Celebrating the CBSA Stars of 2017!

glass award with starMembers of the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers (CSCB) have uniquely close ties with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) staff across the country. We work in the same locations all across Canada, we share a common interest in keeping Canadians safe while facilitating trade, and we even speak the same language of Customs compliance and border management.

Every year, CSCB members recognize CBSA staff across the country for doing their job with knowledge and goodwill and making a positive difference to the trade community every day. The recognition may be for a single situation which made a difference, or for an ongoing attitude of cooperation and professionalism. We thought we’d find stories at a local port, a regional office, or at national headquarters, and the only restriction was that we wanted this recognition to be for the efforts of people below the senior management level.

We think of these people as CBSA Stars.

Let's meet the twenty CBSA Stars of 2017 and their nominators.

CBSA Star Nomination

Sheena Grierson, Senior Officer Trade Compliance, GTA Regiongrierson.png

Jeff Willson of Willson International recognized Sheena Grierson.

“[Sheena Grierson] is a wealth of knowledge, and consistently provides prompt and detailed responses to inquiries during the verification process.  She is focused on the shared goal of compliance between broker, importer, and the Agency.”

Gillian Bailey, Senior Officer Trade Compliance, GTA Region

Michael Zobin of Livingston International Inc. recognized Gillian Bailey.

“Ms. Bailey gave extraordinary time and attention to an Advance Ruling application. Her communication was exceptional. She took the time to understand the product, its end-use as well as all other aspects of the application prior to rendering the decision. The phone calls and email communications were very much appreciated.”

Bryan Sherman, Manager, Regional Programs, GTA Region

Susan Foster of Federal Express Canada recognized Bryan Sherman.

“Bryan has been an outstanding partner to FedEx Express and I am sure many others.  He is responsive, well informed and always treats our inquiries with the sense of urgency Canadian Importers expect.  His experience in the Agency is evident, Bryan has saved us a great deal of time over the years by directing us through the applicable departments or contacts within the Government to get the job done. He is curious and has made the effort to understand the nuances of the Express clearance model. 

FedEx is very grateful for Bryans guidance and support...he is truly a CBSA star!”

Derek Kwan, Border Services Officer, GTA Region

Catherine Russo of Omnitrans Inc. recognized Derek Kwan.

“…  I have worked with [Officer Derek Kwan] for the last several years during CBSA’s onsite supervision of destruction of goods for various clients and have always found him to be a pleasure to work with. While he is always working to ensure Customs Regulations are followed he helps importers to easily understand their requirements and responsibilities. He is also very understanding to our client’s various business processes.  While Derek holds a position that may make importers feel nervous he always makes them feel at ease, knowing that CBSA is there to work as a partner with them. Many of our clients have also expressed how personable Derek is and that they enjoy working with him.”

Sauid Joseph, Senior Officer Trade Compliance, GTA Region

Pamela Boston of Advanced Global Transportation Technologies Inc. recognized Sauid Joseph.

“I have been in the Customs business for many years now, and have never known a Customs Officer like this. [Mr. Joseph] completely goes above and beyond. He helped me through not one but two frustrating situations. When others wouldn't help, he took the time out of his day to make sure that I understood everything. It is rare to find a Trade Compliance Officer with so much compassion.

In a separate nomination, Christina Bewes of Farrow has said:

Sauid Joseph is an amazing and exceptional person to work with. He always replies to my emails and answers my calls.  We have inquired about various B2 corrections and he is always there to assist our team and provide guidance when dealing with complex issues.  We appreciate his dedication and customer service very much.

He is always willing to help and open for communication even if the issue is not related to him. Gives 100% effort to find solutions and spreads positive energy.

The best Customs Officer that I've ever dealt with. He is definitely worthy of a CBSA Stars nomination.”

Nicholas Vink, Border Services Officer, Northern Ontario

Krista Densmore of Glover Customs Brokers recognized Nicholas Vink.

