GDEI Trade Mission to Panama, Costa Rica, and Colombia
03/10/2024 (1:00 PM)
03/15/2024 (8:00 PM)
(GMT-05:00) Panama
Sheraton Grand Panama

About

The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, is organizing a Global Diversity Export Initiative (GDEI) Trade Mission to Panama, Costa Rica, and Colombia from March 10-15, 2024, that will include the Opportunities for Woman-Led Businesses in the Americas Conference in Panama City, Panama on March 10-11, 2024. 

Recruitment and consideration will be extended to all export-ready U.S. companies, including small businesses, trade associations and other exporting organizations that meet the established criteria for participation in the mission. ITA is seeking to improve outreach and representation of businesses with owners and/or leaders from underserved communities, including through the GDEI.

When women trade, women succeed economically. With 95 percent of world consumers and 80 percent of world purchasing power outside of the United States, international trade is an untapped resource for women-owned businesses. Women-owned companies that trade and export earn more, create more jobs, stay in business longer and are more resilient to financial shocks than those relying exclusively on domestic markets.

This mission is focused on expanding export opportunities to U.S. small and medium-sized businesses that are founded, led, operated or owned by women from industries with growing potential in Panama, Costa Rica, and Colombia.

The mission is horizontal, with various sectors represented, based on b
est prospects for U.S. companies in Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia. Best prospect sectors are: Agricultural Products Automotive Parts, Accessories and Service Equipment; Construction Equipment; Cosmetics; Cybersecurity; Defense & Security; Disposable Medical Supplies; eCommerce; Education; Electric Power and Renewable Energy Systems; Information and Communication Technology (ICT); Infrastructure; Medical Devices and Equipment; Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Equipment; Processed Food and Beverages; Solar Energy Products; and Travel and Tourism.

The business conference will be held in Panama City, Panama on March 10-11, 2024, with a focus on tools, and resources to help women entrepreneurs and executives accelerate their exporting journey. There will also be prearranged one-on-one consultations with U.S. commercial officers and diplomats representing 18 countries in the Americas. U.S. Embassies participating in the event are from the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, The Bahamas and Uruguay.

Fees and Expenses

After a firm or trade association is selected to participate on the mission, a payment to the Department of Commerce in the form of a participation fee is required. Up to two cities can be selected for business-to-business meetings.

  • Conference only: $500 per participant 
  • Conference plus B2B Meetings in ONE Country

                              $2,800 for small and medium enterprises (<500 employees)

                              $4,000 for large firms (>500 employees)

  •  Conference plus B2B Meetings in TWO Countries

                              $3,800 for small and medium enterprises (<500 employees)

                              $5,000 for large firms (>500 employees)

Registration includes:  

  • Admission to all conference sessions in Panama City
  • Pre-arranged consultations with the U.S. diplomats/ specialists from the Americas
  • Customized business-to-business meetings with pre-screened potential business partners in the country you selected.
  • Access to business networking events with leading industry and government officials, counseling, networking receptions, luncheons, and conference materials.

Participants selected for a trade mission will be expected to pay for the cost of personal expenses, including, but not limited to, international travel, lodging, meals, transportation, communication, and incidentals, unless otherwise noted. Participants will, however, be able to take advantage of U.S. Government rates for hotel rooms. In the event the mission is cancelled, no personal expenses paid in anticipation of a mission will be reimbursed. However, participation fees for a cancelled mission will be reimbursed to the extent they have not already been expended in anticipation of the mission.

If a visa is required to travel on a particular mission, applying for and obtaining such a visa will be the responsibility of the mission participant. Government fees and processing expenses to obtain such a visa are not included in the participation fee. However, the U.S. Department of Commerce will provide instructions to each participant on the procedures required to obtain business visas.

Trade mission members participate in trade missions and undertake mission-related travel at their own risk. The nature of the security situation in any given foreign market at a given time cannot be guaranteed. The U.S. Government does not make any representations or guarantees as to the safety or security of participants. The U.S. Department of State issues U.S. Government international travel alerts and warnings for U.S. citizens available at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.

Any question regarding insurance coverage must be resolved by the participant and its insurer of choice.

[1] For purposes of assessing participation fees, an applicant is a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) if it qualifies under the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) size standards (https://www.sba.gov/document/support--table-size-standards), which vary by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code.  The SBA Size Standards Tool [https://www.sba.gov/size-standards/] can help you determine the qualifications that apply to your company. 

Hotel and Travel Information

Hotel Accommodations for the Business Conference in Panama:

Sheraton Grand Panama

Vía Israel y Calle 77,

San Francisco, Panama City, Panama, 0819-05896

Tel: +507 -3055100

Hotel Information

Reservation Link with Event Special Rate Coming Soon

Hotel Accommodations in Costa Rica (B2Bs):

Real Intercontinental Costa Rica

Reservation Link with Special Rate will be sent to U.S. Companies selected for B2Bs in Costa Rica.

Hotel Accommodations in Colombia (B2Bs):

Hilton Bogota

Reservation Link with Special Rate will be sent to U.S. Companies selected for B2Bs in Colombia.


Visa/Travel Requirements

Travelers should ensure they have a valid passport to use when entering and departing each country. Your passport should have six months’ validity as well as one full blank page for each visa you are requesting. Please remember to sign all new passports before requesting a visa.  For country specific information on visas and travel documents, please visit the website for U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs.

- Panama: No visa required. Required for entry: a return ticket to home country or onward destination.

- Costa Rica:  No visa required for stays of less than 90 days. Required for entry: A Return ticket or proof of onward travel to another country.

- Colombia: Not required for stays 90 days or less. Travelers must complete Migración Colombia’s Online Check-Mig Form within 72 hours of boarding an inbound or outbound flight from Colombia. There is no fee to complete the form.

When travel Overseas
:

·        Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

·        Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.

·        Review the Country Security Report

·        Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

·        Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

 

Currency Exchange Information (search the internet for current exchange rates)

Panama: U.S. Dollar or Panamanian Balboa (even exchange)

