William C. Cummins
Export Finance Consultant / ASBDC State Director
International Trade Specialist
Director-International Business Development
Export Finance Consultant
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Director, Alabama International Trade Center
As director, Brian oversees the export training, finance, and consulting services of this UA outreach and economic program for existing industry. Brian has served as director since 2004, and has over 30 years of experience in international trade research and consulting. He taught the export management course for the UA College of Commerce and Business Administration from 1990-2012. Brian is a past president of the North American Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE) association. He presently serves on the board of the Alabama India Business Partnership Association and is active on a number of trade related planning committees of chambers of commerce, state agencies, and industry associations.
Brian received a Masters Degree in Latin American Studies from The University of Alabama and a Bachelors Degree in Business and Intercultural Studies from the University of Montevallo.
Mr. Brooks has worked at the Trade Center since 1996. He consults small and medium sized businesses in Alabama on their export potential and assists them in entering new markets. Brooks earned the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) designation after passing the national exam in 2007. Later that year he was also recognized by the Alabama Small Business Development Center Network as Alabama’s State Star for 2007. This award recognizes outstanding Small Business Development Center (SBDC) staff from each state program. Brooks currently serves on the Board of Directors for the AlabamaGermany Partnership and the North Alabama International Trade Association (NAITA). In 2008 Brooks was asked to represent Alabama in the Hardwood States Export Group.
While completing a BS in International Marketing and Management at The University of Alabama, Mr. Brooks participated in the student exchange program by studying French language and commerce at L’Institut de Touraine in Tours, France.
Mr. Brooks received an MBA in Business Strategy and Marketing at The University of Alabama, and worked with the former BellSouth Cellular Corporation and Altec Industries on several marketing and strategy initiatives. In addition to business counseling and research management, he is responsible for managing the research staff, research resources, information technology, web design, and teaches an export management course at UA.
International Trade Specialist
Mrs. Turner joined the Trade Center in 2008. She provides import and export business counseling to companies in Alabama. She previously worked for Page & Jones, Inc. a Freight Forwarder and Customs Broker with offices throughout the Southeast, as the NVO and freight coordinator for the company’s imports and exports. As a Licensed Customs Broker and a Nasbite Certified Global Business Professional, Carolyn is well positioned to help Alabama’s importers and exporters. She is also an Executive Board Member of the Japan America Society of Alabama (JASA).
Carolyn completed her Masters in Global Business Management from the University of Alabama in 2011. And she has been teaching online export management and international business courses at UA for 2 years. Carolyn received her BS from UA in 2004 with a double major in International Marketing and Spanish and a double minor in International Studies and Latin American Studies. While completing her undergraduate studies, Carolyn worked for the Alabama International Trade Center as part of the research staff for two years. Carolyn was a member of the International Honors Program and the Business Honors Program. During her years at UA, she was able to travel with the Study Abroad Programs as well as independent travels. The destinations included Spain, India, Chile, Cuba, and Mexico.
Export Finance Consultant
Bill is the Executive State Director of the Alabama Small Business Development Center Network, and assists the Trade Center with any large or complex export finance cases. He is a thirty-year veteran of commercial banking, primarily dealing with export finance and global trade. Bill is a former member of the Bankers’ Association on Foreign Trade and co-founded its Small Business Export Finance Committee. He has served as an expert witness regarding trade finance before several congressional committees and is a frequent lecturer for trade groups, financial institutions and universities. A New Orleans native, Bill is a graduate of Tulane University and of the Masters of International Business Studies (MIBS) program of the University of South Carolina.
Export Finance Consultant
Glenn Sigler is an export finance consultant. Prior to joining the AITC, he led a successful career in international banking for over 40 years. Glenn served in a variety of executive roles and specialized in trade finance solutions for companies in Alabama and the Gulf Coast region. He retired as Senior Vice President with Regions Bank in Mobile. With the AITC, Glenn is a subject matter expert on trade finance, providing small business clients with training and advising services on export payments, credit insurance, and government guaranty lending programs from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Export Import Bank.
Ms. Van Der Toorn brings over 15 years experience in international trade to the AITC, where she serves as the primary sales and marketing consultant for the TEAM Training Program. Prior to receiving her Masters Degree in International Business from the University of South Carolina in 1985, she served as International Trade Specialist with the AITC. She received a BA in International Relations in 1979, and lived and worked in Spain. Ms. Van der Toorn worked in several positions at AJC International, an international trading company specializing in food products based in Atlanta, where she built successful operations in logistics, led as senior trader for Latin America, and significantly expanded sales operations in Mexico.
Elaine Phillips received her B.A. in Spanish and International Studies from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and an M.A. from Ohio State in Foreign Policy Design and Management. With extensive experience in international trade as an exporter for 10 years in Alabama, she set up international sales reps and distributors, staffed an export department, obtained specification approval to sell corporate products to U.S. engineering firms with overseas projects, and significantly grew export sales. She also initiated an import program to enhance the company’s competitive global position. Relocating to Chicago, she worked as a business manager with Fermi National Accelerator Lab, interacting with U.S. and international scientists engaged in building high energy physics experiments. Multilingual in Spanish and Portuguese, she uses these languages to enhance communications with foreign clients. She has traveled extensively in Central and South America and parts of Asia and has lived in Spain and Brazil. She now works with the Alabama International Center as an International Trade Specialist and lives in Montgomery, counseling with small businesses around the state who are involved in international trade – beginners as well as companies who have been in business for many years.
Kristinn D. Gretarsson
Director – International Business Development
Mr. Gretarsson has 25 years of experience in international business as a frontline manager, CEO, and board member of companies in medical, biotech and the financial sector. He has extensive experience in driving growth, entering new markets, product development, and brand building. Mr. Gretarsson has led two companies through ISO 9001 certification and secured CE marking and FDA approval for medical devices, diagnostic aids, and skin care products. Mr. Gretarsson was the CEO of ORF Genetics and BIOEFFECT, a world leading company in the development and production of recombinant proteins.
Kristinn’s previous roles also included sales and marketing for a large food products company with 50 distributors and 200 SKU´s, and as International Trade Specialist for the Alabama International Trade Center. Kristinn completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in business from The University of Alabama.
Erin Coleman completed an undergraduate degree in in Finance and a graduate degree in Financial Planning from The University of Alabama. Erin joined the ASBDC / AITC team in 2013, and serves as the project accountant and grants coordinator.
Ms. Jordan joined the AITC Team and brings expertise in assisting the Trade Specialists and Consultants with various reports, specialized trade events, seminars and reverse trade missions. She manages the case files and provides excellent support to the staff. Karla has been with the University of Alabama since 2001.