Chief Human Resources Officer,
C.H. RobinsonAngie Freeman,CHAIR
Chief Human Resources Officer,
C.H. RobinsonAs Chief Human Resources Officer at C.H. Robinson, Angie Freeman leads the company’s global talent strategies including recruiting, compensation, learning and leadership development, employee communications, and diversity and inclusion. C.H. Robinson is one of the world’s largest third party logistics providers, with annual revenues of approximately $14 billion and over 13,500 employees around the globe. As a services company, C.H. Robinson’s people and winning culture have been instrumental to its long track record of success. In addition to HR, Angie leads the company’s charitable giving efforts as President of the C.H. Robinson Foundation, which along with the company has contributed over $21 million to charitable organizations since 2005. Angie joined C.H. Robinson in 1998 and during her career at the company has progressively expanded her scope and responsibilities, serving in a variety of positions including leading Investor Relations, Marketing and Public Relations, and Government Affairs. Prior to joining C.H. Robinson, Angie was with McDermott/O’Neill & Associates, a Boston-based public affairs firm. In addition to her Board service with LeadersUp, Angie also served on the Board of Community Health Charities of Minnesota, which works to improve lives affected by chronic illness by investing in health research, services, support and education. In addition, she has played an active role in numerous transportation and logistics industry organizations, serving on committees within NASSTRAC, the National Industrial Transportation League, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In 2013, Angie was honored with the area’s most influential women when she was named to the Minneapolis/Saint Paul Business Journal’s “Women in Business” list. Angie holds a Master of Science degree in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics, in addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from the University of North Dakota. Angie is married with three children and two unruly dogs, and lives in Edina, Minnesota.
George H. Hill,VICE CHAIR
Chairman & CEO, ASI Diversified Chemical Technologies, Inc.George H. Hill,VICE CHAIR
Chairman & CEO, ASI Diversified Chemical Technologies, Inc.George H. Hill, Chairman & CEO of Diversified Chemical Technologies, Inc., is a native Detroiter. He attended Cass Technical High School and Wayne State University where he received a B.A. in Political Science in 1962 and did graduate work in Political Science, Business and Law. He began his career at Michigan Bell Telephone in their marketing department and held several positions thereafter as an employment manager and a manager of commercial accounts. In 1968, he joined Chrysler Corporation as a labor relations specialist and stayed in the human resource function in management development and recruitment until 1971 when he went into business with his long-time school and college friend, Arnold Joseff. Because of his position in Detroit’s black community, his exposure to the media while at Michigan Bell and his knowledge of employment problems, Hill was approached by Detroit’s W.J.B.K. TV, a CBS affiliate to host Job Opportunity Line in 1968. It was the first instance of a Black person on a regularly scheduled TV show in the Detroit area. George Hill and Arnold Joseff started Diversified Chemical Technologies, Inc., a manufacturer of specialty chemicals, in 1970 in the back of George’s home in Detroit, Michigan. The parent company is comprised of four operating companies: Adhesive Systems, Inc., Diversified Chemical Technologies, Diversitak, Inc., and Paperworks, Inc. The facilities consist of four plants located in Detroit and Highland Park, Michigan. The adhesive division is a manufacturer of custom-formulated hot melt adhesives, starch, and casein label adhesives for the food and beverage packaging industries. The inorganic and organic chemical division manufacturers over 200 specialty chemical products for the automotive, metalworking, food and beverage industries. The MRO and office products division has an 80,000 square foot facility in Detroit and shares 40 warehouses in North America through several Strategic Alliances with Fortune 500 Companies. It houses 700,000 SKU’s; 95% of which can be delivered within 24 hours of receipt of order. George’s community activities include, but are not limited to serving in boards for the Detroit Literacy Volunteers of America, Michigan Minority Chemical Association (Member), Procter & Gamble, Wayne State University’s College of Science & Liberal Arts, Detroit International Jazz Festival, Detroit Music Hall and LeadersUp. George attended Cass Technical High School and Wayne State University where he received a B.A. in Political Science in 1962 and conducted graduate work in Political Science, Business and Law. He is married to Kathleen and between them; they have six children and eight grandchildren.
