its first woman governor. She grew up in Smithfield in a tight-knit Italian-American family, the youngest of Joseph and Josephine Raimondo’s three children. Her family history and her childhood experiences shaped her core beliefs in hard work, opportunity for all, and the importance of financial security.
In November 2010, Secretary Raimondo was elected to serve as General Treasurer of Rhode Island, receiving the largest number of votes of any statewide candidate. Secretary Raimondo was sworn into office as Governor in January 2015 and won a second term in 2018. During her time as Governor, Secretary Raimondo kick-started the state’s economy and made record investments in infrastructure, education, and job training. She focused tirelessly on creating economic opportunities and good-paying jobs for all Rhode Islanders.
Sirat Attapit, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Before joining USTR, Ms. Attapit served as Director of Legislative Affairs for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Prior to that, she spent nearly a decade on Capitol Hill working on a wide range of issues, including international affairs, trade, defense, Social Security and anti-poverty programs. While there, she worked for the Committee on Ways and Means, the House Democratic Caucus, former Rep. Xavier Becerra, and Sen. Richard Durbin. Additionally, Ms. Attapit worked for the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and for the RAND Corporation.
She began her professional career as an attorney in private practice in Illinois. Ms. Attapit holds a J.D. and an MBA from the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent College of Law and Stuart School of Business, respectively, and a B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Amy Celico, Principal, Albright Stonebridge Group
Amy Celico leads ASG’s China team in Washington, DC. She develops and implements strategies for clients, helping them deepen relationships with key stakeholders, resolve complex problems, and build and expand their business.
Prior to joining ASG, Ms. Celico served as Senior Director for China Affairs at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Previously, Ms. Celico served as Deputy Director of the Office of the Chinese Economic Area at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She also worked for the U.S. Department of State in Beijing and Shanghai. Prior to government service, Ms. Celico was the Director of Development for the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies. Ms. Celico earned a B.A. in Asian Studies from Mount Holyoke College and completed her M.A. at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Kelly Coutu, Vice President of Supply Chain, Teknor Apex
Kelly Coutu is a Supply Chain professional with 23 years’ experience leading and developing manufacturing organizations with a focus towards change management and employee development, in concert with addressing system, process, and technology enhancements to deliver sustainable strategic growth.
A Rhode Island native who pursued her education locally, she has a BA in Psychology from Rhode Island College and an MBA from Bryant University, and is also a member of the APICs Providence Chapter. Ms. Coutu currently leads the Supply Chain evolution for a predominate global custom compound manufacturer, Teknor Apex Company, head quartered in Pawtucket, RI with 10 domestic and 4 international manufacturing locations. She has been with Teknor Apex Company for 19 years, where she has had many opportunities to grow the organization while expanding her business acumen with roles within Procurement, Sales, Marketing, IT/Project Management, and Supply Chain. Her diverse background of experiences provides her with a unique insight to the challenges facing supply chains globally; especially with an eye toward delivering on the customer experience while balancing profitability and cash flow.
Dan Gardner, President, Trade Facilitators Inc.
Dan Gardner is president of Trade Facilitators, Inc., a Los Angeles based consulting firm dedicated to the fields of global supply chain management, logistics and trade compliance. Prior to founding TFI, Dan worked in the 3rd Party Logistics industry where he held senior roles that include President of Latin America for Exel Global Logistics, President of Ocean World Lines and SVP USA with DHL Global Forwarding.
Mr. Gardner’s activities at TFI focus on consulting with Beneficial Cargo Owners, as well as providing strategic, operational and commercial advice to technology startups in the logistics and supply chain space.
Kai Hattendorf, CEO/Managing Director, Global Association of the Exhibition Industry
As CEO/Managing Director, Mr. Hattendorf is responsible for activities of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry – also known as UFI – and operation of UFI’s Paris headquarters and offices in China, Europe, the Middle East and South America. He is President of the Joint Meetings Industry Council, the council of international associations serving the business events industry.
Prior to his current role, Mr. Hattendorf worked in the exhibition industry at Messe Frankfurt’s global headquarters, focusing on transformational issues ranging from digitization to marketing and communications. His previous career included leadership positions in marketing/strategic communications as well as in strategy and product development for Deutsche Telekom Group, the dpa Group and a fintech start-up.
A journalist by education, Mr. Hattendorf has worked for WDR and Radio Bremen in Germany, at Euronews in France, the BBC in the U.K., and the Voice of America.
Karen Kenney is the founder and President of K2 Trade Solutions, a global trade management advisory firm assisting companies in optimizing their trade compliance and supply chains to save time and money and reduce risk.
Prior to K2 Trade Solutions, Ms. Kenney served as the President of Janel Group, a public global logistics service provider with 15 offices across the U.S. There she led the company’s national operations and the planning and execution of its long-term growth strategy around the globe. In previous roles, she served as Vice President of Global Partnerships for Janel Group and, earlier, as President of Liberty International.
She’s held positions across the supply chain with more than 30 years’ experience in Customs brokerage, freight forwarding, trade compliance, cargo security, business development and the creation and implementation of supply chain technology solutions. She’s led the sourcing, due diligence and successful integration of several Customs brokerage and freight forwarding acquisitions. Ms. Kenney has developed overseas agency networks and traveled extensively in the Far East, with particular emphasis on mainland China.
