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COAC Members

Please find below the biographies of the twenty members in the 14th Term of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (COAC).

Julie Ann Parks, Raytheon, Plano, TX
Trade Co-Chair, COAC

Julie Parks is the Leader of Global Trade Organization, Global Business Services - Finance at Raytheon Company. Ms. Parks is a trade strategist with over sixteen years of operations and compliance experience in the areas of import, valuation, classification, NAFTA, drawback, supply chain security, subsidiary integration, audit, and export. She has an extensive background translating North American Customs requirements into operational efficiencies within the limits of existing systems and business constraints. Ms. Parks serves the American Association of Exporters and Importers on the board of governors and is the Chair of the Aerospace Industries Association Customs and Supply Chain Security Workgroup. She also co-chairs the Accounts Committee on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trade Support Network. She is the Export subcommittee co-chair and was the lead for the 2012, 2013, and 2014 COAC Trade Efficiency Survey. Ms. Parks was elected by her COAC peers to serve as Trade Co-Chair for the 14th Term COAC. Ms. Parks is a re-appointment.

Vincent Iacopella, Alba Wheels Up International Inc., Inglewood, CA
Trade Co-Chair, COAC

Vincent Iacopella is Executive Vice President Growth and Strategy at Alba Wheels Up International, Inc.  He is the former VP Sales of Janel Group Inc., and a former member of its Board of Directors Mr Iacopella’s  responsibilities at Alba Wheels Up include leading Alba's expansion into new markets and to increase the portfolio of product offerings with a focus on trade sensitive imports and exports, as well as smart supply chain technology that drives value to importers and exporters with trade sensitive shipments. Mr. Iacopella is responsible for driving creation and development of product and service enhancements aligned with CBP, FDA, and EPA’s Trade Modernization initiatives in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and works with Alba’s customers on compliance issues related to these initiatives. Mr. Iacopella is based in the Los Angeles office, but works on behalf of the entire company in the U.S. Mr. Iacopella is a licensed Customs Broker and served as Past President of the Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association. He is the  current president of the Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders. Mr. Iacopella is a transferred member of the 14th Term COAC. He was elected by his COAC peers to serve as Trade Co-Chair for COAC.

Cynthia D. Allen, FedEx Trade Networks, Memphis, TN 
COAC Trade Co-Chair, Trade Modernization Subcommittee

Cindy has been actively involved in the international trade industry on a consistent basis for over 30 years and has held various positions in the import and export operations, consulting, compliance and automation arenas. Currently she is the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance at FedEx Trade Networks, based in Memphis and focusing on regulatory issues on a global basis. Previously she served at the Executive Director of the ACE Business Office at Customs and Border Protection for over two years and is credited with setting the direction in the turnaround for the troubled ACE program. She also served as the Vice President at several private sector firms before venturing out to start Trade Force Multiplier, a consulting firm focusing on international trade before taking her current position.

In 2008, Cindy testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee in opposition of 100% TSA screening requirements. In addition to her COAC involvement, she is an active member of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA), the International Compliance Professional’s Association (ICPA), the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI), and the Express Association of America (EAA). Cindy has been a frequent speaker at customs compliance seminars, roundtables and conferences for many associations while in both the private sector and government employment.

A licensed customs broker since 1990, Cindy is also a Certified Customs Specialist (CCS) and Certified Export Specialist (CES) through the NCBFAA.

Brenda Barnes, Geo. S. Bush & Co. Inc., Portland, OR

Brenda Barnes is an Export Account Manager with Geo. S. Bush & Co., Inc. She provides trade and forwarding strategies internationally and domestically to a diverse customer base as well as overseeing export processes. Since 1988, Ms. Barnes has worked in the freight industry, choosing to focus on exports for the past 20 years. She currently serves on the Board of the Columbia River Custom Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association (CRCBFA) in Portland, Oregon as the Export Chairperson. She is also the Transportation Chairperson for the U.S.A. Dry Pea and Lentil Trade Association, Export Chairperson for the Pacific Coast Council, and Export Chairperson for WESCCON. Ms. Barnes has served with the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of Customs and Border Protection (COAC) Working Group for Mapping Export Processes in the 13th Term. Ms. Barnes is a new appointment.

David Berry, Swift Transportation Corporation, Phoenix, AZ

Dave Berry is Vice-President of Swift Transportation and is a 23-year executive who led the company’s technology transformation in the early 1990s. He pioneered Swift’s and the industry’s onboard technology and logistics systems and currently leads the Independent Contractor Division. A leader in the trucking industry, Dave has chaired national trucking associations, been instrumental in the EPA’s Clean Air Policy, and NAFTA surface transportation policies. He was the founder and President of Kaibab Transportation until it was sold to Swift in 1990. Mr. Berry is the Past Chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), and serves on the Executive Committee of the American Trucking Association (ATA). Mr. Berry is a re-appointment.