Costa Rica:  Costa Rican Colón

Colombia: The Colombian Peso

Contact Us

For more information, please contact us at Trade.Americas@trade.gov 

Event Agenda
10
Conference Registration
Conference Registration
Gran Salon Foyer
Start
1:00 PM
End
5:00 PM
One-on-One Meetings with Officers and Business Service Providers
One-on-One Meetings with Officers and Business Service Providers
Contadora
Daniel Gaines Speaker image
Eric Olson Speaker image
Lidia Sosa Speaker image
Lisa White Speaker image
Manoj Desai Speaker image
Pat Cassidy Speaker image
Philip Finiello Speaker image
Ricky Wesch Speaker image
Robyn Garfield Speaker image
Roy Fernandez Speaker image
Sofia C. Zárate Speaker image
Start
1:00 PM
End
3:20 PM
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Daniel Gaines Speaker image
Daniel Gaines
Eric Olson Speaker image
Eric Olson
Lidia Sosa Speaker image
Lidia Sosa
Lisa White Speaker image
Lisa White
Manoj Desai Speaker image
Manoj Desai
Pat Cassidy Speaker image
Pat Cassidy
Philip Finiello Speaker image
Philip Finiello
Ricky Wesch Speaker image
Ricky Wesch
Robyn Garfield Speaker image
Robyn Garfield
Roy Fernandez Speaker image
Roy Fernandez
Sofia C. Zárate Speaker image
Sofia C. Zárate
Networking Break
Networking Break
Start
3:20 PM
End
4:00 PM
One-on-One Meetings with Officers and Business Service Providers
One-on-One Meetings with Officers and Business Service Providers
Contadora
Daniel Gaines Speaker image
Eric Olson Speaker image
Lidia Sosa Speaker image
Lisa White Speaker image
Manoj Desai Speaker image
Pat Cassidy Speaker image
Philip Finiello Speaker image
Ricky Wesch Speaker image
Robyn Garfield Speaker image
Roy Fernandez Speaker image
Sofia C. Zárate Speaker image
Start
4:00 PM
End
6:00 PM
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Daniel Gaines Speaker image
Daniel Gaines
Eric Olson Speaker image
Eric Olson
Lidia Sosa Speaker image
Lidia Sosa
Lisa White Speaker image
Lisa White
Manoj Desai Speaker image
Manoj Desai
Pat Cassidy Speaker image
Pat Cassidy
Philip Finiello Speaker image
Philip Finiello
Ricky Wesch Speaker image
Ricky Wesch
Robyn Garfield Speaker image
Robyn Garfield
Roy Fernandez Speaker image
Roy Fernandez
Sofia C. Zárate Speaker image
Sofia C. Zárate
Trade Mission and Country Briefings
Trade Mission and Country Briefings
Gran Salon
Diane Jones Speaker image
Start
6:30 PM
End
7:30 PM
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Diane Jones Speaker image
Diane Jones
Networking Reception
Networking Reception
Gran Salon Foyer
Start
7:30 PM
End
8:30 PM
11
Morning Refreshments and Registration
Morning Refreshments and Registration
Gran Salon Foyer
Start
7:30 AM
End
8:15 AM
Opening Remarks
Opening Remarks
Gran Salon
Kendee Yamaguchi Speaker image
Start
8:15 AM
End
8:40 PM
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Kendee Yamaguchi Speaker image
Kendee Yamaguchi
Regional Economic and Political Outlook
Regional Economic and Political Outlook

Expert panelists discuss the economic and political outlook for the region and how recent events such as political protests, climate impacts, energy transition, digitalization, and other trends are impacting local business opportunities.

Gran Salon
Adolfo Fabrega Speaker image
Edgar Ivankovich Speaker image
Start
8:40 AM
End
9:40 AM
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Adolfo Fabrega Speaker image
Adolfo Fabrega
Edgar Ivankovich Speaker image
Edgar Ivankovich
Empowering Women-Owned Small Businesses through Global Trade
Empowering Women-Owned Small Businesses through Global Trade

Global trade and exporting can play a major role in the expansion of women-owned small businesses across the United States – if you have the right tools and the right team to support your efforts. Women leaders from the region discuss some of the resources and services available to women-led businesses and share lessons learned and best practices for success.

Gran Salon
Corinne Goble Speaker image
Jean Pierre De Roux Speaker image
Marcela Galindo Speaker image
Mariana Ferrari Speaker image
Start
9:40 AM
End
10:20 AM
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Corinne Goble Speaker image
Corinne Goble
Jean Pierre De Roux Speaker image
Jean Pierre De Roux
Marcela Galindo Speaker image
Marcela Galindo
Mariana Ferrari Speaker image
Mariana Ferrari
Networking Break
Networking Break
Gran Salon Foyer
Start
10:20 AM
End
11:00 AM
How Digitalization is Driving Opportunities Across Sectors
How Digitalization is Driving Opportunities Across Sectors

Industries of all kinds are going digital, opening up new opportunities for companies of all kinds. Learn what digital trends are dominate in regional economies and what this means for U.S. companies.

Gran Salon
Abby Daniell Speaker image
Dany Yaker Speaker image
Mercedes Di Mase Speaker image
Start
11:00 AM
End
11:40 AM
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Abby Daniell Speaker image
Abby Daniell
Dany Yaker Speaker image
Dany Yaker
Mercedes Di Mase Speaker image
Mercedes Di Mase
Using Panama and the Region as an Export Hub
Using Panama and the Region as an Export Hub

Panama and other markets in the region provide a unique platform for exporters that may be looking to distribute to the region. Learn about the local distribution and logistics environment and how your business can use it as a platform to expand in the region. 

Gran Salon
Demostenes Perez Speaker image
Jorge Barnett Speaker image
Start
11:40 AM
End
12:20 PM
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Demostenes Perez Speaker image
Demostenes Perez
Jorge Barnett Speaker image
Jorge Barnett
Networking Lunch
Networking Lunch
Room Tejas
Start
12:30 PM
End
1:30 PM
One-on-One Meetings with Officers and Business Service Providers
One-on-One Meetings with Officers and Business Service Providers
Contadora
Daniel Gaines Speaker image
Eric Olson Speaker image
Lidia Sosa Speaker image
Lisa White Speaker image
Manoj Desai Speaker image
Pat Cassidy Speaker image
Philip Finiello Speaker image
Ricky Wesch Speaker image
Robyn Garfield Speaker image
Roy Fernandez Speaker image
Sofia C. Zárate Speaker image
Start
1:40 PM
End
6:20 PM
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Daniel Gaines Speaker image
Daniel Gaines
Eric Olson Speaker image
Eric Olson
Lidia Sosa Speaker image
Lidia Sosa
Lisa White Speaker image
Lisa White
Manoj Desai Speaker image
Manoj Desai
Pat Cassidy Speaker image
Pat Cassidy
Philip Finiello Speaker image
Philip Finiello
Ricky Wesch Speaker image
Ricky Wesch
Robyn Garfield Speaker image
Robyn Garfield
Roy Fernandez Speaker image
Roy Fernandez
Sofia C. Zárate Speaker image
Sofia C. Zárate
Supplier Diversity and Inclusive Procurement
Supplier Diversity and Inclusive Procurement

What is supplier diversity and inclusive procurement and why does it matter for your business? Hear from expert panelists why diversity and inclusion is a key aspect of a successful international business plan and learn practical tips for working with diverse and non-traditional businesses in the region. 

