Phoenix Advisory Board
Global Chamber® PHX Advisory Board
Our Advisory Board consists of insightful business leaders working with Global Chamber® Phoenix on helping companies to increase cross metro and border trade... with exporting, importing, foreign tourism and FDI/investment. Read more HERE about our committees.
Thank you to our advisory board for your service and support!
Founder & CEO at Arizona Land Consulting; Director at Vermaland
Anita Verma-Lallian is founder and CEO of Arizona Land Consulting and the Director of Marketing for Vermaland. Vermaland was founded by her father and is one of the largest private landowners in Arizona. Anita holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Arizona and an MBA from the University of Southern California. Anita formed the Verma Charitable Foundation in 2014. She was named one of the Most Influential Women in Business by AZRE in 2014, was one of the "Women Who Move the Valley" for Arizona Foothills in 2015, and was the cover story for So Scottsdale in 2014. Anita leads our Business Attraction Committee.
President and CEO at QDI Stone and QDI Surfaces (Quarries Direct International)
QDI SURFACES is one of the largest direct importers and wholesale distributors of Travertine, Marble, Limestone and Porcelain Tiles, Pavers, Poolcopings, Mosaics, Slabs and related accessories in the US. Arif is President and CEO, and is active in the growth of the company, an INC. 5000 award winner.
Senior Vice President, Corporate Banking Team Lead at BBVA Compass Bank
Brett Plains joined BBVA Compass in July of 2016 and has 18 years of banking experience primarily working with business owners and commercial banking clients. As a Corporate Banking Team Lead, Brett leads the Emerging Companies Commercial Banking Team. He is responsible for expanding commercial banking practice across Arizona, with a primary focus of working with companies between $10 and $50 million in annual revenues. He leads a group of professional, talented, and dedicated individuals that share a common goal of creating opportunities for banking clients. Education: MBA Global Management, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Bachelors in Finance and Business, Arizona State University, Certified Treasury Professional, Association for Financial Professionals.
Chairman at Amber Alert GPS and U.S. Trade Representative, Arizona
Carol has been representing the Office of the President of the United States, U.S. Trade Representative for Arizona. She also serves on the Arizona District Export Council, and is Chairman at Amber Alert GPS. Carol leads our Trade Policy Committee.
Sales Executive at Allata
Allata (pronounced A-ley-ta) is a strategy, architecture and entreprise-level application development company focused on helping clients enhance or scale business opportunities, create efficiencies and automate processes through custom technologies. Watch for more on Chelsea and the firm.
Owner at General Southwest Insurance Agency
Dave, along with his two brothers, is second generation owner of General Southwest Insurance Agency. His practice includes providing risk management advice and insurance solutions to families, professionals, non-profits and businesses. He works both domestically and internationally and can help enterprises that have operations overseas. Dave is an alumnus of AIESEC Arizona State and recently became a dual citizen of Luxembourg.
President at International Business Group
Born and raised in Mexico City, David graduated from UI (Universidad Iberoamericana) with a degree in Biomedical Engineering, which created the opportunity for a second venture in the medical field distributing surgical lasers. David’s interest remained in medical imaging and his experience in the field and a degree in Medical Imaging Infrastructure from MIT, David’s opinion in designing and specifying digital imaging departments became very well respected throughout Mexico becoming a business column writer for “Diagnostic Imaging America Latina” a Miller Freeman Publication and a Board Member of the Mexican Society and the Mexican Federation of Radiology (SMRI and FMRI). David moved to Scottsdale with the purpose of turning his passion for cross border business into his third business endeavor, creating a holding group of international companies in several industries including manufacturing, hospitality and professional sports. David now consults companies wanting to expand operations in Mexico and the United States... including partnering with Global Chamber on the organization's growth in Mexico.
Musician and Executive Director at Arizona International Jazz Day Foundation
William Doc Jones has over 35 years of experience as music educator, program and project Director in the realm of Music and TV production. He has more than 30 years of professional performance experience, including band director, traveled abroad with noted artists, writer/director of live stage musical performances, arranger and writer, producer, recording studio owner/operator. Noted for music instruction project development and execution of satellite programs (Chicago, Illinois and Phoenix, Arizona), including as a professional musician. For the past 6 years has been working in conjunction with UNESCO and Herbie Hancock to bring attention to worldwide International Jazz Day.
