DEC Members

The Maryland / DC District Export Council

The DEC is a private, non-profit organization that brings together experienced international business people who provide guidance and assistance in international markets.

DEC Members are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, based on their expertise in international business. Due to their commitment to exporting, DEC members volunteer their time.

Phil Grove
Ellicott Dredges
International Sales Manager
Expertise: ExporTech, Commercial diplomacy, advocacy for international government tenders, Ex-Im financing, USTDA programs, OPIC project finance, partnering for foreign contracts, U.S. Commercial Service programs.

DEC Vice Chair
Richard H. Rogers
Founder and President
R. H. Rogers Global Consulting, LLC

Expertise: International business development (Africa, Asia, Middle East), export and in-country sales advisory, global executive talent sourcing, ExporTech.

Jose Alonso
DEC Treasurer
Murray Corporation
International Sales Manager

Expertise: ExporTech, UM Global Export Consulting program, MDCP grant recipient, Hannover Messe trade show, U.S. Dept of Commerce 51% content requirements

Jessica Reynolds
Maryland Department of Commerce

Senior Director, Office of International Investment & Trade
Expertise: ExporTech, Export Maryland/SBA STEP grant, virtual trade missions/Governor’s trade missions, Maryland export data.

Aisha Jones
Executive Secretary
U.S. Commercial Service, Baltimore

Expertise: ExporTech, International Expansion Plans, Website Globalization Enhancements, Prosper Africa, Doing Business in Africa, Antidumping & Countervailing Duty Inquiries, Trade Winds

(The following DEC members are listed alphabetically.)

Alisha Ayre
Manager of Logistics & Trade Compliance

Expertise:  Global logistics across all transportation modes, import/export trade compliance, freight forwarding, S&OP, operations management, international experience in consumer goods, pharmaceutical, & chemical markets, certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt & Certified Supply Chain Professional (APICS).

Rebecca Bellinger
University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business
Executive Director, Center for Global Business
Expertise: ExporTech, Startup/incubator best practices, export education, early stage business, student consulting services to companies with global business challenges.

Kimberly Brown
Amethyst Technologies
Chief Executive Officer

Expertise: ExporTech, President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, Gold Key services, government advocacy, healthcare services in developing countries.

Christina Caraballo
Director, Informatics
Expertise: Health IT policy & strategy; interoperability, standards & health ecosystems; local & global innovation & culture change; consumer access & engagement.

Lee Connor
John S. Connor, Inc. 
Expertise: Competitive rates for freight forwarding, transportation and logistics services, supply chain management, incoterms.

Ronald Huther
Thales Defense and Security, Inc.
Director, International Business Development

Expertise: Export compliance, management of wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of European parent company.

Alex Koff
Venable LLP
(DEC Chair 2014-2015)
Expertise: ExporTech, General Counsel coverage, including international business transactions & contracts, intellectual property disputes, international arbitration, regulatory compliance, customs matters, export controls, FCPA, Jones Act issues.

Carl Livesay
Maryland Thermoform Corporation
VP of Operations
(DEC Vice Chair 2016-2017)
Expertise: ExporTech, ITAR, FAR, DFAR, AS9100C, AS9100D, manufacturing process optimization, export readiness assessment, gap analysis, leveraging social media, lean manufacturing, aerospace & defense industries, contract manufacturing.

Bill Marsheck
DAP Products
Manager, International Sales 
Expertise: Go to market plans, Intl distributor search, FTA markets, FTA Tariff Tool, Trade shows,
export counseling in Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa.

Jill McClune
Avon Protection Systems
General Counsel, US

Expertise: Defense and emergency responder contracts worldwide, distribution/agency programs, federal compliance including ITAR/EAR, defense manufacturing, business & technology council resources. Defense communities.

Brian Merritt
(DEC Vice Chair 2014-2015)
Expertise: ExporTech, IC-DISC consulting, transfer pricing, advantageous tax structures for global companies, VAT Recovery.

Kwabena Osei-Sarpong
RIFE International
President & CEO

Expertise: Trade Winds, Group Gold Key programs, Export MD grant programs, doing business in Africa, green/renewable energy expertise, international sales and partner development.

Bobby Patton
Patton Electronics
(DEC Chair 2018-2019)
Expertise: ExporTech, Export financing, Ex-Im Bank products including credit insurance, supply chain, privacy concerns, high tech manufacturing, partner identification, sales channels, patent applications, IP issues .

Mariana de Gorordo Rutherford
Chief Operations Officer
ITAR certified professional, ECoP-ITAR (expert compliance certified in ITAR).

Ken Sanchez
Chesapeake Specialty Products
President and CEO

Expertise: Manufacturing, shipping, customs and tariffs, trade shows, market research/market entry strategies, doing business in China, IP Protection, setting up in-country sales agents, President’s E-Award for Exports application process.

(NO PHOTO: Linked-in: )
Sierra Silkman
Haemo-Sol International, LLC
Expertise: Distributor relationship & management, international market pricing, currency fluctuation management, comparative international shipping & incoterms.

David Tohn
BTS Software Solutions
Chief Executive Officer
Expertise: Technology & software exports, ITAR controls, DoD contracting (import & export), cybersecurity, int’l expansion for defense & commercial sales..

Kim Vaccari
Konsyl Pharmaceuticals
Sales Manager
Expertise: ExporTech, FDA approval & nutritional supplement regulations, distributor network, sales channel conflict, Amazon e-commerce platform sales.

Michael Violette
Washington Laboratories, Ltd.
Chief Executive Officer
Expertise: Product testing & certification, CE Mark, market access via various international product approvals, regional expertise in China, Japan, and Europe.

Alexandra Wrage
Trace International, Inc.
Expertise: Practical anti-bribery compliance training, due diligence on global agents/consultants/distributors, compliance benchmarking and risk assessments.

Bob Zhang
Peng Consulting Group
Principal Consultant

Expertise: China expertise, strategic business consulting, trade missions, diplomacy, website and e-commerce localization, fluency in Chinese; Asia rep. for Maryland Horse Industry Board; Governor’s Commission on APA Affairs.