GFG – Back to the future in LAX …



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“Back to the future in LAX for the Global Freight Group conference …

GFG Group Administrator, Rachel Marchant, reports on the Los Angeles conference, 15 – 17 April 2012

 If one turns to look at the past, it transpires that you do have your ‘back to the future’. The GFG looked back with fondness at its previous three visits to Los Angeles, as it enjoyed a fourth visit, courtesy of local hosts Ken Hamanaka.

Although not an obligatory conference for the Global Freight Group members, the conference was well attended with 50% of the membership represented.

 However, being open to change and keeping things fresh and interesting is also a trait of the GFG.  Therefore, we welcomed a complete change of location and hotel chain.  On this occasion, the GFG members enjoyed a central city location at the Sheraton Downtown.  In the heart of Los Angeles, members were able to walk to many attractions, excellent restaurants and shopping.  


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Within walking distance of the hotel was the Directors’ first event – a sumptuous meal in the unusual surroundings of Chaya Restaurant. The first thing to greet you is their innovative light-come-mobile decoration – a myriad of colourful miscellany. On Sunday morning, the Directors settled down to business, with the agenda including discussion items such as the GFG website redesign.  It was agreed to award the contract to Ilan’s contact, MIS Choice, since they said they had logistics experience.
P4166789 Sm The Directors welcomed to their meeting Alberto Serrano, representing MAP Cargo, the GFG’s new Colombian member.


View-tastic venue to welcome members…

Welcoming almost 50 GFG guests into her wonderful house, Brigit Hamanaka, President of Ken Hamanaka Co., Inc., showed the best of Los Angeles hospitality. As members enjoyed catching up with each other over tacos and beers, some simply stood and stared for a while at the marvellous view offered by the canyon-side abode – that of the famous Baywatch Beach – as the sun set over distant downtown Los Angeles.

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IBMLOGO The GFG received kind sponsorship from International Bond & Marine Brokerage, Ltd. for the welcome party.

IB&M were represented by the friendly and lovely Anna-Marie Crow.


 Underground General Assembly for members…


The General Assembly on Monday offered the GFG members the opportunity to catch up with GFG discussions and developments led by the GFG Directors.  The basement meeting rooms kept noise to a minimum, particularly as there was no WIFI signal!  The meeting continued undisturbed which could be considered an added bonus!

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PCC Logo - First mile - Last mile PCC Logistics kindly sponsored part of the GFG’s event in Los Angeles.  They were represented by Mr Steve Hair who can be seen above, presenting his company at the General Assembly.  Steve and his wife, Lucretia, also joined members at the party on Sunday evening.
P4166773Sm Left: Introducing Alberto Serrano of MAP Cargo in Colombia.

(On the right: Emili Ventura of Airfarm kindly assists where translation is necessary.)


Sales Meetings – Plenty of discussion to keep things interesting…


The sales meetings are the meat in the sandwich of GFG conferences.  With members making the most of the many available companies with whom to meet.  The casual conference enables more time to be spent with each company – a factor appreciated by all who attend.

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With 42 delegates representing 29 companies, there was plenty to talk about as members settled down to their sales meetings.

Despite not being a mandatory conference, the number of attendees warranted over 430 individual meetings. These didn’t include the many more unscheduled meetings at the bar and restaurant as usual.


Photo right: MAP and Airfarm compare notes.

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EPS Zone – 44.5 GFG members join the sports crowds out on the street …


The GFG is known for its strong relationships, strengthened by repeated meetings, both social and work based. Therefore, it was no surprise that, on Monday evening, when given the choice of whether to dine alone or with friends, we had a total of 44.5 participants. One might question how there is a half person until you meet the delightful youngest member of the GFG: grand-daughter of Angelito, son of Mark and Anna Colona – Giada Camille. The crowd of people chatting with numerous sport filled television screens did nothing to lessen the smile as she joined in.

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 The route to the ESPN Zone had been interesting, with our local leader out in front and a long snake of followers, occasionally straying from the path and wondering how to enter the huge zone that is host to many sporting events. In fact, the Los Angeles Clippers were playing Oklahoma City Thunder that evening so, upon leaving the ESPN Zone, we got quite swept up in the crowds that poured out of the game. The atmosphere was fun and carried us back to the hotel in high spirits.


It’s not over yet…


After the Global Freight Group Meeting at the Sheraton Los Angeles, the members from Brazil, Germany, China and Mexico met with IAP West, one of Ken Hamanaka’s customers, at Ken Hamanaka’s office.  Vicki McGhee and Elliott Cabello of IAP West met to discuss shipments from the agents respective countries to IAP in the US. The meeting was a success, and the customer was impressed and happy to come to Ken Hamanaka’s office, and meet agents from 4 supplier countries in one session.  Such is the benefit of these meetings: one flight, one location = multiple company contacts.  Come and join us at our next conference…

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