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2016 Board of Directors

President
Lilia Navarrete
LKN Global Enterprises, Inc.
T: (626) 862-3292
E: lilianavarrete@lknglobal.com

View Bio

Lilia Navarrete, is the founder and President of LKN Global Enterprises, Inc, whose vision is dedicated to empowering LKN Global’s clients to create a future of sustainable success and exponential growth by addressing their challenges and assisting them in securing a successful position within the global marketplace.

Ms. Navarrete built the company from the ground up as a business-to-business consulting firm assisting companies of all sizes succeed in penetrating and expanding into global markets. LKN Global’s strategic consulting services are designed to take projects through the entire business pipeline and all its commercialization phases. Lilia Navarrete draws on more than 20 years of experience identifying leading trends in the global marketplace and their impact on business to help companies use innovative ideas to enter new markets.

During her career, Ms. Navarrete’s catalytic leadership style has enabled her to contribute to the growth of several organizations involved in international business and trade. In addition to background in international transportation in the U.S. and abroad, her expertise in cross-cultural communication, in media advertising and on-site studies worldwide has also contributed to her understanding of the global consumer. She practices high ethical standards both personally and professionally. Her integrity is solid and demonstrates commitment to ethical values in all of her work.

Ms. Navarrete is a world class dynamic speaker. Her recent speaking engagements have been throughout the Americas in Peru, Chile, Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, including the APEC Ministerial summit in Peru on the topic of Globalization and Capacity Building across Organizations as well as at the Global Women’s Summit in Chile on the topic of Global Business Ethics. Ms. Navarrete speaks on a variety of internationally related topics including: multi-cultural issues; international affairs, sustainability, capacity building; marketing internationally, doing business in California and the U.S.; doing business with Mexicans, Americans, Canadians, capacity building across women’s organizations; business ethics in a technological world.

Recognizing the importance of offering corporate training programs, Ms. Navarrete established the LKN Global Executive Institute, as a division of LKN Global Enterprises, Inc., with over twenty-five years imparting seminars and corporate training in Spanish and English for cross-cultural participants. As an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business & Management in Malibu, California, she has imparted business classes in Spanish to MBA students preparing them to work in Latin America and Spain. Ms. Navarrete also taught the Global Management Graduate Program at the University of Phoenix, Southern California Campus.

Lilia Navarrete has served on various Board’s and International Committees. Ms. Navarrete’s contributions are highly respected within the international trade community worldwide. She currently serves as President of WIT-LA (Women in International Trade—Los Angeles) and has served on the WIT-LA board for over ten years.

Ms. Navarrete recently served as Chairman of the Board for the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) and previously served two terms as President and CEO and one term as Executive Vice President. OWIT is a network of members with more than twenty five chapters around the world and is the only global business association dedicated to helping women and men excel in international trade. As well, she is currently on the board of The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) as Vice President. TIAW is an umbrella organization for over 35 organizations worldwide that provides mentorship and networking initiatives to advance economic opportunities to women around the world.

Lilia Navarrete has served on the World Trade Week Committee of Los Angeles for several years and she has been invited to continue to serve on the World Trade Week Committee of Los Angeles in 2013. Realizing the importance of minimizing poverty and increasing education to women and girls in the most underprivileged regions of the world, Ms. Navarrete avidly supports and is on the leadership team in Los Angeles for Room to Read, a non-profit organization that believes in providing the opportunity of education to all children.

Ms. Navarrete is also a member and active supporter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and a member of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Navarrete holds an international MBA in Finance and Marketing from Loyola Marymount University together with an undergraduate degree in International Business Management and Economics from CS University Los Angeles. Studies in Multi-Media validate her passion for e-commerce and virtual trade. She has lived and worked in Latin America for more than ten years. Ms. Navarrete currently resides in Pasadena, California.

Lilia has served on the WIT-LA Board since 2001


Chair of the Board

Bruce Leeds
Braumiller Law Group PLLC
T: 310-662-1723
E: bruce@braumillerlaw.com

View Bio

Mr. Leeds is an attorney at law and of counsel to Braumiller Schulz LLP, a Dallas-based law firm. He works from Los Angeles and concentrates on export and import compliance matters.

