DEC Members

Arkansas DEC Members

each have special expertise in international trade and are dedicated to helping businesses in our state to begin and expand their global sales.

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ArDEC Officers

CHAIR

Rudy Ortiz
Manager of Client Services
Arkansas Economic Development Commission
Export Service Provider
rortiz@arkansasedc.com

Mr. Ortiz helps companies with their International Business/Exporting, Cyber Security and Technology Commercialization/Acquisition needs and training. He teaches the ArDEC’s various export-related classes as well as the AEDC’s MEP ExporTech training program. He is a Certified Global Business Professional as well as a U.S. Department of Commerce Certified Export and Trade Counselor and is fluent in Spanish.


VICE-CHAIR

Keith Smith
Vice President of Sales
Keith Smith Company, Inc.
Exporter
keith.smith@keith-smith.com

Keith Smith Company is the leading independent producer of broiler hatching eggs and day-old chicks in North America, with operations in Arkansas, Texas, and Mexico. Mr. Smith is bilingual and has lived and worked in Central America. As VP of Sales, he leads the company to excel in solving problems, meeting difficult challenges and serving clients to create mutual success.


VICE-CHAIR

Mihir Desai
Senior Manager Supply Chain
Welspun Tubular LLC
Exporter
mihir_desai@welspun.com

In his current role, Mr. Desai oversees nearly all of the company’s purchasing decisions – including $500 million in annual purchasing requirements – as well as inbound and outbound logistics. His leadership has helped gain Welspun the reputation of delivering products before time and above quality. From Section 232 duties to transportation challenges, Mr. Desai guides Welspun through seamless transitions. 


TREASURER

Edward King
Vice President
Grapette International
Exporter
edking@grapette.com

Mr. King serves Grapette International by developing and maintaining their customer base for soft-drink flavors in China and Southeast Asia. He is their primary liaison with freight forwarders and ocean carriers in booking and arranging export shipments to Asia, the Caribbean, South and Central America. He has served as Treasurer of ArDEC since January 2020.


EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

Jim Aardappel
Director
U.S. Commercial Service
Export Service Provider
james.aardappel@trade.gov

In this role, Mr. Aardappel serves the state of Arkansas as the U. S. Government’s premier export promotion agency. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the U.S. Commercial Service’s clients in Arkansas and works closely with ITA staff in the U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide to help Arkansas businesses find partners.

ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR

Heidi Whitman

Mrs. Whitman formerly worked for Global Ties Arkansas, a branch of the U.S. Department of State. She supports the work of the Members and Associates, keeping everyone informed through emails and social media postings. She also maintains the ArDEC website, as well as other administrative tasks as needed. She is proud to contribute to Arkansas’ efforts for economic development with her extensive skill sets.  


ArDEC Members and Associates

Max Avery
ArDEC Member
Director of Business Development
Guardian Payment Systems
Export Service Provider
max@guardianpays.com


Phil Brandon
ArDEC Member
President
Rock Town Distillery, Inc.
Exporter
phil@rocktowndistillery.com


Jonathan Bricker
ArDEC Member
VP, International Business Development
Arvest Bank
Export Service provider
jbricker@arvest.com

Mr. Bricker provides general sales support for all products offered by the International Banking Department of Arvest Bank, including International Trade Finance, International Treasury Management (FX Payment Solutions), International Trade Services, and Standby Letters of Credit. He is familiar with international trade agreements and trade issues, current international trade regulations, International Chamber of Commerce governing rules, industry trends and current political and cultural conditions worldwide.


Doug Brooks
ArDEC Member
Vice President International Sales
A.E.R.T., Inc.
Exporter
dougbrooks@aert.com


William Burgess
ArDEC Member, Past Chair

Owner & VP of Operations
Power Technology, Inc.
Exporter
wmburgess@powertechnology.com

Mr. Burgess is the Owner and Vice President of Operations for Power Technology, Inc. He was Chairman of the Arkansas District Export Council, 2016 SBA “Exporter of the Year”, 2016 SBA Region VI “Exporter of the Year”, and a recipient of the President’s “E-Award for Exports”. Mr. Burgess exports to 30+ countries per year and has experience in EAR \ ITAR export control regulations.


S. Graham Catlett
ArDEC Member, Past Chair

Managing Partner
Catlett Law Firm, PLC
Export Service Provider
gcatlett@catlaw.com


James Clark
ArDEC Member
Agent
Euler Hermes
Export Service Provider
James.Clark@eulerhermes.com


Robert Coon
ArDEC Member
Partner
Impact Management Group
Export Service Provider
coon@impactmanagement.com


Rush Deacon
ArDEC Member, Past Chair

Chief Executive Officer
Arkansas Capital Corporation
Export Service Provider
rdeacon@arcapital.com


Heather Dumas
ArDEC Member
Founder, President
HD Customs Brokers
Export Service Provider
heatherd@hdcustomsbrokers.com

Ms. Dumas focuses on helping small to mid-sized companies successfully import their goods and products into the United States. Heather is a Certified Customs Specialist and holds a Customs Broker license. She understands how to quickly navigate through time sensitive red tape, legal jargon and tight fiscal parameters.


Ken Gaines
ArDEC Member

President
The Steco Corporation
Exporter
kdgaines@tapmagic.com

Mr. Gaines areas of experience include working with freight forwarders, creating international shipping documents, and using EXIM bank to provide insurance on shipments, as well as exhibiting at Trade Shows internationally and using the US Commercial Services to market our business.


