The History of PMK International LLC

Founders Mary and Pat Kastner

PMK International was established in Seattle, Washington by husband and wife team – Patrick and Mary Kastner on Sept 11, 2001. Known to and respected by numerous companies shipping goods globally, PMK International has been serving its customers for more than two decades.

The Pat and Mary story

Individually, Pat and Mary had solid roots in the Customs brokerage and transportation industry before going out on their own. Mary’s Customs brokerage career started at the age of 17 when she served as an intern for a local Customs brokerage. Pat’s mother worked for the State Line Steamship Company – one of the original companies moving freight between New York and Ireland in the late 1800s. She knew of the Customs brokerage industry’s stability and encouraged her son to explore his options there. He quickly landed a position with Geo. S. Bush & Co.


With their combined years of experience, Pat and Mary were confident that they could start a business they would be proud of.

Desire to see their values reflected

What inspired the Kastners to open the doors to their own business? Pat and Mary had a strong desire to provide superior customer service and help their customers in a timely and cost-effective way, while upholding the strict US import regulations. They also wanted to be in charge of their own destiny, doing what they do best.


When reflecting on the early days of PMK, Pat is quick to say that Mary was the “brains” behind the operation, where her expertise and team leadership shone. According to Mary, their partnership worked well as Pat’s deep knowledge and approachable style was instrumental in developing strong customer relationships.


PMK offered the market something unique. Pat and Mary knew that “the regulations are the regulations,” and service costs don’t deviate much from broker to broker.


What made and continues to make PMK stand out is its total attention to client relationships and its outstanding level of expertise. Pat is knowledgeable and approachable; people like him. Mary is steady, calm and competent; people trust her. They and their team have always known that customer service is what separates PMK from its competitors.


Quietly, they learned that government officials who work with them trust them too. It’s been heard that PMK stands out from the crowd as the ethical and honest broker they set out to be.

The community of practice they fostered

Mary and Pat attended several NCBFAA (National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America) and “WESSCON” conferences. They learned alongside and socialized with local brokers at various professional development sessions and events like annual golf tournaments.


PMK created and supported a community – their treasured and long-serving team members; the extended family of people who staff members brought into the fold; the customers that PMK has served for as many as 20 years and who have become friends; and the Kastner family behind it all – several of whom worked at PMK over the years.


Mary and Pat have four children of their own, and the family has expanded to include their children’s spouses and a total of eleven active grandchildren.

Changing hands

The time came for Pat and Mary to think about their next chapter. “Our priorities have taken a bit of a turn. We want more time to spend with each other and the extended family… ideally in Hawaii!”


“And time for hockey and baseball,” added Pat, an avid fan of the Seattle Krakens, the Vancouver Canucks, and the Seattle Mariners.


Over a number of months concluding in 2024, the Kastners transferred ownership of their business to Paul Courtney and Virginia Weiler, another family business specializing in the same industry. Long-time friends of Pat and Mary, Paul and Virginia own Courtney Agencies, a Canadian Customs brokerage company, based in Vancouver BC.


As separate companies with shared ownership, PMK International and Courtney Agencies work together every day delivering expert-level service to clients on both sides of the US-Canada border and beyond.