Prior to Dec. 1, 2009, Mr. Leeds was a Senior Export/Import Advisor in the corporate Global Trade Controls organization of The Boeing Company. His primary assignments included training, bonds and powers of attorney, Customs disclosures and enforcement issues, and handling export, import and Customs related regulatory and legislative matters. Mr. Leeds assisted with implementation of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), ACE Portal and Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) programs within Boeing. He also provided technical assistance on US and non-US export and import compliance and supply chain security issues.

During his career in industry Mr. Leeds held export and import compliance positions at Hughes Aircraft Company, Hughes Space and Communications Company, and Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc. He started his career with U.S. Customs in Los Angeles, holding Import Specialist and Team Leader positions at LA/Long Beach Harbor and LAX. Mr. Leeds is a US Army veteran.

Mr. Leeds holds a B.A. from California State University Los Angeles and a J.D (Cum Laude) from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law. He is a member of the California State Bar Association, holds a Customs Broker license and a Certified Customs Specialist designation. He has taught customs broker courses and other classes for the Foreign Trade Association for 28 years.

His experience and appointed positions include Past President of the Export Managers Association of California and Foreign Trade Association of Southern California; Former Chair of the Departmental Advisory Committee on the Commercial Operations of US Customs & Border Protection (COAC); Member of the Private Sector Consultative Group to the World Customs Organization; Member of the Board of Governors of the American Association of Exporters & Importers; and General Counsel to Women in International Trade – Los Angeles


VP & By-Laws/Parliamentarian

Gina Thomas Patterson, CISR, CPIW, DAE
Roanoke Trade
T: (562) 256-1914
E: gina.patterson@roanokegroup.com

View Bio

Gina Thomas Patterson, Assistant Marine Manager, Western Division with Roanoke Trade in Long Beach, CA and is an approved Lloyd’s coverholder and presently holds underwriting authority for the Watkins Syndicate. Roanoke Trade is a subsidiary of Munich Re and an affiliate of Watkins Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London.

Gina is the current President of the South Bay Association of Insurance Professionals (a DBA of the South Bay Chapter of NAIW) and has held that position since July 1, 2011. She is also South Bay’s Education Director with the State of California Department of Insurance, and fulfills the duties of Education and Awards Co-Chairs. Patterson has served in various capacities including president-elect, vice president, webmistress, education co-chair and communications chair for the association. In 2009, she was instrumental in developing SBAIP’s Mentors & Protégés program which has been adapted for use for the CA Council of IAIP, Region VIII of IAIP as well as at the international level, and was instrumental in developing South Bay’s first-ever website and implementing the association’s electronic storage and communications. She has served on the public relations team with the California Council of IAIP since 2008 in various capacities, served as instructor at IAIP’s 2011 international annual convention held in Las Vegas, and has served on the International Education Task Force since 2012.

Patterson joined Roanoke Trade in 2002 and is a licensed insurance broker with the State of California. She has earned the professional industry designations of Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) with The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research; the Certified Professional Insurance Woman (CPIW) as well as the Diversified Advanced Education designations with the International Association of Insurance Professionals, and is currently working on the Certified Leadership Professional (CLP) designation with IAIP as well as the CISR Elite designation with The National Alliance.

Prior to joining Roanoke Trade, Patterson founded and developed a successful word processing firm, Unlimited Concepts. An award-winning ceramist and former member of the Lakewood Artist Guild, she served on LAG’s board of directors for 15 years as newsletter editor, student art show chairman, vice president-crafts, and president from 2003 through 2007. As student art show chairman for LAG, she worked closely with Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor Don Knabe’s Art and Education grant program.

Gina has served on the WIT-LA Board since 2012


Treasurer
Mechelle Smothers

Port of Long Beach
E: mechelle.smothers@polb.com

Secretary
Kathleen Charchenko
Port of Long Beach
E: kathleen.charchenko@polb.com

View Bio

Kathleen Charchenko is Account Executive-Import Cargo for the Business Development Division at the Port of Long Beach, California. She came to the Port in 2001 as Assistant to the Division Director and moved up to Trade Analyst in 2005.

