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Board of Directors Nomination Application 2023-2024

The National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones announces that applications for consideration by the 2023 Nominating Commitee are being accepted through Monday, June 5th.

All interested members are encouraged to apply.

Applications will be accepted through the on-line application form only.  However, given that the application asks for a number of open-ended responses, applicants are encouraged to prepare for the on-line application by writing down their responses before completing the on-line application form.  To that end, we have provided a Microsoft Word version of the application for download below as well as the link for the on-line application (Applications must be submitted via the on-line application).

Please note: it is recommended that all applicants complete the MS Word version of the application first and cutting and pasting replies into the on-line application as the on-line system does not have the capability to save and return to continue the on-line form later.  

If you have any questions about the application or nominating committee process, please contact NAFTZ President Jeff Tafel at or Nominating Committee Chair Melissa Irmen at

  • 2023 NAFTZ Board / Officer application MS Word format - download here.  (For reference only - application period now closed)
  • 2023 NAFTZ Board / Officer on-line applications are now CLOSED.  

The members of the 2023 Nominating Committee are:

  • Melissa Irmen – Chair (service provider, ISCM Inc.)
  • Frankie Bryson (operator, Nissan North America, Inc.)
  • Jim Ervin (operator, TTI, Inc.)
  • Angie Atwood (grantee, Columbus Regional Airport Authority)
  • Laura Swankler (grantee, The Port of Virginia)

The 2023 Nominating Committee process timeline:

  1. Appointment of Nominating Committee – 90 days prior to annual meeting (i.e., no later than June 13)
  2. Initial slate of candidates presented to Board for review – 60 days prior to annual meeting (i.e., no later than July 14; plan is to email slate to Board by July 14 to be covered at the July 19 meeting)
  3. Final slate of candidates notification to membership – 30 days prior to annual meeting (i.e., no later than August 14)
  4. Vote on slate of candidates at 2022 annual meeting (September 13)

Official notice to the NAFTZ membership:

Election to the NAFTZ Board of Directors and OfficersSubmissions for the 2023-24 Board of Directors will be accepted through June 5th, 2023

Do you want to be a leader in the foreign-trade zone industry and help make decisions that will shape the future of FTZs? Are you inspired by the potential of NAFTZ, passionate about the FTZ industry, and eager to demonstrate the program's value as an economic development tool for job creation, international trade, and investment? If you answered yes to any of these questions, we encourage you to apply and help lead our industry into the future! In September NAFTZ members will elect four Executive Committee Officers and six Directors.


The NAFTZ Bylaws provide that Officers serve terms of one year and that Directors serve terms of two years. Directors can be re-elected if they serve no more than five years during any six-year period. The Bylaws also provide that at least three members of the Board of Directors shall be representatives of Zone Grantees, including grantee applicants. The Officers of NAFTZ are the Chairman, Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary.

Officers on the NAFTZ Executive Committee with expiring terms who are eligible to serve an additional one-year term:

  • Shane WilliamsService Provider, Chair (EY, Houston, TX)
  • Shannon FuraService Provider, Vice Chair (Page Fura, Chicago, IL)
  • James GroganService Provider, Treasurer (FTI Consulting, Houston, TX)
  • Eric BerryService Provider, Secretary (Copper Hill, Panama City, FL)

Directors with expiring terms who are not eligible to serve an additional two-year term on the NAFTZ Board, but are eligible to serve as an officer on the NAFTZ Executive Committee:

  • Robert BaliOperator/User  (Phillips 66, Houston, TX)
  • Katie TangmanOperator/User  (Columbia Sportswear, Portland, OR)

Directors with expiring terms who are eligible to serve another term (or terms) on the NAFTZ Board (or serve as an officer on the NAFTZ Executive Committee):

  • Torrey ChamblissGrantee  (Tampa, FL)
  • Leigh RyanGrantee  (Savannah, GA)
  • David SikkinkGrantee  (Honolulu, HI)
  • Denise YanezGrantee (Phoenix, AZ)

In total, four Executive Committee Officers and six non-Officer Directors will be nominated. For succession planning purposes, Directors who are eligible and willing to serve additional terms are often encouraged to do so. However, the Nominating Committee is not required to re-nominate Directors or Officers wishing to serve another term.

Nomination Process

NAFTZ members who are the Designated Representative of their organization and have their organization’s support to serve on the NAFTZ Board of Directors (attend all Board meetings/calls) are encouraged to apply. Completed applications are due by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 5th, 2023.

If you have any questions about the application or nominating committee process, please contact NAFTZ President Jeff Tafel at or Nominating Committee Chair Melissa Irmen at