“Officer Nicholas Vink is always available and dedicated to answer any of our questions or give us advice we may need with customs-related issues.  He is extremely knowledgeable and has made our day to day transactions much easier. He will go beyond to help us achieve special clearances while making sure that we are being compliant with CBSA and other departments. We are very lucky to have such an attentive and positive person to work with!”

Rob Atkinson, Superintendent, Pacific Region

Diana Mihaila of LEI Customs Brokers recognized Rob Atkinson.

“[Mr. Atkinson is a] very helpful officer, always in touch, providing us with time frames of examinations, and following up with us. This is very much important when containers are placed on hold and importers are desperately calling regarding their goods being delayed. Love working with him!”

Andrew Masuch, Border Services Officer, Pacific Regionmasuch.png

Amber Cromwell of Pacific Customs Brokers recognized Andrew Masuch.

“I really appreciate the fact that [Andrew] is always positive and willing to help as soon as he answers the phone. No matter what questions we have regarding the status of our shipment(s) he always provides us with a solution. His help is greatly appreciated!!”

Mori Favor, Border Services Officer, Pacific Region

Sharmila Kasbekar of Federal Express Canada recognized Mori Favor.

“Mori has been very quick to respond and assist with any release related queries whenever I have approached him, especially regarding perishable shipments.”

Angela Eng, Senior Officer Trade Compliance, Pacific Region

Graeme Doiron of Preferred Service Customs Brokers recognized Angela Eng.

“Angela is always a pleasure to work with. The industries that we service come with a significant number of temporary entries that need to be closed upon export or extended on occasion. These files can be extremely large and detailed at times and of course always time sensitive. Angela has handled most of these requests for years and always keeps us up to date on policy changes.

She is quick to process these requests and goes out of her way to call us if something doesn't seem quite right. Definitely a CBSA Star in our eyes.”

Daryl Reimer, Border Services Officer, Pacific Region

Sherry Cosier of Pacific Customs Brokers recognized Daryl Reimer.

“We would like to nominate all the officers here at Port 817 as they all do an outstanding job. However it has come to our attention that Daryl Reimer really steps it up! He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. For this we nominate Officer Reimer. His willingness to educate us and inform us as Brokers does not go unnoticed.”

Alan Antasuda, Border Services Officer, Pacific Regionantasuda.png

Diana Mihaila of LEI Customs Brokers recognized Alan Antasuda.

“We see [Officer Alan Antasuda] almost every day in our warehouse doing Customs examinations. We had situations where upon examination, paperwork needed to be re-worked (for eg. abstract manifests), and Alan was kind enough to work with us via email/ fax rather than have paper entries submitted via runners, which saved a lot of time for importers. They got the release for their goods faster, and this is very appreciated. It is a pleasure working with Alan, he is such a huge help.”

Leanne Germain, Border Services Officer, Prairie Region

Gwen Kozak & Sheri Robb of GHY International recognized Leanne Germain.

“Leanne Germain is someone who is always helpful.  Being located at a border crossing point we are at the front lines in trade facilitation and are called upon not just by our own office but by sub-agents who we provide support to. Front line assistance is needed immediately and it can only be successful when done attentively and personally.

Leanne Germain works at the Canada Customs commercial desk in Emerson. She is attentive, responsive and personal. In a recent example as we were trying to provide support to another broker, Leanne went above and beyond to provide the services necessary to keep the border moving and facilitate trade.

It is for always being there for us that I nominate Leanne Germain as a CBSA Star.”

Jennifer Tuttosi, Senior Officer Trade Compliance, Prairie Region

Pawan Bhayana of FedEx Trade Networks recognized Jennifer Tuttosi.

“I wish to nominate Jennifer Tuttosi, Senior Officer Trade Compliance for her great service as a CBSA officer who is very responsive and helpful. She processes requests quickly and answers any question in a professional and friendly manner. We would like to recognize and thank her for her excellent service each and every time.”