Mentor at W.P. Carey School, Arizona State University
As a Corporate Real Estate Leader while serving the State of Washington, Bank of America, McDonald’s Corporation, Washington Mutual Bank, Shurgard Storage Partnerships and Tosco Marketing Company (branded BP Oil, Exxon, 76 Products, Circle K), Don’s teams successfully engaged in over $3 billion in Real Estate related transactions. As Washington States Deputy Director of Real Estate, Don’s team achieved numerous first-ever successes returning over $13 Million to internal customer departments on behalf of tax payers. Don has also been working in a leadership role at Global Chamber Phoenix across the Advisory Board committees.
Founder/CEO at Global Chamber and Executive Director at Global Chamber Phoenix
Doug founded Global Chamber®... the world’s first organization helping companies grow from anywhere to everywhere across 525 metros. Doug and the team help members find new business opportunities so that they grow more rapidly with less risk. Career highlights include co-founding a data backup franchise, turning around a software company, and working with DuPont around the world including being based in Asia for over a decade. He has a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Utah, and an Executive MBA from Michigan State University.
Vice President of International Development & Logistics at Kahala Corp.
Eddy is Sr. Vice President of International Operations and Development at Kahala. In addition to overseeing all of the international new market pre-opening support efforts, he has been responsible for the international development of the Kahala brands including Cold Stone Creamery, Blimpie, America’s Taco Shop, Ranch One, and Great Steak and Potato. His mission is to identify and contract the ideal partners as master franchisees for the development and growth of our Kahala brands throughout the world. Eddy also oversees all business aspects involved in Kahala’s international business including operations and development.
President at 258 Consulting
Eduardo González is President of 258 Consulting, helping companies do business between the US and Mexico. Previously he served as Deputy Trade Commissioner of ProMéxico in Phoenix. Mr. González holds a degree in Public Accounting from the Autonomous University of Baja California in Mexico, and holds several certifications in management and risk management. He also has an extensive resume in business promotion within major Mexican companies with international exposure. Additionally, he has vast experience representing the Mexican Government, as he previously served as commercial delegate for Bancomext in The Hague, Netherlands. Recently he served as State Director of the ProMexico office in the state of Baja California.
Founder and Director at Global Protocol Academy
Gloria Petersen, founder and director, Global Protocol Academy, LLC. has provided seminars, and training in professional presence, business etiquette and protocol for over 30 years. Her new focus is to “pass the baton” and train corporate trainers, university professors, and career coaches in the image and interpersonal skills needed to build global relationships with professionalism and confidence. Gloria is a renowned Certified Protocol Professional and author of “The Art of Professional Connections,” a four-guidebook series (artofprofessionalconnections.com) with companion Subject Matter Expert (SME) training modules. Her clients range from Fortune 100 companies to emerging entrepreneurs. To learn more about the academy, visit GlobalProtocolAcademy.com. To learn more about the author and founder, visit GloriaPetersen.com. “I have been a member of the Global Chamber since its inception in 2013, and it has expanded my horizons in so many ways”.
Founder at BIGGSS LLC
Felix is the founder of BIGGSS LLC providing innovative technology solutions for Africa. Projects include BIGG Software Solutions, E-trotro, Dipaliya Sheabutter and investments in startups such as paystack, cowrywise, and NgEX. Felix is also leading programs for a global digital platform to fight covid-19 and other diseases in Africa called combatcovid-19.africa. Felix has extensive experience in supply chain management, upstarting supply chain programs for startups such as Wonder Workshop, and large companies such as Fujitsu and Spacex in Silicon Valley. Felix is very passionate about using his knowledge to advance development in Africa. Felix received his BS in Electrical Engineering and MBA Supply chain management from Arizona State University. Felix is an amature pilot and professional hand percussionist. Felix is a native of Ghana and an Arizona resident for over 20 years.
Economic Development Executive Officer at City of Phoenix
Hank Marshall is Economic Development Executive Officer for City of Phoenix and he oversees the department's International, Business Development and Business Retention/Expansion programs and initiatives. His team is charged with the pursuit of opportunity that advances economic prosperity for the city of Phoenix. Prior to joining the city of Phoenix, Hank was Senior Vice President of International at the Arizona Commerce Authority. Hank was one of the key executives that assisted with the launching of the Arizona Commerce Authority in July 2011. From 2005 to 2011, Hank served as the CEO of AISLE21, an international consulting firm. Hank also serves as the British Honorary Consul to the state of Arizona. Marshall was raised overseas and spent many years in international corporate assignments. Marshall received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University in 1982.
Principal at Hallman & Affiliates and Partner at Berry Riddell
Hugh Hallman practices law based on his degrees in Economics & Accounting (Summa, Claremont Men’s College) and Law with emphasis in finance (Honors, University of Chicago). As a transactions lawyer, Mr. Hallman has practiced across the legal spectrum, but with significant concentration in domestic and international (cross-border) finance and taxation. The breadth of his practice experience provides his business clients with fully integrated legal and financial services that capture efficiencies and synergies otherwise often overlooked.
