Our Board is made up of professionals experienced in various aspects of international trade and development.
CATLIN Engineers and Scientists
Founder and President
Rick has worked in the engineering profession for over 30 years. He is President and Owner of CATLIN Engineers and Scientists, which is headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina.
CATLIN Engineers and Scientists specialize in the fields of environmental, civil and geotechnical engineering. Incorporated in North Carolina in 1985, CATLIN is a multi-disciplined consulting firm comprised of professionals with disciplines in civil, environmental and geotechnical engineering; hydrogeology; geology; and environmental science. CATLIN specializes in soil and groundwater assessments and remediation at sites throughout the Southeast. CATLIN also has offices in Raleigh, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia.
Rick has worked for the past 25 years as an active leader in Local and State Commissions. His contributions as an involved citizen range from improving our environment to deepening our ports and protecting our beaches. His voluntary service has included:
- Outgoing Chairman, Wilmington-New Hanover County Ports, Waterways, and Beach Commission
- Executive Committee Member, North Carolina Water Resource Congress
- Chairman, North Carolina Shore and Waterway Association
- Member, Wilmington Passenger Rail Study Commission
- Member, Congressional Coastal Advisory Council
- Member, North Carolina House of Representatives
USA INVESTCO, LLC
Mr. Charles “Chuck” Schoninger is the founder of USA InvestCo (USAI), a real estate development company based in Wilmington, North Carolina. USAI looks to identify, analyze and acquire projects that have significant upside potential. USAI specializes in raising capital through the Employment Based 5 (“EB-5”) program, a program designed to create new jobs and increase foreign investment in the USA. Currently, USAI is developing two projects in the Wilmington area.
Prior to relocating to North Carolina, Mr. Schoninger lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado where he founded and operated Zephyr Development. His company focused on the acquisition, entitlement, development and sale of mixed-use real estate projects. His company built more than 30 projects totaling in excess of 1 million square feet with costs in excess of $250 million in Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma, California, Texas, and North Carolina.
Verto Partners ( Fmr.) (Deceased August 2020)
Richard has been an Interim CEO in a number of industries, with business models ranging from high technology and services to heavy- and basic-industries. He has lived and worked around the Globe, building factories in China, Africa, The Middle East and Europe. He has 30+ years general management experience in domestic and international operations, and is noted for his comprehensive execution skills in both high-growth and distressed environments. Lindenmuth is a Managing Director and founder of Verto Partners http://www.vertopartners.com. He is also the Chairman of the Association of Interim Executives and author of The Outside the Box Executive.
International Account Manager UPS
Eric has been with UPS since 2001 and have spent all 17 years in international supply chain and logistics consultation. Prior to that Eric worked as an Account Manager with Emery Worldwide Freight Forwarding. Eric has over 20 years of combined experience in international supply chain and logistics consultation. Prior to that he spent 9 years in the consumer finance industry.
JP Morgan, Executive Director | International
Todd is an international product specialist with J. P. Morgan’s international banking team. He partners with the bank’s multinational clients across the Southeastern US in efforts to identify core solutions and strategies to optimize the management of their international business around the world. He has over 19 years of international banking experience, covering core cash management solutions, liquidity, trade, credit, and foreign exchange. He has been with J P Morgan for six years, and is a graduate of Princeton University. Todd resides in Charlotte, NC.
Planning and Performance Manager Caterpillar Corporation
Member at National District Export Council-Steering Committee
Dwight has been a Caterpillar employee for 23 years. He has served in several roles within the Building Construction Products Division. These include Commercial Purchasing Analyst, Operations Team Facilitator, Lead Facility Buyer, Operations General Supervisor, Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, Logistics Manager, Program Manager, and Supply Chain Strategy/Performance/Planning Manager for facilities in North America and the UK. He was recently selected to attend the their executive development program called “Powering Up” at Bradley University in Peoria
He was recently re-appointed by the US Secretary of Commerce to serve on the North Carolina District Export Council (NCDEC). He is currently a sitting member of that Council. These international trade professionals use their knowledge and international business experience to act as consultants to small and medium sized businesses who want to export their products into markets outside of the United States.
