Raul Alfonso has more than 36 years of professional experience in the port industry. During his career, he has been involved in the development and implementation of numerous strategic business plans, all focused on creating new shipping and transportation networks for his ports and customers.
Alfonso started his career in the 1980s in Miami, where he helped elevate PortMiami to its position as one of the leading Florida ports for cargo and cruise ships.
Later, he served as director of marketing and trade development for the Americas at Hutchison Port Holdings, at the time the largest terminal operator in the world. He returned to Florida in 2002 as director of trade development and global marketing for the Jacksonville Port Authority. Raul was part of a team that help Jaxport expand the port's global business portfolio, helping the port evolve across its diverse business lines, resulting in the addition of new terminal operations, and global services.
Alfonso joined the Tampa Port Authority in 2013 as chief commercial officer to lead the port's marketing, business development, and real estate departments. He was promoted to his current position of executive vice president and chief commercial officer, assuming additional responsibilities for the planning & development department, as well as serving as the port's second in command to the CEO, in the areas of the port's operations, engineering and security departments.
Alfonso is trilingual, speaking Spanish, Portuguese, and English.
Moisés R. Kalach B. leads the Mexican Private Sector Coalition that represents Mexico in the ongoing international free trade negotiations. He holds this important position at the International Negotiations Strategic Advisory Council (CCENI) of Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (CCE), where his main objective is to identify expanding opportunities for trade and investment. Since 2017, he has been focused in the renegotiation of NAFTA, building a strategy and enhancing the importance of the agreement for the three countries.
Kalach also chaired the Mexican Business Coalition for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) from 2012-2016, one of the most ambitious worldwide negotiations where Mexico promoted the enormous challenge to successfully access to the Asian Market.
In September 2013, President Peña Nieto appointed him as member of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). He is also member of the High Level Committee for Mexico-China countries. From 2012-2015 he was president of the National Chamber of the Textile Industry (CANAINTEX), a private organization that promotes the prosperity of the Mexican textile supply chain, in a legal and competitive environment with value added, fashion and innovation. He is Vice President at Kaltex Group, a leading company with investments in the manufacture of acrylic fiber, yarns and woven fabrics, garments and home textiles, and retail business.
He holds a degree in accounting from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and an MBA from Instituto Panamericano de Alta Dirección de Empresas (IPADE). He has attended programs at Harvard Business School, Harvard School of Family Business, Kellogg School of Business (Northwestern) and University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Business.
Chris Brooks is executive editor of The Journal of Commerce and JOC Events at Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit. He oversees editorial content in The Journal of Commerce magazine and programming for the JOC's six annual conferences and multiple webinars. He also works closely with the online team focusing on JOC.com. A 30-year company veteran, Brooks' career has spanned every aspect of the editorial operation, from copy and front-line editing to design, reporting and managing numerous websites. He also oversees the magazine's 100-plus special reports a year, including the Annual Review and Outlook and Top 100 Importers and Exporters issues. He holds a bachelor's in journalism from Lock Haven University.
A graduate of San Francisco State University with a master's in international business, Manuel Diaz began his career at the consulate general of Mexico as an analyst and foreign trade adviser. He was responsible for the promotion of NAFTA and business in Mexico, while advising on negotiations of the agreement among the US, Canada, and and Mexico.
An expert in global supply chain, inventory management, Méxican customs regulations, and local distribution, Diaz in 1994 created Expeditors International de Mexico, the first company totally integrated with foreign trade and global logistics to offer high-value solutions.
As president of consulting firm Groupo EI from 2000 until joining SEKO Logistics Mexico as managing director in March 2018,, Diaz was responsible for the development and performance of six partner companies. With annual sales of more than $25 million, Groupo EI developed strategic business partnerships with various suppliers to ensure their high level of service.
He is a former president of the Mexican Institute of Foreign Trade Executives, and is an entrepreneur in the watchmaking, restaurant and other industries. He is a frequent columnist in SDP Noticias and serves on the board of SDP Televisa.
