Why GCTA and why now?

GCTA was born out of blockchain mania. Over the course of 2017 and 2018, the industry was bombarded with headlines by the major Wall Street banks and blockchain vendors with rock-star CEOs. All were touting how blockchain would revolutionize supply chains.

However, those of us – predominantly end-users who are moving physical supply around the globe – know that if we’re stuffing a dozen different documents into a manila envelope each time we trade a vessel of grain, it is nearly impossible to envision how that will miraculously jump onto a blockchain seamlessly across the entire industry.

And that got me thinking… how is it that the agri trade can’t even get one document digitized? The need for a trade organization became apparent — one that was neutral and global and could bring stakeholders from across the supply chain into a room to figure out priorities and strategies to finally bring the physical trade into the digital age.

We must first take measured yet meaningful steps that lead to the interoperability of all back-office systems with the many documents and emails that currently support both ends of the supply chain. The GCTA’s success will be marked by this harmonization – one document and one procedure at a time – which is the prerequisite for the rollout of any distributed ledger technology. ~ Julie Lerner, Founder GCTA (see below)

Who We Are

Dave Lehman - Managing Director

Dave Lehman is a 32-year veteran of the financial services industry, playing key roles in commodity market research and education at some of the world’s leading derivatives marketplaces. Lehman is also the founder of DDL Consulting, providing risk management and education consulting services related to agricultural commodities.

Prior to forming his own firm, Dave was Managing Director, Research and Product Development at CME Group. In that role he helped lead the development of new financial and commodity products for the exchange, managing large global research teams and overseeing contract specifications for all products.

Dave also held various roles in research, education, and marketing, including Chief Economist, at Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) before its acquisition by CME Group. Prior to joining CBOT, he served as Industry Economist at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), where he helped develop the agency’s automated large trader surveillance system.

A respected thought leader in the derivatives space, Dave has liaised with politicians, agencies and other regulators regarding many of the most consequential market issues of our time. He was integral to the launch of the Commodity Markets Council, the leading trade association for commodity futures exchanges and their industry counterparts, and he represented CME Group on the board of directors of both the CMC and FARM Illinois.

Dave received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agriculture and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland in 1983 and 1985, respectively.

Julie Lerner - Founder

Julie Lerner is the Founder and CEO of PanXchange. She holds two patents on the system, was selected as a Futures Industry Association Innovator and most recently, was selected as Most Admired CEO by the Denver Business Journal.

Julie began her career with Cargill International and later became the senior trader for Cargill’s Latin American sugar markets, where she focused on the development of origination markets with successful financing programs and warehouse and distribution programs. She has also held several positions in trading and business development with companies such as XL Financial (weather derivatives) and Sempra Energy Trading (electricity).

Julie brings deep experience in regional and international agricultural and energy markets. Geographically, her area of expertise covers the US, Europe, Latin America, and East Africa. She is an advisor to early-stage companies and has a 360-degree perspective from entrepreneur to angel investor, and from smallholder farmers to Fortune 100 executives.