Kendra and Justin Cook are the principals at Canopy Consulting International (C2I). They started the company in 2009 when they moved to Taiwan, where Justin served as a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State and Kendra worked for the U.S. Government on a contract through C2I to serve as the U.S. Government’s liaison to the Taiwan Government and Systems Engineer on a joint U.S.-Taiwan satellite program. Knowing that she would be dealing with export-controlled technology in a foreign country, Kendra became a Certified U.S. Export Compliance Officer (CUSECO) to gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of the U.S. export regulations. Through that process, Kendra realized that companies she had worked for previously were not fully aware of their responsibilities under the export regulations such as the Department of State’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR). She reached out to them and built several compliance programs from the ground up while living abroad. She provided export compliance training at all hours of the night in Taiwan due to the time difference between Taiwan and the U.S., and even performed program reviews from abroad. For two years, she lived and breathed the challenges of implementing and adhering to U.S. export regulations as an engineer on an international satellite program, while at the same time sharing her knowledge and experience with others to ease their transition into the international marketplace. Meanwhile, Justin served the U.S. as a Foreign Service Officer, where part of his portfolio was to perform the end-use verification checks and inspections on ITAR-controlled products through the State Department’s export control program called Blue Lantern. Additionally, Justin has had first-hand experience dealing with situations when export control regulations are violated, through two separate deployments to Afghanistan and one to Iraq. Justin initially deployed as a U.S. Air Force officer to Afghanistan shortly after 9/11 in early 2002 and again in 2012 as a diplomat with the U.S. State Department. During his deployment in 2012, Justin experienced militants in Afghanistan having technology, such as night-vision goggles and European and U.S. weaponry that they obtained illegally and largely based on companies not adhering to export control regulations. This experience fuels Justin’s and Kendra’s passion to implement effective compliance programs to not only adhere to federal regulations and laws, but also to pass along the understanding that violating export control has very real and sometimes deadly consequences.Through their experience in Taiwan, Justin and Kendra realized that they had intimate knowledge of very complex regulations with different perspectives and experiences that they could use to help other small and medium sized businesses. With their backgrounds in program management, engineering, and corporate compliance, they have grown C2I over the past 6 years to serve more than 20+ customers that include universities, U.S. Government agencies, and small and medium sized businesses that span industries such as optics and lasers, aircraft manufacturing, data acquisition systems, commercial space, defense, food importing/exporting and manufacturing, information technology, and satellite and ground station development. While the company’s roots began in export compliance and that still remains a primary business area, C2I is also pleased to offer services in program management, engineering, corporate compliance, biosafety, business development, and international relations.
The Three Principles of Adventure, Mutual Trust and Taking Calculated Risks
Kendra and Justin Cook met while skydiving in 2002. Their relationship was built on adventure, mutual trust, and taking calculated risks. When they started C2I, “Canopy Consulting International,” they built it with the same three principles in mind. Companies who want to expand internationally, or who deal with U.S. export controlled products, are always in for an adventure – whether they know it or not!
Growing a business is exhilarating and can be scary – possibly even to the same degree as jumping out of a perfectly good airplane! Companies need to overcome the fear and take risks, but they should do so in a calculated and intentional way.Using C2I’s services, companies can grow and expand with confidence and trust – knowing that they are doing so with integrity and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. C2I has experience bridging cultures and has resources and connections around the world. C2I is experienced operating across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and can help companies expand quickly, inexpensively, and globally responsibly by acknowledging and following local customs and courtesies.
Like having a good main parachute and one in reserve, “we’ve got you covered” as you expand into the global marketplace.