Heidi Bray, FCA US, LLC, Auburn, MI
COAC Trade Co-Chair, Export Subcommittee

Heidi Bray is a Manager of US and Global Customs Compliance- FCA US LLC. Ms. Bray has an extensive background with over twenty eight years of experience in the areas of import, valuation, classification, free trade agreements with special emphasis on NAFTA, Drawback and audit. She has been successful in translating North American Customs requirements into FCA’s international markets becoming the technical worldwide Customs advisor for FCA. She is instrumental in advising the FCA External Affairs office in all Customs related matters including pending legislation and Rules of Origin related to Free Trade. Ms. Bray is a Trade Ambassador and has driven FCA’s successful participation in ACE as well as the Simplified Entry pilot. She is a member of the Trade Support Network and Chairs the Accounts Committee. She is also the Vice Chair for the Business Alliance for Customs Modernization and actively participates in the numerous trade associations in which FCA participates. Ms. Bray is a new appointment.

Celeste Catano, Kewill, Chelmsford, MA

Celeste Catano is Senior Global Strategist at Kewill and has been with the company and its predecessor companies for 38 years. As a licensed Customs Broker, she has worked with many Customs Brokers, Importers and Freight Forwarders to develop and implement appropriate technology solutions to meet their technology goals and objectives. Ms. Catano has been a Trade Support Network (TSN) ACE Trade Ambassador since 2004 and is currently the Trade Co-Chair for TSN Transition Committee , and is a member of the TSN Technical Advisory Committee and a member of the TSN Entry and Supply Chain Security Committees. She also serves as a committee member on the National Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association of America Automation Sub-committee. Ms. Catano also worked on the COAC Bond Working Group and the COAC EPA Working Group. Ms. Catano is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, tradeshow and events and provides a unique perspective on customs and technology challenges and initiatives. Ms. Catano is a new appointment.

Lenny Feldman, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., Miami, FL
COAC Trade Co-Chair, Trade Modernization Subcommittee

Lenny Feldman is an Operating Committee Member, Managing Member of the Miami Office, and Co-Chair of the Import/Export Practice Group of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.. Lenny innovatively and efficiently advises importers, exporters, customs brokers, freight forwarders, carriers, couriers and others to develop and adopt best practices and compliance strategies in the import and export context regarding the numerous regulatory agencies impacting the supply chain.

Prior to joining the Firm, Lenny served nine years as a senior attorney with U.S. Customs & Border Protection (formerly the U.S. Customs Service) responsible for issuing national rulings, decisions and directives relating to import and export compliance and enforcement and for training customs officials globally. He then served as the Chief Compliance Officer of a software development company created to automate global import and export regulatory requirements. Over the years, The Vice President of the United States, the World Customs Organization, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Florida Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association as well as other associations and trade publications have recognized Lenny for his accomplishments. By serving as Chairman of the World Trade Center Miami and on local and national boards and taskforces Lenny passionately advocates for laws, policies and strategies that increase two way trade and stimulate international business. Mr. Feldman is a new appointment.

Brandon Fried, The Airforwarders Association, Washington, DC
COAC Trade Co-Chair, Global Supply Chain Subcommittee

Brandon Fried is the Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association, and has more than 35 years of experience in the airfreight forwarding industry. As Executive Director, he represents the Association on all security and industry related matters. He advocates for air cargo and forwarders in the halls of Congress, the Department of Homeland Security and is the public face of the Airforwarders Association. In addition to COAC, Brandon serves on a number of Federal advisory committees, including the Aviation Security Advisory Committee working group in counsel to the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Commerce Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness. He also serves on the advisory Board of CNS, an IATA company to represent forwarder interests. Brandon is a recognized expert on the air cargo industry and regularly comments for major national newspapers and trade publications. Mr. Fried is a re-appointment.

Lisa Gelsomino, Avalon Risk Management, Elk Grove Village, IL
COAC Trade Co-Chair, Trade Enforcement and Revenue Collection Subcommittee

Lisa Gelsomino is the President/CEO and partner of Avalon Risk Management, a leading provider of customs bonds and other insurance solutions for the international trade and logistics industry. With over 25 years of experience, Lisa brings strong leadership skills, and has led Avalon to become Commercial Agency of the Year, Best Places to Work, and Shining Star for overall excellence and community service. Lisa is also active in the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association (NCBFAA) and the Pacific Coast Council (PCC). She has served on the NCBFAA ISF Sub-committee, TSN eBond Sub-committee, and COAC Bond Working Group since 2009. She is also on the Board of the International Trade Surety Association and works closely with CBP through the Customs Surety Executive Committee. Lisa has helped CBP conduct over 40 outreach sessions to over 5,000 members of the trade to better understand CBP’s trade and enforcement initiatives. Lisa is the licensed corporate insurance holder for Avalon nationwide and is pursuing her ARM, CPCU, and CCS professional designations. She holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business and B.S. (Magna Cum Laude) from Northern Illinois University. Ms. Gelsomino is a new appointment.

