TRG Direct is an importer direct-filing service developed by the principals of
Trade Risk Guaranty,
Corporation for International Business and
Over the past few years TRG Direct has become the fastest-growing Web-based
solution for filing Customs entries in-house. TRG Direct provides a
compliance-based solution that allows importers of various sizes to save
thousands of dollars annually in outsourcing fees. Even though savings has been
a significant factor in the decision for many importers to direct file, the
increased supply chain visibility and U.S. Customs compliance are known to be
two of the greatest benefits of TRG Direct.
Those principals, Bruce A. Wilson, Leslie Levy August, Curt E.H. Wilson, Michael
L. Host, John F. Michel, Laura Michel, Kelby Woodard and Michael D. Laden have a
combined 250+ years of experience in international trade and surety guarantees.
TRG Direct employs a seasoned group of international trade experts whose depth
of experience includes: ABI development based on 25 years with U.S. Customs, 25
years of underwriting U.S. Customs Bonds and 30 years in supply chain security
management. This team has been instrumental in the growth and maintenance of TRG
Direct, as well as the planning and development of the additional ISF module.
Their backgrounds span logistics, freight forwarding, customs brokerage, customs
bonds, marine insurance, supply chain management, trade operations, ATA Carnets,
carnet bonds, transportation, customs compliance and supply chain security.
Meet the Experts of TRG Direct
Michael D. Laden, President
TRG Direct/TBI Brokers, Inc. (& Trade Innovations, Inc. – Partner)
Laden has almost 30 years of experience in the international trade industry,
most recently as the President of a customs brokerage firm operating exclusively
for and inside of a mass retailer. Mr. Laden has been licensed by US Customs
since 1981. He served the maximum two term limit on the Commercial Operations
Advisory Committee (COAC) providing advice on customs matters to the US Treasury
Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He is a member of the CBP
Trade Support Network (TSN) which is currently designing the next CBP computer
architecture known as ACE (Automated Commercial Environment). He was the
executive sponsor of a self-filing program for customs entries (>200,000 entries
annually) and helped a mass retailer achieve the coveted ISA designation. Mr.
Laden is also credited with developing some of the most creative and ingenious
customs compliance programs, policies and procedures; allowing his employer to
achieve unprecedented levels of compliance, while lowering associated landed
Mr. Laden is a recognized expert in the customs compliance and the supply chain
regulatory environment. He was a founding and charter member of the Business
Alliance for Customs Modernization. He has served on the Board of Governors for
the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI) since 1988, and is a
past Chairman. He is also a member of the World Customs Organization's Private
Sector Consultative Group and meets regularly in Brussels, Belgium to discuss
issues affecting customs compliance, security and global trade.
Mr. Laden has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee and the House
Subcommittee on Appropriations concerning Customs Commercial Operations and
Enforcement Policies. He also appeared as a witness before the Senate Finance
Committee on matters related to container security and operations in a post
September 11th environment. Mr. Laden has also been a featured speaker on
Customs and Border Protection and related matters before many national
organizations. He travels extensively and has taught the fundamentals of
importing to thousands of foreign suppliers and manufacturers worldwide.
Kelby G. Woodard, Executive V.P.
TRG Direct/TBI Brokers, Inc. (& Trade Innovations, Inc. – Partner)
Woodard spent eleven (11) years with a mass retailer located in Minneapolis,
Minnesota as the Director of Supply Chain Assets Protection. In this capacity,
he and his team were instrumental in providing supply chain security expertise
to the legacy US Customs Service in the months and years following the attacks
of September 11th. The result of these consultations was the formation of the
Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program. His employer was
one of the seven charter members of C-TPAT and has maintained a leadership
position in defining new criteria and standards as a result of his efforts. Mr.
Woodard also managed the Operation Safe Commerce project and Smart Box testing
and has worked on several projects focused on the use of RFID technology to
secure global commerce.
Mr. Woodard was responsible for a global security team that focused on risk
analysis and mitigation strategies spanning a supply chain spread throughout 84
countries. He and his team was also responsible for significantly reducing cargo
theft issues within the United States and providing assets protection services
to 28 distribution centers. Prior to his experience in the private sector, Mr.
Woodard served with the U.S. Customs Service in Washington, DC. Mr. Woodard
holds an MBA in International Business from the University of Dallas and
Certificate of Global Security Management from Georgetown University.
Mr. Woodard is a renowned expert on subjects ranging from global security to
cargo theft issues and advises key congressional staffers regarding these issues
on a regular basis. He has given numerous presentations around the world to
groups such as the World Customs Organization (WCO), Retail Industry Leaders
Association (RILA), International Cargo Security Council (ICSC), ECR Europe,
RFID Journal Live, and Retail Forward Europe. He has also trained countless
overseas vendors on the complexities of complying with US security requirements.
Mr. Woodard has authored articles on the future of supply Chain within the new
global security context in Loss Prevention, International Security, Supply Chain
Management Review, as well as numerous other periodicals.
Elaine Bragg, Associate
TRG Direct/TBI Brokers, Inc. (& Trade Innovations, Inc.)
addition to her status as an Associate with TRG Direct, Ms. Bragg is an
International Trade Specialist with Barlow and Associates, PLLC, a customs
attorney and provides the ABI Help Desk function for TRG Direct, a service
bureau providing software for importers to file customs entries directly with
U.S. Customs and Border Protection. She has over 22 years of import export
management experience and is knowledgeable in all facets of import export and
customs compliance, clearance activities, and operations.
Ms. Bragg's career has included being the Import Export Manager - Mexico for
Mattel Toys, the largest U.S. toy importer; Sr. Compliance Analyst for Pulse
Engineering, a Technitrol Company , a leading U.S. importer and supplier of
transformers and inductors; Customs Compliance Manager for Astec America, a
division of Emerson Network Power, the world's leading supplier of embedded
power solutions; and Sr. Manager, International Trade Americas for Seagate
Technology, LLC, a computer hard disk drive manufacturer and importer. Her
career also includes eight years as a customs broker operating two offices in
Southern California and recently as the corporate customs brokers license holder
for DHL Express (US), Inc. She has contributed her knowledge and expertise in
trade compliance by providing presentations to the West Coast Cargo Conference
(WESCCON) on Border Export clearances, International Professional Compliance
Association (ICPA) on Importer Self Assessment, and the Energy Traffic
Association (ETA) on C-TPAT. She has also participated as a member of the CBP
Trade Support Network in the development of ACE, the new customs clearance
system, and as a member of the Express Logistics Association (xLA) to assist CBP
in understanding the unique business requirements of the express consignment
Ms. Bragg holds a B.A. in Education from Western Washington University where she
graduated in the top 10% of her class. She served for two years as a U.S.
Customs Inspector and received recognition as a distinguished graduate from the
Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy in Glynco, GA. She received her customs
broker license in 1988.
TRG Direct is a product of TBI Brokers, Inc. (TBIB Inc.), a licensed customs broker. TBIB is a member of the Kernow Capital companies.
TBIB is a U.S. Customs certified Automated Broker Interface (ABI) provider.