FORWARD 19 by Flexport is a unique conference where technologists, trade veterans, economic experts and logistics pros come together to transform global trade. Meet at the crossroads of trade and technology, and discover new strategies and best practices to fuel you and your business forward.Learn More
Aaron O’Brien is a Vice President and Global Head of Trucking at Flexport. He oversees Flexport’s global trucking business, including the product group that builds innovative technology for trucking companies, drivers, and receiving warehouses to reimagine the way trucking works for Flexport’s clients. Working at the intersection of technology and the business, he has a deep understanding of how to build technology that moves the industry forward. Prior to Flexport, Aaron was a product manager at Facebook and Uber, working in a variety of key product areas like growth, payments and security.
Damon Dean is Vice President of Product Management, responsible for delivering continual value and providing delightful experiences through Flexport’s customer facing web products. Previous to his time at Flexport, Damon spent 8 years creating and scaling the Product Management team at DocuSign. Damon holds a BA in Political Science and Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Alexis Boutet is Senior Director of Airfreight Strategy and Operations at Flexport. He oversees global Airfreight strategy and manage the Air Operations team ensuring perfect service delivery for our Air customers and driving our software development agenda. Alexis comes from the airline world, with his most recent position as the Global Head of Revenue Management and Pricing at Qatar Airways. He holds a Master of Science in Mathematics from Centrale Engineering School, France and a Master of Science in Engineering Management Systems from Columbia University, United States.
Tim Walsh has been employed at various Ocean Carriers for the last 32 years. He is currently the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for North America at Ocean Network Express (ONE).
Prior to this new position, Tim was at NYK for 25 years, most recently as Vice President of Marketing for North America from 2013 through to the startup of ONE. He was posted to other senior roles during this time including head of North America Customer Service/Documentation as well as
leading Operations in the Midwest.
Jesper Stenbak is the Senior Vice President, Transpacific Trade for APL. Jesper joined APL in 2001 as Managing Director of APL Scandinavia and progressed to be Managing Director of North East Europe by 2009. In 2011, Jesper was appointed as Vice President of Asia-Europe Trade based in Singapore and in 2014, Jesper was appointed Senior Vice President of Transpacific Trade.
Since Jesper’s appointment in 2014, APL’s Transpacific Trade has grown from a weekly capacity of 14,700 TEUS to 28,000 TEUS through the 24 weekly services it currently offers. In addition, a number of differentiated and value-added services have been launched on the Transpacific, such as Eagle Express X (EXX) – an expeditious ocean freight solution, Eagle GO/GET/REACH and EXX RailFlash.
Prior to APL, Jesper spent 16 years with the Scan-Group and was responsible for liner agencies and freight forwarding activities.
Ben spearheads our global sales and go to market teams. In leadership roles before Flexport, Ben helped drive two high-growth companies to successful acquisitions: URX (acquired by Pinterest) and Heyzap (acquired by Fyber).
Ulrik Sanders leads the firm’s global work in shipping and is the founder of the Center for Digital in Transportation.
Since joining the firm in 2005, Ulrik has focused his client work on the transportation and logistics industry.
He began his career in the shipping industry and now leads BCG’s global shipping team. Ulrik also leads BCG’s Shipping Benchmark Initiative and has pioneered new ventures aimed at improving the shipping ecosystem such as the xChange, a container exchange platform.
Before joining BCG, Ulrik was a vice president at A.T. Kearney, Andersen Consulting, and Maersk Line.
A proven Financial and Accounting Executive, Taylor Gregg serves as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Titus Group, Inc., one of the fastest growing manufacturing companies in the North America. After building the nation’s largest land service company with Holland Services, Taylor uses his more than twelve years of industry experience to define financial strategy and discipline, providing management and direction for the Finance and Accounting teams. Outside of the office, Taylor enjoys spending time with his wife and eight-month-old daughter, playing golf, and cheering on Kansas City Chiefs.
Ram Siddarth is helping Flexport reimagine LCL shipping through its consolidation and OceanMatch services. His experience includes roles at C.H. Robinson and Toll Group. Ram earned his degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Anna University and his MBA from Montclair State University.
Stuart Leung is leading Flexport’s North American growth. Prior he led finance and operations for Reformation and Vaunte, and held analyst roles at Alcentra and Lehman Brothers. Stuart holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
With 20+ years experience, Tom Gould leads Flexport’s trade advisory services. Before Flexport, he was Sr. Director, Customs and International Trade for Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. He is a member of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Trade Support Network, and served on the board of the Foreign Trade Association.