After six years providing vital industry data and analysis for the Port, she assumed her current role in 2011 and is now primarily responsible for developing and maintaining productive business relationships with current and prospective import cargo owners, railroads, supply chain partners and trade associations.

Before coming to the Port, Ms. Charchenko worked in a variety of industries, from restaurant management, armored car services, aerospace industry administration, and telecommunications.

She holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Leadership from Concordia University in Irvine, California and is a Certified Port Executive.

Ms. Charchenko serves on the Boards of Directors of the Foreign Trade Association of Southern California and the Propeller Club of Long Beach/Los Angeles. She is also a member of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, the Harbor Transportation Club and the Los Angeles Transportation Club, the Intermodal Association of North America, the National Industrial Transportation League, the Coalition of New England Companies for Trade, and the International Association of Maritime & Port Executives.


Sponsorships

Kourosh Hangafarin

USGTG, Inc.
T: (310) 538-4000
E: kourosh@usgtg.com

View Bio

A Persian native and businessman, Kourosh Hangafarin is a powerful force of influence. He is experienced and successful in the economic, political, and social scenes. As an energetic operations and public affairs professional, Mr. Hangafarin has amassed over 25 years of knowledge and skill in private enterprise and political organizations, resulting in increased profits, advanced technologies, and improved efficiency for them under his leadership. Kourosh is effective in research, market analysis, and strategic planning for business development, and holds many valuable business relationships pertinent to the advancement and growth of all his client companies.

Mr. Hangafarin serves on several prestigious Board and Commissions

  • Board of Director, California Chamber of Commerce(CalChamber)
  • South Bay Workforce Investment Board of Directors
  • Commissioner, Economic Development Commission, City of Carson
  • Member of the Executive Board of Directors, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation ( LAEDC )
  • Member of Board of Directors Women in International Trade
  • Member of Carson Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
  • Advisory Board, California State University Dominguez Hills, School of Business & Public Policy
  • Los Angeles Harbor College, Business Advisory Board Member
  • Member of Board of Directors, New Majority Los Angeles
  • Member of the Board of Managers, Carson-Gardena YMCA
  • Member of Carson Chamber of Commerce Legislation Action Committee
  • Member of California Chamber of Commerce, Council for International Trade
  • Member of California Coalition for Free Trade
  • Members of the Regulations Action Team, California Economic Summit


Program Co-Chair

Carrie Chen
PricewaterHouseCoopers
T: (213) 356-6517
E: carrie.x.chen@us.pwc.com

View Bio

Carrie is a licensed customs broker and a senior associate with PwC’s Customs & International Trade practice. Carrie has years of experience in implementing global compliance programs, conducting import audit, performing supply chain security assessment, and analyzing preferential free trade agreements. She has assisted numerous clients in completing ACS Reconciliation submissions, implemented First Sale for Export duty savings program, obtained refund under the duty drawback programs and analyze the customs pricing between related parties. Her other experiences include working on a number of engagements identifying cost savings opportunities, increasing customs operational efficiencies and reducing internal control and compliance risks for clients. She has also worked on projects for a broad range of industries including automotive, pharmaceutical, retail manufacturing, electronic sectors and many more.

 
Program Co-Chair
Cristina Hernandez
FCL Logistics

Program Co-Chair
Marlen Marroquin
US/Mexico Chamber of Commerce
E: marlen@usmcocca.org

Chair: Membership
Charlotte Brown
Norman Krieger Co.
T: 310-668-5842
E: chbrown@nkinc.com

View Bio

Charlotte Brown is the Forwarding Quality Coordinator for Norman Krieger located in Carson, California. She currently works in various areas of the freight forwarding including Air/Ocean Import/Export. She also has substantial experience with Custom Brokerage procedures, data entry, and classification. Her current key focus is ocean export. Charlotte helps to streamline business workflows that are dynamically tailored for each department to help promote a more efficient and cost effective workflow. She carry on to capitalize in her career by staying involved with leadership development courses, annual Trade events, and industry forward career workshops.

