International Banking & Finance Seminar

Irvine, California
Wednesday, October 23, 2019

For FULL list of Presenters, Consultants, Facilitators, Click Here!

Martin Selander
International Trade Specialist
US Small Business Administration
Irvine, CA
Martin Selander is the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) senior representative for international trade at the U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) in Irvine CA. He has served at the SBA since 1991 and at the USEAC since 1996, coordinating SBA export financing and international trade assistance programs for four SBA Districts in Southern California and Nevada.

The Orange County USEAC last year facilitated the approval of SBA guarantees totaling over $190 million to small business exporters. Additionally, the office supported 1,200 local small business exporters with training and consulting assistance.

Prior to serving at the USEAC, Martin was a Commercial Loan Specialist in the finance divisions of the SBA District Offices in Hartford, Connecticut and Los Angeles, focusing on SBA domestic lending programs, loan servicing, liquidation & workout, and economic development.

Martin holds a BS in business administration from Central Connecticut State University, and a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance from the University of Kentucky, where he interned as a graduate assistant at the SBA- sponsored Small Business Development Center. He holds a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) designation and is a dedicated runner who has completed over 70 marathon races.
Pelson Lau
Regional Export Finance Manager
US Small Business Administration
Los Angeles, CA
Pellson Lau is the Regional Export Finance Manager for the Office of International Trade, U.S. Small Business Administration. He covers the territories of Southern California and the State of Arizona from his office at the U.S. Export Assistance Center – Los Angeles (USEAC). Prior to the SBA, he amassed over 25 years’ working experience in the banking industry, specializing in international trade operations, commercial lending, credit review and administration, and various government loan guarantee programs through the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and SBA. Pellson holds a Banking Diploma from ifs School of Finance, United Kingdom, a certificate in Personal Financial Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MBA from the University of Southern California.

He is an enrolled agent licensed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Pellson is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) and also recently completed the Excellence in Government Fellows Program from the Partnership for Public Service.
  Marvin W. Sepe 
Chair, District Export Council of Southern California
Senior Vice President
CTC Global Corporation
Irvine, CA
Marvin W. Sepe is Chair of the District Export Council of Southern California by appointment of the Secretary of Commerce and serves to compliment the U.S. Commercial Service's export promotion efforts. He has served on the District Export Council since 2010. Mr. Sepe is Senior Vice President of CTC Global Corporation headquartered in Irvine, California, a high technology manufacturing company serving the global electrical infrastructure industry. He is General Manager and Senior Country Executive for CTC’s joint venture company in China. Mr. Sepe has over 35 years’ experience in senior executive positions in the aerospace, energy and semiconductor industries with a successful track record of taking companies from concept to established volume production for global markets. He has extensive experience in high technology manufacturing, including the development and management of offshore operations and foreign subsidiaries. Mr. Sepe holds an engineering degree and a Masters in Business Administration.
Robert N. Saikali
Vice President and Manager
International Banking & Trade Finance
City National Bank
Robert Saikali is a vice president in City National Bank’s International Banking & Trade Finance Group. His team delivers a comprehensive range of international trade, foreign exchange and trade advisory services to clients doing business around the world.

Before joining City National in 2008, Mr. Saikali was a senior vice president at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in Los Angeles, where he managed the bank’s operations units for the West Coast.

Mr. Saikali has more than 40 years of experience in international banking, foreign exchange, loans, treasury, and trade finance. He began his banking career in foreign exchange in 1979 at the Middle East Banking Corporation. He joined the Los Angeles branch of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (California) in 1981 and managed the international operations for Southern California. He also served at First Interstate Bank, where he led its corporate and international loan operations and services unit.

Mr. Saikali earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an M.B.A. from American University of Beirut. In 2018, he was appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to the District Export Council of Southern California.
Ken Wengrod
Co-Founder/President FTC Commercial Corp.
Delegated Authority of the U.S. Export Import Bank
Chair the Regulatory & Legislative Committee of the
District Export Council of Southern California
Mr. Wengrod built FTC Commercial Corp. (“FTC”) to one of L.A.’s financial powerhouses, which factored over $3 billion since 2003, and assisted numerous start-up operations that have grown to over $40 million in sales. He became one of the country’s leading financial advisors and entrepreneurs behind the fashion industry’s top contemporary designers. His success derives from over 35 years of distinctive and eclectic blend of experiences. From leading numerous west coast factoring operations for large banks and managing large manufacturing and retail operations to starting two successful garment manufacturing companies, his insightful financial knowledge was invaluable for many startups companies and its expansion. He has diverse experience in the fashion industry and extensive understanding of the entire trade cycle of manufacturing from design concept to ultimately collecting sales.

