Dear WIT-NC Members:
In 2014, the WIT-NC Board of Directors again delivered valuable educational and networking programs to its membership. Thanks to all our members who supported WIT-NC throughout a challenging year. While 2014 was particularly demanding due to circumstances beyond our control, WIT-NC has emerged stronger than before. This was made possible by our dedicated Board of Directors. They were:
- Chairwoman: Vicki Wilkerson, Fortinet, Inc.
- President: Darko Neuschul, Facebook
- Vice President: Lydia McClure, Lydia McClure LLC
- Secretary: Alaina Robertson
- Treasurer: David Feinstein, Tesla Motors
- Co-Assistant Treasurer: Brian Shibley, Tesla Motors
- Co-Assistant Treasurer: Carol Shields, SanDisk
- Volunteer Director: Jane Watkins
- Marketing Director: Leslie August, boomerang carnets
- Membership Director: Peter Miller
- Assistant Membership Director: Carla Cravalho, Cisco Systems
- Event Coordinator: Meri Zavorine
- Endowment Director: Jessica Hill, Una Consulting
- Fundraising Director: Joni Crossing, International Carbon Exchange
- Director of Programs: Ann McGrath, NetApp
I am proud of our accomplishments in 2014 which included a successful membership drive, the addition of new sponsors and relocation to our new home at NetApp. I am also grateful to have the chance to build on the excellent foundation of our current Chairwoman and my predecessor, Vicki Wilkerson. Vicki embodies the fine leadership qualities of our founder, Beth Peterson, as well as our prior board members. It has been an honor to serve our trade community and to work with such a competent group of trade professionals.
A few metrics:
- We presented 13 educational programs in 2014: 11 monthly networking/educational events and 2 educational webinars.
- Our net income was $22,965, 218% over budget, primarily due to cost management.
- Event attendance averaged 54.33 attendees compared to 52.82 in 2013, for a 2.86% increase.
- Membership as of 12/31/2014 was 173 members, an 11% increase over 2013. There were 32 corporate members and 77 individual members.
- We collected more than 75 gifts for our holiday charity, Family Giving Tree, which was 50% more gifts than we had committed to collecting.
- We continued to fund small business loans via Kiva by re-loaning what had been repaid.
- We supported Dress for Success with an Accessory Drive.
- We had 15 Corporate Sponsors.
- Annual Survey responses increased by 200% over 2013.
Thank you to the dedicated WIT-NC team for their service in 2014. WIT-NC is successful because of the work and team effort of the Board, committee members, volunteers and our outstanding speakers and sponsors. All contribute their time, expertise and financial support in delivering quality WIT-NC programs.
Darko Neuschul, WIT-NC President 2014
We ended 2014 with 32 corporate members and 77 individual members (173 unique names). This is an 11% increase over 2013. We expected that the global economic crisis would affect our membership registration for a period of years. However, Peter Miller and Carla Cravalho worked relentlessly to increase membership during the past year including running a successful Membership Drive. Our membership is what sustains the organization. It defines who we are, what programs we put on, and how successful we are as an organization. The 2014 membership committee dedicated to membership support and growth consisted of Peter Miller, Carla Cravalho and Yazmin Penzien.
In addition to the membership drive, Carla and Peter managed the new member leads from the www.OWIT.org site and set up the user logins for each of our new members to the Member’s Only section of www.WIT-NC.com and www.OWIT.org. They also kept up the tradition of monthly Member Profiles.
Each year in January WIT-NC recognizes outstanding Corporate and Individual Members of that year.
MEMBER OF THE YEAR 2014: LYDIA MCCLURE
Lydia was recognized for her ongoing commitment and contribution to WIT-NC, particularly notable in 2015. Lydia stepped up early in the year to fill the suddenly-vacated Vice President position and was able to provide her trade compliance subject matter expertise as well as organizational skills to lead the Event Steering Committee and Programs through a challenging year. Lydia was also critical to the success of the Membership Drive. She supported the Membership Committee before, during and after the drive. The Board recognized Lydia’s contributions at the January program and presented her with a $100 American Express gift certificate as a token of appreciation.
CORPORATE MEMBER OF THE YEAR 2014: CISCO SYSTEMS
WIT-NC recognized Cisco Systems in 2014 for its contribution of talent, educational, financial and logistical support throughout last year. Challenged by several Board vacancies and an unexpected need to change our venue for events early in the year, Cisco Systems (with the leadership of Cisco’s Carla Cravalho, WIT-NC Membership Director) provided venues and catering for our events. Without the support of Cisco the organization would have had to pay significant unbudgeted costs or may have had to postpone events. Cisco also consistently supported WIT-NC by encouraging and funding attendance at relevant WIT-NC events by Cisco staff. The Board recognized Cisco at the January program and presented Cisco with the gift of a Corporate Table at the 2015 February WIT-NC Asian New Year Celebration and Program.