Patrick Smith’s career includes over 20 years’ experience in Supply Chain Management; from luxury boats to radioactive pharmaceuticals and ultimately to the high technology space. Career highlights include global projects in logistics network optimization at Siemens, netting 99% on time order fulfillment on 800,000 annual shipments. At high-tech start-up ProNova Solutions, he developed specialized logistics programs supporting global shipments of proton beam particle accelerators (weighing as much as two space shuttles), advanced robotics, diagnostic x-ray imaging, and superconducting magnet beamlines. Most recently, Patrick manages global logistics for Elo Touch Solutions, the inventor of the touchscreen. At Elo he is currently driving a global logistics transformation for this world-renown electronics company.
Dawn Nunn is the Director of Gift-in-Kind for Save the Children, US. With over 20 years at the organization, she currently oversees their $40M product and service donation portfolio which supports emergency, health and education programs here in the US and in 120 countries.
As global marketing leader, Karyn is responsible for building brand awareness and driving demand for Flexport’s robust portfolio of logistics services. She brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing and general management, spanning software, hardware, and technology services for B2B and B2C customers alike. Karyn specializes in bringing innovative new products and technologies to market for high-growth organizations, previously leading marketing for organizations including LogicMonitor, AppDynamics, Salesforce, and Cisco.
Before joining the tech world, Karyn was a journalist at CNN and Fox News, and holds degrees in psychology and journalism from Boston University. In addition, she is on the board of directors of The Overground Railroad Project, which helps legally approved asylum-seekers in their pursuit of citizenship, and is an active member of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), raising money and awareness to help find cures for Crohn’s disease.
Evan Smith is the CEO and Co-Founder of Altana Trade. Altana provides artificial intelligence products for data fusion and decision support in global trade, build on the world’s most comprehensive data model of the global trade network. Prior to Altana, Evan led enterprise solutions and strategic partnerships for Panjiva, a trade data science company, and negotiated the successful sale of Panjiva to S&P Global in 2018. Before Panjiva, Evan co-managed a private equity partnership under a family office sponsor, and served as the CEO of IMBU Technologies, a wholly-owned portfolio company providing textile supply chain automation software, for 3 years. Evan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Yale University.
RoxAnne Thomas is the Transportation Manager for Gerber Plumbing Fixtures, a plumbing supply manufacturer based in Woodridge, Illinois. She leverages an uncommon 10+ year carrier-facing history to create customer-focused transportation programs while driving down costs. RoxAnne has managed transportation for a diverse group of companies including home supply, IT products and foodservice. Her industry knowledge and unique perspective have created a reputation for finding the most efficient and cost effective way to get product and information from A to Z.
Changes in consumer expectations and technology have dramatically impacted the logistics and transportation industry, and the traditional approach to managing risk and liability does not support where the leaders in the industry are heading. Matthew has developed a dedicated team of logistics and transportation insurance specialists able to respond to the complex coverage and contractual issues of the industry, and who also understand the underlying cargo exposures and expectations of the shippers.
By understanding the interests of all parties to the logistics process, leveraging technology and streamlining the delivery of risk transfer and insurance solutions, Matthew believes it is possible to improve the way risk is managed; developing clear and sensible risk transfer solutions in an environment where heavy handed contractual risk transfers and nuclear verdicts around third party liabilities are common.
Sapana leads Square’s Hardware Supply Chain group on strategic and operational activities, across manufacturing, channel distribution, and logistics. Her focus is on building a supply chain to support rapid growth, scale, and flexibility through strong partnerships and with an emphasis on the customer experience.
Prior to Square, Sapana has supported global supply chains in both tech and retail through a variety of roles, including operations, FP&A, consulting and as a founder of her own apparel business.
Mariken Kruijff is Vice President and Global Head of Warehousing at Flexport. Her goal is to keep consolidation and deconsolidation seamless while providing uninterrupted visibility. Toward that end, her team is building a global network of technology-driven cross-dock facilities. Her experiences has made her a true believer in the power of data to transform supply chains and the businesses they serve. Before Flexport, she was Global Head of Hub and Gateways for TNT Express and Managing Director of its Liege Eurohub. In between these roles, she took her family with two children on an eight-month odyssey from Amsterdam to Singapore.