President & CEO, East Bay LogisticsJohn Visbal,SECRETARY
President & CEO, East Bay LogisticsJohn Visbal is the founder, President, and CEO of East Bay Logistics and its related companies that have provided full service logistics to coffee and cocoa importers, roasters, and manufacturers since 1998. Prior to that he served as Chief Operating Officer, President, and Partner in various start-ups. In addition, he provided turn around and crisis management to private and public companies. He began his career with The Emporium and Broadway Stores in retail distribution. John became CEO of the California Autism Foundation (CAF) in April 2008. Over the next 5 years he reorganized operations, paid down $7mm in debt, and stabilized the foundation. CAF provides direct service to over 175 children and adults with autism and their families through 5 programs including a school, day, residential, supported Living and work programs. John is currently Vice-President of the Board of CAF. John holds an MBA from California State University East Bay, a B.S. Business Administration from University of San Francisco. He has held board positions with The Alternative Board, California Autism Foundation, Pacific Coast Coffee Association, and most recently with LeadersUp.
President, Quality Custom Distribution Services, Golden State FoodsBob Wolpert,TREASURER
President, Quality Custom Distribution Services, Golden State FoodsBob Wolpert is a senior executive at Golden State Foods - a $7B global, private company headquartered in Irvine, CA - where he is President of the Logistics Business Group and Senior Vice President of Golden State Foods responsible for strategy. Previously, Bob served as Chairman/CEO of ITT Corporation’s and Xylem Inc’s business interests in China & India. Concurrently Bob was President of a global division with worldwide sales, engineering, manufacturing and distribution of pumps, filters and control systems. (Xylem was spun out from ITT, and Bob held these roles for both companies). He also served as Innovation Champion for ITT, promoting best practices in innovation and innovation leadership. Bob joined ITT Corporation in 2003 as Global Vice President of Lean and Six Sigma for the Electronic Components Group.Prior to joining ITT, Bob held leadership roles at several companies, including international corporations DST Systems and Lockheed Martin. Throughout his career Bob has advocated for corporate social responsibility in local communities, with a focus on engagements in the US, China and India. From bringing sanitary water to school children in China, providing school supplies and shoes to first graders in the US, to replacing hand-carried-buckets with low cost pumps for irrigation in India, he engages and helps provide leadership to programs that strengthen communities. Currently Bob serves on two not-for-profit boards. He is a Board Member and Treasurer for LeadersUP, an organization formed by Starbucks suppliers to engage youth in leadership and early career opportunities. Bob is also a Board Member and Vice-Chair for Second Harvest Food Bank of OC, an organization working to eliminate hunger in Orange County by feeding more than 240,000 individuals each month. He is actively involved in the GSF Foundation, including ongoing efforts to create linkages between employees, vendors, customers and communities. Bob received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in business from the University of Denver and earned an MBA degree from Harvard University. He currently resides in Orange County, California, with his wife and three children.
Rob Harris,President & CEO,
Pacific Market International (PMI)Rob Harris,President & CEO,
Pacific Market International (PMI)Rob Harris, founder, President and CEO of Pacific Market International (PMI) is an early pioneer of China and Southeast Asia based contract manufacturing. He started PMI in 1983 with a vision to help American importers find reliable factories in Southeast Asia. His experiences are legendary and have been the subject of numerous articles and talks on subjects ranging from Starting and Growing a Business for Long term Shareholder Value; Principals over Profit; Making Sustainable Business Practices a Priority; China as the World Economic Growth Engine; Ethical Investing in China, and many others. He has opened offices and established operating entities in over eight countries and has distribution experience in over 35 countries.
Ulrich Honighausen,ADVISORY COMMITTEE CHAIR
Chief Executive Officer, Hausenware, Inc.Ulrich Honighausen,ADVISORY COMMITTEE CHAIR
Chief Executive Officer, Hausenware, Inc.A globe-trotting expert on the design and manufacture of tabletop ceramics and glassware, Ulrich recently co-founded American Pioneer Manufacturing, a ceramics factory in New Waterford, Ohio. Inspired by Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz’s “Create Jobs for USA” campaign, American Pioneer Manufacturing combines American know-how with global manufacturing best practices to make mugs and other products for Starbucks and premier brands. Ulrich is a serial entrepreneur who started his first ceramics importing company in his early 30’s. In addition to American Pioneer, where he shares management duties with his wife and co-founder, Amanda, Ulrich also founded and continues to be the CEO of the Sonoma-based company Hausenware, which designs and manufactures ceramics and glassware in factories around the world. He and Amanda have three daughters and live in Sonoma County, CA. Ulrich grew up in Northern California, and is proud to attribute his interest in craftsmanship and quality to his experiences working for his father, who owns an aerospace manufacturing company in Redwood City. Ulrich is an expert on the complexities and challenges of private label manufacturing in Europe and Asia, and he has cultivated valuable long-term relationships with factories in those regions. Ulrich shares Howard Schultz’s vision to rebuild the manufacturing base in the US, not only to create jobs, but to revitalize communities and provide inspiration for the next generation. He is a supporter of entrepreneurship programs for youth, including Bill Strickland’s inner city organization Manchester Craftsman’s Guild in Pittsburgh, PA, and is proud to be a board member of LeadersUp.