Taboga
Felipe Cardenas Speaker image
Manuel Gonzalez Speaker image
Start
2:00 PM
End
2:40 PM
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Felipe Cardenas Speaker image
Felipe Cardenas
Manuel Gonzalez Speaker image
Manuel Gonzalez
Export Finance Solutions: EXIM Bank & SBA STEP Grants
Export Finance Solutions: EXIM Bank & SBA STEP Grants

Don’t leave financial resources on the table! Learn about U.S. government financing products and grant funding can help you meet clients, develop targeted marketing materials, close the deal with foreign buyers, and protect your bottom line in the process.

Taboga
Start
2:40 PM
End
3:20 PM
Networking Break
Networking Break
Gran Salon Foyer
Start
3:20 PM
End
4:00 PM
Introduction to International Shipping and Incoterms
Introduction to International Shipping and Incoterms

Panelists will provide an introduction to essential international logistics, shipping, and customs concepts, including Incoterms, to ensure your company understands the full cost, compliance, and risk implications of your decisions in this area.

Taboga
Adriana Johnson-Olarte Speaker image
Ana Reyes Speaker image
Jorge Barnett Speaker image
Start
4:00 PM
End
4:40 PM
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Adriana Johnson-Olarte Speaker image
Adriana Johnson-Olarte
Ana Reyes Speaker image
Ana Reyes
Jorge Barnett Speaker image
Jorge Barnett
Choose Your Channel: Options for International Sales
Choose Your Channel: Options for International Sales
Panelists will discuss how to choose the best international market entry strategy for your products and services, examining common sales channels such as licensing or franchising, using a local representative or distributor, or e-commerce.
Taboga
Ava Mitzi Speaker image
Kate Isler Speaker image
Marlyn Narkis Speaker image
Marisol Vallarino Speaker image
Start
4:40 PM
End
5:20 PM
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Ava Mitzi Speaker image
Ava Mitzi
Kate Isler Speaker image
Kate Isler
Marlyn Narkis Speaker image
Marlyn Narkis
Marisol Vallarino Speaker image
Marisol Vallarino
Protecting Your Intellectual Property Abroad
Protecting Your Intellectual Property Abroad

Learn how to protect your intellectual property in foreign markets and the available tools and resources to protect your rights overseas.

Taboga
Jennifer Chicoski Speaker image
Khatiya Asvat Speaker image
Marissa Lasso de la Vega Speaker image
Start
5:20 PM
End
6:00 PM
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Jennifer Chicoski Speaker image
Jennifer Chicoski
Khatiya Asvat Speaker image
Khatiya Asvat
Marissa Lasso de la Vega Speaker image
Marissa Lasso de la Vega
Event Concludes
Event Concludes
Start
6:20 PM
End
6:20 PM
Networking Break/Free Time
Networking Break/Free Time
Start
6:20 PM
End
7:00 PM
Networking Reception
Networking Reception
Ambassador’s Residence
Start
7:30 PM
End
9:30 PM
12
Business-to-Business Meetings in Panama
Business-to-Business Meetings in Panama
Start
9:00 AM
End
6:00 PM
13
Business-to-Business Meetings in Costa Rica or Colombia
Business-to-Business Meetings in Costa Rica or Colombia
Start
9:00 AM
End
6:00 PM
14
Business-to-Business Meetings in Costa Rica or Colombia
Business-to-Business Meetings in Costa Rica or Colombia
Start
9:00 AM
End
6:00 PM
15
Business-to-Business Meetings in Costa Rica or Colombia
Business-to-Business Meetings in Costa Rica or Colombia
Start
9:00 AM
End
6:00 PM
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Speakers, U.S. Commercial Officers and Specialists
Kendee Yamaguchi Speaker image

Kendee Yamaguchi

Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Field @U.S. Commercial Service

Kendee Yamaguchi was appointed by President Biden to serve as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Field at the International Trade Administration. In this role, she oversees nearly 300 trade professionals in more than 100 U.S. cities. She helps U.S. businesses export their goods and services, and attracts foreign direct investment to grow jobs within the United States.

 

Yamaguchi has more than 20 years in executive management working closely with local, state, and national government leaders, businesses, and investors across the globe to promote job creation, public investment, and cultural diversity. She has deep experience within the aerospace, technology, agriculture, energy, and life sciences sectors of the economy. Most recently, she served as Deputy Mayor of Seattle, one of the largest cities in the nation, where her primary responsibilities included coordinating City priorities on business, cultural initiatives, and external relations. She also served Washington state as Assistant Director of its Department of Commerce, and as an Assistant Attorney General.

 

Yamaguchi’s work in the U.S. Pacific Northwest includes her serving as a delegate on many trade missions to Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. While Executive Director for Snohomish County, she was responsible for an airport which was home to the largest aerospace manufacturing facility in the world and established the nation’s first airport commercial terminal through a public/private partnership. She was also a cabinet member to Governors Jay Inslee and Chris Gregoire. During the Clinton Administration, she held roles managing events and in management. This includes her work on the Executive Order creating the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, an effort to advise the President on ways the public, private and non-profit sectors can work together to advance opportunity, justice, and equity.

 

Yamaguchi earned her bachelor’s degree from American University and law degree from Seattle University. She has served on the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, Washington State Bar Association Professionalism Committee, and local and national boards.

 

Kendee’s family history includes time in a Japanese American internment camp in the Pacific Northwest, which inspired in her a passion for righting past injustices.

Diane Jones Speaker image

Diane Jones

Executive Director and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Western Hemisphere @ International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce

As Executive Director for the Western Hemisphere, Diane Jones oversees a network of 24 field offices throughout the region that are responsible for strengthen the United States' commercial position in the Western Hemisphere.

Diane Jones is a Senior Foreign Commercial Service Officer with over 20 years of service representing the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Diane served as the Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embass in Nairobi from August 2019 – July 2022, where she strategically developed new areas of cooperation on key infrastructure projects, supported FTA discussion and successfully resolved several long standing commercial disputes.

Diane served as the Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Manila Philippines from August 2016-2019, where she was instrumental in implementing the Administration’s IndoPacific Commercial Strategy.  Diane spearheaded an initiative to connect U.S. companies with Japanese JICA subcontract opportunities.

Diane served as Deputy Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Commercial Service office in Cairo, Egypt from 2014 – 2016. Prior to Egypt, Diane served one year in the SelectUSA office at the Department of Commerce, working to develop a federal program to attract Foreign Direct Investment into the United States.  Preceding her work in SelectUSA, Diane served as a Commercial Officer at the Northern Virginia U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) from 2010-2012, assisting U.S. companies to enter foreign markets.

Diane served as the Senior Commercial Officer for the U.S. Commercial Service in Tripoli, Libya from 2008 – 2010, where she successfully opened the first Commercial Service office in the country following nearly 20 years of U.S. sanctions.

Prior to serving in Tripoli, Diane concluded a 3 year tour of duty as the Senior Commercial Officer for the U.S. Commercial Service in Accra, Ghana and also served as a Commercial Officer in Moscow, Russia from 2002-2004.

