OWIT Phoenix Board of Directors-2016


President:  Melissa Proctor                                                                        

For more than twenty years, Melissa Proctor has been advising clients on the full range of issues involving international trade, customs laws and regulations, export controls, economic sanctions, anti-corruption/anti-bribery compliance, and other government agency requirements. She has spoken before various trade associations and industry groups on international trade topics, as well as the Export Administration Regulations, International Traffic in Arms Regulations, U.S. Customs Regulations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, California Proposition 65, conflict minerals reporting, the Federal Trade Commission and California “Made in the USA” standards, and consumer product safety requirements. She has extensive experience in the following industries:

  • Aerospace and defense
  • Computers and software
  • Electronics and high technology
  • Semiconductor
  • Telecommunications
  • Medical devices
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Food
  • Cosmetics
  • Textiles, apparel and footwear
  • Automotive
  • E-Commerce/online retail 

Melissa’s export experience extends to: commodity jurisdiction; export classification (including encryption); licensing under the Export Administration Regulations and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations; deemed export and technical data transfer compliance; embargoes and economic sanctions; automated export system requirements; U.S. Antiboycott regulations; foreign military sales; voluntary disclosures, detentions, seizures, investigations and penalty cases. 

She partners with clients to handle a variety of import matters, including: customs valuation; tariff classification; origin and marking; special trade program and free trade agreement compliance; duty deferral and duty/cost-saving opportunities; border security initiatives; and, prior disclosures, audits, detentions, seizures, liquidated damages and penalty actions. 

She represents clients through all stages of import and export enforcement actions, updates clients on new legislative and regulatory developments, and provides compliance training to companies, ensuring that personnel involved in international transactions can effectively navigate the complex arena of international trade.

Melissa also advises on other government agency requirements that impact the cross-border movement of goods, technology and services (e.g., U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food & Drug Administration, Federal Communications Commission, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Fish & Wildlife, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Federal Trade Commission, among others).


  • LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center, 1997, International and Comparative Law
  • J.D., Valparaiso University, 1996, Valparaiso University Law Review, Senior Notewriter
  • B.A., Indiana University, 1993, Spanish and Russian


  • American Association of Exporters and Importers
  • Society of International Affairs
  • CompTIA/TechAmerica
  • Organization of Women in International Trade (Phoenix Chapter) - President
  • State Bar of Arizona - International Law Section, Executive Board Member, 2013
  • Illinois Bar
  • Global Chamber
  • Metro Phoenix Export Alliance – Working Board Member

Vice President: Diana Bullen                                                                      

Diana N. Bullen - Faculty (Mesa Community College) – Occupational Programs Director Business and Information Systems Department, College Assessment Coordinator  and Director: Belgium – EU Study Abroad  

Ms. Bullen has served as a full-time faculty member in the Business Department at Mesa Community College for several years. She is originally from Argentina, has lived abroad and facilitated training workshops for businessmen and women, directors and government dignitaries from diverse backgrounds and fields across three continents (Europe, Asia, and Latin America.) She has been the recipient of several awards for outstanding teaching and performance. She led a Fair Trade Coffee project  with the Dominican Republic while at Pierce College, and participated in a world trade mission to Honduras in 2005 with the World Trade Center in Tacoma, WA.  She has also developed and lead several study abroad programs.  

Ms. Bullen has a Masters in Organizational Leadership, and has been teaching in the field of International Business for over 10 years.

Diana is actively engaged in a variety of organizations and committees:

  • Global Ties-AZ (Formerly AZCIV)  – Chairwoman of the board of directors
  • ​ADEC - Arizona District Export Council - US Department of State - member ​
  • OWIT – Organization of Women in International Trade –  Vice-President of the board of directors
  • PCFR – Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations – member
  • International Business Advisory Board  (MCC) – Chair
  • Community Service and Civic Engagement Advisory Board (MCC) – board member
  • Global Education Committee (MCC) – member
  • Business Scholarship Committee (MCC) – member
  • Career & Technical Education Council – member
  • Global and Internationalization District Committee (MCCCD) –  member

Treasurer: Denise McClafferty                                                                     

Denise McClafferty is the Regional Program Manager at the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG).  At MAG, Denise leads the Economic Development Committee (EDC) in its mission to increase the region’s global competitiveness by working with various agencies to increase exports and international trade, improve the workforce and build relationships in this region.  Denise also manages and staffs several committees, councils and contracts for the region. She oversees the Joint Planning Advisory Council, the Regional Council Executive Committee, the Western Regional Alliance, and she is the project manager for the SHRP2 (C19) project through Federal Highway Administration.

Denise has more than 25 years of professional experience in working with regional and local governments, including 15 years’ experience in project/program management. Denise also has managed numerous programs and budgets that provide assistance and services to local municipalities.  For example, Denise worked as a Development Specialist at the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) and was the lead in the development, marketing, implementation and administration of community and economic development programs and projects. She assisted in coordinating grant development activities.  Denise also assisted local jurisdictions in accessing and structuring programs using government funding available through development districts sources, such as the Appalachian Regional Commission and Economic Development Administration.

Secretary:  Anna Flaaten                                                                             

Anna Flaaten is a Senior International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, she is part of a network of local field offices located throughout the U.S. and the world that assist U.S. companies export their products and services overseas.  Prior, she spent nine years in Washington, DC with U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration and U.S. Department of State’s Economic Bureau where she helped negotiate free trade agreements with South Korea and the U.A.E., among other countries, and initiate countervailing duty cases against China.


