Since its establishment in 1999, Van Andel Global Trade Center (VAGTC) has assisted hundreds of organizations including businesses in both Michigan and other states. Numerous international programs have been created allowing attendees first-hand information and benchmarking opportunities. Please see the list below of testimonials of our services received through VAGTC's business partners and clients we have worked with.


International Training

“The VAGTC has helped us understand the complex federal regulatory environment regarding importing and exporting that we frequently use.

It is truly great having a resource in West Michigan where I can send staff to receive training on import and export control regulations close to home. VAI is a member of the VAGTC and has sent staff over the past several years on the basics of importing, basics of exporting, harmonized tariff, ITAR regulations, import classification and other useful workshops. I have also recommended VAGTC workshops to other Michigan businesses and universities.”

Richard Disbrow, C.P.M.
Director Materials Management
Van Andel Research Institute


“Attending a class recently on HS codes for importing has really saved our company money and time. By learning how a HS code is used assured us that we were doing things correctly and avoided costly mistakes. For someone fairly new to importing and exporting I am extremely excited about using the courses of the VAGTC, Thank you again for all you do for West Michigan and helping West Michigan companies become leaders in the USA.”

Randy Meppelink
Top Window Covering, USA

"I have attended many of VAGTC’s training seminars pertaining to international importing and exporting.  Using the information supplied from these seminars, I have created sound import and export compliance guidelines for Roberts Sinto.   I feel confident that these guidelines meet or exceed the requirements for international trade compliance.

I would highly recommend GVSU’s Van Andel Global Trade Center for both novice and expert importers and exporters.   You will learn international trade compliance, best practices, and much more."

Joyce Sheren-Starr
International Specialist

Roberts Sinto Corporation

"We've consulted VAGTC on a wide array of topics over the years, including customs compliance, NAFTA, international logistics and security. These are broad topics to be sure, but VAGTC has helped us drill down to the right depth of understanding for our business, e.g., in areas of product classification, binding rulings, NAFTA qualifications and audits, duties, Export/Import shipping requirements, customs concerns, MOD act, post-9/11 border protection, and so on. Their support ranges from simple guidance to sharing knowledge and experience to providing specific training and networking opportunities. As a result, they have helped us develop and sustain global business expertise in-house.

Van Andel Global Trade Center is much respected as experts in the field and have always been very helpful and responsive to our needs. I find the Center's staff to be extremely friendly and knowledgeable and I highly recommend any business to explore the services the Center offers."

Kim Maynard
Ranir, LLC



International Market Research & Consulting

"I am writing to express my appreciation for the valuable international market research conducted by Van Andel Global Trade Center on behalf of Plascon Group.

Working with the team at VAGTC has been pleasant and efficient and I would recommend their services to any Michigan-based company looking for assistance with increasing their global business reach. I’m impressed with their hard work on our research report and I can say having experience doing similar reports, assembling ours was is a difficult task and they did a spectacular job. Their hard work paid off and is very much so appreciated by Plascon."

Jonathan Morse

International Business Liaison
Plascon Group

“The VAGTC and their staff provided us with the research, scenario analysis, and network to the appropriate service providers to give us the confidence we needed to quote European business.”

John Wanhatalo
Monroe, Inc.



VAGTC Membership

"The old saying, “membership has its benefits” still rings true. We at Sebright Products and Bright Technologies are writing to express our appreciation for resources you offer us and the West Michigan business community at large. You provide services and programs to us as members at costs substantially lower than we found at private companies. We have been able to participate in federal grants you secured in the course of pursuing your mission to help grow Michigan businesses, this has value beyond services offered elsewhere. We understand first-hand the tremendous value you bring to manufacturers of all sizes in the region, and more specifically to the growth of Sebright Products and Bright Technologies."

Jeannie Jansma
Bright Technologies, div. of Sebright Products