Erik Hansen is Vice President Sales & Marketing with Kansas City Southern, leading the Intermodal business unit in the U.S. and Mexico. Before joining the Company in August 2014, he held various positions with the Maersk Group, the latest of which was five years in Mexico City as Managing Director of Maersk Line for Mexico and part of Central America. From 1992-2007, he worked as country and regional CFO for subsidiaries in A.P. Moller – Maersk in the Far East and later in Latin America. Erik has a degree in Financial and Management Accounting from Copenhagen Business School and has taken executive courses at IMD in Switzerland, at Columbia Business School in New York, as well as the DTU Executive School of Business in Denmark. He lives in Kansas City.
Based in Mexico City, Erik has more than 20 years' experience in the supply chain sector. He has worked with retailers, manufacturers, distributors, logistics services providers, and software companies, and he counsels analysts and investors on the logistics industry in Mexico and Latin America in general. Markeset has significant management consulting experience in business strategy, technology implementation, and operations improvement.
Markeset is CEO and founder of Tsol, a boutique consulting firm with a Latin American scope. He is a frequent speaker at conferences on logistics in Latin America, technology adoption, and related supply chain topics. He is former president of CSCMP Roundtable Mexico and is a founding board member of Mexico's logistics professionals association, CONALOG, and is member of the editorial board of T21, Mexico's leading logistics monthly magazine.
Prior to Tsol, Markeset was a principal with A.T. Kearney in Chicago and San Francisco. He started his career as a US Air Force officer with tours in Omaha, Ankara, and the Pentagon.
Markeset earned a bachelor's in industrial engineering from Princeton University, a master's in international relations from Creighton University, and an MBA from Stanford University. He is fluent in English and Spanish, and understands basic French and Italian.
Francisco Javier Orozco Mendoza is a graduate of the School of Business Administration (FCA) within the University of Mexico (UNAM).
Orozco has been in the maritime sector for 30 years, holding various positions within Mexico's maritime port industry. He has worked for TMM Transportación Maritima Mexicana as well as Maersk Line, where he was director of operations for the Mexico and Central America region.
He has been a member of the Mexican Association of Shipping Agents, where he held several positions in the shipping industry, acting as president during 2015-2016 period.
Likewise, Orozco was also the president of the Inter-American Chamber of Shipping Agent Associations with member countries as the United States, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil.
He is presently the commercial director of Hutchison Ports Mexico. The Hutchison Group is the largest terminal operator worldwide.
Mr. Minarro has been employed with Transplace for 10 years and is currently the SVP of Customs in Mexico. He brings more than 20 years of experience managing customs operations for companies at the Mexico and U.S border. He specializes in Mexican customs brokerage, U.S. customs brokerage, managing multi-modal customs operations, warehousing, transportation, and supply chain management for global logistics companies between Mexico and the U.S. Mr. Minarro received his bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and an MBA from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Hugh Morley joined the JOC in 2016 from the Bergen (New Jersey) Record and covers ports in the U.S. Northeast and Mexico, including the terminals, unions, port authorities and shipping associations. He also reports on the trans-Atlantic trade. A journalist for 25 years, Hugh has written on business for 15 years, reporting on a range of topics from government oversight to corporate legal battles and the fierce interstate competition for jobs and investment. He holds a bachelor's in management and operational research from the University of Leeds and a master's in management and global business from Rutgers University.
Since 1989, Craig Mygatt, chief executive officer of SeaLand, has held a variety of positions at Maersk Line, many senior-level. Prior to being named SeaLand's CEO in December 2013, he served as senior vice president of North American inland operations and senior director of commercial planning, trade and marketing.
Earlier in his career, Mygatt was director of Central America services, a position that enhances his current leadership role in connecting the Americas and building strong, engaging relationships with SeaLand customers.