Ms. Kenney is a founding member of the Coalition of New England Companies for Trade (CONECT) and is its current Chair. She’s a past member of CBP’s 12th and 13th COACs (Commercial Operations Advisory Committee), and currently serves on the COAC’s AD/CVD subcommittee.
Pete Mento is considered one of the most connected trade professionals in the world and is a highly sought-after speaker. A former standup comedian, he has delivered lectures to tens of thousands of people, and his style of mixing economics, history and humor is a welcome change from standard fair.
His webinar series has become the standard for staying current on global commerce, and his podcast “Trade Geek” has over 10,000 subscribers.
In addition to specializing in the elimination, recovery and minimization of duties, Mr. Mento assists companies with import and export trade compliance, audit defense and cargo security programs. He has served as Partner and Practice Leader for the customs practices of firms that include Ryan, KPMG and Crowe. He also has run global customs operations for major freight forwarders Expeditors, C.H. Robinson and Crane Worldwide, among others. He now consults private firms and transportation companies on a number of related topics.
Mark O’Connell, CEO/Founder, OCO Global
OCO Global is an advisory firm in trade and investment with over 100 staff and offices in the U.S., Asia, Europe Latin America and the Middle East. Prior to establishing OCO Global in 2001, Mr. O’Connell worked for the Irish Government Export Agency, Enterprise Ireland and PwC. He has over 30 years of experience working in trade promotion and foreign investment attraction in Asia, Europe and North America and has advised hundreds of exporters on market entry, expansion and diversification. He also advises government agencies such as the U.K. Department of International Trade, Business France, Select USA and JETRO Japan, as well as numerous U.S. states on trade and investment strategies.
Mr. O’Connell and OCO Global regularly publish thought leadership and insight papers on issues affecting global trade and investment. He is also regularly cited as an international trade and FDI expert in leading publications, including The Economist, Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.
Dr. Colm Reilly, CEO, Cyro Advisory Solutions
Dr. Colm Reilly is an experienced professional in Economic Development, including Industrial Cluster Development, R&D, International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment and Entrepreneurship. In the past 15 years, he has worked as a senior executive in a global consulting organization where he has been responsible for delivering the commercial results. In this role, he was asked by clients to create new operations that he has operated for many years.
His current company Cyro Advisory Solutions offers new solutions to scaling and developing companies internationally, with a focus on EdTech, Lifesciences, Healthcare and Fintech solutions. He works with clients across the world, including the USA, Middle East and Asia and works alongside governments in developing capability to meet current and emerging trends.
Peter M. Tirschwell, Vice President, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit
Peter Tirschwell is Vice President in the Maritime & Trade business of IHS Markit, a global data, analytics and business intelligence organization serving sectors including maritime, energy, automotive, petrochemical and financial. In his role Mr. Tirschwell leads the Journal of Commerce, the historic New York City maritime newspaper founded in 1827 by Samuel F.B. Morse, now a team of specialized business journalists focused on the end-to-end shipping supply chain including shipping, ports, airfreight, trucking, rail and home delivery, addressed to the needs of shippers.
A career business journalist, Peter has served as a maritime reporter, West Coast Bureau Chief, Editor in Chief and Publisher of The Journal of Commerce, over the course of his 25 year+ career with the JOC beginning as a maritime beat reporter in the early 1990s. He is the founder and chairman of the annual JOC TPM conference in Long Beach, Calif., the world’s largest container shipping conference. He writes a regular column, speaks regularly at industry events and has been quoted in mainstream business media including the BBC, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and The New York Times.
Isabelle Vermeersch, CEO, Centipid, LLC
Isabelle Vermeersch is the founder and CEO of Centipid, a Westport, CT-based consulting firm, specializing in trade compliance and international supply chain optimization. Ms. Vermeersch founded Centipid in 2000 after spending five years as Purchasing and Planning Manager for a US division of Aptar Group, a billion-dollar global supplier of dispensing systems for consumer products, with manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe, Asia and South America. After overhauling the company’s supply chain, she saw the same need in other organizations and created Centipid to help more stakeholders optimize their trade compliance and supply chains. Today, Centipid’s clients include large and small importers and exporters. With decades of experience, the Centipid team has helped companies successfully certify in U.S. CBP’s CTPAT programs and managed worldwide transportation and sustainability initiatives for billion-dollar global companies.
Ms. Vermeersch received her Master’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Liege in Belgium and earned an MBA in Business Administration from NAU in the US. She speaks 7 languages and has traveled extensively on behalf of her clients in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Elle Woulfe, Vice President of Growth Marketing, InVision
Ms. Woulfe is a performance marketing practitioner with expertise in demand generation and marketing operations. In 2019 she was named one of the most fascinating people in B2B Marketing. She is a revenue-focused marketer with 20 years experience in digital marketing, brand management and go-to-market strategies. She has a track record of implementing marketing transformation strategies and building performance marketing teams for B2B tech companies.
Her background includes marketing leadership roles for organizations at various stages of growth and investment. She is passionate about building and optimizing process and technology to deliver predictable revenue marketing strategies.
Dr. Srdan Zdravkovic, Professor of Marketing and International Business, Bryant University
Dr. Srdan Zdravkovic is a professor of Marketing and International Business at Bryant University. His research interests include cross cultural consumer behavior, country of origin, and sponsorship.
Dr. Zdravkovic’s research has been published in journals including Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of International Marketing, International Journal of Research in Marketing, International Business Review, International Marketing Review, Journal of Global Marketing, and Thunderbird International Business Review.