Economic Development Director at City of Surprise
Jeanine Jerkovic is a regional municipal business development leader with more than 10 years of experience in economic development. She is skilled at program development and management, marketing & communications, opportunity/lead generation, entrepreneurship coaching, competitive market analysis, international trade/export, public policy development, media relations, grant and proposal writing, and possess a strong deal-closing skill set. The City of Surprise has an active economic development program that attracts international companies from around the world.
Jeffery Garza Walker
Senior Vice President at Cresa Phoenix
As Senior Vice President at Cresa, Jeffrey focuses on expanding the firm's capabilities in global portfolio services through key industrial clients with requirements in Latin America. Additionally, he assists companies in Latin America seeking to place operations within North America. His background as a Senior Director of Corporate Real Estate in North/Latin America with a top tier 4PL logistics company provides a capable skill set and 15 years of experience in commercial real estate brokerage/ development. Besides this advisory board, Jeffrey serves on the ASU MRED Real Estate Council, the ASU W.P. Carey Business School Mentor Program, the ZoomInfo Customer Advisory Board, and as the MBEIC Vice Chair, for the Pacific Southwest Minority Development Council. He has previously worked with Habitat for Humanity, the YMCA and served on the Salvation Army Board of Directors. Jeffrey is a U.S. Armed Forces Veteran and Phoenix Business Journal 40 under 40 recipient. He received his master’s in Real Estate Development from Arizona State University (in the inaugural year of the program), an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix, and a bachelor’s in Spanish from Montana State University.
Partner at Business Enterprise Mapping (BEM)
Joe Bockerstette is a Partner with Business Enterprise Mapping in Phoenix AZ. He has more than 30 years experience as a CEO, business consultant, and private equity/angel investor. Joe began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he became the firm’s lead consulting Partner in Consumer Products Supply Chain in the early 90’s. After leading two consumer products companies, he co-founded a private equity firm, equity management Group, in 2000. In 2006, Joe co-founded and was the first Managing Partner of Main Street Venture Fund, LLC, which was an angel pledge fund investing in regional business opportunities. Joe holds a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and an MBA from Xavier University. He has served as a director on a variety of public, private and non-profit boards and has co- authored two books on Angel Investing and Supply Chain Management.
Chief Financial Officer at TYR Tactical
Kevin is CFO at TYR Tactical. He is an experienced business banking professional and has extensive banking experience from 1987 through 2019, building business relationships and providing credit and cash management solutions to privately owned organizations. He has enabled clients to improve or protect profit-margins, increase cash flow and manage risk. Current and past customers include locally based manufacturers, distribution, and service companies; especially those who either import / export products to foreign markets.
Kevin has an expertise working with business owners and financial managers on the challenges of cash flow forecasting, export financing, cross border treasury solutions, foreign exchange risk management, business acquisition financing, real estate acquisition, business development, working capital solutions, financial analysis, and networking. Kevin is leading our Programs & Events Committee.
President at Youngblood Works
Kevin earned seven medals serving in the U.S. Marines in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield in Saudi Arabia and Iraq in 1990-91. His first job was as a history teacher and in 2001 he founded Odysseyware. Kevin grew the company from a business plan written on a napkin to the leader of online learning for the K-12 market. In 2014 Kevin retired from the organization and calls his time at Odysseyware "one of the most rewarding journeys of his life." Kevin currently spends his time investing, supporting non-profits that he believes in, presenting motivational speeches, and spending time with his precious family. He's been married for 30 years to Margie and they have three kids. His 19-year-old son is a freshman at ASU.
President / CEO at Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association
Kim joined the AzLTA team in November, 2015. She previously served as Director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission, as well as the Governor’s Director of International Affairs and Strategic Initiatives. Prior to joining the Ducey administration, she served as Assistant VP of State Relations for the University of Arizona and has also served under three previous gubernatorial administrations. Kim earned a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts and double minors in Communications and Spanish from the University of Arizona. She also holds a Master of Business Administration in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Maria Jesus Cervantes
Director of Public Affairs and International Relations, Chicanos Por La Causa
Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) is an all-encompassing organization for the underserved. CPLC was founded in 1969 to confront oppression facing Latinos in Phoenix, Arizona as part of the movement led by Cesar Chavez, who undertook a fast at our original headquarters. Since then, we have become one of the largest Hispanic nonprofits in the country, promoting stronger and healthier communities throughout the southwestern United States. We provide direct services impacting more than 250,000 individuals annually in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada. María Jesús is engaged in leading efforts to establish and strengthen vital relationships with government officials, business partners, foundations, community leaders, and organizations in the United States, Canada, México, Guatemala, and El Salvador. She is a member of the Global Chamber® Phoenix Advisory Committee, NeighborWorks® America Public Relations Advisory Committee, and the Arizona Latino Media Association. She completed the American Express Leadership Academy at Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and is fluent in Spanish.
