2023 Apparel Importers Trade & Transportation Conference
November 8, 2023
Fashion Institute of Technology
New York, New York
Thank you for attending!
The 35th Annual Apparel Importers Trade and Transportation Conference will run from 8am until 6pm.
This agenda is preliminary and subject to change prior to the event.
8:15 AM - Registration & Networking Breakfast – Lower Level, Katie Murphy Amphitheater
9:00 AM - Welcome Remarks
- Julia K. Hughes, President, United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA)
- Shannon Maher, Dean at FIT Baker School of Business and Technology
- Chris Lucas, Senior Director and Associate General Counsel for American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. and Vice Chair of the USFIA Board of Directors
9:20 AM - Trade Policy, Customs Policy and the 2024 Elections
- Julia K Hughes, President, USFIA
- David Spooner, USFIA Washington Counsel and Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP
- John Pellegrini, USFIA Customs Consultant
10:00 AM - PwC Holiday Outlook
- Kelly Pederson, Partner, PwC Retail Practice
10:30 AM - Networking Break – Lower Level, Katie Murphy Amphitheater
10:50 AM - Biden Administration Textile Policy
*off the record for press*
- Jennifer Knight, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods, Materials Industries, Critical Minerals and Metals, Commerce Department
- Natalie Hanson, Deputy AUSTR for Textiles, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
11:15 AM - Guatemala: Your Nearshoring And Sourcing Destination
- Carlos Arias, President, VESTEX
11:45 AM - Keynote: A Fireside Chat About The Future For Forced Labor Enforcement
- Rob Silvers, Under Secretary for Policy, Department of Homeland Security, Chair, Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force
12:15 PM - Networking Lunch - Reeves Great Hall
1:20 PM - Roundtable On Forced Labor: Insights From CBP And Key Industry Experts
- Featured Speaker: Felicia Pullam, Executive Director, Office of Trade Relations, Office of the Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Erin Williamson, Senior Director of Customs Brokerage Product, GEODIS
- Maytee Pereira, Customs and International Trade Co-Leader, PwC
- Anne Marie Lacourse, Global Trade Industry Advisory, Sayari
2:20 PM - Networking Break – Lower Level, Katie Murphy Amphitheater
2:35 PM - The State of Cotton
- William Kimbrell, EVP and COO, Cotton Incorporated
3:10 PM - Innovators for the Fashion Industry
- Samantha Galltin, VP Commercial Operations, Fleetzero
- Michael Fernandez-Ferri, Co-Founder and Managing Director, VELA
- Todd Smith, Founder CEO, KYG Trade
- Hong Mei, Senior Director of Program Integrity, WRAP
4:10 PM - Insights from FIT: The Future Is Multi-sensory, Brand Storytelling in the Age of Experience Design
- CJ Yeh, Professor, Creative Technology & Design at FIT, Founder and Executive Creative Director, Cynda Media Lab
- Christie Shin, Associate Professor, Creative Technology & Design at FIT Design Director, Cynda Media Lab
5:00 PM - Networking Reception – Reeves Great Hall
Carlos Arias Buscayrol
Guatemalan Apparel and Textile Association (VESTEX)
Carlos is currently CEO of Denim Forward, Inc. a company dedicated to the implementation of digital, sustainable and on-demand solutions for denim, garment dyeing and digital printing.
He has more than 30 years of experience in the apparel and textile industry leading companies such as Jeanologia based in Valencia, Spain; WINDS Group, a Hong Kong-based athletic apparel manufacturer with operations in Madagascar, Tanzania and Haiti, as well as commercial and support offices in California and Guatemala City; Kaltex Apparel, America Denimatrix, among others.
Carlos has a degree in Legal and Social Sciences from the Francisco Marroquín University; Member of the Advisory Committee of CENTRARSE, member of international organizations such as AAPN and represents VESTEX before national organizations such as the Board of Directors of Guatemala Exporters Association (AGEXPORT), the Monetary Board; as well as in regional organizations such as the Central American and Dominican Business Council (CECATEC).
Co-Founder and Managing Director
VP, Commercial Operations
Samantha has a wealth of commercial and logistics experience both on land and at sea. She began her supply chain journey as a Trainmaster with the BNSF Railway after graduating from Villanova University. She had a 13-year career with the Railroad as Director of Ports, liaising between the railroad and ports across the network while earning a Master’s in Global Supply Chain from the University of Southern California. Before joining Fleetzero, Samantha led the Commercial Operations Bureau at the Port of Long Beach.
Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles
As the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles, Natalie Hanson supports the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles in their duties to conduct and oversee trade negotiations related to textile and apparel products. Ms. Hanson also serves as a subject matter expert and provides input on trade policy matters related to the textile and apparel sector.
Prior to joining the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Ms. Hanson worked at the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) in the Office of Industries with a focus on the textile and apparel industry, and served in a handful of positions for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). While at CBP, Ms. Hanson was a National Import Specialist (NIS) specializing in matters of classification and marking for outerwear and garments of coated fabrics, an International Relations Specialist in the Office of International Affairs, and as an International Trade Specialist for Textile Policy, where she was responsible for providing technical support to CBP and other U.S. Government agencies on matters related to the negotiation, implementation and enforcement of U.S. rules and regulations for U.S. imports of textile and apparel products.
Before joining the U.S. Government, Ms. Hanson spent more than 15 years as a textile trade policy consultant to U.S. and international clients including companies, trade associations and governments, providing information, statistical analysis and advice regarding market conditions and U.S. Government regulation of textile and apparel products.
Ms. Hanson holds an M.A. from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a B.A. from the University of California, Irvine.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Anne Marie Lacourse
Global Trade Industry Advisory
Anne Marie Lacourse is an expert practitioner currently with Sayari Labs. She has 25+ years of demonstrated experience helping over 2000 companies embed international trade compliance into their global supply chains and commercial operations. Anne Marie has deep experience developing, implementing, and managing cross-border trade platforms to support multijurisdictional import and export regulations. She has managed three-quarters of a million classifications across nearly a billion shipments on every continent, (yes, Antarctica too). Ms. Lacourse’s extensive technical and practical knowledge across diverse regulatory schemes has been instrumental in completing nearly 1000 assessments and audits. And in the development of industry-leading commodity-based transaction signals for red flag identification and shipment diversion detection.
While at Vastera, Anne Marie was a key member of the team that developed the first commercially available Global Trade Management (GTM) platform. Technology later acquired by JPMorgan Chase which Ms. Lacourse utilized in day-to-day operations powering AML/TBML compliance for the bank’s international trade finance business. She has served as a U.S. State Department International Traffic in Arms Empowered Official (ITAR-EO). Ms. Lacourse is a member of the ACAMS Editorial Committee and contributing author on topics such as trade-based money laundering and managing global import and export controls for ACAMS Today and other publications. She speaks extensively at conferences on the mechanics of using transactional import and export data to signal TBML risk.
Senior Director of Program Integrity
Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)
Hong has over 15 years of experience in CSR/ESG/Human Rights Due Diligence space. At WRAP, she works closely with its regional representatives and the 3rd party audit firms/auditors around the world to address supply chain issues and maintain the integrity of WRAP audits. She has deep knowledge in force labor and other hot-topic issues in the value chain and is responsible for updating WRAP’s audit-related documents, aligning audits with international and industry standards and best practices. She has done a number of benchmarking exercises against various standards, such as ITC’s Standards Map and CBP’s CTPAT (for WRAP’s Principle 12 Security). Additionally, Hong represents WRAP in trade shows and conferences and helps promote ethical manufacturing.
Hong has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in history from Middlebury College in Vermont as well as a Master of Arts (M.A.) in International Affairs from American University in Washington D.C.
Customs and International Trade Co-Leader
Maytee Pereira is a Senior Managing Director in the Customs & International Trade practice, located in New York. She has over 30 years experience in the area of customs law and international trade matters and has assisted firm clients from myriad industry sectors including consumer and industrial products, Bioscience and Pharma, as well as apparel & textiles and footwear, involved in import/export activities in taking full advantage of both U.S. and foreign customs laws to minimize their import related liabilities while managing compliance with all applicable customs and export requirements. Maytee is particularly involved in developing and supporting customs valuation strategies that align to complex tax planning as well as in designing implementing streamlined global supply chain strategies aimed at minimizing overall duty expense for inbound and outbound clients as well as opportunities to leverage Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). She also assists clients in administrative proceedings and compliance audits before the U.S. Bureau of Customs & Border Protection (CBP), implementing Foreign Trade Zones and has preparing to participate in Customs programs such as the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), Duty Drawback, Importer Self-Asessment (ISA), Reconciliation and others.
