Board of Governors Biographies

Jeanette Benson is the Director of the Center for International Trade Development (CITD) with Merced College in Merced, California. The Merced CITD is one of five centers funded by the Economic and Workforce Development Program of the California Community Colleges to advance California’s economic development and global competitiveness by providing quality training and services to small to medium sized enterprises that are potential or current exporters or importers and to assist faculty with the internationalization of curriculum. The Merced CITD was first established in 1987 as The Agricultural Business and Trade Center (ABTC) growing from a need by farmers to find alternative markets for their products, ultimately becoming the model for the development of the statewide CITD Initiative. Ms. Benson has over 20 years’ experience providing trade training and technical assistance and is a NASBITE CGBP. She has served on the NASBITE Board of Governors in a number of offices and was instrumental in the development of the CGBP. Ms. Benson has a background in agriculture which further augments her understanding and commitment to serve the needs of stakeholders within her center’s service region comprised of the San Joaquin Valley in Central California. In addition to the CITD program, Ms. Benson is the Director of the Youth Entrepreneur Program (YEP) serving youth age 14-26 with programs designed to get youth involved in starting their own business endeavor with international business as a focus and/or career consideration.

 

 

Aleda Bourassa is the Business Development Manager for International Customs Services, Inc. (ICS) where she applies her experience in trade development/market research and global business education to providing trade compliance solutions for exporters/importers.  Aleda is a NASBITE executive board member and CGBP Centurion. She is a member of the Wisconsin DEC (District Export Council) and active in the Milwaukee and Madison trade communities as a mentor (WTA- past-president) and a board member (MITA, Outreach Chair), and a member of ICE (International Credit Executives-Wisconsin). Aleda’s earlier career in global trade education at WCTC (Waukesha County Technical College) involved three Title VI-B grants, being responsible for implementing training to the business community utilizing her significant collaboration skills and small business consulting experience, and providing project leadership to internationalize curriculum. Additionally, she held responsibilities for international students/ study abroad programs.  As chair of the Wisconsin Technical College System’s (WTCS) International Education committee, she co- developed and lead three professional development business experiences to China for WTCS faculty/staff. Aleda has travelled/worked in Europe, India, Mexico, Canada, Australia/New Zealand, Russia and Turkey.  “NASBITE plays a significant role in my professional development. I continually gain knowledge at a national level from others who are true leaders in trade education, training and export development, especially those focused on SMEs. I highly value giving back to NASBITE, particularly as an Executive Committee member (Board Development Chair; Treasurer for two terms). We continually evolve to serve the interests of members.  I like focusing my energy and collaborative approach into initiatives that support and grow NASBITE’s membership. I understand the origins and mission of NASBITE:  I worked for a founding member and past NASBITE president for many years- Barbara Moebius. Her vision for and work with NASBITE was a key engine in the development of global business programming at WCTC, and structured a base of related programming across the State. It is a professional and personal privilege to serve NASBITE. Anyone who realizes the value of NASBITE should consider a Board position.”

 

 

Dr. Amy Coon is an international business academic/professional with over 16 years of experience in higher education and 22 years as international business. She is currently an Assistant Professor and the Associate Dean of the College of Business and Management at Cardinal Stritch University. Prior to coming to Cardinal Stritch University, Amy worked at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for 10 years in Global Business Outreach and in the College of Business as a Marketing instructor. She has co-managed four BIE Title 6B grants, directed two USDA Federal Emerging Market Grants, numerous international market research projects and numerous travel study programs to China and India. In 2005, Amy and her Emerging Marketing Program team at UW-Whitewater received the Wisconsin Governors export award based on the exports to China in the area of agricultural sales, with gains close to US$10 million. Amy also played a key role in the development and implementation of the International Business Minor curriculum for the UW-W College of Business. Prior to academia, Amy worked for Motorola, Inc. and Motorola University in HR, Global Training, Project Management and Global Event Planning. Amy currently serves on the NASBITE International Board of Governors and is a member of the Executive Committee and Co-chair of Board Development.