Melissa (Mel) Sanderson
President at Mel Sanderson Consulting
Mel is founder and President at Mel Sanderson Consulting, leading Corporate Social Responsibility Programs, Government and Public Relations and Effective Management in a Global Context. She has a 20-year diplomatic career and deep and wide international business experience. She speaks 7 languages, fluent in 3. Previously Mel was Vice President of International Affairs at Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold. Before that she was a political counselor at the United States’ Department of State, where she was a Political Officer and Charge d'Affairs at the US Embassy in the Congo. She also worked as a corporate investment advisor at Fifth Third Bank. Melissa has a B.A. in Economics, a B.A. in English Literature and an MBA degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Michael J. Langley
Deputy Director at Global Chamber® Phoenix
Mike's experience spans socioeconomic strata and has led to work with people in international markets including Canada, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, France, Gambia, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, Poland, and Zimbabwe. Mike believes that living and working in a diverse environment is a catalyst to success for individuals and organizations. His commitment to excellence and public good found him recognized by the Miami Foundation for the Jacki Tuckfield Memorial Award, given to those that foster intellectual wealth building and economic prosperity. As Deputy Director of Global Chamber® Phoenix, Mike moved to Arizona after 15 years in Miami. He has been consistently active in both his personal and professional life collaborating with organizations throughout Arizona that focus on creating opportunities for entrepreneurs and other business leaders. Education: EMBA, The University of Arizona; BA English, University of Miami Boards: University of Miami Phoenix Chapter.
Partner - Business, Corporate, M&A, Securities, International at Spencer Fane
Michael is a business lawyer with special expertise in securities and international transactions. Special areas of expertise include healthcare, patents, intellectual property licensing, financial markets and Fintech, cross-border distribution and manufacturing, international tax, import-export-customs and in many vertical sectors including automotive, aerospace, clean-tech, sensors, software and many others.
Publisher at Phoenix Business Journal
The Phoenix Business Journal is, a weekly publication reaching over 60,000 business professionals in the Phoenix, AZ area. Ray is responsible for managing all day to day aspects of the publication. Within one year of joining American City Business Journals, Ray was promoted to the role of Publisher in May 2014 after leading a successful sales effort as Director of Advertising at the Milwaukee Business Journal. Both the Phoenix Business Journal and the Milwaukee Business Journal are owned by American City Business Journals headquartered in Charlotte, NC. Prior to his roles with American City Business Journals, he was the Director of Advertising at the Rochester Business Journal from June 2008 through April 2013. Most of his earlier career was spent in sales and sales management in radio and television.
Executive Officer, Global Business Expansion at City of Peoria
As Executive Officer of Global Business Expansion, Rick focuses on raising the profile of Peoria locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. He has over 25 years of public/private sector executive experience. Rick was the Assistant City Manager for the City of Surprise where he founded an aggressive multilateral FDI strategy called “Surprise International” and a targeted marketing effort known as “C2B.” As Town Manager for the Town of Gila Bend, he attained over $2 billion in economic development in renewable energy and was also the founding City Manager for the City of Maricopa. Rick co-founded Envirosafe Technical, a 260-employee firm focused on advanced technology facilities, and served as the VP of Regional Operations of Pentagon Technologies/MPW Industrial Services, a 2,800 employee NASDAQ company. Rick’s senior management experience includes working in, and with, some of the largest organizations in the world. Rick also served as President of the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST), a non-profit organization, where he won 5 international awards. Rick holds a Bachelor of Science in International Marketing, a Masters in Public Administration (MPA), and a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Technology and Management (CSTM).
Roberto J. Ancis
CEO, Coaching Professors, Inc. and CEO, Consulting Professors Online, LLC
Native of Firenze, Italy, ‘Prof.’ Ancis, as he is called by his MBA students at the University of Phoenix, founded his Strategic and Marketing Business Consulting Group in 1981, in West Los Angeles, California. Having personally assisted more than 350 innovation technology clients, and trained over 65,000 seminar participants, in 2006, ‘Prof.’ Ancis moved to Arizona, as CEO of Coaching Professors, Inc, a consulting company providing strategic business and creative marketing advisory, sales re-engineering, consumer buyer research and psychology, and business metrics. In 2018, still active as CEO of Coaching Professors, Inc, ‘Prof.’ Ancis started Consulting Professors Online, LLC, a company totally dedicated to Online Consultancy and Online Business and Personal Interactive e-Seminars. Since 1999, Associate Faculty with the University of Phoenix and Certified Online MBA Instructor.