Many thanks for Lydia McClure and Cisco Systems for their outstanding support of WIT-NC in 2014 and all the contributions they have made to the organization over the years.
Volunteers and Committees
After a brief hiatus, Jane Watkins returned to the board by stepping in to manage volunteers as WIT-NC’s Volunteer Director. Jane skillfully matched WIT-NC volunteers to committees and projects that suit their skills, needs and interests. As of December WIT-NC had 16 committee volunteers plus 6 Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (formerly Monterey Institute) call campaign volunteers (2 staff and 4 students) who supported the WIT-NC membership drive. WIT-NC is grateful for the support of our capable volunteers and the willingness of Jane Watkins to continue to serve in this capacity on an interim basis until a replacement Volunteer Director steps forward.
Notable in 2014 was the launch of a monthly e-newsletter, cross-marketing to increase visibility, conducting a membership drive calling campaign, increasing member engagement in the Annual Survey, ramp up of social media and ongoing support of the Event Steering Committee. Marketing also supported two career fair events. To increase visibility within the Bay Area trade compliance community, WIT-NC partnered with TechAmerica and ACI to promote their events while exposing WIT-NC to their attendees who might be interested in WIT-NC membership. Maureen Mills and Peggy Rupp, directed by Leslie August, participated on the Marketing Committee. Students and staff from Middlebury Institute were calling campaign volunteers.
Since 2011 Joni Crossing has managed the sponsorship program and benefits developed for WIT-NC’s sponsors. Sponsorship finished the 2014 year 32% over budget for sponsor funding. Sponsorship had a dedicated and capable committee member, Sanjana Koobchandani. Sanjana is a former board member who returned to support the Sponsorship Committee and WIT-NC. We are appreciative to have had twelve generous sponsors at the end of 2014:
Platinum: Amber Road, Aptean, NetApp, Oracle, SAP
Gold: Baker McKenzie, Boomerang Carnets, CiDGM, Law Office of George R. Tuttle
Silver: EntryPoint, Fragomen, MIIS, SanDisk
Bronze: Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe, Gateway Recruiting
Under the leadership of Treasurer David Feinstein and Co-Assistant Treasurers Brian Shibley and Carol Shields, WIT-NC was able to manage a series of unexpected changes in 2014 and to still exceed budgeted income by $12,400. The work of the Treasury committee ensured that we managed expenses deftly and finished the year with a net profit of $22,965. Our treasurers ensure that pre-registration, day-of-event and post event income is accurately accounted for as well as keeping WIT-NC on budget for each fiscal year. They also greet and welcome our program attendees at each and every event.
Our Event Steering Committee enables us to achieve our organization’s vision of distinguishing WIT-NC as the best and most sought after organization for global trade information and programs in the Bay Area. For the first 6 months, Karla Haynes, 2014 Vice President, chaired the Event Steering Committee (ESC) which manages all WIT-NC programs. Following Karla’s departure, Lydia McClure joined the board as Interim VP to shepherd the organization through the end of the year. While navigating different venues and a change of leadership the 2014 ESC steered WIT-NC through a series of highly successful programs. Our 2014 ESC also included Ann McGrath, Darko Neuschul, Meri Zavorine and Vicki Wilkerson.
WIT-NC conducted two Webinars in 2014. Here is an overview of the monthly programs we held in 2014:
|1/8||“Everything is Negotiable”||Karla Haynes, Chevron Daniel Fisher-Owens, Berliner, Corcoran and Rowe LLP|
|2/12||Change in China is Inevitable||Baker & McKenzie – John McKenzie|
|3/12||“Are Your Sales Activities Protected from Illicit Procurement Activities”||Robert Shaw; Program Director, MIIS Stephanie Lieggi, East Asia Non Proliferation Program|
|4/9||Comparative Valuation: Current Trends in EU, LATAM and ASIA||Lynlee Brown, Senior Manager, Ernst & Young|
|5/7||Buyer Beware! What You Need to Know about International Trade Due Diligence for M&A||Matt Nakachi, Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg P.A. Laura Tomarchio, Director, Trade Compliance, Product Classification, Symantec Corporation|
|6/18||What’s Your Reaction Time? How to Manage Compliance with Rapidly Changing Trade Sanctions||Alexey Goder, Subject Matter Expert and Author Lydia McClure Trudi West, Director, Hitachi Data Systems|
|7/13||Summer Networking Extravaganza|
|8/13||Skills Builder: Obtaining and Using Export and Import Metrics||Beth Peterson, BPE Global|
|9/10||Importer Identity Fraud||Michael D. Laden, Trade Innovations Inc.|
|11/12||Audit Sampling for Import and Export Transactions||George R. Tuttle III, The Law Offices of George R. Tuttle|
|12/10||Hiring Trends in International Trade Compliance||Garrett Stephenson, CEO, Gateway Recruiting|