Virginia Arteaga, International Business Consultant
Virginia is responsible for counseling businesses interested in exporting or becoming exporters focusing in Latin American markets, as well as implementing activities that will raise the awareness of the International Trade services among Chambers of Commerce, Business Associations and public organizations.
Virginia is a retired Diplomat from Mexico with more than 28 years of experience in international trade, she join the ITC after working as the Trade Commissioner of Mexico in Dallas and previously in Atlanta, Ga. Virginia is the founding partner of Dienst International Consulting Services LLC in Dallas, specialized in U.S. –MEXICO business and investment. Besides her international career, Virginia works in the community assisting minorities and women to succeed in business or in their professional careers, she is currently the Chair of AMEP-Dallas, Women’s Professional and Entrepreneur Association. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Public Administration and several Diplomas in Europe, Mexico and the United States in Banking, International Trade and Business.
She is married and has two daughters and a dog. She loves traveling and meeting people with different backgrounds.
Alexandra Bowen, Trade Services Manager
Alexandra Bowen’s key areas in assistance at the ITC include providing basics import/export knowledge to start-up business owners who are considering international trade, researching new markets for experienced business owners who are wanting to expand into exporting their product or service abroad, reviewing/obtaining regulatory information for businesses who have products which are regulated within the United States as well as abroad, organizing/participating in community outreach events to educate the community on international trade and managing/coordinating the NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional Prep Course with Richland College.
Before joining the ITC in 2008, Alexandra was a student technical consultant and assistant to the Help Desk Manager at the Microcomputing Services Center (MSC) at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Within this position, Alexandra was responsible for assisting with management of IT related work orders throughout the campus as well as solving basic computer issues for faculty, staff, and students.
Currently, Alexandra is pursuing her master’s degree in Spanish at the University of North Texas. When Alexandra is not working or studying, she enjoys playing the piano, salsa dancing, and trying new international foods.
Shishuo Guo, International Research Assistant
Shishuo is an International Research Assistant of the International Trade Center SBDC. She handles daily office duties and financial tasks. She also conducts international market research with counselors.
Shishuo completed her bachelor degree in International Economics and Trade/Japanese from International Studies University in Shanghai, China. She came to the United States and finished her master degree in Public Administration from University of Texas at Dallas. She has working and internship experience in ISBDC, Texas State Senator’s office, gallery, and Japanese company. She also used to be an online business owner and a language tutor.
Shishuo is fluent in Chinese, English, and Japanese. She is interested in traveling, culture, international trade, food, and arts.
Hal Jacobson, Senior Consultant
Hal participated in the formation of the International Trade Center (ITC) in early 1989 which was then located at the World Trade Center. The mission of the ITC at its inception was to offer export and import counseling services to all manufacturers of goods and services located in the 49 counties of North Texas, as well as individuals seeking to become involved in the industry. Since then the mission and scope of the ITC has grown immensely and Hal, as the Centers Senior Consultant, participated in the direction of this growth.
Hals career in International Trade began in 1941 with the Quaker Oats Company where, except for a three year stint with the US Army Air Corps, became involved in every facet of exporting. His experience included sales, marketing and logistic activities initially in Latin America then expanding to the Pacific Rim countries, the Middle East and Europe. Hal worked in approximately 100 countries worldwide with varied product lines as bakery flour; poultry and animal feedstuffs; and of course a broad line of grocery brands. Eventually, Hal became very much involved in the management direction of four wholly owned subsidiaries. He retired as Vice President of International Operations
After retirement from the Quaker Oats Company, Hal became involved as a consultant in International Trade and two major clients were The Ekco Housewares Company and Edward Don & Company. Hal introduced Don to exporting and in a few years brought sales to the annual multi million dollar level. Ekco, while already exporting was repositioned and sales doubled overnight. After this second retirement, Hal relocated to Dallas and that brings him to the formation of the International Trade Center.
Hals hobbies and interests are essentially world history, current events and anything relating to international trade.
Marie Lurson, International Research Assistant
Marie Lurson is an International Research Assistant at the International Trade Center SBDC. She assists Lorraine McCord and counselors on training/event organization and market research.
Marie received her Master's degree in International Development of SME from the University of Caen, France. She has traveled in several countries to study and work.
Lorraine McCord, Director of International Trade Center SBDC
Lorraine is the Director of the International Trade Center SBDC. She has more than 10 years experience working for Fortune 500 companies in strategy and planning, international finance and adult education. Lorraine has worked and traveled extensively in the Asia Pacific region. She holds an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird.
Francis Odum, International Trade Consultant
Francis Odum joined the International Small Business Development Trade Center in September of 2011. He currently works as a Trade Consultant at the ISBDC in Dallas, Texas. Where he provides free counseling and market research, and affordable training to hundreds of companies and individuals in Texas to help them get started exporting. For companies and individuals new to the export process, we offer one-on-one advice and support. In addition Francis helps in community outreach and seminar presentations to enlighten business entrepreneurs on the advantages of exporting.
Francis Odum has been in the export industry since he was sixteen, running his dad’s export company based out of Nigeria and did a lot of business travels between US, Europe and Africa. He is also a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) with a B.Sc Accountancy, AAS in international Business and Trade.