Prior to joining the U.S. Commercial Service, Diane served as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Uzbekistan, where she worked extensively on U.S.-Uzbek trade and investment issues in the country. Diane also served as a Business Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan

Diane holds a BA from SUNY Stony Brook and an MBA from the University of South Florida.

Abby Daniell Speaker image

Abby Daniell

Director of Latin America, Canada, and the Caribbean Public Sector @ Amazon Web Services

Adolfo Fabrega Speaker image

Adolfo Fabrega

President @ Panama Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Agriculture

Adolfo Fábrega is president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP) for the period 2023 – 2024.

He served as first vice president of this business association and main director of Group No.6 - Information and Communications Technology. In addition, he was the main director of this group in the periods 2020 - 2021, 2021-2022; and substitute director 2019-2020.

Also, for eight years he was an adviser at the CCIAP, in addition, a member of the Technology Committee of the CCIAP for five years. During this time, he promoted internal modernization projects for the Chamber and represented this business group at the National Secretariat of Science, Technology, and Innovation (SENACYT).

This renowned businessman has more than 15 years of professional experience in the information and communications technology sector, mainly in corporate software development and computer security.

Currently, he is President and General Manager of Pensanomica, S.A., an enterprise software development company and manufacturer of the Flexio ERP platform, as well as Arion Intelligence Corp – an information security consulting company.

Fábrega has been an active member of various boards of directors of private enterprise, in the National Congress of Science and Technology (CONACYT), in the board for the Creation of Laws and Regulation of cyberterrorism and cybercrime, as well as the founding committee - UDITec: Annual Technology Conference, among others.

The CCIAP president has a BSE in Information Systems Engineering from University of Notre Dame (IN).

Adriana Johnson-Olarte Speaker image

Adriana Johnson-Olarte

Logistics Coordinator @ Emi Freight International

Adriana is a highly accomplished professional with over 25 years of experience in the logistics and transportation industry. Has worked across manufacturing, purchasing, supply chain, material planning, production control and logistics roles. She is a professional freight forwarder with areas of expertise in sea freight and air freight.  Her understanding of the industry’s trends and challenges spans the client and provider sides of logistics; she uses her deep subject matter expertise to provide a high level of customer service to carriers, brokerages, and shippers. 

Adriana Johnson’s lifelong passion for entrepreneurship led her to capitalize on an opportunity in 2006 when she bought EMI DBA TAMO LOGISTICS.  Tamo is a Freight Forwarder based in Miami, FL, warehouse, and offices just a short distance from Miami International Airport and The Ports of Miami and Port Everglades. Tamo specialized on the Latin America, the Caribbean and Brazil markets, becoming one of the best courier companies in B2B to Colombia. Tamo has a network on 5 continents for all modes of transportation.  Tamo domestic and international clients includes retail, automotive, energy, infrastructure, technology, manufacturing, special cargo, and hazmat business using a wide range of logistics solutions.

Adriana is responsible for driving revenue growth, developing, and managing customer relationships, contract negotiation with major carriers. She oversees the coordination of all logistics functions including production, planning, packaging, transportation, special cargo, hazmat, customs, warehousing, and distribution. Her unwavering commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction has been instrumental in Tamo’s growth and success.

She holds a Bachelor of Economics, Finance and International Business, and an MS in Logistics Management from Sergio Arboleda University in Bogota- Colombia.  She speaks English and Spanish fluently and has a deep understanding of the Latin culture. She believes family is the most important venture. She lives in Miami with her husband, Travis, and her sons Owen and Max. She is also a marathoner.

Ana Reyes Speaker image

Ana Reyes

General Manager @ ARLOG S.A.

With more than 20 years of experience in the logistics and maritime sector, Ana Margarita Reyes led the Secretariat of the Logistics Cabinet of Panama (2015 – 2022), where she managed to incorporate a Permanent Committee of the Private Sector, as part of the official structure of the Logistics Cabinet and led the development of the National Logistics Strategy 2030.  From 2019 to 2022, she held the position of Deputy Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority.   Until 2015, Ana Margarita Reyes was part of the Vice Presidency of Corporate Affairs of the Panama Canal Authority, where she developed innovation and strategy projects, being responsible for the balanced scorecard of the Panama Canal.

Graduated in Information Systems from the University of Texas, Ana Margarita Reyes obtained a master's degree with honors in Logistics and Supply Chain Strategies from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Additionally, she holds a master’s degree in business administration from NOVA Southeastern University.

Currently, she is a member of the Advisory Board of the Georgia Tech Logistic and Innovation Center, Panama Branch.  She was President of the Transportation Committee of the Association of Caribbean States (2021-2022), member of the Board of Directors of the Colón Free Zone (2021- 2022), member of the board of directors of MI Bus (2018 – 2021) and member of the High Construction Commission (2018 – 2019) of the Ministry of the Presidency.

Ava Mitzi Speaker image

Ava Mitzi

Business Development Manage @ IBT Online

Corinne Goble Speaker image

Corinne Goble

CEO @ Association of Women's Business Centers

Daniel Gaines Speaker image

Daniel Gaines

Senior Commercial Officer @ U.S. Embassy Georgetown

Daniel Gaines is assigned to Georgetown, Guyana as the Senior Commercial Officer for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (CS).

Prior to this assignment, Daniel served as a Commercial Officer in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Nairobi, Kenya.  He has also served stints as the Acting Senior Commercial Officer for CS Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Tanzania.

Within the United States, Daniel served as the Director of the CS Phoenix Export Assistance Center (USEAC), as a Senior International Trade Specialist in the Northern Virginia USEAC, and has experience in Washington, DC from his time in the Office of the Assistant Secretary & Director General in Commerce Headquarters.

Daniel holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business from the University of Alabama and a Masters in Global Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management.  

Dany Yaker Speaker image

Dany Yaker

Vice-President of Technology @ Credicorp Bank; Director @ CAPATEC – Panamanian Chamber of Technology

Dany has dedicated his professional career – 30 years – to the world of Technology in different roles and industries (Technology, Banking, Import/export, Government, Real Estate Development, etc..) both in Panama and in the United States. For the last thirteen, he has been the Vice-President of Technology for Credicorp Bank. He has served for several not-for-profit organizations and is a current member of the Board of Directors of CAPATEC (The Panamanian Chamber of Technology).

Demostenes Perez Speaker image

Demostenes Perez

COO @ IPL Group

Mr. Perez is a seasoned executive in supply chain business development with a rich background spanning over two decades. His expertise lies in crafting regional distribution solutions and optimizing operations for global corporations. With an unwavering commitment to fostering the growth of companies in Latin America, he pioneers innovative logistics strategies to expedite market access, enhance safety, and improve overall efficiency. His strategic approach involves aligning logistics processes seamlessly with business objectives.

Demonstrating proficiency across diverse areas, Mr. Perez excels in regional warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution services, offering inventive logistics solutions, value-added services, light assembly, light manufacturing, business development, management, government affairs, trade consulting, and business advisory. Education is part of his pillars, he collaborates with well known US Universities in the Supply Chain field.

