Lake to put logistics savvy to use for Memphis World Trade Club

The Memphis Daily News/The Memphis News

Dec. 7, 2013

Don Lake, vice president of international operations for Dunavant Logistics Group, will add another accomplishment to an already impressive and diverse logistics resume.

Lake has been named 2014 president for the Memphis World Trade Club, a group of professionals – whether they be shippers, bankers, lawyers or brokers – connected with the distribution and logistics industries.

“It’s a really neat mix of people,” Lake said. “It’s a means for the industry within Memphis to get together and listen to a good speaker talk about whatever the hot topic is at the time.”

Lake began on his career path nearly a quarter of a century ago quite by accident. The lifelong Memphian attended the University of Mississippi for a general business degree.

He had worked with a small cotton merchant in Memphis during the summers and holiday breaks and harbored dreams of trading the commodity. Upon his graduation in 1990, he went to work for the cotton merchandising firm DECA International and was immediately pulled into logistics to fill a need in that department.

“It was a smaller cotton company and I really got to have my hands in on everything,” Lake says about his time with DECA. “I did a little bit of trading, I bought some cotton and sold some cotton, but my main job was to get it from point A to point B, whether that was from Clarksdale, Miss., at the warehouse it was stored in to Belmont, N.C., to a domestic mill, or from Clarksdale to Bangladesh. I was the guy that had to figure out how to get it there efficiently and get it there on time.”

After nine years with DECA, the firm was closing down and, in need of a job, Lake called on longtime friends, the Dunavants, whose cotton trading company stretched back to 1928 and would become the first seller of U.S.-grown cotton to China in 1972 . . . (read more)