 

 

 

Larry Dill, Director of the University of Missouri International Trade Center at the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business, Larry leads the international trade programming efforts of the Trulaske College of Business.  He also teaches undergraduate and graduate level management classes in international business at the University of Missouri.  Larry has extensive experience in market research and entry strategy in East and Southeast Asian markets.  His recent work has focused on ASEAN countries and market sectors and technology common to emerging markets.  Larry has over 20 years of international business experience in the private and public sector.  In addition to his teaching and administrative responsibilities, he works with businesses across the state to advise and train them to identify potential export markets, and develop strategy that for successful foreign market entry.  He also works to develop relationships with partner agencies across the state and nationally to help strengthen the international trade resources and assistance available to U.S. businesses. Larry graduated from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale with a B.S. in Accountancy and holds an MBA from University of Missouri.  He is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP), a Certified CGBP Trainer, and is Treasurer of the NASBITE International Board of Governors.

 

 

Dimy Doresca is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) and an International Business Specialist and Consultant, member on the Iowa District Export Council Department of Commerce, and Engage Cuba Coalition, State of Iowa Council. he is the Director of the Insitute for International Business at The University of Iowa. In the last 15 years he professional experience includes international market research, doing business overseas, risk analysis, strategic planning, budgeting, financial management, business development and operations, contracts administration and negotiations, claim analysis, and international banking. During his career, Dimy has set many international offices, worked with local suppliers, recruited local representatives, negotiated contracts and terms of payment, and dealt with foreign banks, insurance companies, and foreign government officials in many countries in the Middle East and Asia. Dimy holds a BA in International Business from Augustana College and an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

 

James Foley manages a program of counseling and training in international business planning, marketing, logistics and export finance at the Illinois SBDC International Trade Center and NAFTA Opportunity Center at Bradley University. The centers are joint venture between the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Bradley University with a mission to promote international trade and assist companies with trade-related expansion and training. He is also Director of International Programs for the Foster College of Business Administration. Mr. Foley is a frequent speaker on issues of international trade and teaches International Business courses at Bradley University. He is a Past President of NASBITE International, and now serves as the Director for the NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) credential. He was elected Chairman of IATTO International Association of Trade Training Organizations during the 2004 IATTO Forum in Cape Town, South Africa and is also chair of the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) International Interest Section. He is author of The Global Entrepreneur.

 

 

 

Yuki Fujiyama serves as the U.S. Commerce Department’s trade finance specialist. In this capacity, Mr. Fujiyama works with commercial financial institutions and U.S. government export finance agencies to help increase access to capital and finance for U.S. exporters and their foreign buyers.  In addition, he regularly provides export counseling with a focus on trade finance to U.S. small and medium-sized businesses.  Fujiyama is the founder and inaugural Team Leader of the International Trade Administration’s Global Finance Team, a cross-agency team comprised of over 160 trade specialists and commercial offices worldwide, who share a common interest in trade finance and financial services exports.  He currently serves as a member of the Department liaison team to the U.S. Export-Import Bank and as the Global Finance Team’s deputy team leader for trade finance.  Mr. Fujiyama holds the Certified Global Business Professional credential, a designation of proficiency in global business awarded by NASBITE International.  He serves on the NASBITE Board as an ex-officio member representing the U.S. Commerce Department. Mr. Fujiyama is the author of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters – a concise and easy-to-understand guide designed to help U.S. exporters, especially SMEs, quickly learn how to get paid from export sales.  Originally released in 2007, the Guide is now in its third edition and its Spanish language version was published in May 2013. Having been honored in November 2009 and January 2015, Mr. Fujiyama is a two-time recipient of the U.S. Commerce Department’s individual Silver Medal Award for Personal and Professional Excellence. In February 2015, he also received the William E. Morton Memorial Award, one of the highest honorary awards granted by the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, for his efforts to increase export opportunities for U.S. minority-owned businesses. From 1993 to 1999, Mr. Fujiyama served as a legislative assistant to California U.S. Congressman George E. Brown, Jr.  Mr. Fujiyama holds a B.B.A. from Loyola Marymount University and an M.B.A. from California State University. He also holds the designation of International Certified Credit Executive from FCIB, the international arm of the National Association of Credit Management. Born and raised in Japan, Mr. Fujiyama is a bilingual in English and Japanese.

 

 

 

Colette Hart is Director of Outreach and Business Centers for the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University. In her capacity as Director, she is responsible for establishing Centers of Excellence in the College of Business that provide responsive and strategic business educational programs for the Northeast Ohio business community. Colette was instrumental in establishing the Global Business Center and securing over a million dollars in funding to develop interdisciplinary academic, research and outreach programs focused on applied international business education. The Global Business Center is the 2006 recipient of the Ohio Governors Export Award and the 2010 Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade from the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the 2011 President’s E-Award. Colette brings a global frame of reference to her work through her extensive experience engaged in economic development, small business, trade, and education initiatives throughout Europe, China and Chile. Colette serves on the U.S. Commercial Service District Export Council, NASBITE International Board of Governors, Jumpstart Higher Education Council, and the Corporate Sustainable Network Steering Committee. She obtained her MBA at Cleveland State University and her BA in International Relations and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin.

