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Kelby G. Woodard, Principal
In addition to his capacity at Trade Innovations, Mr. Woodard is the Executive Vice President of Operations for TRG Direct. Prior to joining Trade Innovations Mr. Woodard spent 11 years with a mass retailer located in Minneapolis, Minnesota as the Director of Supply Chain Assets Protection. In this capacity, he and his team were instrumental in providing supply chain security expertise to the legacy US Customs Service in the months and years following the attacks of September 11th. The result of these consultations was the formation of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program. His employer was one of the seven charter members of C-TPAT and has maintained a leadership position in defining new criteria and standards as a result of his efforts. Mr. Woodard also managed the Operation Safe Commerce project and Smart Box testing and has worked on several projects focused on the use of RFID technology to secure global commerce. Mr. Woodard was responsible for a global security team that focused on risk analysis and mitigation strategies spanning a supply chain spread throughout 84 countries. He and his team was also responsible for significantly reducing cargo theft issues within the United States and providing assets protection services to 28 distribution centers.
Prior to his experience in the private sector, Mr. Woodard served with the U.S. Customs Service in Washington, DC. Mr. Woodard holds an MBA in International Business from the University of Dallas and Certificate of Global Security Management from Georgetown University. Mr. Woodard is a renowned expert on subjects ranging from global security to cargo theft issues and advises key congressional staffers regarding these issues on a regular basis. He has given numerous presentations around the world to groups such as the World Customs Organization (WCO), Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), International Cargo Security Council (ICSC), ECR Europe, RFID Journal Live, and Retail Forward Europe. He has also trained countless overseas vendors on the complexities of complying with US security requirements. Mr. Woodard has authored articles on the future of supply chains within the new global security context in Loss Prevention, International Security, Supply Chain Management Review, as well as numerous other periodicals.
Michael D. Laden, Principal
In addition to his capacity at Trade Innovations, Mr. Laden is the President of TRG Direct. Mr. Laden has more than 30 years of experience in the international trade industry, most recently as the President of a customs brokerage firm operating exclusively for and inside of a mass retailer. Mr. Laden has been licensed by US Customs since 1981. He served the maximum two term limit on the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) providing advice on customs matters to the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He is a member of the CBP Trade Support Network (TSN) which is currently designing the next CBP computer architecture known as ACE (Automated Commercial Environment). He was the executive sponsor of a direct-filing program for customs entries (>200,000 entries annually) and helped a mass retailer achieve the coveted ISA designation. Mr. Laden is also credited with developing some of the most creative and ingenious customs compliance programs, policies and procedures; allowing his employer to achieve unprecedented levels of compliance, while lowering associated landed costs.
Mr. Laden is a recognized expert in the customs compliance and the supply chain regulatory environment. He was a founding and charter member of the Business Alliance for Customs Modernization (BACM). He has served on the Board of Governors for the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI) since 1988, and is a past Chairman. He is also a member of the World Customs Organization’s SAFE Working Group and meets regularly in Brussels, Belgium to discuss issues affecting customs compliance, security and global trade. Mr. Laden has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Subcommittee on Appropriations concerning Customs Commercial Operations and Enforcement Policies. He also appeared as a witness before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on matters related to container security and operations in a post September 11th environment. Mr. Laden has been a featured speaker on Customs and Border Protection and related matters before many national organizations. He travels extensively and has taught the fundamentals of importing to thousands of foreign suppliers and manufacturers worldwide.
Elaine Bragg, Associate
In addition to her status as an Associate with Trade Innovations, Ms. Bragg is an International Trade Specialist with Barlow and Associates, PLLC, a customs attorney and provides the ABI Help Desk function for TRG Direct, a service bureau providing software for importers to file customs entries directly with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. She has over 22 years of import export management experience and is knowledgeable in all facets of import export and customs compliance, clearance activities, and operations.