Dwight Hendrickson CPM, CPIM was recently re-elected to serve on the (NDEC) National Export Council Steering Committee by his peers in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The National Steering Committee, together with the 59 regional District Export Council executive committees, government leaders, and international trade experts work to create an annual strategic plan for all of the major DEC initiatives. In addition, this collective effort builds consensus to address important issues related to trade and exporting, while ensuring a consistent and constant effort to accomplish the mission of the DECs. Closely affiliated with the U.S. Commercial Service’s U.S. Export Assistance Centers, the 59 District Export Councils (DECs) nationwide are organizations comprised of leaders from their local business community.
Previously, Dwight served as the President of the Triangle Chapter of APICS. APICS, The Association for Operations Management is the global leader and premier source of the body of knowledge in supply chain and operations management, including production, inventory, materials management, purchasing, and logistics. Since 1957, individuals and companies have relied on APICS for its superior training, internationally recognized certifications, comprehensive resources and worldwide network of accomplished industry professionals
Dwight is also a member of the Global Logistics Advisory Committee for Wake Technical College. In this role he supports the program managers as they develop curriculum and improvements in the program. He has also served as an advisor to the NC State Supply Chain Consortium and the NC State Supply Chian club. He is also a member of Triangle World Trade Association, and is serving as a Senior Advisor to the local APICS chapter Board as a past officer.
Partner – Brooks Pierce
Charles S. Baldwin, a partner in the Wilmington office of Brooks Pierce, has a diverse corporate practice focusing on cross-border, venture capital, and transactional matters. He has extensive experience in international and transportation law and is recognized as one of North Carolina’s leading attorneys on these issues. He is a frequent speaker on topics related to business law and international trade. Charles also counsels municipalities such as the Village of Bald Head Island on environmental and regulatory concerns. Charles holds a BA from UNC Chapel Hill, a JD and MA from American University, and an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center.
Counsel Nexsen/ Pruet
The global commercial marketplace is rapidly becoming both more complex and interwoven. David is a member of the International Team at NexsenPruet. He has assisted clients in cross-border transactions around the world. He has been to over 40 countries and has run two US subsidiaries of foreign companies. David helps global businesses integrate corporate compliance and operational programs into subsidiary operations, facilitate the transfer of personnel among operations, comply with export control and boycott regulations, and negotiate commercial and joint venture relationships.
David serves on the Best Practices Committee of Invest in USA, an EB-5 Trade Association. The committee recommends industry best practices to the $6 Billion/year foreign direct investment visa program run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. David is the Honorary Consul of Japan for North Carolina and is fluent in Japanese.
Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator
County Manager’s Office
New Hanover County, NC
Tim joined New Hanover County as its Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator in January 2019, where he serves as a liaison for the county manager’s office to local, state and federal government officials as well as civic and business partners in New Hanover County. Tim joined the county government after two decades as an award-winning journalist in New York, New Hampshire and North Carolina, including for more than three years as the senior political reporter for the Wilmington StarNews. In addition to covering politics that included interviewing numerous presidential candidates, Tim spent considerable time covering trade and transportation, including providing coverage of the Port of Wilmington and Wilmington International Airport.
Wilmington International Airport
Business Development Director
Carol joined Wilmington International Airport (ILM) as the Business Development Director in early 2016. Her role involves tenant recruitment for the ILM Business Park, development and management of revenue contracts including advertising, and marketing.