 

 

 

Mr. Michael K. Jackson currently serves as the Director of City/State Partners at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), an independent agency of the federal government. In this role, he creates and manages marketing partnerships with local, state, and regional economic development organizations to expand export opportunities for small businesses. He also facilitates export training seminars and frequently presents at international trade conferences. Mr. Jackson is also an adjunct faculty member at Montgomery College where he instructs a course on how small businesses can “go global”. Immediately prior to joining Ex-Im Bank, Mr. Jackson served as an Economic Development Specialist/District International Trade Officer with the Small Business Administration (SBA) where he collaborated with SBA’s resource partners and other public and private sector entities to conduct export-related training workshops and seminars. He was a frequent speaker at various international trade conferences and symposia in this role as well. He also consulted one-on-one with businesses interested in entering or expanding into foreign markets. Mr. Jackson was the first person in the agency to attain the NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) international trade certification. He also played an instrumental role in the creation of the SBA’s first Export Outreach Team, a pilot initiative which was later adopted on a national scale. Prior to beginning his career with the federal government, Mr. Jackson held sales and marketing positions with several Fortune 500 corporations in the banking and tech sectors. He also owned and operated a small fitness company. Mr. Jackson is a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Germany and traveled extensively throughout Western Europe. As a Caribbean American, he is dedicated to helping enable regional economies in the U.S. and in the Caribbean to use trade and foreign direct investment as means of achieving sustainable economic growth and development. Mr. Jackson earned an MBA in International Business from American Intercontinental University in Atlanta, GA and a B.S. in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland – University College (UMUC) Europe in Heidelberg, Germany.

 

 

 

Dimitris Kloussiadis, a native of Greece, previously held the position of International Marketing Manager for Transworld Trading Company, where he established an extensive network of international distributors and dealers who sold to large foreign commercial customers as well as the military establishments of the Middle Eastern and North African markets. Mr. Kloussiadis was also responsible for importing & marketing marble from Italy, Greece, Belgium and Taiwan. In this capacity he worked with US architectural, construction and design companies and succeeded in securing bids for several major construction and renovation projects. Mr. Kloussiadis has traveled extensively overseas and has met with industry associations, as well as various foreign agents and distributors to introduce and market US products and services. He identified, evaluated and established distribution networks, generated international sales, negotiated international payment terms and was personally involved in licensing, distribution and joint ventures agreements for the European, South African, South American, Asian and Australian markets. Mr. Kloussiadis also owned a company which imported & marketed European women’s clothing to major high-end U.S. department stores.

 

 

 

Maurice Kogon, President of Kogon Trade Consulting and ITCI’s website manager, has over 53 years of experience in the international business field as a U.S. Government official, business executive, educator and consultant. He has written, lectured and trained extensively on international trade and has developed numerous Web-based export tools now used throughout the world, including the Trade Information Database and hisExporting Basicsguide, Export Readiness Assessmentdiagnostic,Export FAQs,andExport Internet Search Wizard. He has taught international business courses at Cal State University Northridge, George Washington University, and Virginia Tech. Maurice has consulted for U.S. and international clients, including the Egyptian Government and the UN’s International Trade Centre in Geneva. He holds a BA and MA in Foreign Affairs from George Washington University. Maurice’s U.S. Government career spanned over 33 years (1961-94) with the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, DC, where he held management positions in trade assistance and promotion, trade policy, and strategic planning and program evaluation. As director of Commerce’s market research and trade information office in the early 1990s, he oversaw many of the export assistance services offered at U.S. Export Assistance Centers nationwide. In 1978, Maurice was selected to develop and manage the Worldwide Information & Trade System (WITS), the Commerce Department’s first real-time trade information system. Maurice retired from Commerce in 1994 to form his own company, Export Services, Inc. (ESI). As ESI President, he developed the National Export Offer Service (NEOS), an early on-line directory of U.S exporters and export products. Maurice served from 2001 to 2012 as Director of the El Camino College Center for International Trade Development (CITD) in Torrance, California.After retiring from the CITD in 2012, hefounded Kogon Trade Consulting, was appointed to the District Export Council of Southern California, guest-lectures at local universities, maintains the ITCI website, and donates time to counsel and train new exporters.Maurice is a past President of NASBITE (2008-09), served for many years as a NASBITE Board member, and helped to develop NASBITE’s Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) credential and exam. He was honored in 2013 as the recipient of NASBITE’s John Otis Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

