Interview with Leaders of PPE Sourcing Company Banah Trading

 In business, business tips, Devin Burke, Global Business, logistics

Banah Trading logoDid you know Universal Cargo has a sister company, Banah Trading, that specializes in sourcing personal protective equipment (PPE) for businesses? Sister company is a particularly good term in this case because it brings to mind family, and family business is a great way to describe Banah Trading. Universal Cargo’s CEO and president, Devin and Shirley Burke, respectively, are also CEO and president of Banah. Banah’s COO is their son, Micah Burke.

I caught up with the three of them – virtually, keeping in the spirit of social distancing and COVID-19-related guidelines – for an interview covering topics about Banah Trading’s services, business during the economic reopen, and working with family.

Here’s what they shared with us:

Q: Banah Trading is like a sister company to Universal Cargo. Can you describe how the two companies work together?


Banah was created once the pandemic caused a severe slowdown in US import-export trade, resulting in a near stoppage of shipments being handled by UC. This event simultaneously created a huge demand for PPE supplies in the US, which by and large come from Asia. Thus, Banah Trading established several reliable relationships that specialized in the manufacturing of all PPE supplies. This network actually already existed, as, for the past 20-odd years, UC offered, as one of many valued-added services, the ability to source product and provide Quality Control to their clients.

Presently Banah is both importing PPE supplies as a registered importing company with the FDA as well as brokering several products throughout their wide network of manufacturers, not only in Asia but also in Mexico and the US.

Devin & Micah Burke

Devin (right) & Micah Burke

Q: How can Banah help businesses as they’re either continuing to operate through this pandemic or finally being allowed to reopen?


Banah obviously helps provide every product and service that goes along with [operating during this pandemic]. For example, we can provide testing kits as well as mobile testing labs for onsite facilitating. But also, with Banah’s relationship with UC, we can provide a full logistics service.

Banah can assist each client with a consulting call to assess needs, then offer several options available.

Q: Without using the name of clients, describe how Banah Trading has helped one of its business customers during this pandemic.


We received a request from the director of an assisted living home for the mentally disabled.  They are a small, privately-owned company serving the LA community.  
Their huge medical supply source started rejecting their small orders of medical grade masks for some unknown reason at the start of the pandemic.  
Banah Trading has just received a supply of the masks that she [the company’s owner] required for her nursing staff, and we were able to provide her with the much needed products in a timely manner.
Banah Trading is currently providing a PPE care package to a private school in Connecticut. The goal is to create a “safe room” on-site that can be used to store the PPE items and provide a medically safe area for treatment, containment, and prevention.

Q: How can Banah help businesses as they’re either continuing to operate through this pandemic or finally being allowed to reopen?


Banah Trading can help businesses by providing the essential PPE items needed to re-open safely and a buying process that is convenient and affordable. Our PPE Bundle is a collection of products that we recommend to get started, but everyone is encouraged to customize a care package because we understand every business is unique.

Q: How can people best assess the PPE products they need for their businesses and make sure they have both the proper products stocked and the appropriate amount of stock on hand?


We recommend starting with our minimum order and then moving forward from there. The PPE Bundle represents those recommended quantities to start with.

Are there services Banah performs for companies outside of PPE sourcing?


Banah Trading is focused on sourcing PPE, but we do offer full logistics service through our partner Universal Cargo.

Q: I’m curious about the name Banah. Why was it chosen for the name of the company?


Banah means to build in Hebrew, God’s original language. Whereas the enemy of our souls tears down and destroys.

Q: Most people don’t have the chance to work at a company with such a family dynamic as Banah has. You’re the COO, your dad is the CEO, and your mom is the President. What is that family dynamic like inside the company?

The family dynamic has it’s advantages and disadvantages, but for the most part, we work really well together as a team because we’ve all found our role in the company, and we try to stay in our own lanes. It’s been a little tricky separating the family stuff with all the business talk, but that’s hard to avoid when we are all passionate about what we’re trying to accomplish here.

Shirley Burke with her two sons Micah (left) and Bryan

Shirley Burke with her two sons Micah (left) and Bryan

Q: Anyone who knows your mother, Shirley Burke, knows she’s a very strong, intelligent, and generous woman. What strengths does she bring to Banah as its President?


The strengths she brings is her business mind, disciplined decision making, and the experience running UC for all these years. It’s obvious she has a gift for business and it shows given everything we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.

Q: Your father, Devin Burke is known for his creativity, big-picture leadership, and inability to pass up the opportunity for a pun. What does he bring to Banah as its CEO and what’s something about him we wouldn’t know?


Devin brings his passion for people and an incredible network of relationships he’s build over the years. He is an extremely optimistic person, and that helps us all stay on course and excited for the future. Something about him that you wouldn’t know… He’s terrible at remembering words to songs, he has maybe two dance moves total, and if he didn’t have Shirley, he’d eat garlic eggs and gluten free toast everyday of his life.

Q: What’s an area of strength you bring to Banah, as its COO, that creates a component to the team that neither Devin nor Shirley brings?


One strength I was able to bring to Banah right away was my experience building a website and putting together marketing material. I learned a lot starting my own golf business. At the end of the day, though, I know who I am working for, so I just try and stay focused on what is asked of me and see that the vision laid out for Banah is carried out. I’m just trying to absorb as much info as I can and figure out ways to help the company grow.

Q: Do you have any advice for people who do work with family?


I think it’s really easy to get emotional with family and let that affect the business relationship. We all know how to push each other’s buttons, so I think an awareness of that would help. And always lead with patience.

Q: What advice would you give to companies that are opening back up or trying to get off the ground during this economically challenging time of social distancing and extraordinary restrictions?


Adaption is the name of the game now. It’s time to start thinking more creatively because what worked before might not work anymore. It’s not going to be easy by any means, so I’d say embrace the challenge head on.


As for advice to others [especially B2B companies], look at the vast need right now both in the healthcare world but especially the private sector as companies start to open their businesses across the country and comply with their state and local guidelines. Then start reaching out to businesses, schools, chambers of commerce, etc.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us, Devin, Shirley, and Micah.

If you need PPE for your business, contact Banah Trading today through its website, by emailing them at, or by calling them at 310-367-6137.

Click Here for Free Freight Rate Pricing

Leave a Comment

technology and warehousingsupply chain effectiveness & efficiency