2012 Board of Directors
Chair of the Board
Braumiller Law Group PLLC
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
Gina Thomas Patterson, CISR, CPIW, DAE
T: (562) 256-1914
Gina Thomas Patterson, Underwriter and Marine Account Manager for Roanoke Trade in Long Beach, CA, is current President of the South Bay Chapter of National Association of Insurance Women (NAIW dba International Association of Insurance Professionals) for the 2011-2013 term. 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, education co-chair and communications chair for the association. In 2009, she was instrumental in developing South Bay Chapter’s Mentors & Protégés program which has been adapted for use for the CA Council of NAIW/IAIP, Region VIII of NAIW/IAIP as well as at the national 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 NAIW since 2008 in various capacities, was on the national education committee for NAIW/IAIP’s 2011 annual convention held in Las Vegas, and is currently on the National Task Force for development of their new CLP (Certified Leadership Designation) program.
Patterson joined Roanoke Trade in 2002 and is a licensed insurance broker with the State of California. She has earned the professional designations of Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) and Certified Professional Insurance Woman (CPIW). Patterson is an approved Lloyd’s cover holder with 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.
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 2003-2007. 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
T: (213) 486-6253
Bianca Barredo is Vice President for Comerica Bank’s middle market corporate banking group. She has been with the bank since 2005 and is responsible for lending to companies with revenues from $25 to $500 million. Bianca graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, emphasis in Corporate Finance. She obtained her MBA at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Bianca contributes her time to youth education by teaching financial literacy through Junior Achievement. In addition, she has also been involved in the academic mentorship program at Banning High School in Wilmington through the non-profit organization International Trade Education Programs. Furthermore, she is a scholarship ambassador for a professional network, the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. Bianca has served on the Los Angeles chapter of Women in International Trade board since 2008 as Treasurer.
Programs & Education, Co-Chair
T: (661) 456-2286
Margaret Galabe is Executive Director and Co-founder of World Women Trade Fair, where she designs and implements entrepreneurial training programs and events to assist women in emerging economies to access global market opportunities and grow their export businesses.
Her programming experience includes organizing activities such as Women International Conference & Leadership Summit , Women Forums, Trade Missions, Trade Fairs to build strategic networks and alliances with successful prominent women in business, corporate women and leaders and women associations in North America , Europe and globally to help strengthen Emerging Women Entrepreneurs and their associations to access the information and resources which they say they need to compete in the global marketplace.
She designed and launch the Women of Africa Marketplace, a touring exhibition and marketplace, that allows African women in the creative and cultural business to promote and sell their products and services directly to the public and retail buyers in North America and Europe and then spun this program off into a regular annual Women Market Place in UK, Italy and Austria specializing in textile and handmade crafts. An initiative which is providing a sustainable access to markets in developed economies, technical assistance to women entrepreneurs and a steady income stream to women entrepreneurs from various countries, India, Nepal, Albania, Kenya, Zambia, Pakistan, Afghanistan
Prior to joining World Women Trade Fair, Margaret was involved with the Washington DC based Business Women Network Conference and Leadership Summit , serving as the global co-chair and on the Global Trade committee where she recruited the International conference delegates and assisted with the Global Trade Day contents and the selection of speakers.
During this time she was also the President of World Trade Link, a progressive international development consulting firm which she founded with a mission to facilitate international trade between the U.S, EU markets and Africa. She is responsible for developing innovative business strategies for product commercialization, infrastructure projects bids and working with strategic private sector, bi-lateral and multi-lateral funding agencies delivering trade financing services to African businesses.
Margaret enjoys developing innovative global trade opportunity programs in collaboration with business support organizations, scholars and academic institutions, development and funding agencies. She holds a Masters degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing from the University of Massachusetts in Boston.
Programs & Education, Co-Chair
T: (800) 421-9324 x7338
Montserrat Hernandez has over 13 years of insurance industry experiences and is currently the Western Division Bond Manager for Roanoke trade Services in the Long Beach, CA office. She has a dual role directly handling the large customhouse broker accounts and oversees the bond product line and customer service for the Western territory clientele which reaches from the Northern border of Canada to the southern area of San Diego and Calexico. Prior to being promoted to Bond Manager, she served as a Marine Clerk, Carnet Service Representative and a Bond Service Representative for 11 years.
Montserrat Hernandez is an insurance broker in the state of California and holds a license in property and casualty insurance.
Montserrat has served on the WIT-LA Board since 2012.
Price Waterhouse Coopers
T: (213) 356-6681
Office of L.A. Mayor
T: (213) 473.9772
Tracy Gray is a Senior Advisor to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa where she leads the Mayor's export initiative. Prior to her current position, Ms. Gray was the Managing Director of Business Strategy, Marketing and Communications for the Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy and Advisor to the Mayor's Office of Small Business. Ms. Gray also served as Managing Director at the Collaborative Equity Partners, a venture catalyst consulting firm. Additionally, she served as Director of Retail Policy at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) and is now on LAANE's Advisory Board. Ms. Gray formerly worked for a venture capital firm, as a business development consultant in the entertainment and digital media industries and as a systems engineer with the Space Shuttle program.
Ms. Gray currently serves on the Advisory Council of the USC Center for International Business Education and Research, Advisory Board of Global Girl Media and the Southern California board of the National Association of Securities Professionals. She holds a B.S in Mathematical Science, with an Aeronautics emphasis and dual M.B.As from Columbia University and U.C. Berkeley with international business, venture capital and corporate social responsibility focuses.
