Maria Howard

Maria Howard

Licenses

Licensed US Customs Broker - US Customs and Border Protection - September 11, 1996

Summary

  • 20 years experience working in the customs brokerage and freight forwarding field,
  • Thorough knowledge of entry procedures with CBP, FDA, APHIS, and other OGA's
  • 7 years experience in direct sales, cultivating and growing existing business and opening markets
  • 1.5 years creating marketing SOP's, driving social media presence, promotions and campaigns

I excel at creating a good rapport with internal and external customers and different cultures. My strength in keeping clients and solidifying long standing business relationships gives me the edge to skillfully navigate through challenges quickly and precisely. I attack projects with laser focus and enjoy partnering with team members and departmental leaders to get the job done. 

Work History

Work History
Jun 2009 - Present

Owner - Head Creative Force

Talulahboo LLC

Wholesale/retail startup boutique specializing in handmade blankets and imported accessories from China and Indonesia for babies

  • Within two years of business added the following boutiques to my wholesale distribution:
    • Studio Root 66
    • Dragonfly Dulou
    • JamOnBaby.com
    • Rockin' Kid Shop
    • Sandbox Rebel
    • Sugar Baby on Sunset
    • All Aboard Boutique
    • The Autry National Center - Museum of the American West (company store)
Jan 2012 - Present

Director of Marketing and Development

Crescendo Young Musicians Guild (CYMG)

Director of Marketing and Development

Plan, initiate, and manage the marketing and public relations activities and promote and expand the reach and impact of CYMG's music classes and community service.

  • Plan the overall communications strategy and develop branding and messaging 
  • Promote CYMG and its programs across various media outlets, through press releases, direct mail, advertising, online (websites, blogs, wikis, social networks, etc.), and print. 
  • Report directly to and work closely with the President and Founder 
  • Rally and coordinate volunteers in marketing and development efforts
Aug 2004 - Jun 2009

Territory Manager

Starbucks Coffee Co

Territory Manager – Los Angeles, Long Beach, LAX, Coastal cities

Sales professional creating new business and managing existing foodservice accounts, managed and developed distributor relationships and ensured proper program implementation by representing Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, Torrefazione Italia and Tazo brands within the Los Angeles territory.

  • Maintained $2.5M+ annual gross revenue for assigned territory, increased new business by 8% (approx $200K +/-) annually and consistently retained average 1% attrition rate
  • Added 500lbs/year thru two strong leads by combining multiple internal databases into one Excel spreadsheet, in order to target areas of portfolio opportunity, demonstrate profit growth to clients and uncover cold web leads mistakenly terminated due to established web filters
  • Added $5K +/- monthly recurring revenue for each of my Hotel, University and Hospital accounts by highlighting seasonal calendar of drinks and specialty product offerings with a monthly order form specific to their account
  • Named “Southern California Brand Champion” to conduct training classes and communicate the corporate social responsibility message and Shared Planet initiatives to customers and peers.
Aug 2003 - Jun 2004

NAM (National Account Manager)

FedEx Trade Networks

National Account Manager (NAM), Avon Products & Timberland Inc.

Ensured a high level of customer service by developing and maintaining a strong relationship with customers' front line personnel and nationally across various FTN divisions and subsidiaries. Prepared, analyzed and submitted documentation to the appropriate parties (U.S. customs, FTN agents, clients) in order to ensure they are in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations relating to customs and transportation.

  • Customs liaison for two Top Tier accounts for FedEx – Avon & Timberland
  • Consultant on C-TPAT validation process, company-wide standards and procedures on imports, FTZ’s and new product creation and HTS classification (sets, clothing, footwear), determined appropriate air/ocean shipping procedures, quotations and coordinated with overseas FedEx affiliate
  • Provided monthly performance metrics analyzing entry process, timely Customs clearance, FDA & Customs holds/exams, on time ETA’s. Created procedures with clients and internal FedEx offices worldwide to address areas in need of improvement, maintain consistent and uniform classification at all ports, address specific challenges and needs of drop ship points.
  • Oversaw FedEx employee “onsite” at Timberland; conducted annual reviews and provided performance goals for each quarter
Apr 2003 - Aug 2003

Special Project Manager

FedEx Trade Networks

Special Project Manager

Import/Export professional to consult with internal/external clients on broad-based customs regulatory, tariff and marking issues and act as first point of contact for new importers

  • Worked hand-in-hand with Import Manager to handle all customer service issues and projects as needed
  • Company ‘go-to’ person for new importers/clients seeking information on importing and customs brokerage services
  • Worked with internal Accounting and customers on bills being disputed in order to come to an agreeable conclusion
  • Assisted FedEx Corporate Marketing with projects and research – pitched idea to Marketing and convinced them to have FTN sponsored seminars focusing on Customs Focused Assessments – Had record attendance and now a regular part of the FTN Marketing curriculum nationwide – Received FTN Bravo Zulu Award
  • Liaison between associates and internal trainer to create training schedule with pertinent classes needed and requested - Kept attendance log and prepared materials for class
May 2002 - Apr 2003

Consultant, Professional Advisory Services (PAS)

FedEx Trade Networks

Consultant, Professional Advisory Services (PAS)

Coordinated and performed import Customs compliance consulting services for FTN clients. Prepared proposals, conducted work at client premises and submission of petitions / binding rulings to Customs.

  • As part of a small group of 10 licensed brokers/attorneys, PAS contained the highest level of trade/tax expertise for FedEx. I consulted with clients and internal FedEx offices nationwide on Customs legal matters including Prior Disclosure, Audits, Binding Rulings, HTS Classification, Penalties, C-TPAT validation, free trade agreements, prima facie, policies & procedures manuals, etc.
  • Billed clients on hourly basis or by project and prepared project proposals for bids
Oct 2001 - May 2002

Sr. Customer Service Representative

FedEx Trade Networks

Senior Customer Service Representative

Arranged release of merchandise from customs custody by completing all types of classification and audit activities and the coordination of freight forwarding

  • Assigned 40+ customers and Top Tier account, “Lisa Frank” – children’s drawing and craft materials
  • Top Tier account required hundreds of pages of reference material which I converted to computer spreadsheets with photos to make it easier for U.S. Customs to identify product and comply with Customs regulations
  • Cross-trained other team members in major account and SOP I created
Jun 1998 - Oct 2001

CEO, Licensed Broker

Maria C. Koschny CHB Inc.

Owner (boutique brokerage)

Import brokerage specializing in first time importers and perishable foodstuffs

  • Covered broad based commodities: foodstuffs (Swedish Imports, Polish Folklore, Swiss Colony), bio-chemicals (Biosynth), robotics (IGM), sports apparel (Ochoa Sporting Goods – soccer), machinery equipment (Schoen) and motion picture films (Chicago Latino Film Festival).
  • Established key relationships with freight agents in Holland & Germany & network of outport brokers in all major ports
1983 - 1988

Entry Writer

Hope A. Barrions CHB

Made daily trips to customs to stamp and submit entries, meet with import specialists and pay duties.

Studied under Thomas J O’Donnell Customs & Trade attorney and obtained brokerage license in 1996 

Education

Education

HS Diploma

Good Counsel HS

Skills

Skills

Operating systems & apps

Mac, PC, AS400   Excel, Word, PowerPoint, FileMaker, Keynote

Certifications

Certifications
Mar 2009 - Mar 2014

Certified Food Safety Manager

Premier Food Safety