About Chamber of the AmericasTHE CHAMBER OF THE AMERICAS' MISSION STATEMENT
To build and cultivate strong relationships among the Chamber of the Americas member and non-member individuals and organizations, in order to facilitate trade and investment that strengthen local economies and foster a spirit of harmony, social and economic justice, and cohesiveness in the Western Hemisphere.
Through trade missions, educational classes and other initiatives, the Chamber facilitates your business contacts, promotes international networking and encourages cultural understanding. We connect you to the people, governments and companies that drive current and emerging cross-border opportunities in the Americas.
A few years from now, the world will be wondering how certain firms were poised to seize the opportunity in the Americas so quickly and easily. Will you be one of those companies? The answer is "yes" if you have the foresight to become a member of COTA today. Its easy.
Chairman and CEO, Chamber of the Americas
As Chairman and CEO of the Chamber of the Americas, Denver, Colorado, Gil Cisneros is responsible for day-to-day operations. He is also President of the Chamber of the Americas Foundation. Gil co-founded the Chamber of the Americas in 2001. In 1993, he co-founded the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, Rocky Mountain Region, and was first president and then executive director until April 30, 2001. As president of Grupo Cisneros Internacional, Denver, Colorado, an international consulting firm, Cisneros helps U.S. companies develop Latin American markets. With his broad range of contacts on both continents, he is also able to assist foreign firms wanting to export to the United States.
In August of 2002, Hispanic Magazine recognized Gil with the 2002 Hispanic Achievement Award, “U.S.-Latin American Friendship Award.” The Mexican Government honored him as Businessman of the Year for the Rocky Mountain Region, 2000. In 1991, Hispanic Business Magazine honored Gil as one of the most influential Hispanics in the United States. In 2007, the Institute of International Education presented Gil with “Global Colorado Award.” Prior to his position with the U.S.-Mexico Chamber, he enjoyed a seven-year term as regional administrator, United States Small Business Administration, Rocky Mountain Region, serving both presidents Reagan and Bush 41. Previously, he was community relations field manager, Rocky Mountain States, Adolph Coors Company, Golden, Colorado, and executive director, Denver Minority Business Development Center. Gil also co-founded the Chicano Education Project in 1972 and was its co-director for 10 years.
Gil is the former Vice Chairman of the board of directors of the North American Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico. He serves on the advisory board of the BNSL (Bi-national Sustainable Laboratory), based in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, which promotes economic development on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Gil also serves on the board of directors of the Colorado Community Colleges Foundation and the Ports to Plains Trade Corridor. He was recently appointed to be a director of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad working with the Economic Development Commission. He is currently an ad-hoc member of the District Export Council for the Colorado/Wyoming Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce. He is a member of the International Development Committee, World Trade Center, Denver; former state chairman, Colorado Republican National Hispanic Assembly, Denver, and was a vice-chairman of the John McCain campaign for president in Colorado, and a former member of the board of directors, Latin American Management Association, Washington, D.C.
Gil received his BA from Adams State College in 1970 and his MA from the University of Colorado in 1972. Gil is a Vietnam veteran having served in the U.S. Navy from 1962-1966. Gil and Rosie Cisneros reside in Golden, Colorado.
President of North America, Chamber of the Americas
COTA's President of North America, Dr. David Conde, has been serving COTA as a senior consultant for the last five years and has been a commercial activity partner since the inception of COTA.
Conde earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Colorado and Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. He spent 39 years in higher education as a Professor, Associate Dean, Assistant Vice President, Associate Vice President and SeniorAssociate Vice Chancellor in Colorado, New Mexico and North Carolina. Dr. Conde also comes to us with 32 years of experience in developing and conducting international programs inEurope, Mexico, Central and South America in the public and private sectors.
In addition to helping facilitate COTA conferences and trade missions, he currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of East Migrant Head Start Project, a 45.7-million-dollar agency with 40 education centers for migrant children in 14 states along the east coast and the south and serves as a board member and one of the task group leaders for Colorado Global College, a start-up institution serving an international bilingual community.
Dr. David Conde is also a journalist who has that has published over 600 articles and was recognized by the Hispanic Media 100 Award that placed him among the top 100 Latino journalists in the United States in 2002; he also received a Hispanic Media 50 Award in 2003. He has been honored for his work numerous times in the United States and Mexico, where he received the Diploma Honoraria from the Law School of the Autonomous University of Mexico in 1984.
Chamber of the Americas' Chief of Staff and Special Advisor to the COTA Business Team
Tony Bottagaro began his professional career in New York City, where he formed his own investment and real estate development company prior to moving to Colorado. He has held senior level management positions and founded several corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships. Mr. Bottagaro's responsibilities have included evaluation structuring, negotiating targeted acquisitions and the subsequent management, strategic planning and marketing of those acquired real estate assets or businesses. His extensive entrepreneurial experience includes capital formation, financing, and product development.
Global President, Chamber of the Americas Global Energy and Global Renewable Energy
Jack Kahan is President and CEO of Grupo Kahan, which has recently closed strategic partnerships with top companies dedicated to achieving energy efficiency and distribution by retrofitting old housing and business consumption as well as helping to lower their use of energy with LEDs, induction bulbs, and recommendations for photovoltaic rooftop use.