Leroy Lowe is a former Aerospace Engineering Officer and Project Manager in the Canadian Airforce who previously worked for Sparton of Canada, a division of Michigan-based Sparton Corporation (SPA on the NYSE). As the Director of Business Development, he recruited, managed and directed a diverse network of agents, distributors and strategic alliance partners in 20+ countries worldwide. Currently, he is a full-time faculty member in International Business at the Nova Scotia Community College and an active international business development specialist for Mxi Technologies Inc. He has a BSc, Diploma in Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Adult Education (MAEd), a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA), and he is PhD. He is also a Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) and a Certified Global Business professional (CGBP). Work in recent years has taken him to Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Leroy was part of the original NASBITE task force that helped develop the Certified Global Business professional (CGBP) designation and he was one of the senior task force members in Canada who helped the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) update the competencies required for the Certified International Trade Professional designation in Canada.

 

 

 

Tammy Marquez-Oldham brings 30 years’ experience in the education, healthcare, software, and food industry to the clients she serves in her capacity at Portland Community College. She has owned several businesses and hired, trained and developed hundreds of employees. She has experience in building business domestically and internationally, impacting over 2000 clients over the past ten years. At the Small Business Development Center at CLIMB Center for Advancement Portland Community College, Tammy leads the vision of providing the highest level of business education and advising possible. As Director, Tammy inspires performance of staff and clients; producing net new jobs, accessing capital and achieving new sales. Tammy is founder of the Center for Excellence in Entrepreneurship at the Small Business Development Center and has been a member of the Economic Gardening Initiative since its inception. With a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and a Master’s in Business from George Fox University, Tammy brings a unique and holistic approach to her work as Director at the Small Business Development Center, CLIMB Center for Advancement, Portland Community College. As a business leader in the 21st Century I believe I have a social responsibility to transfer the knowledge acquired during my 30 year journey through the world of business, education, and entrepreneurship. This experience has given me the unique ability to get to the “heart of the matter” and help my clients in a variety of ways. Through my work I educate, inspire, and transform my client’s needs into solutions.

 

 

 

Dr. Mary T. McKinney is the Director of the Duquesne University SBDC and CITRA (Center for International and Regulatory Assistance). She is also the Project Manager of the Center for Green Industries and Sustainable Business Growth. Dr. McKinney supervises the operations of CITRA and SBDC, which combined, conduct over 75 training events annually, including three large conferences. For the SBDC she supervises the consulting and training of small businesses as well the Global Business Program and special projects. The centers also consult with approximately 500 firms annually. Dr. McKinney has won and supervised grants from several state and federal agencies which earned her a place in the inaugural Duquesne Office of Research Hall of Fame. The Duquesne SBDC is the EXIM Bank City State Partner for Western Pa. and is a USTDA Partner.. Recently Duquesne University received a US EDA grant to establish a university Center for Green Industries and Sustainable Business Practices. The objective is to create jobs through exporting and business growth of these target industries. Dr. McKinney obtained her Ph.D. in Public Administration and MPIA (Master of Public and International Affairs) from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh.

 

 

 

Jackie Rasmussen, as a Business Development & International Trade Specialist, provides assistance to business owners on topics associated with successfully owning, managing and growing a small business. She works with companies to address planning, marketing, management, financing, and international trade issues & opportunities. She also regularly provides leadership, team-building training and facilitation assistance to community groups & organizations. Jackie completed national accreditation as Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) in 2012. She currently serves as Chair of the NASBITE International CGBP Governance Council. The Governance Council provides oversight of the CGBP Exam to ensure the integrity and vigor of the credential are maintained. Jackie has been with University of Missouri Extension for the past 23 years. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, where she completed both of her degrees – a BS in Marketing & Management, and a Masters in Business Administration.