Partnership Director:  Marisa Walker                                                          

Marisa Walker began her professional career at the University of Arizona, where for more than a decade she held positions that advised the University’s Associate Vice President for Economic Development on Arizona-Mexico and NAFTA issues; analyzed border economic development opportunities and competitive advantages; and organized forums and symposiums on trilateral collaborations among academic institutions in Canada and Mexico in the areas of university research parks, agricultural biosciences and optical sciences-photonics.  She has authored several reports on subjects including cross-border economic integration and development; targeted industry assessments of Arizona’s Bioscience and Software Industries; and women entrepreneurship and business ownership in the state.

Ms. Walker also served as the Executive Director for the Arizona Governor’s CANAMEX Task Force where she was responsible for managing projects and priorities regarding transportation and telecommunication infrastructure; technology and process enhancements for cross border shipments; and international trade policy.

Currently, Ms. Walker leverages the relationship between economic development strategies and infrastructure assets/investments.  Key areas include the CANAMEX Corridor, the recently designated I-11, multimodal logistic centers, and Arizona’s international gateways – notably along the Arizona/Mexico border.

 Director: Ruth Soberanes                                                                          

A native of Arizona, Ruth Soberanes is currently the Director of Communications at the Arizona Mexico Commission. She previously served as a Research Analyst and the Communications Manager at the North American Research Partnership, where she authored U.S.-Mexico Educational Exchange: Academic Underperformance and a New Diplomatic Opportunity and Human Capital in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region. She holds a Master’s in Diplomacy and International Relations from the Diplomatic School in Madrid, Spain and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Spanish, with a minor in Peace and Justice Studies, from the University of San Diego (USD). As an undergraduate student, she worked at USD’s Trans-border Institute and participated in multiple educational exchange programs, including IES European Union Semester Program in Freiburg, Germany and the ITESO Summer program in Guadalajara, Mexico. Upon graduation, she ventured to China to work at the Shanghai World Expo Mexico Pavilion. Her interests include U.S. foreign policy, international education, & women’s empowerment/ economic development issues. Ruth serves on the board of Arizona Global Ties (a World Affairs Council) and has been honored with the J. Lester Shaffer Award for Outstanding Volunteerism to the World Affairs Council of Arizona. She also serves on the board of the Phoenix Torero Club and is an active member of the Arizona District Export Council and the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations. In her spare time, Ruth enjoys dancing flamenco and building homes with Habitat for Humanity.

 Director: Ana Salido                                                                                  

Ana Salido currently serves as International Trade and Investment Specialist at the newly established ProMéxico office in Phoenix, Arizona. In this capacity, Ms. Salido is responsible for coordinating strategies aimed at strengthening Mexico's participation in the global economy, supporting the efforts of exporting firms and coordinating activities aimed at attracting foreign investment. Ana's professional background in international affairs and trade includes previous positions at the Consulate General of México in Phoenix and at the State of Sonora, México office in Arizona. Ana holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations from Northern Arizona University and a Certificate in Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California.

Director: Lora Mwaniki-Lyman                                                                   

Lora Mwaniki-Lyman is a Senior Research Professional with the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W.P. Carey Business School, Arizona State University.  She has more than 12 years’ experience providing business and economic research solutions to business leaders and policy makers in Arizona. 

Prior to joining Seidman in 2015, Lora was a Regional Economist for the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) where she served as the subject matter expert on projects and issues related to the economy. In her role, She provided technical expertise and support to key initiatives of the MAG Economic Development Committee and acted as a collaborative resource to MAG-led and MAG-partnered business, policy and economic development-related projects that include: The Border Zone Extension proposal, The Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance (TTCA) Foreign Direct Investment project, The Metropolitan Business Plan study, Building an International Economic Network (BIEN), initiatives of the Arizona District Export Council (AZ DEC) Ad Hoc Sub-committee on International Mapping and Data, among others.  Lora provided data and expertise to transportation-related projects and was responsible for developing long range employment projections for the MAG region.

Lora is a graduate of the University of Arizona and stayed on with the University of Arizona after graduating. She has nine years’ working with the former University of Arizona Office of Economic and Policy Analysis and later with the Eller College of Management Economic and Business Research Center (EBRC) on macro, regional, and local economic issues. Projects Lora worked on include the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s Arizona Border Infrastructure Project - a strategic initiative endorsed by former Governor Janet Napolitano in 2004, the Arizona-Sonora Regional Economic Indicators, Arizona’s Town hall background reports, data management of the EBRC forecasting sponsored project and economic impact studies. She also contributed data interpretation and write-ups on industries, markets, international trade, competitiveness and the economy to articles published in Arizona’s Economy, presentations, media contributions and publications.

Lora has extensive international business experience. Prior to coming to the United States, Lora worked in Kenya helping small-sized horticultural companies export fresh-cut flowers to Netherland. She also worked with foreign-owned, multi-national agro-input distribution companies to expand existing, and penetrate, frontier markets.

Past President:  Judith Lukas                                                                      

Judith is a licensed U.S. Customs broker and has more than 20 years hands-on experience in import Customs compliance and international transportation.  She has expertise in NAFTA, C-TPAT and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and has a BA in French and an MBA.

Judith has held import management positions at PetSmart, Black & Decker HHI and Alesis Corp.  She was also a Lead Auditor for ISO 9000 Quality System and designed and managed ISO 9000 systems for freight forwarders/customs brokers in Europe and the USA.  Currently, Judith is the Director of Customer Relations for Wright Choice Promotions, a distributor of promotional products with an emphasis on eco-friendly items.

Judith supports dog rescue programs and enjoys science fiction and hiking.

Website Admin:  Julia Wright                                                                      

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