Suzanne “Susie” Hoeger, Abbott Laboratories, Abbot Park, IL
COAC Trade Co-Chair, One U.S. Government at the Border Subcommittee

Susie Hoeger is Director of Global Trade Compliance & Policy at Abbott Laboratories. She is responsible for the development and oversight of the global trade compliance program for Abbott’s diversified healthcare businesses, including pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical devices, and nutritional products. Her primary responsibilities include the development and oversight of corporate policy, internal controls, audit programs, and training programs addressing compliance with import/export regulations, foreign trade controls, sanctions, and supply chain security. Abbott’s global program covers more than 100 facilities serving markets in 130 countries worldwide. Prior to joining the customs and trade function, Susie held various positions in Abbott’s finance organization, most recently in the role of Treasurer for the European region. Susie is a current Board Member of the American Association of Exporters & Importers (AAEI) and a co-chair of the AAEI Healthcare Industries Committee. She is also a member of the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones (NAFTZ), and works actively on a variety of industry initiatives aimed at trade facilitation. Ms. Hoeger served as the 1USG subcommittee trade co-chair and lead of the FDA working group during the 13th Term COAC. Ms. Hoeger is a re-appointment.

Alexandra Latham, Costco Wholesale, Issaquah, WA
COAC Trade Co-Chair, Trusted Trader Subcommittee

Alexandra Latham is the Director of Customs Compliance for Costco Wholesale Corporation. In this position, she is responsible for Costco’s international trade compliance and supply chain security and manages participation in several trade partnership programs, including C-TPAT, Importer Self-Assessment, the Centers of Excellence and Expertise, and the Nuevo Esquema de Empresas Certificadas.

Ms. Latham has 22 years of experience in trade compliance, supply chain security and logistics having held positions in retail, customs brokerage, freight forwarding and international transportation. She has been a Licensed Customs Broker since 1999, and holds the designation of Certified Customs Specialist in both Canada and the U.S.

Ms. Latham participates in various international trade committees including U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Trade Support Network, the Retail Industry Leader’s Association, and I.E. Canada. Ms. Latham is a new appointment.

Amy Magnus, A.N. Deringer, Inc., Champlain, NY
COAC Trade Co-Chair, One U.S. Government at the Border Subcommittee

Amy Magnus, a licensed Customs Broker, is the Director of Customs Affairs and Compliance with oversight of Customs compliance and regulatory matters for A.N Deringer, Inc. Ms. Magnus also serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association and as former President of the Northern Border Customs Brokers Association; she serves on the Customs Committee for both organizations. Amy is a Trade Ambassadors or the Trade Support Network for the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and the Entry Committee co-chair for the TSN.

Before becoming a licensed Customs broker, Ms. Magnus worked for CBP for eighteen years. When she left Customs, she was the Trade Compliance Manager in the Champlain, New York area service. Ms. Magnus' responsibilities included supervision of all trade-related personnel and functions in Champlain. During her tenure with CBP, Ms. Magnus worked with various Customs divisions in Washington, DC to draft and implement new policies and procedures as they related to NAFTA, compliance measurement, the Customs Modernization Act, enforcement, and other trade sensitive issues. Prior to her position as Trade Manager, Ms. Magnus was the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeiture Officer for over five years, and in her early years with CBP, she served as an Inspector and an Import Specialist. Ms. Magnus is a graduate of the University of Vermont and holds an advanced degree in education from the same university. Ms. Magnus is a new appointment.

Elizabeth Merritt, Airlines for America, Washington, DC
COAC Trade Co-Chair, Export Subcommittee

Elizabeth Merritt is Director, Cargo Services at Airlines for America, a trade association that represents 11 North American integrator, passenger and cargo carriers. Ms. Merritt focuses on cargo issues related to U.S. and international customs, facilitation, security, mail, and hazardous materials transport. She is a primary contact for the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) pilot project, and works with numerous government agencies, including CBP, TSA, and the Departments of Commerce and State to promote the efficient and secure movement of legitimate cargo. Prior to joining A4A, she worked for Delta Air Lines in several managerial positions in the fields of Customs and Facilitation, Compliance and Revenue Management. Ms. Merritt serves as Vice-Chair of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Customs Advisory Group. She is also an attorney and a licensed Customs Broker. Ms. Merritt served as the secondary trade co-chair of the Exports subcommittee. Ms. Merritt is a re-appointment.