Ms. Bragg’s career has included being the Import Export Manager – Mexico for Mattel Toys, the largest U.S. toy importer; Sr. Compliance Analyst for Pulse Engineering, a Technitrol Company , a leading U.S. importer and supplier of transformers and inductors; Customs Compliance Manager for Astec America, a division of Emerson Network Power, the world’s leading supplier of embedded power solutions; and Sr. Manager, International Trade Americas for Seagate Technology, LLC, a computer hard disk drive manufacturer and importer. Her career also includes eight years as a customs broker operating two offices in Southern California and recently as the corporate customs brokers license holder for DHL Express (US), Inc. She has contributed her knowledge and expertise in trade compliance by providing presentations to the West Coast Cargo Conference (WESCCON) on Border Export clearances, International Professional Compliance Association (ICPA) on Importer Self Assessment, and the Energy Traffic Association (ETA) on C-TPAT. She has also participated as a member of the CBP Trade Support Network in the development of ACE, the new customs clearance system, and as a member of the Express Logistics Association (xLA) to assist CBP in understanding the unique business requirements of the express consignment industry.
Ms. Bragg holds a B.A. in Education from Western Washington University where she graduated in the top 10% of her class. She served for two years as a U.S. Customs Inspector and received recognition as a distinguished graduate from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy in Glynco, GA. She received her customs broker license in 1988.
Meagan Bryant, Associate
In addition to working as an Associate for Trade Innovations, Ms. Bryant is currently a Captain in the US Army Reserves where she has served as an accomplished Apache helicopter pilot. She was deployed in March 2004 to Balad, Iraq and returned a year later. Ms. Bryant was in charge of the Tactical Operations Center in Balad and coordinated the operations of fourteen planes carrying more than five million pounds of cargo and 23,000 passengers throughout Iraq, Kuwait and Europe. Prior to deployment, Ms. Bryant served as an Operations Officer where she was in charge of training and operations for nine locations. In this capacity she was responsible for the management of 26,000 flying hours and 28 airplanes operating throughout the US and Central America as well as coordinating the training of over 300 soldiers. Ms. Bryant has also served in Camp Doha, Kuwait as an Operations Officer where she was in charge of fourteen helicopters and coordinated classified information for use in completing missions within the theater of operations.
Prior to being called to active duty, Ms Bryant was an Asset Protection Team Leader for Target Corporation. In this capacity she focused on identifying shortages through store operations and led a team responsible for external and internal investigations at the store level. She has also worked as a recruiter identifying and preparing former military personnel for leadership positions at over 300 corporations.
Ms. Bryant is a graduate of Tarleton State University, a branch of Texas A&M University, with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a double minor in Military Science and Psychology.
Jeff Golden, Associate
Mr. Golden has more than 25 years experience in purchasing, product sourcing, and product development. He has traveled the world extensively performing factory inspections in China, Taiwan, Thailand, Viet Nam, The Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Italy, and Portugal. Currently, Mr. Golden is a partner in a sourcing and manufacturing company based out of Shanghai, China. Prior to becoming a consultant for Trade Innovations, he was the Senior Sourcing Director for London Fog Corporation, Seattle Washington with responsibilities of developing and maintaining a vendor matrix for their institutional brands as well as developing a compliance manual for the company.
Prior to London Fog Corporation, Mr. Golden served as one of the first Product Managers in textiles for Target Sourcing Services, a division of Target Corporation, Minneapolis, Minnesota. During this time, Mr. Golden successfully developed and launched the first off shore programs for towels, bath shop, floor coverings, beach and kitchen textiles. He was instrumental in increasing margin dollars through auctions, competitive line reviews and vendor matrix development. He directed the research and communication of critical sourcing initiatives and corporate strategies to fully maximize the company’s Owned Brand contribution and profitability. Key areas of support included development of an international vendor matrix, and standard production scheduling, quota management, costing/sampling, and shipping/logistics procedures and timing and action cycles. Emphasis was also directed to quality assurance components of the Product Development process, including technical specifications, color management and product performance testing and reliability.
Previously, Mr. Golden spent 14 years with Fingerhut Companies, Minneapolis, Minnesota, a catalog and e-commerce retailer as a buyer focusing in purchasing and inventory management. Prior, Mr. Golden was a Senior Buyer with Hecht’s department stores, Washington, D.C. a division of May Company. Mr. Golden started his retail career with Dayton Hudson Department Stores, Minneapolis, Minnesota.