Meet the team

The CT Strategies team understands the interconnected security and economic needs of the public and private sector as passengers, cargo, and conveyances move throughout the world and helps its clients succeed based on the experience of its leadership who led recent changes in data-driven trade management and enforcement in the U.S.

Allen Gina - President & Co-Founder

Allen Gina is the President of CT Strategies, a Customs and Border Management consulting firm which provides strategic services to clients seeking current and innovative insight into border management and supply chain challenges in the U.S. and around the world.

Andrew Farrelly - CEO & Co-Founder

Andrew Farrelly is the CEO of CT Strategies, which provides strategic services to clients seeking current and innovative insight into border management and supply chain challenges in the U.S. and around the world. 

Ricaurte Arrocha

William Ferrara

Charles Bartoldus

Shawn Beddows

Zachary Hartnett

Robert Watt

Gilian Castle

Erin Sofianek

Karen Kenney

Ronald May

Ama Essiomley

Bradd Skinner

Claire Dodman

Conor Crep

David Burnell

Shine Aung

Silvia Santos

Bernd Schlenther

Thoang Tran

Jeffrey Baldwin

Kathleen Conway

David Austin

Eugenio Garza, Jr.

Erik Moncayo

David Murphy

Salvador Nieto

Christopher Kennally

Noel Sanchez

Leigh Winchell

Joe Uribe

Gary Lupinacci

Allen Gina is the President of CT Strategies, a Customs and Border Management consulting firm which provides strategic services to clients seeking current and innovative insight into border management and supply chain challenges in the U.S. and around the world.

Prior to establishing CT Strategies, Al Gina served as Assistant Commissioner for International Trade at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). As Assistant Commissioner, Mr. Gina oversaw a workforce of over 1,000 employees and a budget of over $300 million, and was responsible for leading the most extensive trade transformation initiative in CBP’s history.

Andrew Farrelly is the CEO of CT Strategies, which provides strategic services to clients seeking current and innovative insight into border management and supply chain challenges in the U.S. and around the world. While in government, Andrew devoted himself to the strengthening of United States security interests through an accomplished career with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 

During his time with CBP, he significantly developed the operational standards and efficiency as a former Director of Targeting Programs for CBP’s National Targeting Center, as well as in his most recent role as the Chief of Staff for the Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

 

Mr. Ricaurte Arrocha has served a distinguished career in both the public and private sectors with particular expertise in border security, customs and immigration operations, risk management, and technologies applied to border security.

Most recently, Mr. Arrocha served as the Advisor to the Director General of the Panama National Customs Authority where he had previously served as Deputy Director General. In these roles he coordinated with international partners in Latin America, the United States, and elsewhere around the globe to implement technology solutions for advanced information collection to support proper management of high-risk cargo and passengers. 

William Ferrara is a highly accomplished federal law enforcement executive with extensive leadership, management, and operational experience. Throughout his 33-year career at U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), and its legacy agency the United States Customs Service, Mr. Ferrara was a transformational leader who consistently delivered solutions to complex national and international challenges.

Charles Bartoldus is an operations and policy executive with over thirty four years of law enforcement, national security, and border protection experience developing, implementing, and directing tactical and strategic programs within the White House National Security Staff (NSS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

 

Shawn Beddows is CT Strategies’ Vice President of Global Services. Mr. Beddows has over 21 years of experience serving U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the legacy Customs Service.

Most recently, while in government, Mr. Beddows served as CBP’s Deputy Attaché in Brussels, Belgium. Mr. Beddows is also an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Technical and Operational Adviser who is recognized by the World Customs Organization (WCO) with expertise in air cargo and passenger operations, maritime cargo operations, as well as aviation security initiatives. 

Zach Hartnett is responsible for developing and executing company business strategy, providing strategic advice to company leadership, and designing and implementing business plans to maximize team performance to achieve company goals. Mr. Hartnett also serves as portfolio manager for non-intrusive inspection projects as well as an advisor on federal acquisition, budget, and engagement strategy across the customer portfolio.

Robert Watt has over 33 years of Federal Service with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Customs Service. Prior to his retirement in December of 2019, Mr. Watt was serving as the Director for the Non-Intrusive Inspection Division (NIID). In this role, Mr. Watt oversaw a $1 billion portfolio of NII technology consisting of radiation detection, x-ray and imaging equipment that provided critical interdiction and detection capabilities at Ports of Entry throughout the United States.