Mr. Wengrod effectively partners with the International Trade Administration and U.S. Department of Commerce to promote export trade and strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. companies in the international market. Mr. Wengrod has taken an aggressive position on advancing against foreign receivables, which have further enabled many U.S. manufactures to export and gain global presence. His unique strategies for success lead many creative startup designers to crate successful and recognizable names in the industry. This creative financing solutions for start-up and small business exporters was recognized by The "E" Awards Committee and FTC received The Presidents “E” Award for Export Service in 2018.

Mr. Wengrod has also been recently appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the Trade Finance Advisory Council (TFAC) and is also Vice-Chair of the Sub-Committee Public-Private Partnerships. Established in 2016, the TFAC serves as the principal advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to access to trade finance for U.S. exporters. TFAC members represent commercial banks and other financial services providers, industry associations, exporters and research institutions.
Richard M. Swanson
Senior Advisor
U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service
U.S. Department of Commerce
Irvine, CA
Richard Malcolm Swanson Jr. is currently the only Senior Advisor representing the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service in the U.S. field. Previously, Richard served for over 12 years as the Regional Director of Pacific South Network (Region) of the U.S. Field Operations of the U.S. & Foreign & Commercial Service (US&FCS).

Richard has worked with Commerce nearly 28 years. He has worked with many local trade organizations, EDO’s, and local, county, and state governments on many initiatives including the National Export Initiative, Travel USA, and SelectUSA foreign direct investment strategy.

Richard was trained in Eximbank and SBA trade finance back in 1993 and in 1994 helped opened the first U.S. Export Assistance Center featuring Commerce, Eximbank, SBA, and USAID at the World Trade Center building in Long Beach, California. He also a member of the Commerce Department International Trade Administration’s Global Finance Team.

Mr. Swanson holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Cal State Fullerton in Int’l Business w/a minor in Spanish and a Masters of Public Administration in local economic development from Long Beach State. He has lived and studied Spanish in Morelia, Michoacán. He has been an adjunct professor at the Cal State University system for many years teaching international business. Richard is a native Californian born in San Diego. He is married and resides in south Orange County with his wife and two daughters while one is finishing high school and the other graduating from college.
Paul Duncan
Export Finance Manager
Export-Import Bank- EXIM
Irvine, CA
Paul Duncan is an Export Finance Manager for the Western Regional office of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) of the United States located in Irvine, CA.

Mr. Duncan assists U.S. exporters, financial institutions and other export related entities in securing export financing through political and commercial risks coverage available through Ex-Im Bank. Mr. Duncan’s regional responsibilities are Orange County, as well as the states of Nevada and Utah.

The Western Regional office of the Ex-Im Bank is responsible for business development in the western states. Ex-Im Bank offers a variety of programs designed to help exporters make sales when other sources of assistance are unavailable or inadequate. The focus of the office is to assist small firms in their efforts to fund overseas purchase orders through working capital guarantees, as well as protecting exporters against foreign political and commercial credit risks.

Mr. Duncan holds a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma, in Political Science, is married with two young children.
Paul Smith
International Development Specialist
District International Trade Officer
Small Business Administration
Santa Ana, CA
Paul Smith is an accomplished professional with twenty-five years’ experience in business development. His career encompasses both the private and public sectors. His experience includes sales management, direct marketing, export promotion, and matchmaking, for markets worldwide. As an Economic Development Specialist and District International Trade Officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Mr. Smith is responsible for outreach to the business community for the Santa Ana District office. His expertise focuses on International Relations, High Tech industries & Native American outreach. He works closely with private industries, trade associations, state / federal Agencies and local chambers to promote international trade.

Mr. Smith received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and also conducted his post-graduate studies at Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Smith has received certificates in International Marketing & Sales, International Finance, Investment Specialist, U.S. Customs Broker, and Import/Export Compliance.

David Josephson
SVP & Director of Export Finance
GBC International Bank
Los Angeles, CA
David Josephson is Senior Vice President and Director of Export Finance for GBC International Bank (Los Angeles, CA).

A career international banker, Josephson headed banking offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, London, and Brazil; and provided merchant banking and international commercial banking services to clients in private enterprise, global banking, and foreign governments.