Kevin Pinel, Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA
COAC Trade Co-Chair, Trade Enforcement and Revenue Collection Subcommittee

Kevin Pinel is the Group Trade Manager for North America at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington. He has been with the company since 2013. His professional background includes over 17 years of experience in international trade, logistics, and customs compliance. In is role at Microsoft he and his team are engaged in all aspects of Trade planning and compliance related to consumer Devices & Services including software, hardware, retail operations and data centers; with a focus on import and export planning and operations, broker contracting, management and training, audit/financial controls, and performance metrics for the United States and Canada. Mr. Pinel is a Licensed Customs Broker and a Certified Customs Specialist (CCS). He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Mr. Pinel was selected to fill the position vacated by COAC member Scott Childers. Kevin officially was appointed on April 18, 2014 and served the remainder of the 13th Term. Mr. Pinel is a re-appointment.

Adam W. Salerno, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC
COAC Trade Co-Chair, Global Supply Chain Subcommittee

Adam W. Salerno is a senior director for the National Security and Emergency Preparedness Department at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is responsible for the Chamber’s policy and advocacy related to the global supply chain and the cross-border movement of goods. Salerno manages the Chamber’s Global Supply Chain, Customs and Trade Facilitation Working Group. The group works with businesses, the administration, Congress, international governments, and institutions to strengthen connectivity by eliminating barriers that hurt global commerce. Likewise, he manages several other committees to advance similar priorities in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP), the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, and customs modernization initiatives in the Americas, the Middle East, and Asia.

Before joining the Chamber, Salerno was a business liaison at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Private Sector Office where he advised leadership on international trade, travel and tourism, transportation, immigration, and intellectual property rights.

A native of Massachusetts, Salerno graduated from Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts, with a double major in economics and political science. He earned an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Isenberg School of Management in Amherst, Massachusetts. He also earned a Graduate Certificate in international business from American University, Kogod School of Business in Washington, D.C. Mr. Salerno is a re-appointment.

Madeleine Veigel, Expeditors International of Washington, Inc., Seattle, WA

Madeleine Veigel is the Director, Customs- The Americas at Expeditors International of Washington, Inc., in Seattle, Washington. In this position, she is responsible to develop, direct and support Expeditors International of Washington’s Customs product in the Americas. She joined the company as an Import I.T. Liaison for the Customs Product Group back in October 1997. She held different positions within the Customs Product group before she was promoted to Director Global Customs Development in October 2004 and then to Director Customs, The Americas in September 2005. Prior to working for Expeditors, Madeleine held different positions at both a local NVOCC and OOCL – Orient Overseas Container Line in Seattle, Washington.

Expeditors has been a licensed customs broker since 1981 and is a member with full benefits of C-TPAT. Expeditors’ interactions with CBP have given Madeleine insight into CBP modernization and automation, customs broker regulations, ACE, and trade enforcement.

Madeleine holds a B.A. in Foreign Languages from Lewis and Clark College, and a Diplome Superieure d’Etudes Francaises from the University of Nantes, Nantes, France. She is a US licensed Customs broker. She is also a graduate of Seattle University Executive Leadership Program where she graduated from in March 2014. Ms. Veigel is a new appointment.

Michael White, International Air Transport Association, Washington, DC Co- Lead for the COAC Trade Efficiency Survey

Michael is the President of Cargo Network Services Corporation (A company of the Int’l Air Transport Assn.) based in Washington, DC. As President he is responsible for financial settlement systems, commercial operations and advocacy for its member airlines and air freight forwarding companies. He is a leader in the air cargo industry’s efforts for security, e-commerce, facilitation and government issues in the US. Industry and government officials call upon him frequently for his viewpoints, subject matter expertise and industry position on air cargo issues. Michael currently helps lead US industry efforts for development of standards for the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS), launch of e-commerce efforts in the United States and head of facilitation efforts for IATA regarding cargo. In 2011 he was selected as a Trade Ambassador by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Michael served as a senior representative for the trade during the development of the U.S. air cargo known shipper program, the indirect air carrier program and the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program after the events of TWA flight 800 and 9-11. Michael is a transferred member from the 14th Term COAC.

Michael Young, OOCL (USA) Inc., San Ramon, CA
COAC Trade Co-Chair, Trusted Trader Subcommittee

Michael Young is the Vice President of Business Processes and Systems for Orient Overseas Container Line Limited (OOCL USA). In this position, he is responsible for internal process controls, internal compliance audits, and regulatory affairs and Customs initiatives. On behalf of OOCL, he has helped implement key CBP trade and security initiatives over the past 20 years, including the “24 hour rule” advance manifest regulations, the “10+2” ISF rule, C-TPAT, the ACE ocean/rail manifest system, and an effort to build an automated export manifest system in ACE. He is an active member in Trade Leadership Council, Trade Support Network, Customs Electronic System Action Council, World Shipping Council, and Chair of the Terminal Operators and Port Authority Subcommittee. Mr. Young is a new appointment.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2018