Luis Olivera graduated from Universidad Iberoamericana with a degree in industrial chemical engineering, and he holds a post-graduate diploma in business from the University of California in Berkeley. With more than 30 years of experience, Olivera joined DuPont in 1980 as senior corporate buyer, later becoming corporate purchasing manager. After this, he moved on to an affiliate, Química Fluor, as vice president of sales from 1987 to 1997. In 1999, Olivera became chief operating officer and a board member Corporación Citlali. He joined Ferrosur in 2000 as vice president of sales and has served Ferromex in this capacity since March 15, 2009.
Patrick Ottensmeyer is president and CEO of Kansas City Southern (KCS) (NYSE: KSU) and a member of the company's board of directors. KCS is a transportation holding company that has railroad investments in the US, Mexico, and Panama. Its North American rail holdings and strategic alliances are primary components of a railway network linking the commercial and industrial centers of the US, Mexico, and Canada. Ottensmeyer is US chairman of the strategic trade initiatives working group of the US-Mexico CEO Dialogue and a board member of the Association of American Railroads.
Carlos Pascual, is a senior vice president at IHS Markit, focusing on global energy issues and international affairs, as well as a former senior US diplomat and former top energy official at the US State Department.
As the US energy envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs, Pascual established and directed the new Energy Resources Bureau at the State Department and was senior adviser to the secretary of state on energy issues. He previously was US ambassador to Mexico and Ukraine and was special assistant to the president for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia on the National Security Council. At the Brookings Institution, Pascual served as vice president and director of foreign policy studies and launched the Brookings Energy Security Initiative. He taught and wrote on energy geopolitics at Columbia University. Pascual created the position of coordinator for reconstruction and stabilization, establishing the State Department's first civilian response capacity to conflicts.
He also was the State Department's coordinator for US assistance to Europe and Eurasia. From 1995 through 2000, Pascual served as special assistant to President Clinton and successively as director and senior director for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia at the National Security Council. Pascual also has held leadership roles at the US Agency for International Development, including as deputy assistant administrator for Europe and Eurasia, chief of policy and strategy for Africa and in field postings in Mozambique, South Africa, and Sudan.
Pascual holds a master's of public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a bachelor's degree from Stanford University. His book, Power and Responsibility, won a 2009 award for the best political science book published by an independent publisher.
Mauricio Rojas has more than 19 years of experience as a tax and customs consultant, steering the customs strategy of many manufacturing and export companies in a wide variety of industries.
He collaborates with a vast network of manufacturing, import, and export professionals across Mexico, providing consulting services and tailored compliance solutions to most of Mexico's global and local industrial players. Rojas and his team have implemented innovative ways for helping international companies comply with Mexican and NAFTA laws, like implementing a culture of prevention and best practices to avoid contingencies and sustain a strong peace of mind.
Mark Szakonyi leads the JOC editorial team, consisting of a global team of journalists and researchers covering the container shipping industry. His analysis and work have been quoted in general news media including the BBC, The Economist, PBS Nightly Business Report, NPR, Al Jazeera International, South China Morning Post and USA Today. He is a sought-after speaker who helps plan and moderate JOC events, leads JOC's shipper round tables, and chairs JOC's Canada Trade Conference.
Christopher Wilson is deputy director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where he leads the institute's research and programming on regional economic integration and US-Mexico border affairs. He is the author and editor of numerous reports, including Growing Together: Economic Ties Between the United States and Mexico (Wilson Center, 2017) and the State of the Border Report. Wilson has testified before the US Congress and is consulted regularly by national and international media outlets regarding US-Mexico relations. He has written opinion columns for The Wall Street Journal, Politico, CNN, and Reuters, among others.
He previously worked as a contractor doing Mexico analysis for the US military and as a researcher at American University's Center for North American Studies. In Mexico, he worked at an international trade consultant and with American students studying regional political and social issues.
He is a member of the Transportation Research Board Committee on International Trade and Transportation, one of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine technical committees designed to provide independent, objective analysis to inform public policy decisions. Chris completed his master's in international affairs at American University, focusing on US foreign policy and hemispheric relations.