Q&A WITH BRENDA BARNES, CRCBFA Export Chair
What brought you in to the International Trade Industry?
After graduating from OSU, I had a minor in German (and majored in Business). Having this on my resume caught someone’s eye who gave me an interview and a company who was involved in international trade. The rest is history.
What do you love most about being involved with the CRCBFA?
The teamwork towards a common goal. CRCBFA has a lot of members who are strong and together they are even stronger, which is very important when faced with an issue we can’t win individually.
There is a trade industry slumber party. CBP, FDA, FWS, USDA, all the OGA's, Brokers, Forwarders, Carriers, the Ports, ILWU, and everyone who is someone in the industry is there. Who would you:
Share your ice cream with? Census. They have always been helpful in guiding us to do the processes under their regulations in a helpful manner. No matter how high up the ladder they are, they are willing to answer any question.
Pummel with a Pillow? ILWU and PMA. I might not use a pillow and just bang their heads together.
Play truth or dare with and what would you ask of them? Customs. I always feel there are items lurking in the weeds they don’t share with the public, which could spring up later and bite us. We are always asking questions to see if we can’t define what direction they may be going.
In your career so far, what has been the best moment?
I think it would have been when I heard that Al Gina from Customs remembered my story about exporting onions and why Option-4 filing status was so important after hearing it 6 months earlier.
If you had one piece of advice for people just getting started in Customs Brokerage and Freight Forwarding what would it be?
Don’t look for fame or fortune. Most people in the U.S. don’t understand what we do. Also, be patient. There is so much information that no one person can possibly know everything and it isn’t something they can teach you in a class in school. Experience is the best teacher and the regulations are the guidelines to getting the job done.Get involved with CRCBFA and other trade associations. You will meet others who will empower you and support your growth more than maybe your own company.
If you had a vessel what would you name it?
Hmmmmm……. Maybe the “Beaver/Dodger Nation” ???
Who in the industry has been an inspiration to you?
Kathy Hansen, Dale Wolfer, Peter Friedmann
And last but not least, what is your favorite place to visit in the Pacific Northwest?
Medford, because that is where I grew up and much of my family still lives. Much of my heart still lives there. It is close to good places to fish, hunt, and be outdoors along the Rogue River.