He served seventeen years at the Export Import Bank of the United States as a Managing Director in the Western USA. He was an officer in the United States Navy, serving aboard a United States frigate and in coastal surveillance operations during the Vietnam War. He has a Master's degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy

Stephen Pihl
SBA Manager & Regional EVP
American Business Bank
Anaheim, CA
Steve Pihl is in charge of the SBA Department at American Business Bank, where they fund a significant number of SBA International Trade Loans. He is a seasoned SBA Lender with over 30 years banking and management experience in the Greater Los Angeles area.

After a number of years with two successful community banks, he spent over 10 years with Premier Commercial Bank, serving as Chief Credit Officer, and was in charge of SBA Lending Operations. Mr. Pihl was the founding Chief Credit Officer for Premier Commercial Bank in 2001, which successfully merged with California United Bank in 2012. Just prior to the merger, Premier Commercial Bank was co-winner of the Small 7(a) Lender of the Year award presented by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Mr. Pihl managed the California United Bank SBA Department until October 2017.

Mr. Pihl started up and is currently managing a very successful SBA Department at American Business Bank, with an emphasis on International Trade Loans. Mr. Pihl is a 1987 graduate of Cal State University Fullerton, with a B.A. in finance, and 1997 graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School at University of Washington.
Kristy Bain
Lender Relations Specialist
U.S. Small Business Administration
Santa Ana, CA
Kristy Bain is a Lender Relations Specialist with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Orange County Inland Empire district office located in Santa Ana, CA. Her work focuses specifically on helping small businesses get the funding they need by educating lenders and small business owners about SBA loan programs and services. Kristy served in the U.S. Navy for six years before joining the SBA in 2012.
Brett Tarnet
Owner Brett Tarnet Insurance Services
Member of District Export Council of Southern California
Chair, Trade Finance Committee
Newbury Park, CA
Brett Tarnet has been the owner of Brett Tarnet Insurance Services since 2004. The company specializes in Trade Credit (Receivables) insurance. The Export Import Bank of the United States has twice awarded the company a Broker of the Year Award.

Brett is a frequent speaker at Export University, NACM, Commercial Service, Port of Los Angeles, and university forums on international payment methods and risk mitigation. She is also a member of the District Export Council of Southern California and Chair of the Trade Finance Committee.

Brett has acted as adjunct professor at California State University Northridge. She has been a Valley International Trade Association Board member since 2009 and currently serves as co-chair.

Brett has an MBA (UCLA), and a Bachelor’s Degree from CLU. She is also a NASBITE CGBP, and NACM CICP.
Amanda Barlow
Vice President, ATA Carnet
Roanoke Insurance Group
Member of District Export Council of Southern California
Long Beach, CA
Amanda Barlow is the Vice President of ATA Carnet for Roanoke Insurance Group. Ms. Barlow is responsible for the management of the ATA Carnet customer service operations, which consists of six customer service representatives across the United States and the ATA Carnet application and issuing software. In addition, she is responsible for the growth, development marketing, and sales of the ATA Carnet product and all its related services nationwide. She is a licensed insurance broker in the state of California and holds a non-resident insurance brokers license in the state Illinois and New York.

Ms. Barlow was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s District Export Council (DEC) of Sothern California, one of more than 60 DECs that exist throughout the country to support the U.S. Government’s export promotion efforts. She served as the Secretary and Marketing Chair on the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) New York chapter’s board of directors from 2009 until 2012, and is now an active member of the OWIT chapter in Orange County CA.
Lynn Stewart
Director of Business Development
California State University
Fullerton, CA
Long Beach, CA
Lynn Stewart has over 25 years of international trade experience as an exporter, consultant and teacher. In her current role as Director of Business Development for California State University, Fullerton – Extension and International Programs, she leads the development of professional and continuing education programs that meet the needs of employers, the business community and students.

Most recently, Lynn served as the Director of the Orange County Center for International Trade Development (OC CITD) where she assisted importers, exporters and foreign investors as well as globalized education and the local workforce. She has spent many years working with businesses of all industries as a trade consultant and business advisor for the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) as well as a subject matter expert and faculty member of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small BusinessesProgram. She has also successfully led STEP funded trade missions overseas resulting in export sales and jobs for participating companies.

Additionally, Lynn spent several years as Director of International Sales and Marketing for an environmental company launching their business overseas. She is also a NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) and trainer.

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  • Price: $40  Includes parking, continental breakfast, and a boxed lunch.
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