Maytee has assisted companies from a wide range of industry sectors, including apparel and footwear, consumer electronics, pharmaceutical/life sciences, telecommunications and wholesale/retail proactively address customs appraisement issues and opportunities. She has assisted large multinational companies better understand and manage the interplay be transfer prices and customs value considerations and has helped global companies develop centralized customs valuations policies that are aligned to their transfer pricing policies and objectives in order to avoid “whipsaw” impacts. She has conducted global assessments of internal control procedures for trade compliance and has assisted companies in developing best in class trade compliance processes.
Maytee holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University, with majors in Economics and Political Science, a Juris Doctor from Fordham Law School, and is a Licensed Customs Broker
Associate Professor, Creative Technology & Design at FIT
Design Director, Cynda Media Lab
Christie Shin has more than 30 years of professional experience as an educator, creative consultant, and design director specializing in UX/UI design, digital product design, and branding. Shin is among the most award-winning designers, receiving over 30 international design awards since 2012. Her clients include Hearst, UNESCO APCEIU, Sony, GUND, WeWork, and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Her design work has won numerous international awards from The Type Directors Club, Communication Arts, Print Regional Design Annual, and HOW Magazine. Shin has lectured and discussed her creative work and research internationally at some of the world’s most prestigious art schools. Currently, Shin is an associate professor at FIT, where she was awarded the 2017 FIT Faculty Excellence Award.
Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans
Robert Silvers was confirmed by the Senate as the Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans on August 5, 2021. He is responsible for driving policy and implementation plans across all of DHS’s missions, including counterterrorism; cybersecurity, infrastructure security, and resilience; border security and immigration; international affairs; and trade and economic security.
Mr. Silvers previously served in the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama-Biden Administration as Assistant Secretary for Cyber Policy. In that role he oversaw private sector engagement, federal government incident response, and diplomatic outreach pertaining to cybersecurity and emerging technology. Mr. Silvers also previously served as DHS’s Deputy Chief of Staff, managing execution of policy and operational priorities across the entire Department.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Silvers was a partner at the law firm Paul Hastings LLP, where his practice focused on cybersecurity and data privacy, government security review of foreign investments, and investigations and litigation at the intersection of law and national security. After graduating law school, he clerked for Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Mr. Silvers holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. He taught as an adjunct professor in the M.S. in Cybersecurity Risk and Strategy Program co-offered by the NYU Law School and NYU Tandon School of Engineering. A New York City native, Mr. Silvers lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and their two children.
Todd R. Smith is a US Licensed Customs Broker and the founder and inventor of KYG Trade (KYGT). Prior to forming KYGT Todd served as a partner and provided trade and customs consulting services to the Fortune 50 at Big 4 Accounting, Tax, and Advisory firms EY and KPMG. Prior to his 18-year consulting career, Todd was a co-founder and CEO of a venture-backed start-up that was acquired on favorable terms by a larger competitor.
Todd also recently founded and serves as co-chairman of the OriginBX OASIS Open Project (OriginBX). OriginBX™ is a non-profit vendor-neutral open-source product attribute standards-setting initiative. Members of OriginBX consist of global brands, customs brokers, freight forwarders, trade technology providers, track and trace blockchain platforms, eCommerce platforms, customs authorities, and global trade policy-setting organizations, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
Todd is an inventor of three patent applications for global trade management systems, including a decentralized authority for trade attribute attestations (e.g., forced labor, sustainability, intellectual property rights, anti-counterfeit, HTS, preferential origin, export controls, tax vs. trade transfer pricing, tax residency, etc.) involving physical and digital goods.
Senior Director of Customs Brokerage Product
Erin Williamson is the Director of Product Management in the Customs Brokerage Product Team. Erin is responsible for ensuring compliance of customs brokerage activities and supporting the US station brokerage operations.
Professor, Creative Technology & Design at FIT
Founder and Executive Creative Director, Cynda Media Lab
C.J. Yeh is a creative director, educator, and author. Yeh has won multiple teaching awards as a professor of Creative Technology and Design at FIT, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the FIT President’s Award for Faculty Excellence, and the Adobe Educators’ Choice Award. Yeh has published ten books, several of which have been adopted by universities in Taiwan as textbooks. Yeh is also the founder and executive creative director at Cynda Media Lab, an award-winning interdisciplinary design studio. Cynda Media Lab’s list of clients includes Google, NFL, and the world-renowned National Taiwan Museum. As an expert in branding and digital design, Yeh has been honored with some of the most prestigious awards including the Communication Arts Design Award, the HOW International Design Award, and the iF Design Award. Yeh’s work has been featured in numerous publications and media channels, including the New York Times, Today Show, and Art in America.
2023 Conference Media Partner
2023 USFIA Partners