As the Founding Partner and Chief Commercial Officer of IPL Group, a leading logistics solutions integrator, he specializes in establishing regional distribution operations and facilitating seamless business activities. IPL Group excels in warehousing, value-added services, order fulfillment, order management, light assembly, and light manufacturing, all aimed at supporting customer sales and marketing strategies throughout the Latin American region.

Mr. Perez's career boasts a track record of active involvement in over 200 regional distribution projects for prominent enterprise accounts, solidifying his reputation as a driving force in the industry.

Other roles in the industry:

• Board member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals CSCMP

• President of the Board of Directors of GS1 Panama (www.gs1.org)

• Vice-Chair of the Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee at the International

Chamber of Commerce (ICC-Panama) 2022

• Member of the board of directors of COEL (Panama Logistics Council) 2016. Elected President for 2017-2018. During 2019 served on the board of directors as past president.

• Member of the Advisory Board of Georgia Tech Panama Logistics Innovation & Research Center 2017-2018.

• Among other relevant roles in local industry organizations and direct involvement in different educational projects.

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Edgar Ivankovich

Stakeholder and Communications Director @ AES in Panama

Mr. Ivankovich is currently the Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications for AES' businesses in Panama. In recent years he has been Director of Social Development for the AES Natural Gas project in Panama. He has been Director of Operations in Hydroelectric facilities of the AES Group and Administrative Manager for the construction of the Changuinola I Hydroelectric Project.

Eng. Ivankovich is a graduate of the Santa Maria la Antigua University with the title of Electronic Engineer with an emphasis on communications, he maintains a post degree in senior management and a master’s degree in business administration and business Strategy from Universidad Latina, as well as a Diploma in Finance and Administration from INCAE Business School. He has more than 30 years in the industrial area and 23 of them in the Energy sector.

During his professional career he has overseen different management positions, both local and regional, in the areas of operations, logistics, administration and sales. He has been former President of the Energy Committee of APEDE (2016-2017), former President of the Energy Commission of the American Chamber of Commerce AMCHAM (2019), former President of the Natural Resources and Environment Commission of APEDE (2023-24) and is currently a member of the board of directors of Industrial Union of Panama (SIP) and President of its Energy & Water committee.

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Eric Olson

Regional Senior Commercial Officer @ U.S. Embassy Buenos Aires

Experienced Commercial Officer with a demonstrated history of working in international trade and commercial diplomacy, mostly in Latin America. Skilled in negotiation, policy analysis, business development, consulting, government, and international business. Strong diplomat with a Master of Arts (MA) in International Relations with a focus on international trade and economics from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in International Relations and German from the University of Denver.

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Felipe Cardenas

President @ Diversity Chamber of Commerce

Colombian, strategic business advisor to Executive Committees and Corporations about Strategic Planning, Financial Models, and D.E.I. Issues.

In 2012 with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Colombia, Co-founded the Colombian LGBT Chamber of Commerce, since then this organization has enabled economic empowerment programs for +500 LGBT Business owners as well as supporting +200 major corporations in Latin America to advance in their Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Strategies.

Joined IGLTA as Ambassador for Colombia in 2013 and since 2017 is a board member of the Association in which acted as Treasurer for 4 years. In September 2021 was elected Board Chair as the first South American and Colombian in this role.

He has more than 10 years of work experience in project management, start-ups, and associations. He has facilitated the growth of organizations in Colombia, Dominican Republic, Holland, Belgium, Mexico, Venezuela, and Argentina. 

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Francesca Fermin

Commercial Specialist @ U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo

Francesca Fermín joined the Foreign Commercial Service in the United States Embassy of the Dominican Republic in August 2022. She serves as a Commercial Specialist covering the following sectors: Energy and Renewable Energy, Information & Communications Technology (ICT), Environmental (Pollution Control & Water Resources), Oil & Gas, Consumer Electronics, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Mining Industry Equipment, Plastic Production Machinery, Industrial Equipment and Supplies, Metalworking equipment, Fertilizers and Agriculture Chemicals as well as General and Financial Services.

Ms. Fermin is a Cum Laude graduate in Business Administration from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) in Santo Domingo. She recently finished her Masters’ Degree in International Business from the Escuela de Organización Industrial (EOI) based in Madrid, Spain.

Prior to joining the US Commercial Service, Ms. Fermin worked in the Commercial Section of the Korean Embassy (KOTRA – Korea Trade Promotion Agency) for 7 years, managing different sectors such as Automotive, Construction, Industrial among others.

She also worked in a private bank of the DR as a Human Resources Analyst and as an English Teacher for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MESCYT).

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and cooking.

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Hector Maldonado

Commercial Officer @ U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa

Hector M. Maldonado is the Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa where he leads commercial diplomacy & advocacy efforts in Honduras. Mr. Maldonado joined the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service in 2015 and has previously served tours at the U.S. Embassies in Beijing and Brasilia. He started his Department of Commerce career in Washington, D.C. in 2010. Previously, during a professional career spanning over 20 years, Mr. Maldonado has worked in sales, finance, and international general management roles at Fortune 100 companies within the pharmaceutical sector. His experience includes work in director level roles at companies such as Cardinal Health and Merck & Co., Inc. Early in his career, Mr. Maldonado served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army reaching the rank of Captain. Mr. Maldonado has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University.
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Jean Pierre De Roux

President @ AmCham

Jean Pierre de Roux is the Commercial Director of Tropical Energies Corporation (TRENCO), a Panamanian conglomerate with more than 60 years of experience in the commercialization of gas, water and renewable energies in Panama. In his 12 years with the Group, Jean Pierre has also held roles as Corporate Director for New Business and Innovation (2015-2022) and Marketing Manager of PetroPort, S.A. (2011-2015).

Previously, Jean Pierre served at the Embassy of Panama in Washington, D.C., as Commercial Attaché (2008-2009), Commercial Counselor (2009-2010) and Deputy Chief of Mission, 2010-2011. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors and Vice President of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) of Panama (2022-2023).

Jean Pierre earned his BA in Economics from Duke University (2002-2006) and his MA in Philosophy and International Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (2009-2011). And in 2019, he graduated with High Distinction from the Executive MBA at INCAE Business School. He is currently a Member of the National Committee of INCAE in Panama.

In addition to his professional career, Jean Pierre has been involved in corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, and volunteer work. As a member of the Activo 20-30 Club of Panama and treasurer of the Activo 20-30 Foundation, he dedicated time and effort to advancing the well-being of children and youth with physical disabilities in Panama (2007-2020). Currently, Jean Pierre is a Member of the Board of Directors and the President-Elect of the New Generation Movement Foundation, a social community organization that focuses on comprehensive prevention for children and adolescents in situations of vulnerability to violence, drugs and gangs, through social, cultural and sports activities (2015-2023).