Prior to joining ILM, Carol spent 25 years in the areas of commercial real estate and aviation. Her experience includes directing and managing all non-aviation revenues at Orlando International Airport, real estate transactions with such entities as Signature Aviation, Wells Fargo, Ferguson Enterprises, Universal Studios, and Disney, owner’s representative with international real estate company Avison Young, and consulting with the Macau International Airport in the development of their Policy Manual in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines. Carol holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
Partner, RSM US LLP
Charles Craft has nearly 40 years of experience providing accounting and tax services to a variety of closely held businesses, their owners and other organizations. In his current role, Charles provides leadership in the Wilmington, North Carolina tax practice of RSM. He consults with clients on various business matters and is actively involved in designing and implementing tax planning that is responsive to their organizational and individual strategies. He has prior experience as both a partner in a regional accounting firm and as a founding shareholder of a CPA practice in Wilmington. Charles is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. He graduated summa cum laude from UNCW with a Bachelor of Science in accounting.
Director, Small Business Center
Cape Fear Community College
Jerry Coleman, director of CFCC’s Small Business Center, has decades of experience in business and consulting, having owned his own consumer products manufacturing company in Wilmington NC. Jerry is committed to helping other small business owners succeed. “Starting, managing and growing a small business can be a daunting task. At CFCC’s Small Business Center, we help entrepreneurs plan and navigate the startup process; getting off to a good, solid start is essential.
Jerry earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration from East Carolina University, and Master of Business Administration at UNCW. He earned his certificate in Project Management from UNCW and has secured multiple patents. In 2016, Jerry was awarded the US Small Business Administration’s Collaboration and Partnership award for his efforts to support the SBA and its resource partners in developing opportunities for small businesses in the State of North Carolina.
Owner, The Property Shop International Realty
Tony is the Owner, Broker and Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser with The Property Shop International Realty in Wilmington, NC, with a long history with International dynamics, having worked in Airline Management.
Tony was instrumental in the creation of the NC REALTORS® Global Network for North Carolina’s 46,000+ REALTOR® members and served as past Chair of the Global Network. While serving on the NC REALTORS® Global Network, the Platinum Global Achievement Program Award from the National Association of REALTORS® was received for NC REALTORS® Global Network work and was recognized not only by the National Association and by peers across the country for their efforts.
Tony currently is Chair of the NC REALTORS® Economic Development Committee. Tony holds the designation of Certified International Property Specialist through the National Association of REALTORS®. Mr. Harrington sits as an Officer with Cape Fear REALTORS®, and, is the 2020 President of the organization and 2020 Regional Vice President for NC REALTORS® for a region of the state.
Chief Commercial Officer
North Carolina Ports
Greg Fennell was appointed Chief Commercial Officer of the North Carolina State Ports Authority in January of 2015.
Under Mr. Fennell’s leadership, North Carolina Ports most recently achieved a record Fiscal Year 2018. The Authority reported record increases in container volume and general cargo volume at the Port of Wilmington and general cargo volume at the Port of Morehead City. Additional growth during his tenure includes the development of new business strategies, which have resulted in several new container lines and a growing perishables portfolio supporting the North Carolina agriculture industry.
Prior to his role as Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Fennell served as the Vice President Sales, Americas for APM Terminals in Virginia. Fennel’s career has concentrated on container sales and marketing. He was the Global Chief Commercial Officer for APM Terminals in The Hague as well as the Vice President, Sales APM Terminals in Charlotte.
Mr. Fennell brings a wealth of experience to North Carolina Ports and the industry contracts that assist in expansion of the Authority’s market reach.
Susan Bales has worked in the marine and naval technology sector for decades. She has been an advisor to top tier government officials, Fortune 500 companies, and Silicon Valley Enterprises. She is known for business models that provide high tech solutions to hard business and engineering problems through innovation, a sense of urgency, and interdisciplinary collaborative teams from industry and government.
Susan has traveled and conducted Department of Defense business throughout the world. While residing in Washington, DC, she led the transfer of naval science and technology to commercial sectors, directed naval research innovation, and served as the Science Advisor to the head admiral of the Navy. She has served on White House and interagency task forces.
Since residing in Wilmington, Susan co-founded Bales Innovation Group, a boutique consulting firm to small business, and served on several health care and community Boards of Directors. She is an advisor to the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Defense Alliance of NC, where she is the Chair of the Innovation and Leadership Forum. Other, ongoing advisory roles include Blue Economy initiatives and post C-19 business models.