New COAC committee includes former Customs commissioners
After an unusually long delay, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the 20 industry members of the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (COAC).
The committee provides advice to the departments of Homeland Security and Treasury on policies and operational matters related to cross-border cargo movements.
Among the new participants are two former Customs commissioners. Carol Hallett, a counselor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and former president of the Air Transport Association, served as commissioner of CBP's predecessor organization in the early 1990s. George Weise, executive director of government services for Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services, was Customs commissioner from 1993 to 1997 during the Clinton administration.
The 12th COAC also includes:
' Leman 'Chip' Bowen Jr., a regulatory compliance official for FedEx Trade Networks.
' Scott Childers, senior manager integrated trade management for Walt Disney Co.
' Mary Ann Comstock, northern border compliance manager at UPS Supply Chain Solutions.
' Jeffrey Coppersmith, president of Coppersmith Global Logistics and president of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America. (Presidents of the NCBFAA have traditionally been on COAC.)
' Matthew Fass, president of Maritime Products International Inc., a Newport News, Va. supplier of seafood products.
' William Ferguson, director of security for NYK Line (North America) Inc.
' Karen Kenney, chief operating officer for Liberty International, a freight forwarder in Pawtuckett, R.I.
' Kathleen Neal, director of trade compliance at A.O. Smith Corp.
' James Phillips, a customs manager at General Motors Corp.
' Edward 'Ted' Sherman, director of global trade services for Target Corp.
' David Vitale, chairman of the Urban Partnership Bank in Chicago.
The Urban Partnership Bank is a new bank formed from the ashes of the former ShoreBank that caters to low-income urban neighborhoods. Vitale served as a top advisor to then-chief of the Chicago Public Schools Arne Duncan, who is now U.S. education secretary. Vitale's ties to the customs business may be related to his previous tenure as chief executive officer of the Chicago Board of Trade, a commodities futures and options exchange.
COAC members are eligible to serve two, two-year terms.
There are seven incumbents on the panel. They are:
' Colleen Clarke, vice president of surety for Roanoke Trade Services in Chicago. (Roanoke provides customs bond and other types of cargo and transport insurance.)
' Robert DeCamp, director of regulatory affairs and consulting at A.N. Deringer, a forwarder and customs broker based in St. Albans, Vt.
' Michael Ford, vice president of regulatory compliance and quality for Philadelphia-based forwarder BDP International.
' Donald Huber, global customs manager for General Electric. (If he fills out his term, Huber will have served longer than two terms because he was named in August 2008 to fill a vacancy on the committee.)
' Karen Lobdell, director of global solutions for Integration Point Inc., a provider of trade management software.
' Barbara Vatier, managing director of cargo services for the Air Transport Association.
' Jeffrey Whalen, assistant general counsel for customs and international trade for Nike, Inc.
The members of the 11th COAC term were announced in mid-December 2008. Members of the 10th COAC weren't named until late January 2006. In addition to possible delays associated with security clearances and updating the COAC's charter, the process slowed because Commissioner Alan Bersin wanted to personally review the list of members to make sure there were strong and diverse points of view represented, according to an outside observer familiar with the situation.
COAC, which meets quarterly in addition to holding teleconferences and working through subcommittees, will hold its first meeting on April 12 in Washington, the day before CBP's annual Trade Symposium. ' Eric Kulisch