Archive for January, 2016

From Aspiring Actor to Founder of a Global Transportation Company: SHE Gets it Done


Vietnam-born businesswoman Ms. Lily Tran grew up in an entrepreneurial family in Iowa in the United States.  She began working in her family’s retail and trading businesses when she was 14 so she knew what hard work and dedication meant to making a success of the family business. Yet, surprisingly, what Tran really wanted early on was to become an actor when she grew up.

“But I needed to pay my bills while I pursued a career on Broadway, so I took a job in sales in the freight forwarding industry. Needless to say, it was love at first career. Here I am, 17 years later in the same business.”

Tran is founder, owner and CEO of Tran Logistics, a woman-owned, minority-owned small business.  Customers include but are not limited to:  private companies in the aerospace and maritime sectors, as well as U.S. government agencies like the Department of Defense.

Trans says her company handles exports and imports, moving oversized cargo like aircraft engines, satellite equipment, heavy vehicles and equipment, as well as myriad parts and other supplies, offering service to more than 200 cities.

She’s come a long way with her talent and is using two of her greatest gifts — a combination of in-depth experience and personal service in everything she does.

Read more:  Tran Logistics:  a small Miami-based company with a global reach.

Note:  Don’t miss WEGG’s upcoming WEGG Wednesday Webinar on February 3rd at 10:00 a.m. Central time covering how to finance an international business.  It’s no charge but you must register to participate.  Register here.




We Must Create Equal Opportunities for Both Men and Women


The World Economic Forum 2016 held in Davos and committing to improving the state of the world — may not reflect the real world, but it does reflect the upper echelons of corporate life where one asks:  where are the women?

Of the 2,500 participants at this year’s conclave of chief executives, central bankers and billionaire investors, only 18 percent were women, a touch above the 17 percent global average for female representation on corporate boards.

We must create equal opportunities for both men and women.  As one spokesperson said, “Until we have women CEOs, how are you going to move the needle?”

Read more:  Davos Man seeks Davos Women

Note:  We are happy and proud to report that our WEGG Board member, Kati Suominen, is attending the World Economic Forum 2016 Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.  She is also presenting at our next WEGG Wednesday webinar, 2/3.  Register here (no charge).  Hope you can join us.

From Getting Started in Exporting to Financing Your International Business


Our first WEGG webinar, “Getting Started in Exporting:  Ready Your Business for Growth” was a wonderful success. You can access the recording here.

Up next month on February 3rd from 10:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m. Central time:  “Financing Your International Business:  Plan Early and Smart” presented by Kati Suominen, CEO and founder of Nextrade Group, LLC and TradeUp Capital Fund.

What you will learn:

  • What payment and financing issues you need to consider when exporting
  • What are key financial instruments you ought to know of
  • Where do you go to secure these instruments: role of market players, government agencies, alternative platforms
  • Special considerations for fueling your international growth with growth capital

 We hope to connect with you on Wednesday, February 3rd!

Register here (event is no charge).

Innovators Are More Likely to Achieve Export Success


We are thrilled to report that our first webinar in a monthly series this year, “Getting Started in Exporting:  Ready Your Business For Growth” and presented by Laurel Delaney, was a huge success!  We had far more registrations than expected so thank you to all of you who signed up and a big shout out to WEGG Board member Laura Fairman for her help in launching the webinar technology.

In case you missed the webinar, the recording link will be made available next week so you can enjoy the presentation at your convenience.  Watch for it.  Be sure to mark your calendar for the next webinar held on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. Central time and presented by Kati Suominen, founder and CEO of Tradeup Capital Fund.  She’ll discuss the best way to finance an international trade deal.

Switching gears a bit.  Ever wonder if there is evidence on the relationships between innovation, exporting and growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)?  According to “Building the Evidence Base for SME Growth Policy,” there is.

SMEs which have a track record of innovation are more likely to export, more likely to export successfully and more likely to generate growth from exporting than non-innovating firms.

Innovation plays an important positive role in export growth.  To get to innovation, you must develop capable management.


Number of Women Executives in International Logistics Grows


Executives in international logistics handle how products are shipped worldwide and ensure they reach their destination. Deborah Winkleback, who’s career started in 1974 at Montgomery Ward, was hired in 1993 at Hoffman Estates-based Claire’s Stores Inc., a retailer featuring jewelry and accessories.  As she worked her way up the corporate ladder, Winkleback fell in love with the international aspect of logistics. Highlights of her accomplishments at Claire’s are as follows:

  • Built a “best in class” logistics and compliance system
  • Earned industry standards recognition.
  • Grew company under her tenure from 110 stores in the United States to nearly 3,200 stores in 46 countries.
  • Established the Winkleblack Second Chance Fund at Triton College (designed for self-supporting women over 21 who were not able to attend college after high school).
  • Developed a Foreign Trade Zone for Claire’s, which allowed shipments to be entered and consolidated at their North American distribution center in Hoffman Estates.
  • Mentors students at Harper College and College of DuPage in careers in supply chain.

The number of women executives in international logistics is growing. According to Council of Supply Chain Management Professions: “About 20 percent of its 8,500 members are women.”

While the majority of supply chain and logistics professionals in previous decades were men, women are increasingly choosing these fields as careers, adding value to their companies, their customers, and to the global supply chain community at large, said Rick Blasgen, president and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

Read more: Claire’s executive sees future for women in logistics

REMINDER:  Laurel Delaney will give the first complimentary WEGG Webinar on how to export on Wednesday, January 6th from 11:00 a.m. — 12:00 noon Central time.  Register here:  This is the first in a monthly series.

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