 

Gillian Castle currently serves as a Customs Advisor to the Pan-European Network of Customs Practitioners (PEN-CP) at the Cross Border Research Association (CBRA).

In her current role, Ms. Castle is responsible for the development and oversight of a database designed for Customs Officials to discover, research, and share experiences and expertise in the cultivation and deployment of technical equipment and innovations that improve risk assessments in the customs environment.

 

Prior to joining CT Strategies, Ms. Sofianek has previously worked as a Development Intern for the Middle East Children’s Institute in Amman, Jordan, and as a Market researcher for Gonzaga University. Ms. Sofianek holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Relations and Economics from Gonzaga University. She has a particular interest in economic development strategies and international capacity building.

 

Karen Kenny is a Senior Global Supply Chain Advisor at CT Strategies which provides strategic services to clients seeking current and innovative insight into border management and supply chain challenges in the U.S. and around the world.

Ronald May is a supply chain security and customs operations expert with over 31 years of experience serving U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the legacy U.S. Customs Service. Most recently he served at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa as the U.S. CBP Attaché to Canada. As CBP’s senior representative to Canada, Mr. May was responsible for coordinating all U.S./Canada border management policies and strategies with the U.S. Ambassador and Canadian Government entities.

 

Ama Essiomley is a Marketing Analyst at CT Strategies, a firm which provides strategic consulting services to clients seeking insight and innovative approaches to current border management and supply chain challenges in the U.S. and around the world.

Prior to joining CT Strategies, Ms. Essiomley worked as a UX Assistant at the University of Minnesota UX Laboratory. Ms. Essiomley graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2017 with a degree in Advertising and Digital Media Studies. 

Mr. Bradd Skinner is a Homeland Security professional who is an accomplished leader with 35 years of domestic and international experience. With over 20 years of experience with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Mr. Skinner’s areas of expertise include border security systems, trade operations and negotiations, and international investigations. Mr. Skinner is fluent in Spanish and English.

Claire Dodman, Director of Business Development, is responsible for identification and pursuit of strategic opportunities and partnerships. Ms. Dodman guides objectives for business expansion, develops proposals and project plans, and conducts outreach.

 

Conor Crep is a Global Services Associate at CT Strategies. As a Global Services Analyst, Mr. Crep supports CT Strategies’ client portfolio, manages client relationships, and provides research and analysis to inform client-facing deliverables.

David Burnell is an accomplished professional and entrepreneur. He has served at the executive level for small and large multi-billion-dollar supply chain companies and successfully founded and sold two companies.

Mr. Burnell is the President & CEO of eSun Global Consultants LLC. Founded in 2013, the firm offers expertise in mergers, acquisitions, and all aspects of supply chain operations. David is also a subject matter expert in counter terrorism, and regulatory compliance related to Homeland Security, and Transportation Cargo Security.

Shine Aung is a Business Development Analyst at CT Strategies, a firm which provides strategic consulting services to clients seeking insight and innovative approaches to current border management and supply chain challenges in the U.S. and around the world.

Shine Aung is a Business Development Analyst who supports CT Strategies by performing market research and analysis, prospect outreach, and relationship management. Mr. Aung holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. Over his undergraduate, Mr. Aung conducted research on Southeast Asia, China and the Asia’s economic development. He also has experience working as Consultant in the Philippines.

Ms. Santos has a 20 years’ service experience in the Mexican Customs and Foreign Trade, her experience is not only as an official of different Mexican customs Ports of Entry, but also during her time in the private sector, she provided her services as a training leader for an influential multinational corporation managing one of the customs projects of highly relevant for the Mexican government within the Mexican Customs, creating and imparting training programs to the personnel of said project.

Bernd Schlenther is an independent expert who assists governments in improving domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and in addressing illicit financial flows (IFFs). Mr. Schlenther’s expertise lies from his more than 20 years of operational and management experience at the South African Revenue Service (SARS), where he served in diverse fields, including taxation, customs, enforcement and compliance, anti-money laundering, risk management, and intelligence.

