Sonja  Johnson


Executive Director, Van Andel Global Trade Center, GVSU

As a licensed U.S. Customs Broker, Sonja specializes in global supply chain, Customs compliance issues and foreign-trade-zones. Her past work includes supporting international trade operations, global sales/customer service, supply chain with responsibilities for developing and overseeing global Customs compliance programs. Sonja has extensive experience in global trade, international consultant and trainer on a variety of international subjects such as C-TPAT, EXIM, NAFTA, FTZ, export and import compliance and International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR). She has planned and/or led trade missions to facilitate business expansion of Michigan businesses to Mumbai, India, Guangzhou Province in Southern China, Sao Paulo Brazil. Sonja is responsible for setting the strategic direction, annual budget and oversees all federal and state contracts, grants as well as daily operations for VAGTC which offers innovative international programs and training services, import export consulting and international research to assist Michigan businesses with their global growth.

Sonja is a premier networker and collaborator in the international business community and supports local & national news media which often seek her expertise on global trade issues, including The New York Times, Journal of Commerce, Business Review, Grand Rapids Press, Inbound Logistics Magazine and WOOD Radio. She is a recipient of the Grand Rapids Business Journal award of top leaders in West Michigan forty and under and was featured as one of the area’s most influential women by Grand Rapids Magazine. Sonja holds a Masters of Business Administration, and Bachelor of Science in International Business and Marketing.