Keith Dierkx is IBM’s Director and Global Industry Leader for Freight, Logistics and Rail. He has responsibility for IBM’s solution portfolio, and leads a team of subject matter experts, consultants and researchers focused on leveraging technology, innovation and business model reinvention to help transform client’s businesses. Prior to IBM, Keith was SVP of Operations for Embarcadero Systems, and was part of the leadership team implementing the digitalization of Maritime Terminal and Stevedoring operations. Keith was also VP of Strategy and Business Development for Savi Technology, a venture funded IoT and Supply Chain start-up which was acquired by Lockheed Martin.
Stephan is one of the founders & COO of Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear brand with a humanitarian mission. Before Cotopaxi, he was founder/CEO of venture funded Kembrel.com. He previously worked as a consultant for McKinsey Germany and a software developer for Bunge US. As an advocate for an Indonesian Anti-Child Labor NGO, Stephan helped to take over 700 children from fishing platforms, factories, mills & prostitution back to their homes and schools. He holds an MBA from the The Wharton School (UPenn), an MA in International Studies from the Lauder Institute (UPenn) and a Master in Information Systems from the University of Mannheim & the University of South Australia. Stephan has adventured, lived and worked in 30+ countries, kayaked from Cuba to Florida & climbed hundreds of peaks while serving in the German military.
Daan Arends has close to 20 years’ experience in international indirect tax: VAT, customs and Transfer Taxes. He advises multinational clients on international VAT and customs implications of e-commerce, supply chain restructurings, cross-border mergers & acquisitions, and business integration projects. Daan acts for multinational clients in a wide range of sectors, including consumer goods & retail, technology, financial services and manufacturing.
Daan is an attorney-at-law and tax adviser. He is heading the Amsterdam Tax Practice and is leading the International VAT practice of DLA Piper.
Neel Jones Shah is EVP and Global Head of Airfreight for Flexport and is long time executive focused on commercial strategy, marketing, business planning and revenue optimization as a recognized leader in the global aviation industry. In addition to his Flexport duties, Neel sits on the Board of Directors of Amerijet International Holdings; is a Senior Advisor to The Boston Consulting Group and an Executive Board Member of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA). Prior to joining Flexport, Neel served as the Senior Vice President & Chief Cargo Officer for Delta Air Lines. As the head of Delta Cargo, he led approximately 2,000 employees worldwide and oversaw over $1 Billion in freight & mail revenue. Before joining Delta, Neel served as VP of Sales and Marketing for United Airlines Cargo where he was responsible for the revenue side of a $765 million business.
Over the past several years Neel has been deeply involved in all aspects of the regulatory environment impacting the airline industry both domestically and internationally. Neel has served as Chairman of the Airlines 4 America’s Executive Cargo Council; a member of the IATA Cargo Committee; a board member of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA); a member of the CNS Advisory Board; and a member of the SkyTeam Cargo Executive Board. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Swarthmore College.
Karena Parliment serves as the CFO for Kenroy Home, a lighting and home décor accessory manufacturer based in Jacksonville, Florida. While leading both the finance and operations departments, Karena has developed and deployed effective strategies to evolve Kenroy Home from a traditional brick & mortar retail supplier to a preferred partner amongst the most popular e-commerce firms on the internet. Knowing that a growing ecommerce channel pushes to drive businesses to a faster and more productive selling process, Karena leverages her 14 years of company experience along with partnering with technology-driven service companies to create an efficient supply chain management strategy. With most of Kenroy Home’s products manufactured in China, over the past year, Karena’s team has focused their attention on navigating the trade war landscape and ramifications associated with the implementation of escalated tariffs on goods imported from China.
Dr. Phil Levy is Chief Economist at Flexport where he leads qualitative and quantitative economic research informed by public policy data and proprietary data. Dr. Levy’s research informs the market on global trade trends and helps Flexport teams make product and business strategy decisions to best serve clients. Before Flexport, Dr. Levy spent two decades researching and forming global trade policy. Prior to joining Flexport, Dr. Levy served as Senior Fellow on the Global Economy at Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Adjunct Professor of Strategy at Northwestern Kellogg. Previously, Dr. Levy served on the President’s Council of Economic Advisors as Senior Economist for Trade and as a member of the policy planning staff for the U.S. Department of State. He has testified before numerous congressional committees and has written regularly for Forbes, The Hill, and Foreign Policy. He has also taught global economic policy and international trade at Georgetown, Columbia, the University of Virginia, and Yale. Phil holds a Ph.D in Economics from Stanford University.