Prior to working at Norman Krieger, Charlotte worked for FedEx Trade Networks in which she engulfed herself in various job positions such as brokerage data entry, customer service and special accounts classification. She was also position to help create a specialized internal customer service department which would aid internal customer service agents with high profiles accounts in entry classification, data entry and entry filing. Her most recent accomplishment with FedEx was for Air Import/ Export Transportation in which she helped to facilitate standardized practices and implemented vital procedures that lead to a substantial financial savings for the company for a high profile account.

Charlotte holds a B.S. in Business Management from University of Phoenix. She is a mentor to young girls for the Naomi Ruth Generation Blossoming our Future mentorship program of The Neighborhood Church of Long Beach. Of which, she also teaches Children’s Church.

Charlotte serves on the Women in International Trade – Los Angeles Committee as Members Chair since 2016.


Marketing
Fatma Yuceler
Passages of Distinction
E: fyuceler@gmail.com

View Bio

Ms. Yuceler is an award-winning executive with over 20 years experience in the travel industry. Currently she is the Director of Business Development, Western Region for Passages of Distinction. Previously, she held various roles at Turkish Airlines.Fatma has proven her leadership skills as General Manager Western USA, based in Los Angeles, for Turkish Airlines since 2010, with an outstanding record of achievements, establishing the entire sales, marketing and airport operations for the Turkish Airlines Los Angeles office. Before relocating to Los Angeles to serve as General Manager, Western USA, Ms. Yuceler was the General Manager for the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In addition to her duties as General Manager, Fatma Yuceler was Vice Chair of Tourism and Entertainment for BIZFED (Los Angeles County Business Federation) and a Board Member of the Executive Committee at LAEDC (Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation).

Fatma is currently, Marketing Chair of the board of directors for WITLA. Excelling in the travel industry for more than 20 years, Yuceler has received many distinguished awards and accolades including;

  • Most compelling Woman in the Travel Industry, Premier Travel Magazine
  • Honoree – 2014 Women Making a Difference, The Los Angeles Business Journal
  • International Trade Catalyst of the year, presented by Woman in International Trade – LA
  • Impact Award – Executive of the Year, Internet Marketing Association
  • Keynote Speaker, Global Women’s Leadership Network
  • Fatma was featured in a cover story with Smart Business Magazine.


Chair: Communications

Angela Richard
UTC Aerospace Systems
T: 562-906-6520
E: Angela.Richard2@utas.utc.com

View Bio

Angela Richard is a Senior Analyst in International Trade Compliance for UTC Aerospace Systems – Landing Systems Division, a Santa Fe Springs, California based site. She works in various areas of compliance as an ITC Site Lead, monitoring both EAR and ITAR programs. Her key focus is Import and Export compliance matters. Angela serves on an HTS Classification Council. She serves as the AES Proxy Trade Account Owner for nine Landing Systems facilities. As the AES PTAO, she standardized the facilities practices and implemented vital procedures that lead to a substantial financial savings for the company. During her time at the Troy, Ohio facility, Angela was instrumental in developing an Employee Resource Group known as “Women in Technology and Aerospace”. She continues to invest in her career by staying involved with Leadership Development Courses and annual Trade events.

Prior to working at UTC Aerospace Systems, Angela was an Export Compliance Specialist with Trimble Navigation in Huber Heights, Ohio. At Trimble Navigation, she was responsible for the Export compliance of Agricultural GPS Systems into Canada. From 2010 to 2012, she held a position with Ceva Logistics as an Import Specialist. At Ceva Logistics, she maintained several large importer accounts and helped to implement lean office methods.

Angela holds a B.A. from Toledo University and a Masters from Strayer University. She also holds a Customs Brokers License and Certified Customs Specialist designation.

Angela is a mentor to young college women for the Women in Business Leadership Program of Bowling Green University, Ohio.