Ed Haddock
ArDEC Associate

Director
Small Business Administration
Export Service Provider
edward.haddock@sba.gov


Terry Harris, Sr.
ArDEC Member

VP Marketing, Risk Management
Riceland Foods, Inc.
Exporter
tharris@riceland.com


Terry Henderson
ArDEC Member

Marketing Manager
POM Incorporated
Exporter
terry@pom.com


W. Dan Hendrix
ArDEC Member, Past Chair

President & CEO
Arkansas World Trade Center
Export Service provider
dhendrix@arwtc.org


Angela Hofmann
ArDEC Member

President
World Strategies, LLC
Export Service Provider
angela.hofmann@worldstrategies.net


Lenka Hořáková
ArDEC Member, Past Chair

President
LH Global Solutions, LLC
Export Service Provider
Lenka.Horakova@LHGlobalSolutions.com

As a consultant, Ms. Hořáková focuses on helping international companies succeed in the global marketplace. She has more than ten years of experience in economic development, foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade, at the Arkansas Capital Corporation where she worked primarily with Asian investors and at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission assisting European companies to expand in Arkansas. Lenka served as the ArDEC Chair from 2018-2019.


Stefan Johansson
ArDEC Member
Founder, CEO
ECOJOHN
Exporter
sjohansson@ecojohn.com

Mr. Johansson is highly involved in the global trade aspect of ECOJOHN, working closely with their international partners and distributors to ensure a very effective supply chain. He has developed efficiency in exports by understanding different international cultures as well as regulations, contracts, economics, and logistics. In 2018, ECOJOHN won the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Global Trade.


Clint Lazenby
ArDEC Member

Founder and CEO
Legacy Retail
Export Service Provider
clint@legacyretail.com

Mr. Lazenby helps companies succeed in their global retail ambitions in both ecommerce and brick & mortar. He brings creative solutions to complex business challenges by finding new solutions to known issues by finding powerful insights contained in data and leveraging them to empower and drive productivity and results. Legacy supports clients with key retailers like Walmart, Target, Costco and Amazon around the world.


Beatrice Maingi
ArDEC Associate

Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs 
Safe Foods Corporation
Exporter
Beatrice.maingi@safefoods.net

Ms. Maingi is responsible for registration of Safe Food’s technologies with various regulatory bodies. She builds relationships with industry regulators, commercial service personnel and internal stakeholders in Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Columbia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Safe Foods won the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Global Trade in 2018.


Greg Matheny
ArDEC Member, Past Chair

Senior International Sales Executive
FedEx Services
Export Service Provider
agmatheny@fedex.com


Gina Radke
ArDEC Member

Chief Executive Officer
Galley Support Innovations
Exporter
ginaradke@galleysupport.com


Jason Risner
ArDEC Member
VP, Sales and Marketing
Alliance Rubber Company
Exporter
jrisner@alliance-rubber.com

Mr. Risner oversees a holistic marketing approach and brand strategy for Alliance in seven distinct industries in 55 countries. His department is responsible for positioning Alliance’s growth strategy, cultivating opportunities in new and existing markets, and growing demand for Alliance products. He also serves on the leadership team responsible for setting the corporate strategy, goals, and annual targets for the company.


Samuel M. Rothschild
ArDEC Member

Owner
Slim Chickens Development Company
Exporter
sam@slimchickens.com


Curtis Schneekloth
ArDEC Member

Distribution Center Manager
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
Exporter
cwschneekloth@coopertire.com


John A. Sinclair
ArDEC Member

Owner & CEO
Lycus Ltd., LLC
Exporter
john.sinclair@lycusltd.com

Mr. Sinclair serves at Lycus Ltd., LLC, a manufacturer of ultraviolet absorbers with an international market located in El Dorado.  A strong finance professional, he also served as the Chief Financial Officer and Marketing Director when Lycus won the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Global Trade in 2017.


Phil Stark
ArDEC Member
Sales Manager

Garreco, LLC
Exporter
phils@garreco.com

Mr. Stark serves as Sales Manager for Garreco, LLC in Heber Springs, a manufacturer of high-quality dental lab products. He was a member of the 2017 class of ExporTech, which provided extensive exposure to all aspects of export business relations. He won the 2017 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Global Trade for their superior work in exporting to Germany, Canada, Ecuador, Nicaragua and the United Kingdom.


Boon Tan
ArDEC Associate

Global Trade Strategy & Senior Director
World Trade Center Arkansas
Export Service Provider
btan@arwtc.org


Martial Trigeaud
ArDEC Associate

Chief Operating Officer
Vascugenix
Exporter
martial@vascugenix.com


Dennis R. Truelove
ArDEC Member

Program Manager International Programs & Launcher Modernization
Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control
Exporter
dennis.truelove@lmco.com


Melvin Torres
ArDEC Associate

Director of Western Hemisphere Trade
Arkansas World Trade Center
Export Service Provider
melvint@arwtc.org

Serving as Director of Western Hemisphere Trade for the World Trade Center Arkansas, Melvin has led many delegations on successful trade and diplomacy missions and is a vital resource to top foreign state officials. He has written multiple articles on trade for state and national publications. He is completely fluent in English and Spanish and understands several other languages.


Dr. Ashvin P. Vibhakar
ArDEC Member

Joe T. Ford Chair of Finance
University of Arkansas – Little Rock
Export Service Provider
apvibhakar@ualr.edu


Larry Walther
ArDEC Member

Director & Chief Fiscal Officer
AR Dept of Finance and Admin.
Export Service Provider
larry.walther@dfa.arkansas.gov


Mark Young
ArDEC Member

President & CEO
Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce
Export Service Provider
myoung@jonesborochamber.com