Global Business Solutions
T: (310) 890-2108
Elizabeth Glynn is an Export Adviser and Global Trade Educator with Global Business Solutions. Previously, she was Business Development Director, Custom Programs, at UCLA Extension, one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive providers of continuing education and lifelong learning where she worked with companies and organizations (government, education, non-profit) to provide onsite contract professional development/ training programs. Previous to UCLA Extension, Ms. Glynn was an export advisor for a space communications group. As Project Manager for Western Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (at USC), Elizabeth facilitated turn-around projects with companies impacted by import competition. As a consultant, she developed and implemented the startup of the export operations for a medical products manufacturer that resulted in expedited growth to Europe, Asia, and Latin America. As international manager for a photo products company, she streamlined the global transportation infrastructure; managed export, import, and foreign-based transactions; facilitated multi-country shipments, free trade zone projects; and negotiated letters of credit, marine cargo insurance.
Since 1998 Elizabeth has taught at UCLA Extension (International Freight Management) and the University of La Verne (Global Business Management, Culture & Gender Issues in Management). She has presented customized programs for multiple China delegations (UCLA Extension) and various customized programs for UC Riverside’s International Professional programs. Other seminar topics presented include Global Logistics, Global Business Practices, and Effective Communication in International Trade.
Ms. Glynn holds a M.I.M. degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a B.A. in Linguistics and Spanish from the University of California, Irvine (CA). Elizabeth is an active Board Member of FTA and has served on the WIT-LA Board since 2005. In addition to serving on the Membership and Marketing committees, Elizabeth is in charge of the Annual Day at the Races Event held each May.
Michele Twomley Pluta
JAS Forwarding (USA) Inc
T: (404) 443-6542
Finance Committee, Chair
T: (310) 890-2108
Recently relocated to LA. Allison was instrumental in successfully starting and is one of the founders of the Arkansas chapter of OWIT.
Allison is a Sr. Planner, Global Food Sourcing - California Hub for Walmart Global Food Sourcing, Bentonville Supporting development of a sustainable grower base and supply chain for the Global Food Sourcing West Hub to source grocery products. Improving quality and reducing cost by forecasting global demand, managing planning and allocating business to source directly from growers and leverage scale to supply international markets. Partnering with global, cross functional team to create efficient supply chain networks that improve product freshness. Leading development of Women Empowerment goals with Sam’s Club to provide technical and financial tools that accelerates growth of women owned businesses and supports the Corporate Women 360 platform.
Prior to this position Allison was Associate Manager Sustainability, Private Brands where she was responsible for integrated sustainability metrics into key tools that determine business entry, allocation, joint business plans for grocery (food and consumables) business unit. There she propelled broad action across 360 suppliers with portfolio of 6,000 products, ~ $20 billion in sales. Supplier performance on scorecard improved 30% in 6 months on financial, quality, sustainability metrics. Pioneered Life Cycle Assessment tool leading 20+ person team of NGOs, suppliers, and scientists to trace each step of a product’s life, calculate the total social and environmental impacts across its supply chain, and drive innovation. Improved product design, Eliminated 1,400 tons carbon, 760 tons waste, 576,000 gallons water.Built first global Social Hotspot Database to assess social impacts of merchandise. Created “Secret Life of…” documentary video series to build awareness of Walmart’s sustainability accomplishments. She supported strategic development and implementation of Corporate Sustainability Index and Greenhouse Gas goals.
Prior to Walmart, Allison was with Hewlett Packard as a Congressional Intern supporting implementation of corporate affairs strategies at Clinton Global Initiative and DNC/RNC Conventions She was also with E-Hubs Africa, Pretoria South Africa as a business where she esigned business plan to launch initial entrepreneurial hub and mixed industry incubator for small to medium enterprise development in Pretoria. Allison was also a consultant with the World Bank Group in Washington D.C. and co-authored the guidebook “Investigating and Prosecuting Illegal Logging Cases” and conducted workshops on utilizing technology to track illegal logging for forestry ministers in Southeast Asia.
Allison holds a BA degree from Michigan State University and concluded significant MBA and MA coursework.
USCOM Logistics, Inc.
T: (310) 323-2900
Diane Hudson is the Global Sales and Marketing Manager, Quality Assurance Manager of US COM Logistics Inc. headquartered in Torrance, California. Ms. Hudson is a Supply Chain Management specialist with expertise in Import Compliance, Export Compliance, Marine Cargo Insurance, C-TPAT Certification, Bonded CFS operations and NAFTA Regulations. Ms. Hudson is skilled in optimizing and refining processes to efficiently manage international cargo movement, and costs, for both US Import and US Export cargo.
Ms. Hudson holds a B.A. degree in International Business, Spanish emphasis with a minor in French from California State University, Fullerton. She also holds a Certificate in International Marketing from California State University, Fullerton and the Orange County Marketing Association.
Ms. Hudson has been a member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and the Los Angeles Air Cargo Association (LAACA) since October 2010. She has served on the WIT-LA Board of Directors as Membership Co-Chair in 2007, Vice President in 2008, President in 2009, Vice President Membership in 2010, Scholarship Chair in 2011 and returning Scholarship Chair in 2012.