Executive Director, Chamber of the Americas in Mexico D.F.
Mr. Saavedra is CEO/President of Dialectika Corporation. Since 2009, he has overseen their marketing strategies, public relations campaigns, graphic design, advertising communication, and digital marketing campaigns.
He is intricately involved in the planning and execution of the general strategies in the company (inside and outside), handles relations with clients and suppliers, and resolves issues with sponsors. Mr. Saavedra is also actively involved in the creative process for client campaigns.
Previously, Mr. Saavedra was Marketing Manager for PROLAMEX where, overseeing a team of 15 people, he was responsible for the planning, coordination marketing, media and sales plan of the company, as well as evaluation and promotion of development programs for new markets.
In 2006, Mr. Saavedra received a Masters in Business Direction and Organizational Development at Tepeyac University in Mexico City.
Executive Director, Chamber of the Americas in Brazil
Mr. Lemes is a Partner in Candex do Brasil Ltda and Honorary Representative, States of Colorado and Utah. His previous experience includes: Business Development Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce (1997-2000); International Business Consultant, Candex Trading, Toronto, Canada (1996-1997); and Canadian Trade Development Officer, Canadian Trade Commission (1982-1987).
With a Science Degree from Mackenzie University in Brazil, Mr. Lemes has studied business management systems and foreign trade extensively in Brazil and in the USA. Partner of an international consulting firm that facilitates business connections between North America, South America, and Europe, he has positioned his firm to benefit from Brazil's developing economy, where nearly 80% of the world's top 500 major multinational companies are currently established. Candex do Brasil Ltda assists exporters seeking opportunities in the pharmaceuticals, foods, commodities, information technology, industrial equipment, telecommunications, chemicals, and bio-technology sectors of the Brazilian market.
An award-winning innovator with U.S. Commerce experience, Mr. Lemes provides international trade and business management consulting, contract negotiation, and diplomatic services to a variety of clients, specializing in U.S. interests. He directs his team of eight international trade professionals, focusing on full-spectrum market research, trade contacts, trade promotion, and facilities support, as well as managing corporate merger intermediation, business associations, technology transfers, regulatory affairs, the buying and selling of products and services overseas, and serving as manufacturers' representatives for marketing and finding new clients.
Honors & Associations: Past Chairman, Brigham Young University Alumni Association, Brazil; Facilitator for the signing of the State of Texas/State of Sao Paulo, Brazil Trade Memorandum, under the leadership of Secretary Geoffrey Connor, Director, ABPVS - Regulatory Affairs Professionals Association (sister organization of RAPS - Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society, USA), Center for American Studies.
Executive Director, Chamber of the Americas in New Mexico
Ms. Duran is an attorney and has a lobbying practice at the law firm of Comeau, Maldegen, Templeman & Indall, LLP in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her lobbying practice has been primarily in the uranium mining industry, and she has represented the propane, business and non-profit sectors. She also participates in general legal practice at the firm.
Part of Ms. Duran's previous experience includes Senior Policy Advisor for Mexico under Governor Richardson's Administration in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She advised the Governor and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary on water and NAFTA issues. She managed special projects, including: the Santa Teresa Rail Project; the Bi-National Sustainability Laboratory; the New Mexico-Chihuahua Commission; and the XXII U.S.-Mexico Border Governors' Conference. Ms. Duran also acted as liaison between Governor Richardson, four U.S. governors and six Mexican-border Governors and respective staff.
Ms. Duran has been a Special Projects Manager for New Mexico State Economic Development Department (EDD). Later, as an EDD lobbyist, she wrote and secured a grant for the President's Council on Rural Development for $200,000, developed and implemented public/private marketing program for local products, and represented EDD at U.S.-Mexico Border Trade Conference in Monterrey, Mexico and the International Book Fair in Guadalajara. She was also a member of the advance team for opening of Mexico City Trade Office and liaison to EDD/Tourism Commission.
Ms. Duran received a BA in International Business from the College of Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2002, she earned a Juris Doctorate at the University of New Mexico School of Law in Albuquerque.
Executive Director, Chamber of the Americas in Chile
Ms. Medina has 20 years of experience in international business development and has assisted companies in expanding their businesses in markets such as Canada, Europe, South America and the U.S. She has also worked in international business development in London, England and Denver, Colorado. This work has been in multi-sectors with the focus primarily in industries such as biotechnology, environmental, energy and renewable energy, health, mining, ICT, and infrastructure.
Currently CEO of BusinessHub, Ms. Medina is an international business consultant focused on international business development (operations, global sales and negotiations) for clients in Chile, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Argentina. She also represents 1stWEST Mergers & Acquisitions in Chile. Her previous experience includes 14 years as the Chief Operating Officer at TradeChile S.A., an international business consulting firm which represented the Council of the Great Lakes Governors, including the states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and the Province of Ontario.
