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Meet the TBOWIT Board!

09 Feb 2021 4:28 PM | TB OWIT (Administrator)

Meet your 2021-2022 board members and learn why they joined TBOWIT!

We are dedicated to providing our members with opportunities to learn, network, and connect. We would love to hear from you so please don't hesitate to reach out to any of us with ideas, suggestions, or just to say hello. We're looking forward to a wonderful year ahead!

Devon Barnett, President

Business & Market Intelligence Manager, Tampa International Airport 

I joined TBOWIT early on in my career as I was transitioning to a field more heavily focused on international business. As I was diving into all of the local resources available to help me navigate this new venture, I came across TBOWIT and started attending events to see what opportunities and connections I could take advantage of to quickly engrain myself in the world of global commerce. What I soon discovered was that I had only scratched the surface in in my initial research and that this organization was the catch all of who’s who in Tampa Bay when it came to international business. I met experts in every sector, including law, banking, protocol, customs, logistics (and beyond) and the best part about those connections was that if they didn’t specialize in a particular topic, they knew someone that did. Fast forward to today and I couldn’t be more proud of the strength, diversity and expertise in TBOWIT’s network that helped me kick start my career in international business.

Debbie Fallucca, Treasurer

Senior Tax Director, RSM US LLP

I joined TBOWIT because I enjoy networking with business people who are active in the global economy. We learn a lot from each other’s experiences.

Selma Canas, Secretary

International Trade Specialist, Florida SBDC at USF 

I joined TBOWIT to meet and learn from others in the international business field. TBOWIT is an active network comprised of professionals, business owners and organizations serving the international business community of Tampa Bay.

Christyna Doege, VP Membership

Client Engagement Manager, Port Tampa Bay

I joined TBOWIT to satisfy my curiosity. I like learning and I like hearing another’s story. TBOWIT combines educational topics with networking and I learn something new at every event. Along the way, I have heard impactful stories and lived vicariously through speakers and fellow members. TBOWIT is a unique organization and I’m thrilled to be connected to each member and through them to the world of international business.

Madison Lawson, VP of Scholarship

International Business Manager, Tampa Bay Economic Development Council

Just a few years ago, I was new to the international trade scene in Tampa Bay and a fellow board member introduced me to the organization. TBOWIT has since allowed me to meet amazing women involved in similar roles, providing a sense of community and support for one another in traditionally male-dominated fields.

Ilana Goldenberg, VP Marketing

Marketing Manager, Tampa International Airport

I joined TBOWIT to meet other professionals who are dedicated to connecting Tampa Bay to the world.

Olga Pina, TBOWIT Director

Partner, Shutts & Bowen LLP

I joined TBOWIT when we founded the Tampa Bay Chapter back in 1997. A dear friend and colleague, Carol Delia, who like me had also lived in Washington, D.C. prior to moving to Tampa, had been a member of the D.C. chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade and talked me into founding the Tampa chapter. With her support and the support of my firm at the time, Fowler White, and the guidance of Bill Flynn, who was the head of the immigration practice at Fowler White, P.A., we gathered together a founding Board comprised of a fabulous group of women who were trailblazers in their respective arenas. We represented all sectors of the Tampa Bay economy that touched international matters, such as Banking (Charlotte Kovach n/k/a Starfire with SunTrust at the time), Accounting (Laura Bedingfield, then with Deloitte), Architecture (Joanie Buckley, then with HOK), Education/Academia (Dr. Carol Cargill, Dr. Maria Crummett, Dr. Corinne Young, representing USF and University of Tampa), the City of Tampa (Margarita Gonzalez), the Port of Tampa (Trudy Carson), local Fortune 500 companies in Tech (Adele Giovanazzi, Rose McClatchey Romero), and several others totaling 19 Board members. Eileen Rodriguez, carrying the torch for the SBA and SBDC, was also part of that initial core group. I wanted to gather together a group of like-minded women who understood the importance of international trade to the future of the Tampa area. We came together to learn from each other, to educate the community about international trade and business, and all the ancillary industries that make it happen, as well as to facilitate the entry of small businesses into exporting or importing activities. We ended up finding much more than just a professional group with a common mission—we found lifelong friends who supported each other through many a crisis. Over the years we suffered devastating losses in our midst, losing 3 beloved Board members in the prime of their careers, feeling the pain of two of our Board members at the loss of their respective children, each an only child, as well as changes and challenges to our own organization. We have learned from each other professionally and personally, and it’s been a wonderful journey. The best is yet to come as our community continues to sizzle with activity in all sectors that are impacted by and impact international business!!

April Rose Grajales, Board Member

Executive Director with the Multinational Corporation team, J.P. Morgan

I joined TBOWIT to expand my network of other professionals who were focused on promoting the thriving International Business community in Tampa Bay!

Laurel Evans, Board Member

Global Account Manager, XPO Global Forwarding 

I joined TBOWIT to connect with women that have an interest or work in international field. I love the variety of topics and events that we host to broaden our minds and connection both professionally and personally.

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