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Jennifer Chicoski

Regional Intellectual Property Attaché for the Andean Community and Chile @ International Trade Administration/U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Jennifer Chicoski serves as the intellectual property (IP) attaché based in Lima, Peru and covers the Andean Community – Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia – as well as Chile. She advocates for IP policy interests on behalf of the United States, assists U.S. businesses seeking to protect and enforce their IP in the region, and advises U.S. government officials on IP matters. Ms. Chicoski promotes high standards of IP protection and enforcement by educating foreign government officials, students, entrepreneurs, as well as small and medium size enterprises.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Chicoski served as an attorney-advisor in the Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Her responsibilities included participating in the development and implementation of trademark laws and policy, providing foreign governments with legal and technical assistance to comply with their IP obligations, and serving as a technical advisor to the China IP team at the USPTO. Her previous positions with the USPTO include tenures as the Administrator for Trademark Examination Policy & Procedure in the USPTO’s Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks and the Administrator for Trademark Classification Policy & Practice unit. She oversaw staff attorney advisors in the areas of Trademark Petitions to the Director, Trademark Examination Policy, and International Trademark Classification.

Ms. Chicoski has also provided technical advice to the USPTO’s delegation of the Legal Development Working Group for the Madrid System at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland. She has attended several sessions of the Working Group on the Legal Development of the Madrid System, the Standing Committee for Trademarks, Geographical Indications and Industrial Designs, and meetings with the Committee of Experts of the Nice Agreement on Classification of Goods and Services.

Ms. Chicoski holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration and a juris doctorate from Georgetown University. She is a member of the state bars in Maryland, Florida, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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Jorge Barnett

Managing Director @ Georgia Tech Panama

Jorge Barnett Lawton is Managing Director of the Georgia Tech Panama Logistics Innovation & Research Center, a joint initiative of the Government of Panama and Georgia Institute of Technology. From that role he leads local and regional projects related to the advancement of logistics and transport, digital transformation, logistics cluster performance, supply chain and distribution network design, and process innovation.

 

He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the Technological University of Panama; a masters in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, USA; and a masters and Ph.D. in logistics and supply chain management from the MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program in Zaragoza, Spain.

 

Over two decades he has developed his experience in the private and academic sectors in Panama, Spain, Mexico and Argentina, occupying various roles in the fields of manufacturing, project management, technology, logistics, research and teaching. Every day he’s thankful for his amazing wife and daughter, and the opportunity to work alongside an unrivaled team of professionals for the advancement of his country.

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Kate Isler

CEO and Co-Founder @ WMarketplace

Kate Isler, a true pioneer and advocate for gender equality. With a career spanning over 20 years, Kate has been a driving force in reshaping the landscape for women-owned businesses and challenging gender norms.

As a co-founder of WMarketplace, an innovative ecommerce accelerator and online sales channel, Kate has passionately championed women-owned businesses, providing them with the support they need to thrive in today's competitive market. Her commitment to fostering change doesn't stop there – Kate is also the co-founder of Be Bold for Change, a non-profit organization with a clear mission: to empower and activate change-makers who are working to bridge the gender gap, both today and in the future.

Kate's journey to leadership has been a remarkable one. With a background that includes executive roles in Fortune 100 companies and startups alike, she has shattered glass ceilings and challenged the status quo. Early in her career, she rose to leadership in the male-dominated technology industry, proving that determination and skill know no gender boundaries. Not only did she overcome adversity, but she also upended gender stereotypes by relocating her family to the Middle East in the 1990s for a position at a time when women taking on sole income-earner roles were few and far between.

Her global perspective is deeply rooted in her experiences living and working around the world as an executive for Microsoft. She navigated the complexities of both developing and mature economies, ultimately taking the helm of a global integrated marketing organization for Microsoft Windows. This unique vantage point provides her with a wealth of real-world expertise and tangible examples, making her an influential voice in conversations about gender equity and balanced management practices.

Kate is the mother of three sons, is happily married, is a lifelong learner, enjoys travel and cooking (AKA eating), and is living her dream of building a business that supports women in a tangible way and enables them to achieve economic prosperity while closing the gender gap.

In 2021, Kate shared her extraordinary journey and insights with the world through her memoir, "Breaking Borders" (HarperCollins Leadership). This book not only showcases her personal growth and achievements but also serves as an inspiration for anyone striving to challenge norms, break boundaries, and create a more inclusive world.

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Kennia Somerville

Senior Commercial Officer @ U.S. Embassy Guatemala

Kennia Somerville is the Senior Commercial Officer in Embassy Guatemala. Previously, she served as the Deputy Senior Commercial Officer in Embassy Bogota from where she also managed the Partner Posts in Ecuador and Bolivia and covered the ICT and healthcare portfolios.

She began her experience in the Western Hemisphere at the U.S. Consulate in São Paulo, Brazil where she managed the infrastructure, education, tourism, and the SelectUSA foreign direct investment program for the country. She also served at the Philadelphia U.S. Export Assistance Center office where she oversaw a range of sectors, including advance manufacturing, and education for east Pennsylvania and Delaware companies. Prior to joining the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, Kennia served as an International Trade Specialist for a USAID-funded export promotion program which helped South African companies export to the U.S. She also worked on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, served as a Human Rights manager for Amnesty International USA, and worked in the private sector.

A native of Washington, DC, Kennia joined the Foreign Commercial Service in 2014. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and has lived and worked in France, South Africa, Alaska, and Japan.
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Khatiya Asvat

Partner @ Patton, Moreno & Asvat

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Lisa Foss

Commercial Officer @ U.S. Embassy Santiago

Commercial Officer Lisa Foss joined Global Markets after serving as a Senior Policy Analyst in the Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Enforcement and Compliance.  While in E&C, Lisa helped U.S. exporters facing foreign governments’ antidumping and safeguard investigations by providing guidance and insights into foreign trade remedy processes, coordinating inter-agency activities and ensuring that concerns were raised in high-level fora including the World Trade Organization. During her time in E&C, Lisa participated in several technical exchanges with foreign governments to promote best practices and increase transparency in the application of their trade laws.  Lisa previously served as a Commercial Officer in Bangkok, Thailand, and began her assignment in Santiago, Chile in July 2023

Lisa has received several Department of Commerce awards including two Gold Medals, the highest civilian award given by the Department, for outstanding achievement in federal service.  In 2022, Lisa received the Department of State Meritorious Honor Award for her work during a Secretary of State visit to Thailand.

Lisa has a Master of Arts in European Studies from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and German Studies from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

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Lidia Sosa

Commercial Specialist @ U.S. Embassy San Salvador

Lidia joined the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador in 2002, beginning with the Economic Section, and moved to the U.S. Commercial Service in 2003, when the Department of Commerce opened operations in El Salvador. Her portfolio of industries includes Medical, Pharmaceutical, Dental, Textiles & Apparel, Agribusiness, and Energy; and leads projects in Trade Facilitation.