Executive Director at Project C.U.R.E.
Ruth has an extensive 20+ year background in corporate and business development, fundraising events, major gifts, diversity, team training, Six Sigma green belt, and nonprofit business management. Ruth enjoyed a 16 year career at American Express before joining the ranks of Special Olympics. She held several Development Director Positions in Arizona, Northern California and Nevada successfully raising more than $7.5M between 2008-2016. Ruth was the Development Director at Hope 4 Kids International and successfully implemented the development department before accepting the Project C.U.R.E. Executive Director position in AZ.
International Trade Specialist at U.S. Commercial Service
An Arizona native, Ruth Soberanes is the Director of Trade and Investment at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. Previously, she served as the Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives at the Arizona-Mexico Commission, Office of the Governor. In addition to her experience in government affairs and diplomacy, she has a research background, having served as a Research Analyst and the Communications Manager at the North American Research Partnership. She holds a Master’s in Diplomacy and International Relations from the Diplomatic School in Madrid, Spain and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Spanish, with a minor in Peace and Justice Studies, from the University of San Diego (USD). Her interests include U.S. foreign policy, international education, and women’s empowerment/economic development issues. Ruth has been honored with the J. Lester Shaffer Award for Outstanding Volunteerism to the World Affairs Council of Arizona. She also serves as the Vice President of the Phoenix Torero Club and is an active member of the Flinn Brown Civic Leadership Academy, the Arizona District Export Council, and the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations.
President and CEO at Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Stuart Graff is the CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, headquartered at Taliesin West. Stuart studied engineering at Northwestern, received his JD from Loyola University, and his MBA from Emory University. Following a career both private law practice and as general counsel of multinational divisions at NewellRubbermaid, he went on to lead global businesses with Newell Rubbermaid and Valspar. His transition to non-profit is based on a lifelong determination to serve the public good.
Economic Development Team at City of Peoria
Susana Martinez is part of the Economic Development team at City of Peoria. Previously she worked in regional economic development for Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) where she was heavily involved with international business development. Prior to MAG, Susana assisted the Mergers and Acquisitions team at Freeport-McMoRan with Research as a Legal Analyst. An advocate for women, Susana spearheaded the Freeport-McMoRan Women’s Initiative Network and served as its first President. Susana holds a BA in Psychology and Business from Arizona State University and an MBA from Grand Canyon University. Susana is part of our Young Global Leaders Committee.
President at SSA Executive Search and CEO at The Board Institute
Susan Shultz founded SSA Executive Search International, Ltd. in 1981, and has conducted senior level searches nationally and internationally, specializing in building and structuring corporate boards. She is recognized as a leading expert in corporate governance. She authored the highly acclaimed The Board Book, Making Your Corporate Board a Strategic Force in your Company’s Success (AMACOM) and has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today, Strategic Finance, the Economist, CFO Magazine and numerous other media. She also leads the Global Board Practice for INAC Executive Search Worldwide (43 countries), helping public and private companies build better boards of directors.
Fatina "Tina" Sweis
Social Impact Consultant
Tine holds an MA in American Studies and has served in a variety of roles, most notably as Youth Advisor for the Prime Minister of Jordan. She believes that every successful partnership starts when you pair an individual’s passion and skills with an environment that is ideal for their growth. Centered around her clients’ needs, Tina ensures that she matches each project with a set of goals that emerge from within a subjects needs to excel and be appreciated, whether it’s directing youth engagement programs, creating new business models and developing creative curriculum. Her dearest Co-Founded Initiatives are NewThink Theatre-Festival and EduArt. Tina leads our Young Global Leaders (YGL) Committee regionally and is also involved in YGL global initiatives as well.
Consul Emeritus of Honduras
Tony Banegas, MPA is the Executive Director of the Children First Foundation in Phoenix. He is also Consul Emeritus of Honduras after serving 10 years as Honorary Consul. He has been an Executive with a few large non profits in Phoenix dealing with child development, behavioral health and prevention services. He was a Philanthropic Advisor with the Arizona Community Foundation for almost 9 years. He earned a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and a Master in Public Administration, both from Arizona State University. He is an avid soccer player and the proud papi of Sara and Sabrina, a School Psychologist and a Registered Nurse respectively.