For two decades, I’ve been approached by several customs brokerage firms and freight forwarders asking me to either work for their customs brokerage division, head up their Charlotte office or start up a brokerage division within their company. And for two decades, I’ve emphatically said NO! NEVER! I like my importer side of the fence just fine thank you! Well, just call me Bond, James Bond!
Over the years, after working with other commodities, I’ve come to realize that I am not a happy camper unless textiles and apparel are in my life. They are the commodities that I love and that I hate – usually within the same day! The fist pumping and air guitar playing that always follows a ruling request response that agrees with my classification logic, gives me a thrill every time; maybe not as big a thrill that you get from running a whole 10K, but it’s the same thrill I get when I walk or crawl across that same 10K finish line you crossed 2 hours earlier!
Those of you that are members of International Compliance Professionals Association (ICPA), know there is a New Job Tuesday Posting where members can post job openings. There was a job posted in November 2016, for a textile & apparel specialist position in “Pembina, ND or at your home office” for a company called GHY USA, Inc. (GHY International). I’d never heard of a place named "Pembeena" and I knew I had no desire to freeze to death in ND, but the thought of working from my home office for a textile & apparel company was too attractive not to apply.
After I had sent my resume, I briefly researched GHY USA, Inc. and realized I’d just applied to work for a customs broker – the other side of the fence! The side that so often caused me grief from incorrectly filed entries, late filed entries, mistyped HTS codes and on & on! I thought I was going to have a panic attack! Then weeks went by and I did not receive more than a thank you for applying email and I thought WHEW!
Then curiosity as to why I had not heard from GHY grabbed a hold of me; I had to dig further into GHY and figure out why they were not interested in my qualifications. And what I discovered about GHY left me speechless and those of you that know me know this is a rare occurrence!
So when the email finally came that I’d made the short list for the position, I was excited at the possibility of working for a broker, but not just any broker – for GHY! And when I was hired, I was over the moon! Granted I had to train in Pembina, ND in February & March, where I learned what cold really felt like, that a small town is not 20,000 people, its 642 people and what sun dogs look like.
This “customs broker” was started in Winnipeg, CA, by George Henry Young, in 1901 and is still owned and managed by his descendants. Their well-documented story includes intrigue, struggle, long-lasting relationships that span many decades and opportunities that required great courage to step out into the unknown. With all the changes since 1901, that would have seemed inconceivable to George H. Young, there is a steady constant – a thread, woven into the GHY tapestry back in 1901 that can be recognized throughout every decade of their rich 117 year history. This thread is the backbone, the core of GHY, the constant that has allowed GHY to be successful, when so many other companies have failed.
This thread can be defined as C.A.R.E. - GHY cares about their employees; cares about their clients; cares about the communities in which they live; and cares about the present, as well as the future. These are not just words to the people at GHY. Every day I see these words put into action. There is even a GHY University (GHYU) to keep associates updated and educated on the ever changing rules & regulations for both US and CA Customs.
Throughout my career, had our company had a customs broker service, no let me re-phrase that, had our company had a broker partnership with us, with the wealth of trade compliance knowledge within GHY - I would have never requested another RFQ from a broker again.
So when opportunity knocks, open the door to see who is on the other side; you might think it is just another service provider, but you may find yourself speechless; as I was, when GHY knocked on my door. Partnering with GHY has been an answer to many prayers and remains one of my best life decisions.
Lynne McGowan (AKA Bond… James Bond) - Senior Textile & Apparel Specialist
GHY International | Geo. H. Young & Co. Ltd. | GHY USA, Inc.
1 (888) 825-0002 | firstname.lastname@example.org