Lidia has a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from the Salvadoran University Escuela Superior de Economia y Negocios (ESEN), and an MBA from the University of Catalunya in Barcelona (Spain) with a specialization in Finance and Projects.

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Lisa White

Commercial Attaché @ U.S. Embassy Bogota

Lisa White joined the Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) in 2020 and is currently Commercial Attaché at U.S. Embassy Bogota. She manages FCS services to assist U.S. businesses develop their export sales in Colombia and SelectUSA for Colombian investments in the United States. Her prior posting was at the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Seattle where she advised Washington businesses on how to grow international sales and developed special programs to accelerate women-owned businesses.

Lisa has more than 15 years of combined federal service with experience at three previous agencies. Previous roles include the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) where she worked as an Economic Development Specialist and Public Information Officer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) where she worked as an Immigration Services Officer, and the U.S. Peace Corps where she worked as a Regional Recruiter. Prior to that, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea and Mali in West Africa where she supported small business development and developed French proficiency.

Lisa graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a BS in Business Administration with a focus on marketing and communications.

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Manoj Desai

Principal Commercial Officer - U.S. Consulate General Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Desai, a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service, joined the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2007. He is currently on his second tour of duty in Brazil at the U.S. Consulate General, Rio de Janeiro, where he supports U.S. commercial activities and interests. 

Mr. Desai previously served in Brasilia, Rangoon, Chennai, and in Istanbul, where he and his team     received the Silver Medal, the second highest honor award in the Department.

Prior to beginning his diplomatic career, Mr. Desai worked as a management consultant for various Fortune 500 companies in U.S., Latin America and East Asia implementing productivity  initiatives through business process re-design, change management, and strategic use of information technology.

Mr. Desai is a graduate of Northeastern University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He speaks Gujarati, Hindi, Portuguese, Turkish, and Spanish at varying degrees of fluency.

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Manuel Gonzalez

@ COST Procurement

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Marcela Galindo

Former President, Panamanian Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Agriculture

Marcela Galindo De Obarrio is Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and Board Member since 2016 for Corporacion Impa-Doel, a family business with more than 70 years operating in the import, distribution and sales of pharmaceutical and consumer products in the private and institutional markets in Panama.

 

She is Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama and has been Principal Director of the Health and Chemicals Group of this same union for the last four years.

 

She is also Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Todo Panamá Foundation, a citizen movement that was born in response to the health crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, through the implementation of comprehensive multi-sector and multidimensional plans to provide health services to the population and support in stopping the contagion.

 

Before Impa-Doel she served as Chief Operations Officer (COO) for Mallol & Mallol Architects, Panama’s largest Architecture firm, and Vice-President of Operations for CSA Group a multinational company dedicated to architectural and engineering design, project management and construction management of infrastructure and building projects at a national and international level (United States, Puerto Rico, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Haiti and Argentina).

 

Marcela has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design from Texas A&M University, and a Master’s of Science in Geo-Information Sciences and Earth Observation, with specialization in Water Resources and Environmental Management from the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

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Mariana Ferrari

President @ DOOIT

Mariana is the President of DOOIT, a boutique firm specializing in communication and influence education, with an elite global clientele that includes Presidents of prestigious institutions like FC Barcelona and international CEOs. She is a member of the Forbes Advisory Council in the United States, where she leads the group of European Coaches and is the Founder of Women Who Have Something to Say, the first Public Speaking and Emotional Intelligence program for Spanish-speaking female leaders. After 20+ years of corporate career, Mariana was recognized as one of the 200 most innovative minds in the world by the UK's The Future of Innovation organization and is the Author of the Best-Seller "Bitch Corporate Life.

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Marlyn Narkis

Partner @ MDU Legal

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Marisol Vallarino

@ Farmacias Arrocha

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Marissa Lasso de la Vega

Attorney

Marissa Lasso de la Vega Ferrari retired as a Partner at the firm and Head of the Intellectual Property Department. She played an active role in our Litigation Department regarding antitrust and consumer protection disputes, and intellectual property enforcement.

Marissa has a Law and Political Sciences degree and a Master of Commercial Law, both from the Universidad Católica Santa María La Antigua. She also completed the Studies in U.S. Legal Methods at the George Washington University Law School and in Fashion Law at Fashion Law Institute Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Described by Chambers and Partners as “a very talented IP lawyer” and in Latin Lawyer 250 as “one of the best IP lawyers in the country”. She has also been voted by corporate counsel as a leading practitioner in LACCA for her work in Intellectual Property.

Marissa is member of the Panama Bar Association and the Panamanian Association of Industrial Property (APADEPI) where she occupied a place on the Board of Directors from 2008-2012 and acted as President (2017-2019).  She is also member of the International Trademark Association (INTA) and has acted in various committees since 2005. Marissa is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Panama (AMCHAM) where she has been Secretary of the Board of Directors and also the Chair of the Legislation and Taxation Committee. She is also member of the Panamanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIYAP) where she has continuously acted as legal counsel to the board of directors since 2009.  Member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), where she is since 2018 chair of the KnowledgeNet in Panama City.

Marissa was one of the founders on 2016 of the Panamanian Public-Private Alliance against Illicit Commerce (smuggling, counterfeit and pirated products)  and she is actually the Chair.

She is professor of Intellectual Property at the University.

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Mercedes Di Mase

Chief Marketing Officer @ Grupo TX

Mercedes is the Chief Marketing Officer at Grupo TX, a company that has been a part of the IT space in Latin America for the last 40 years. As such Grupo TX has been pushing the envelope  leading the e-government space. Having implemented solutions geared towards digital government, process automation, IoT monitoring, urban data infrastructure, and citizen services, Grupo TX bridges the gap between innovative solutions and local governments and paves the way for sustainable technological advancements in the Americas.

 

With 10 years of experience as a Communicator, Mercedes excels at weaving stories that conveys the added value of the company and engages stakeholders. By starving to comprehend the unique challenges and aspirations of governmental partners, and citizens, Mercedes brings the know-how necessary to connect with and influence diverse audiences.

 

Mercedes is passionate about customer stories and how their results can be replicated across multiple fields. Understanding that the stories of clients and their successes serve as powerful testimonials, Mercedes strives to highlight the transformative power of Grupo TX's solutions and how they can drive positive change in similar contexts.