Few individuals ever become iconic enough to be known by one name–Shaq. A cultural icon, Shaquille O’Neal is best known for an NBA career spanning nearly two decades and earning him the sport’s highest honors including membership in the NBA Hall of Fame. He electrifies the room with his larger-than-life personality and audiences always give him standing ovations for his motivational keynote speeches.
Adam joined Maersk in August 2015 as Vice President and Head of Simplification in Maersk Line, prior to being appointed as CIO for Maersk. He was recently appointed CTIO for A.P. Møller-Maersk. Adam brings with him over two decades of IT experience, most notably as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and EVP for Technology in Monitise Plc, and CTO and CIO for Visa Europe.
Adam has held most roles within technology including Head of Architecture, Head of Operations, and Head of Development, as well as business facing roles such as Head of Customer Service and a short stint in Human Resources. He has a track record of handling major transformational change and overseeing improvements in technology, processes and capability to maximize margins, and deliver increased focus, agility and accountability.
Adam is based in Copenhagen and spends time in the IT centers across Denmark, the UK and increasingly The Hague. He has two children (17 and 14 years old) and when time allows is a keen cyclist and competes in multiday stage events, when time doesn’t allow he is a reluctant runner.
General Stan McChrystal
Former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan
Author of Best-Sellers Leaders: Myth and Reality, Team of Teams and My Share of the Task
Co-Founder of the McChrystal Group
Jason Starr is Director of Operations at Globe Electric, Canada’s fastest-growing lighting and electrical products company. During his 13 years with Globe Electric, Starr has been instrumental in driving the organization’s product development and supply chain analysis. In the process, he has contributed to the company’s e-commerce liftoff, leading to a 350% increase in outbound orders while reducing costs across the supply chain.
Robert Tregaskes is Head of Logistics at Qardio. He built Qardio’s logistics operations and runs Qardio’s global supply chain to ensure a great experience for millions of Qardio customers across Healthcare, Retail and D2C in the 40+ countries where Qardio products are available. Working closely with some of the most innovative manufacturing and logistics companies around the world Robert has a keen insight into supply chain trends and the options becoming available to supply chain executives around the world. Before Qardio, Robert had an eclectic background: Co-Founder/CEO of a failed startup, Robert had previously followed service in Iraq and Afghanistan in the British Army by spending a couple of years cleaning up the Operations of one of the UKs largest Investment Banks.
Camille is a Senior Partner and Managing Director in Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) Athens office, where she leads BCG’s global Transportation and Logistics Sector. During her 20 years with BCG, Camille has focused on shipping and logistics, advising large corporations, mid-size family businesses, shipping desks of oil majors, and commodity players. With a career that spans almost all shipping segments, Camille is also a published author. She has written for numerous publications, including 2019’s “Resolving the Blockchain Paradox in Transportation and Logistics,” 2018’s “Digital Imperative in Container Shipping,” the BCG annual container report, and articles on fuel efficiency in shipping.
Nerijus Poskus is Vice President and Global Head of Ocean Freight at Flexport. He oversees global ocean freight procurement, partnerships and pricing, ensuring customers have the ocean-based services and infrastructure they need to trade efficiently. Nerijus comes to Flexport with nearly a decade of industry experience, most recently working on sea freight pricing at Kuehne + Nagel. Nerijus holds a MSc in Economics and Management from VIA University, Denmark.
Sanne is the Chief Operating Officer of Flexport, a technology-forward full-service freight forwarder and customs broker. As COO, he’s responsible for sales, customer service, operations, procurement, and carrier relations across all modes of transportation. As a founding member of Flexport, Sanne was instrumental in scaling the company, which now serves over 10,000 customers and suppliers across 109 countries.
Sanne brings deep industry experience to Flexport, previously leading global client relationships in the logistics practice at The Boston Consulting Group. He also serves on the Advisory Board of PortXL (Port of Rotterdam). Sanne holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Delft University, the Netherlands.
Ryan Petersen is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flexport, a full-service freight forwarder and customs broker. Since founding Flexport in 2013, Ryan and his team have worked to make global trade easy for everyone. Ryan led Flexport from inception to the company it is today: supporting over 10,000 customers and suppliers across 109 countries and doubling revenue to nearly $450m last year. His areas of focus include setting company strategy, ensuring the company tracks to goals, and most importantly, building and maintaining Flexport’s unique culture.
Prior to founding Flexport, Ryan helped run an e-commerce company and co-founded ImportGenius, one of the largest providers of business intelligence to the import-export industry. His experience and frustration with global logistics served as the inspiration to start Flexport. Ryan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Columbia University.