Leadership Team

“What you do has far greater impact than what you say.” – Stephen Covey

Michael D. Easton

President, General Manager

Michael D. Easton, a Licensed Customs Broker, is President and General Manager of Star USA, Inc. Drawn to the dynamic field of trade compliance as a youth, he joined the Star USA team in 2004. Specializing in import & export compliance, supply chain security, export controls, and international trade & supply chain management, Michael places a strong emphasis on verifiable progress. He's also driven by sustainable compliance and operational excellence, aiming to ensure processes for clients of all sizes are streamlined, secure, and successful. Empowering others is another of Michael's top priorities. He's shared expert insight in speeches at organizations like the International Freight Association, the Cleveland Freight Association, the Institute of Supply Management - Akron, The Ohio State University, and Case Western Reserve University School of Law. A recognized field leader, Easton has helped pioneer new technologies in the trade arena, including StarTrack, the iRate Rate Management System, and the Star USA Free Trade Agreement RDBMS. Looking ahead, Michael plans to continue customs compliance awareness through various outreach projects and ongoing affiliations with institutions of higher learning.

Trent Johnson

Department Manager

As Department Manager for Star USA, Inc., Trent Johnson oversees daily staff operations and collaborates with team members on identifying pragmatic goals and delivering first-rate client results. Trent joined the Star USA lineup as an analyst in 2016. His primary focus initially was on Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) classification. His role required ensuring corporate compliance to U.S. Customs rules and regulations and providing guidance on achieving the lowest landed cost for complex product lines. Today, Trent takes on management of products in numerous departments, including Secure Global Trade, Free Trade Agreements, Regulatory Affairs, and Trade Management Operations. Even when the stakes and pressures are high, Trent maintains outstanding compliance, proving especially effective in formulating strategic plans, fostering positive communication between internal/external partners, and ensuring excellent operational performance across the board. Star USA staffers and clients benefit from his experience in and excitement for the vital and always-evolving field of international trade.

Nic Arters


Nic Arters is a highly respected thought leader with a proven track record of delivering measurable value to clients. As a Director at Star USA Inc., Nic draws on his extensive industry expertise, sophisticated technology, and strong data skills to optimize the client experience and drive cost savings.With a background in Supply Chain Security and Export Compliance, Nic has spearheaded robust growth in these areas, launching innovative new initiatives and creating groundbreaking products such as The Global Risk Assessment and Supplier Corrective Action Reports, which have been cited as "Best Practice" by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP).

Nic is an accomplished innovator, with a talent for defining project strategies, positively influencing team productivity, and driving momentum across operations, commercialization, go-to-market strategies, and fundraising. His strategic vision and commitment to ongoing development of ambitious new products and services continue to fuel client growth and deliver tangible solutions.

Clients benefit from Nic's ability to seamlessly deliver end-to-end solutions, optimize processes, and drive cost savings. He is passionate about creating value for his clients and helping them succeed in an ever-changing global marketplace.

Jo Harper


As Principal at Star USA, Inc. and a Licensed Customs Broker, Jo Harper is committed to managing client and business relationships, streamlining internal communication, and helping direct the company's vision to ensure sterling results. A Star USA team member since 2010, she has extensive experience in a range of specialties, including classification, valuation, duty preference programs, compliance, licensing, and reporting. A licensed social worker with a master's degree in social work, Jo is a savvy problem-solver with a keen ability to quickly identify and address obstacles with unique finesse. She helps clients effectively tackle common stumbling blocks, such as audits & disclosures, enforcement actions, sanctions, and expert jurisdiction determination. She recognizes that trade compliance can often seem convoluted, so she aids clients in untangling the thornier elements in free topical seminars on things like ITAR, prior disclosures, and legal recovery of duties paid. Jo also coordinates and teaches the Customs Broker License Exam preparation course. With exceptional insight into the proficiency and precision required to effectively facilitate international trade, she's dedicated to skillfully stitching together all components to ensure consistently rewarding returns.

Carson S. Christian


As a Director at Star USA, Inc., Carson provides strategic leadership for the firm's business and financial functions. With sharp financial and analytical acuity, Carson rapidly identifies and addresses critical avenues of greater efficiency, logical process development, and staff reinvestment. His focus on sustainability provides consistent opportunities for in-house innovation and client growth initiatives. Daily financial operations, financial planning, and internal product development are all in his wheelhouse. Carson was uniquely suited to this top-level post, previously shouldering direct responsibility for financial management at three separate, market diverse Ohio corporations. In those roles, he excelled in revenue realization and reinvestment - both successfully aimed at driving sustainable growth. At Star USA, Carson has been an indefatigable force behind growth and process investment. That's enabled the firm to introduce broader product offerings and capture more diverse client opportunities. A convergent thinker with a knack for insightful analyses, Carson thrives as a key component of this expert team, ultimately delivering unparalleled service to Star USA clients.

Demi Hart

Department Manager

With over 8 years of invaluable experience in the dynamic realm of international trade, Demi Hart stands as a seasoned professional and a dedicated leader in her role as Department Manager at Star USA.

Demi has consistently demonstrated a profound understanding of the intricate nuances of global trade, leveraging her expertise to navigate the complexities of cross-border transactions and regulations. Her passion for the field is evident in the comprehensive knowledge she brings to the table, ensuring that the firm remains at the forefront of international trade consulting.

Adept at executing and organizing project management tasks, Demi has been instrumental in driving successful initiatives that align with the firm's strategic goals. Her keen eye for detail, coupled with a results-driven approach, has not only streamlined operations within the department but has also contributed significantly to the overall success of projects undertaken.

Beyond her technical prowess, Demi is known for fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment. She excels in bringing diverse teams together, fostering effective communication, and inspiring colleagues to reach their full potential. As a leader, Demi has successfully cultivated a culture of excellence and innovation within the department.

Whether it's navigating complex international regulations, executing meticulous project management plans, or fostering a positive team culture, Demi embodies a multifaceted skill set that has been pivotal in the success of Star USA. As she continues to spearhead the department, Demi remains committed to driving excellence, embracing challenges, and contributing to the firm's continued growth on the global stage.