 

Alberto Rodriguez-Baez has spent his entire professional and academic careers in the field of international marketing and business development. His work experience spans from large global corporations to small businesses, private and public organizations, and non-profit and for-profit companies. He is passionate about helping American companies become successful exporters. Alberto attended the University of Nebraska, where he earned his MBA. Before graduating, he attended the prestigious Focus Leadership Institute in Colorado. Alberto is a CGBP (Certified Global Business Professional) and Certified Business Consultant, and currently works at the San Antonio MBDA Export Center as the Senior Export Project Manager. Alberto is also the producer and host of Export Like a Boss, the podcast for those on the front lines of international business and trade.

 

Chris Schrage is the Global Opportunities Coordinator at the University of Northern Iowa College of Business Administration, developing international programs and exposing students to the world. She spends about 1/3 of her time outside the US with students and on projects. She is responsible for a new required course in the Global Marketing Emphasis built on the criteria for the CGBP. She has been a presenter at several NASBITE workshops and holds the CGBP.

 

 

 

Gabriel Shweiri is an assistant professor of Global Business & Entrepreneurship at Santa Ana College. He established BGI Worldwide Logistics and has extensive technical experience in logistics. He received his Master’s in International Management from Thunderbird and holds a BA from George Washington University in International Affairs. He is a CGBP.

 

 

 

Sarah Singer is the Assistant Director of the Michigan State University International Business Center (MSU-CIBER), a position she has held since 2006. In this role, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management and oversight of globalEDGE and the hiring, training, and supervision of the globalEDGE student team. She also assists with overall administration of Center projects and initiatives, such as organizing the Biennial International Business Institute for Community College Faculty. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in French from the University of Michigan and an MA and PhD in Higher Education Administration from Michigan State University. Her dissertation focused on study abroad in community colleges. In 2012, Sarah became a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP).

 

 

Joyce Steffan, Director of the Office of Global Business at Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, leads experiential and project-based learning initiatives for undergraduate students both domestically and globally. She also directs the Ohio Export Internship Program which is a unique partnership between universities and colleges across Ohio, the state of Ohio Development, and small to medium sized ohio companies interest in expanding their global strategies. Additionally, Joyce administers a federal grant for the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) that focuses on expanding global expertise for students, faculty and the business community across Ohio. Joyce has both a Master of Organization Development degree and a business undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University College of Business, where she taught prior to coming to The Ohio State University.

 

 

Stephen Sullivan is a Senior International Trade Specialist in the Federal & State Trade Development division of the Office of International Trade at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  Steve manages the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) Small Business Working Group, an inter-agency working group focused on increasing the number and breadth of U.S. small business exports.   He also coordinates collaboration with SBA resource partners and state governments on export promotion, including facilitating the development of local export ecosystems and strengthening the role of Small Business Development Center in the export promotion pipeline.  Steve serves as the international trade liaison to SBA’s Office of Small Business Development Centers and is responsible for coordinating training and certification of Small Business Development Center counselors in response to requirements of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. From 2015-2017, Steve worked for the Department of Commerce’s Office of the Western Hemisphere, managing development, implementation, and U.S. participation in the North American Competitiveness Work Plan.  Prior to his hiatus from SBA to Commerce, Steve managed SBA cooperation with counterparts in the Western Hemisphere and played an active role in the expansion of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) model into Latin America. Steve is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP); a former Presidential Management Intern at SBA (’98-’00); and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Chile ’91-’94), and a 2018 graduate of the Partnership for Public Service’s Excellence in Government Fellows Program.  He has an MBA from Loyola College in Maryland, an MA in Intercultural Communication from UMBC, and a BSBA in Marketing from Villanova University. 

 

 

Caroline Tompkins experience in the educational sector began more than 25 years ago at Simon Fraser University with the Public Policy Programs division in the Continuing Education department. Over the years she has honed her understanding and passion of cross-cultural environments through her work and travels, including working for the United Nations in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1994 to 1995. “Working with individuals from different backgrounds and regions of the world is one of the aspects I enjoy most about my role at FITT,” she says. “I’ve found that success in international trade really depends upon taking the time to learn how to communicate effectively and respectfully with those around you.” Caroline is steadfast in her commitment to FITT’s continued growth as a thriving organization for international trade professionals, and has cultivated relationships with the many industry and government partners fundamental to its success. Caroline serves as a Director for the Trade Facilitation office of Canada (TFO) and the National Association of International Trade Educators (NASBITE) in the United States. Caroline has been a member of TEC Canada since 2013. In 2012 she was presented the Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal for her outstanding contribution to Canada’s trade community.