She is a member of Women in Aerospace and International Compliance Professionals Association.

Angela serves on the Women in International Trade – Los Angeles Committee as Communications Chair since 2016.


OWIT Representative

Lilia Navarrete
LKN Global Enterprises, Inc.
T: (626) 345-8919
E: lilianavarrete@lknglobal.com

View Bio

Lilia Navarrete, is the founder and President of LKN Global Enterprises, Inc, whose vision is dedicated to empowering LKN Global’s clients to create a future of sustainable success and exponential growth by addressing their challenges and assisting them in securing a successful position within the global marketplace.

Ms. Navarrete built the company from the ground up as a business-to-business consulting firm assisting companies of all sizes succeed in penetrating and expanding into global markets. LKN Global’s strategic consulting services are designed to take projects through the entire business pipeline and all its commercialization phases. Lilia Navarrete draws on more than 20 years of experience identifying leading trends in the global marketplace and their impact on business to help companies use innovative ideas to enter new markets.

During her career, Ms. Navarrete’s catalytic leadership style has enabled her to contribute to the growth of several organizations involved in international business and trade. In addition to background in international transportation in the U.S. and abroad, her expertise in cross-cultural communication, in media advertising and on-site studies worldwide has also contributed to her understanding of the global consumer. She practices high ethical standards both personally and professionally. Her integrity is solid and demonstrates commitment to ethical values in all of her work.

Ms. Navarrete is a world class dynamic speaker. Her recent speaking engagements have been throughout the Americas in Peru, Chile, Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, including the APEC Ministerial summit in Peru on the topic of Globalization and Capacity Building across Organizations as well as at the Global Women’s Summit in Chile on the topic of Global Business Ethics. Ms. Navarrete speaks on a variety of internationally related topics including: multi-cultural issues; international affairs, sustainability, capacity building; marketing internationally, doing business in California and the U.S.; doing business with Mexicans, Americans, Canadians, capacity building across women’s organizations; business ethics in a technological world.

Recognizing the importance of offering corporate training programs, Ms. Navarrete established the LKN Global Executive Institute, as a division of LKN Global Enterprises, Inc., with over twenty-five years imparting seminars and corporate training in Spanish and English for cross-cultural participants. As an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business & Management in Malibu, California, she has imparted business classes in Spanish to MBA students preparing them to work in Latin America and Spain. Ms. Navarrete also taught the Global Management Graduate Program at the University of Phoenix, Southern California Campus.

Lilia Navarrete has served on various Board’s and International Committees. Ms. Navarrete’s contributions are highly respected within the international trade community worldwide. She currently serves as President of WIT-LA (Women in International Trade—Los Angeles) and has served on the WIT-LA board for over ten years.

Ms. Navarrete recently served as Chairman of the Board for the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) and previously served two terms as President and CEO and one term as Executive Vice President. OWIT is a network of members with more than twenty five chapters around the world and is the only global business association dedicated to helping women and men excel in international trade. As well, she is currently on the board of The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) as Vice President. TIAW is an umbrella organization for over 35 organizations worldwide that provides mentorship and networking initiatives to advance economic opportunities to women around the world.

Lilia Navarrete has served on the World Trade Week Committee of Los Angeles for several years and she has been invited to continue to serve on the World Trade Week Committee of Los Angeles in 2013. Realizing the importance of minimizing poverty and increasing education to women and girls in the most underprivileged regions of the world, Ms. Navarrete avidly supports and is on the leadership team in Los Angeles for Room to Read, a non-profit organization that believes in providing the opportunity of education to all children.

Ms. Navarrete is also a member and active supporter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and a member of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Navarrete holds an international MBA in Finance and Marketing from Loyola Marymount University together with an undergraduate degree in International Business Management and Economics from CS University Los Angeles. Studies in Multi-Media validate her passion for e-commerce and virtual trade. She has lived and worked in Latin America for more than ten years. Ms. Navarrete currently resides in Pasadena, California.

Lilia has served on the WIT-LA Board since 2001