Steve Sposari,President & CEO,
SK Food GroupSteve Sposari,President & CEO,
SK Food GroupSteve is the President and CEO of the SK Food Group where he has been with the company for over 36 years as an Employee and Owner. In 2010 he spearheaded the sale of the company to the Premium Brands Holding Corporation. He has built the SK Food Group from a small regional company into one of the largest sandwich manufacturers in North America and is responsible for all aspects of the company in both its United States and Canadian divisions. He is a member of numerous industry groups and sits on the Executive Committee of the Seattle Seafair Festival (a non-profit organization in Seattle recently voted top festival in the United States). Steve resides in Seattle, Washington with his wife and son.
Cheryl Weeks,Vice President of Global Product Development,
Misaine, Inc.Cheryl Weeks,Vice President of Global Product Development,
Misaine, Inc.Cheryl Weeks was born in San Antonio, Texas. As a daughter of Military Chaplain Cheryl had the opportunity to travel the world with her family. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific University in Psychology. She worked for Starbucks Coffee Company 11 years; starting as a barista in college and worked her way to Merchandise buyer for all the stores. For the past 14 years, she has been part of the leadership team at Misaine Trade, Inc., a firm that specializes in housewares design and sales. In the role of Vice President of Global Product Development, Cheryl is responsible for overseeing product development tailored specifically for all Starbuck markets - US, Asia and Europe. Along with this, she helps to maintain Starbucks relationships all over the globe.
Dr. Lula Bailey Ballton,Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of West Angeles Community Development Corporation (WACDC)Dr. Lula Bailey Ballton,Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of West Angeles Community Development Corporation (WACDC)Dr. Lula Bailey Ballton is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of West Angeles Community Development Corporation (WACDC), a Ministry of West Angles Church, led by Bishop Charles E. Blake. West Angeles CDC is dedicated to increasing social and economic justice, demonstrating compassion and alleviating poverty as tangible expressions of the Kingdom of God through the vehicle of community development. Under Dr. Ballton’s leadership, WACDC received a Best Practices Award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for its signature affordable housing project, West A Homes; a Presidential Commendation for its dispute resolution programs; and state, county and city recognition for its social service, housing and economic development programs. Before founding the WACDC, Dr. Ballton spent 14 years as a professor and administrator at Delaware State University, the City Colleges of Chicago, Los Angeles and El Camino College and Loyola Marymount University. In 1990, she earned a Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law and practiced at the California State Department of Justice and at Bryan, Cave, McPheeters and McRoberts. Dr. Ballton continues to be active in the civil rights community and with Harvard Divinity School, Wells Fargo Community Advisory Board, Southern California Edison Advisory Board, National Congress of Community Economic Developers, Christian Community Development Association, and Churches United for Economic Development, Black Women Lawyers, School Search, Inc., and Habitat for Humanity. Dr. Ballton is married to Carl Ballton, ,SVP and President of Union Bank Foundation. They are the proud parents of Jabari, Issa Carl and Micah and the grandparents of Caleb, Camaron and Cason.
Hans Melotte,executive vice president, Global Supply ChainHans Melotte,executive vice president, Global Supply ChainHans Melotte is executive vice president, Starbucks Global Supply Chain. In his role, Hans is responsible for Starbucks end-to-end supply chain, as well as quality and food safety operations globally. He plays a critical role in driving the supply chain agenda across the business and leading ongoing efforts to create a scalable and agile function that enables long-term growth for Starbucks. Hans serves on the Starbucks Leadership Team, reporting to Rosalind (Roz) Brewer. Prior to joining Starbucks in June 2016, Hans spent more than 25 years in a variety of leadership roles in multiple regions with highly respected companies and consumer brands. Most recently, he served as the Johnson & Johnson chief procurement officer. Prior to Johnson & Johnson, Hans worked at Procter & Gamble and Coopers & Lybrand. Originally from Belgium, Hans holds a master’s degree in business from the University of Louvain near Brussels. He was named as one of the Top 10 Most Influential and Thought Leader CPOs in the United States in 2013 and was honored as the Procurement Leader of the Year in 2010. Hans also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Supply Management Hans lives in Seattle with his wife and two children. He enjoys running, cycling and skiing. His favorite Starbucks beverage is a latte macchiato.