Denise Léger, Préposée - services et contrôles douaniers, Quebec Regionleger.png

David J. Stoute of Delta Customs Brokers recognized Denise Léger.

“Denise has helped us for so many years. She is kind-hearted, tireless and a blessing for all of us…, especially when things do not work out electronically. She is always willing to roll up her sleeves and take care to assist solving the issues. I have known Denise for the last thirty years and she has been helping us and so many others from the day she started.

She is THE STAR for all of us here and countless other clients of the CBSA! 

Unfortunately for all of us, she will be retiring soon....and we wish her the best for her future life! She is a prime model for any CBSA Agent who aspires to be working with the Public. Thank you for the opportunity to properly thank Denise on behalf of everyone she has helped.”

Marzena Brones, Senior Officer Trade Compliance, Quebec Regionbrones.png

Michael Zobin of Livingston International Inc. recognized Marzena Brones.

“With the updated Blanket B2 D-Memo being issued, Ms. Brones understood that guidance and assistance will be required to ensure that submissions are in-line with the updated CBSA policy. Although several issues still arise, Ms. Brones takes the time to send suggestions and information to try and assist with the multiple Blanket B2s being submitted to the Montreal Regional office. Her time and attention is appreciated.”

Michele Regimbald, Financial Officer, Headquartersregimbald.png

Lisa Mallinson of CrossBorder Solutions Inc. recognized Michele Regimbald.

“[Ms. Regimbald] has been an instrumental resource in dealing with ARL reconciliations. She is very polite and always responds in a timely manner. I much enjoy working with her.”

Isla Creates, A/Junior Program Officer, Headquarterscreates.png

Beth Allen of Willson International recognized Isla Creates.

“It is with great pleasure that I nominate the Single Window Initiative Support Team.  I know that this is intended to be a single individual award, however the support from the whole team has been outstanding throughout our process to become approved for single window processing. It would be impossible to only nominate one and not the other.

The SWI support team, consisting of Murray Guthrie, Isla Creates and Martine Forget have been amazing. They have been a reliable source of assistance and knowledge during our transition to production of IID submissions. They have provided consistent and prompt responses to inquiries at all times of the day/evening; they have suggested solutions to issues at the border points along with making recommendations to ensure the issues are avoided in the future. They have been a constant positive in a very challenging process but most importantly we felt that they were working with us to achieve a common goal.”

Murray Guthrie, A/Senior Program Officer, Headquarters

Beth Allen of Willson International recognized Murray Guthrie.

“It is with great pleasure that I nominate the Single Window Initiative Support Team.  I know that this is intended to be a single individual award, however the support from the whole team has been outstanding throughout our process to become approved for single window processing. It would be impossible to only nominate one and not the other.

The SWI support team, consisting of Murray Guthrie, Isla Creates and Martine Forget have been amazing. They have been a reliable source of assistance and knowledge during our transition to production of IID submissions. They have provided consistent and prompt responses to inquiries at all times of the day/evening; they have suggested solutions to issues at the border points along with making recommendations to ensure the issues are avoided in the future. They have been a constant positive in a very challenging process but most importantly we felt that they were working with us to achieve a common goal.”

Martine Forget, A/Senior Program Officer, Headquarters

Beth Allen of Willson International recognized Martine Forget.

“It is with great pleasure that I nominate the Single Window Initiative Support Team.  I know that this is intended to be a single individual award, however the support from the whole team has been outstanding throughout our process to become approved for single window processing. It would be impossible to only nominate one and not the other.

The SWI support team, consisting of Murray Guthrie, Isla Creates and Martine Forget have been amazing. They have been a reliable source of assistance and knowledge during our transition to production of IID submissions. They have provided consistent and prompt responses to inquiries at all times of the day/evening; they have suggested solutions to issues at the border points along with making recommendations to ensure the issues are avoided in the future. They have been a constant positive in a very challenging process but most importantly we felt that they were working with us to achieve a common goal.”

To view articles on past Stars and ceremonies, please refer to 2012, 201320142015, and 2016.