Prior to that, Ms. Medina was the European Manager for the Colorado Trade Office in London, England, and served as the Information and Outreach Coordinator for the Colorado International Trade Office in the U.S. Other experience includes working as the Medical Information Manager at the biotechnology firm Gensia Europe Ltd., Drug Surveillance Officer for Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), and Events Organizer at the British Red Cross. All of the former positions were located in England.
Ms. Medina has a Certificate in International Trade from the World Trade Center Denver and Metropolitan State College in Colorado. In addition, she earned her Master's of Science in Clinical Pharmacology from the University of Aberdeen, in Scotland, and undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Dallas, in Texas.
Extensive travel, as well as having resided in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, England, Italy, Peru, Scotland, United Arab Emirates, and the United States, has given Ms. Medina an extensive view of international business cultures.
Executive Director, Chamber of the Americas in Canada
Before moving to Canada, Maritza Meneses had an extensive career in Mexico, including senior positions with the Mexican National Chamber of Commerce (Concanaco).
Ms. Meneses is an accomplished businessperson with extensive project management experience in diverse private and public sector organizations and the international arena. She is currently working on assignments in Mexico, Central America and South America.Her areas of expertise include non-profit management, business development, marketing, communications, government relations, event management, tourism and public relations. Ms. Meneses holds a degree from the Universidad del Tepeyac in Mexico City and speaks English and Spanish.
Executive Director, Chamber of the Americas in Guadalajara, Jalisco and Bajío
Juan Carlos Martínez Chuecas has over 25 years of consulting experience with domestic and international businesses and is an internationally certified Master Coach using an Ontological basis for executive and senior management teams aimed at developing business opportunity areas with specific characteristics and needs, allowing the implementation of new tools with which resources and results are optimized.
In addition to being a consultant, Mr. Martinez is also a lecturer, speaker and writer. He holds degrees in Business Administration, Marketing, Finance, Digital Marketing, and Neuroscience.
His marketing experience includes:
Executive Director, Chamber of the Americas in Belize
Coleen Merritt has over 25 years of Global Treasury management experience. She has expertise in developing strategy and international business plans for very large financial institutions and multi-national corporations. Ms. Merritt has worked with over 300 banks/corporations worldwide either as a consultant, correspondent bank client, corporate client or outsourcer provider. She focuses on new alternative payment solutions for businesses and consumers worldwide.
Chairman Emeritus, Chamber of the Americas
With a vision for building a company that would take direct response marketing to a new level of excellence and international respect, George Heinrich founded Heinrich Marketing 30 years ago. Today, the company is an internationally acclaimed, full-service direct marketing and advertising agency specializing in customer acquisition and retention for its clients. With deep roots in financial services direct marketing, Heinrich is master of a broad spectrum of advertising disciplines and serves clients across many industries and international borders.
Heinrich Marketings services include strategic and creative development, marketing research and response analysis. The agencys exceptional work in direct mail, print advertising and web development has earned relationships with some of the best-known companies in the Western Hemisphere, including First Data Corporation, Wells Fargo, Federated Department Stores, Visa®, Banorte Bank of Mexico, Citibank Puerto Rico, GE Capital and many others.
Heinrich Marketing is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, with a satellite office in Mexico City. This office assists clients in Mexico and throughout Latin America with marketing in their own countries and with efforts that extend beyond their borders. Heinrichs United States Hispanidad division specializes in marketing to the Latino population in the United States, which has grown by an incredible 60% in the past decade alone. Equally important, Heinrich Hispanidad assists Western Hemisphere companies outside the U.S. that wish to market their products and services in the United States. In addition to his role as President and Owner of Heinrich Marketing, George Heinrich is also the founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Board of the Chamber of the Americas.
Chamber of the Americas Boards
and Committee Leaders
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
GERMAN CEREZO, COTA Vice President for Guatemala
GIL CISNEROS, COTA Chairman and CEO
DR. JOHN COCHRAN
PAT CORTEZ, COTA Senior Vice President
ADELA M. DURAN
EDUARDO A. FORTUNATO, COTA Vice President for Brazil
GEORGE P. HEINRICH, COTA Chairman Emeritus
KENNETH D. (KEN) HUBBARD, COTA General Counsel
CARLOS KLINGER, COTA Vice President and Treasurer
FRANCISCO E. MIRAVAL, COTA Vice President and Secretary
NORMA MOZEE, COTA Secretary of the Board
JUAN MANUEL GONZALEZ OLGUIN
ARQ. XAVIER ORENDAIN SR.
JUAN FERNANDO PERDOMO, COTA Vice President for Mexico
TED R. RIEPLE
LAURA SONDERUP, COTA Chair
AWILDA MERCADO TORRES
COTA BOARD OF ADVISORS:
CONSUL DE COSTA RICA
CONSUL GENERAL DE MEXICO
CONSUL GENERAL DE NICARAGUA
CONSUL GENERAL DE PERU
CONSUL GENERAL DE URUGUAY
CONSULATE OF CANADA
EMBASSY OF BRAZIL
EMBASSY OF COSTA RICA
EMBASSY OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
EMBASSY OF MEXICO
JUAN CARLOS NAVARRO
EMBASSY OF PERU
AMB. ANDRES ROZENTAL
DR. JOHN U. TREFNY
FRANCISCO E. MIRAVAL