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Pamela Ward

Minister Counselor and Senior Commercial Officer in Canada

Pamela Ward is the newly arrived Senior Commercial Officer for Canada.  She is arriving in Ottawa after serving as the Regional Senior Commercial Officer for Southeast Europe, based in Bucharest, Romania.  Ms. Ward has extensive prior experience in Europe, having previously served as the Deputy Senior Commercial Officer for Trade Policy at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium (2015-2017), where she provided policy and strategic direction for the 23 CS operations in the European region; as Deputy Senior Commercial Officer in Paris, France (2012-2015), as the Senior Commercial Officer in Zagreb, Croatia (2008-2011); as Deputy Senior Commercial Officer in The Hague, The Netherlands (2002-2004), and as Commercial Attaché in Budapest, Hungary (1999-2002).  Immediately prior to her posting Bucharest, Ms. Ward served in Johannesburg, South Africa as the Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs and Regional Senior Commercial Officer for Sub-Saharan Africa, leading over 50 trade professionals from eight Commercial Service posts (South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and Mozambique) and providing oversight to 24 partner posts in one of the Commercial Service’s largest and most diverse regions.  This was her second assignment in South Africa, having served there as the Deputy Senior Commercial Officer from 2004-2007.

Prior to joining the Foreign Commercial Service, Ms. Ward served in the United States Commercial Service’s Export Assistance Center network as the Manager of the Eugene (Oregon) Export Assistance Center and as an International Trade Specialist in Newport Beach, California.  Ms. Ward entered government service as an Import Compliance Specialist investigating unfair trade practice allegations for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Import Administration. Prior to her government service, she worked in the international trade and shipping logistics departments of several multinational firms.  Ms. Ward holds a degree in Business Administration and International Marketing from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and completed Stanford’s Graduate School of Business LEAD program in 2022.  She is married with two children.

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Pat Cassidy

Commercial Counselor @ U.S. Embassy Mexico

Pat is a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service, with the mission to help American companies succeed in overseas markets. This work includes providing strategic advice and practical assistance to American businesses seeking to enter or expand in their business abroad and attracting foreign direct investment to the U.S.

Prior to his posting as Deputy Senior Commercial Officer in Mexico, Pat was the Senior Commercial Officer in Peru. Pat served eight months as Deputy Senior Commercial Officer in Japan during a domestic assignment at the U.S. Export Assistance Center, San Diego. His other assignments include Senior Commercial Officer in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Commercial Attaché positions in New Delhi, India and Tokyo, Japan.

Pat entered the Commercial Service after a career of 22 years in the U.S. Army, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  His military background includes service in Infantry, Intelligence, and Foreign Area Officer billets, focused on Asia-Pacific security issues. He served multiple tours of duty in Korea and Japan.

Pat is a graduate of The Citadel, Golden Gate University, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Airborne, and Ranger Schools.

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Philip Finiello

Commercial Officer @ U.S. Embassy Lima

Philip has been with the U.S. Commercial Service since May 2015.  Prior to his current posting in Lima, he was stationed at the U.S. Consulate-General in Istanbul, 2018-2021.  Prior to that he was attached to the U.S. Export Assistance Center in San Diego, CA.  He has held a number of positions encompassing commercial promotion and trade policy, including Sr. Manager for European Affairs with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Sr. Trade Policy Advisor with the British Embassy (Washington DC) and Business Development Associate with the British Consulate-General (Chicago, IL).  He has also worked for state and local government in New York spanning budget analysis, human resource development and legislative research.  Philip has a Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, both from the University at Albany, New York.

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Ricky Wesch

Econ/Commercial Officer @ U.S. Embassy Nassau

Ricky is the Economic/Commercial officer at the U.S. Embassy in Nassau.  He has served in Washington, D.C., Guadalajara, Mexico, Harare, Zimbabwe, and Nassau, The Bahamas.  Prior to joining the State Department Ricky was an executive in the private sector and managed international development programs.  He holds a B.A. in political science from the University of California at Riverside, a Masters in agronomy from Texas A&M University, and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania. 

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Robyn Garfield

Senior Commercial Officer @ U.S. Embassy Montevideo

Robyn Garfield is a career U.S. Foreign Service Officer. Most recently, he served as Commercial Attaché at the U.S. Mission to the European Union, where he led a team covering energy, transportation, and climate. In this role, he founded a global whole-of-government initiative to address climate and energy transition needs in Europe and Eurasia. Robyn previously served in the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of China and Mongolia and as Commercial Consul at the Consulate General in Shanghai overseeing transportation, aviation, travel and tourism, and environmental technology. In Shanghai, Robyn established the U.S. Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Working Group, the U.S. Travel and Tourism Working Group, and the award-winning China Industrial Park Environmental Initiative. Prior to joining the U.S. Government, Robyn managed large multi-cultural teams in five countries as a corporate strategist, general manager and entrepreneur. Most recently, he advised Samsung Group’s global business units on international strategy from its headquarters in Seoul. Prior to that, he held executive roles in Washington, D.C. and founded a company in Beijing. Robyn holds an MBA from INSEAD, an MA from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a BA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Business and Intercultural Communication. He, his wife, and their two children (and their dog) have lived in the U.S., Belgium, China, Korea, Germany, and France.

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Roy Fernandez

Commercial Specialist @ U.S. Embassy San Jose

Roy Fernandez was born in 1970 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  He is a graduate of both LaSalle High School (Costa Rica, 86) and Sheboygan (Wisconsin 88) North High where he was a Foreign Exchange Student from 1987-88. Upon his return to Costa Rica, he worked as a bilingual tour guide for a few months. From 1992-95, Mr. Fernandez worked part time with American Airlines while completing his B.A. at Universidad Fidelitas.  From 1996-1997, he worked at Banex Bank and continued his studies for the Business Certification/Licenciatura from Universidad Fidelitas Business School. Later, Mr. Fernandez worked as an information analyst at Veritas CA, part of (1997-2000) Veritas Business Information, a credit reporting company where he was in charge of report quality control, client service, training of all contracted personnel.

Roy Fernandez joined CS San Jose office in 2000 and he is the institutional memory and the team member with the longest time of service under seven different U.S. Ambassadors. He started as a Commercial Assistant and has done every job in the office from the bottom up until becoming a Commercial Specialist for the last ten years.

Roy has covered almost all the sectors at one point and has done all the services from the early catalog shows all the way to the Virtual B2B meetings and Virtual Trade Missions in 2020. During his job tenure with the Commercial Service, he has received many awards and kudos from clients for his extra effort when conducting services.

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Sofia C. Zárate

Commercial Specialist @ U.S. Embassy Quito

Sofía has extensive experience in banking and commercial and financial services in Latin America.  She has functioned as an associate for a venture capital firm in the United States, and as financial analyst and credit risk analyst for major banks in Ecuador.  At U.S. Embassy Quito, Sofía develops strategies to promote trade between Ecuador and the United States.  She manages a portfolio of Ecuador’s strategic sectors including oil, energy, electricity, mining, construction, transportation, automotive, water, and waste management.  She also conducts trade and business counseling to help U.S. firms understand Ecuador’s business climate.  Sofía performs business matchmaking services to help U.S. companies identify potential distributors in Ecuador.  Sofía graduated with two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Finance and Hospitality Management from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador.  She earned her MBA from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business, where she was a Fulbright Fellow.

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