 

Thoang Tran recently served as the Deputy Chief of Party/Senior Customs Expert at the USAID Trade Facilitation Program (TFP). Here he was responsible for the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) and line ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Health, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

He also oversaw six selected provinces and implemented risk management practices. In addition, his role involved solving technical barriers to trade and implementing customs legislation and procedures to better facilitate the cross-border movement of goods.

Jeffrey O. Baldwin is a customs and port operations expert with over 39 years of federal service with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and its predecessor agencies. T

Throughout his career, he has been entrusted with the complete management of law enforcement operations, policy, and infrastructure at critical multimodal port locations across the United States as well as at the national level.

 

Kathleen M. Conway is an experienced border management professional with over thirty-six years of service in law enforcement, border security, and trade policy and operations. She began her federal career as a U.S. Customs Inspector, and has since implemented and directed tactical and strategic programs within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Ms. Conway’s areas of expertise include border security and trade facilitation, customs and immigration operations, risk management, and technologies applied to border management.

 

David Austin is a Customs Operations, Information Technology, and Training expert with 33 years of government experience and 14 years as a consultant/trainer in the private sector. 

For 23 years he served at Customs/CBP Headquarters as an IT manager involved in system design, development, documentation, testing, training and implementation. During this time, he helped modernize and enhance the automation behind numerous CBP operations and trade processing systems.

 

Eugenio Garza Jr. is a former U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official with over 42 years of federal service. Most recently, he served as Director of Field Operations at the Laredo (Texas) Field Office for CBP. While serving as Director of Field Operations, Mr. Garza provided oversight and guidance to the operation of eight ports of entry across Texas. He also created partnerships with the private sector and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to include the Government of Mexico.

 

Erik Moncayo has over 25 years of Federal Government experience and most recently served as the Deputy Assistant Commissioner for CBP’s Office of International Affairs (INA), where he provided executive leadership in planning short and long-range strategies, activities, and projects with national and international impact.

 

Dave Murphy served CBP for 30 years and held a number of critical leadership positions, including as Director, Field Operations, Chicago Field Office. In this capacity, he was responsible for all Office of Field Operations activities in a 12 state Midwest region.

He supervised a workforce of approximately 1,100 employees, 40 offices, 23 Port Director and 4 Area Port Directors and his managerial oversight included all international arrivals in airport and seaport environments, including airports at Chicago O’Hare, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Cleveland, Cincinnati and St. Louis, as well as three largest express consignment operations in the United States (DHL, UPS and FedEx). 

Salvador Nieto is a retired Chief Patrol Agent. He most recently served as the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Director of the Border Enforcement Coordination Cell at the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC). In this capacity, he directed a multi-jurisdictional information coordination cell which served as the primary location for DHS-focused southwest border interdiction, investigative, and intelligence coordination.

 

Christopher Kennally has more than 44 years of Government experience. After retiring from the U.S. Army in 1998, he entered on duty with the U.S. Customs Service later reorganized as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Port of Anchorage, Alaska. 

He has held a variety of key management positions within CBP, such as, the Area Port Director-Savannah, Georgia; Acting Director of Field Operations (DFO), Seattle Field Office; Assistant DFO-Trade, Seattle Field Office; and Deputy Executive Director, Cargo and Conveyance Security (CCS).

Noel Sanchez is a retired U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official. Most recently, he was appointed as the Assistant Director for Border Security at the Laredo, Texas Field Office in December 2010. As Assistant Director for Border Security, he was responsible for all activities related to the admissibility of people, addressing and preventing threats of terrorism, and the deterrence of smuggling of contraband and narcotics through the eight ports of entry in the Laredo Field Office.

 

Mr. Winchell is a customs and investigations expert with more than 34 years of related law enforcement experience. Mr. Winchell has held executive positions in the World Customs Organization, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and its predecessor agency, the U.S. Customs Service.

 

Joe Uribe is a recently retired customs operations expert with 38 years of service at three different federal agencies. His decades of service and leadership in the areas of trade facilitation, agriculture inspections, and border security add extensive and unique aspects of experience to the CT Strategies team.

 

Gary Lupinacci is an expert in the area of cargo security and an accomplished professional with extensive experience both in the public and private sector.

Mr. Lupinacci is the former Vice President of Security and Government Compliance at Worldwide Flight Services. In this capacity, he led the regional security staff team assuming responsibility of all security for 95 cities and 10,000+ employees. In addition, developed and implemented strategic security culture change programs.

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