The Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc. ("BFBC") is an independent, not-for-profit business association based in Tampa, Florida. The BFBC was established in 2014 to forge closer ties between the business communities of Brazil and Florida by fostering bilateral trade and investment opportunities in both regions. The BFBC will provide a forum to nurture the exchange of ideas, foster networking opportunities, facilitate and drive economic growth. As a non-governmental association, the BFBC is supported by membership dues.
The BFBC is run by a volunteer board of directors composed of representatives from member companies.
Ambassador Adalnio Senna Ganem
Ambassador Adalnio Senna Ganem, a career Diplomat, assumed his position as Consul General of Brazil in Miami on September 9, 2016. Prior to that, he was the Brazilian Ambassador to Panama. Ambassador Ganem served Brazil as Consul General of Brazil in Atlanta, Director of the Brazilian Trade Bureau in New York, Chief International Advisor to Vice President Marco Maciel and Minister-Counsellor and Charge d' Affaires of the Brazilian Embassy in Paris. Read more.
Chieko Aoki serves as Chief Executive Officer of Blue Tree Hotels & Resorts. Mrs. Aoki founded Blue Tree Hotels & Resorts and launched its brand in 1997. She works towards the development of economic and cultural relations between Brazil, United States, Japan and Latin America. She participates actively in philanthropic and social activities to which she contributes with fundraising and resources. Read more.
Santiago Corrada officially began his position as President and Chief Executive Officer of Visit Tampa Bay in May of last year and provides local experience, management skills, industry knowledge, collaboration expertise and overall leadership ability as well as his passion for Tampa Bay. Read more.
Jim Dean is President of Orlando Seaworld Parks & Entertainment. He began his career in the theme park industry when he joined Anheuser-Busch in 1985 as an analyst in their corporate headquarters. Mr. Dean worked in a number of locations across the country and in Europe. He moved to Orlando in 2008 to help relocate the corporate office of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. Read more.
Rick Homans is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tampa Bay Partnership. Rick, a native of Boston, spent the last 32 years living in New Mexico where he served in the cabinet of Governor Bill Richardson, first as Secretary of Economic Development and subsequently as Secretary of Taxation and Revenue. Read more.
Dr. Nastari is President and CEO of Datagro Consulting Ltd., one of the world’s leading consulting company specialized in agricultural markets, serving clients in 41 countries. Dr. Nastari holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics, from Iowa State University. Was Professor of Economics at FGV – The Getúlio Vargas Foundation, in São Paulo, in undergraduate and graduate level courses (MBA, Masters and Doctoral programs) from 1984 to 2000. Read more.
David Neeleman founded Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S.A in 2008 and serves as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Neeleman has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Azul SA, the holding company of Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S.A since January 2008. He founded JetBlue Airways Corporation and served as Non-Executive Chairman from 2002 to May 15, 2008 and Chief Executive Officer from August 1998 to 2007. Read more.
Michael P. Quackenbush Jr.
Mike is the Managing Partner of Pricewaterhouse Coopers Tampa Practice and is a member of the Asset Management Practice nationally. He has over 21 years of industry experience, including having served as the engagement leader and/or quality review partner on some of our firm’s largest asset management clients. Mike's clients have included Eagle Asset Management, Transamerica, Dimensional Fund Advisors, T Rowe Price Funds, Vanguard Funds, Schroders Funds, Northwestern Mutual Funds, and Lighthouse Partners, among many others. Read more.
Rodrigo Ferreira de Souza
Rodrigo is Vice President of Finance for Gerdau Long Steel North America in its Corporate Office in Tampa since January 2013. Born and raised in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the same city where Gerdau was founded in 1901. Read more.
Ronaldo Veirano is the founding partner of Veirano Advogados and is a highly regarded legal expert, recognized internationally for his statesmanship, facility with sophisticated legal issues and significant network of global contacts. Over the years, clients have sought his advice on a myriad of issues surrounding corporate law and operating in Brazil. He has served as an advisor to numerous corporations and their boards, along with governments and their officials from across the globe. An erudite and accomplished speaker, Mr. Veirano is frequently invited to address international audiences on a variety of complex legal subjects, trade issues and other topics that affect companies, countries and their growth. Read more.
Board of Directors
Founding President and Chairman
Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil and former Executive Director of the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce in New York, Sueli Bonaparte has devoted more than 30 years of her professional career to forging closer ties between the businesses communities of Brazil and the United States. Read more.
Marco A. Franca is the Executive Director of Posto 9, a Lakeland-based Brazilian gastropub. Prior to this, he was Vice-President, Latin America for PR Newswire Association LLC based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Franca was also Chief Operating Officer of Fidelity BPO Brasil Ltda., a business process outsourcing (BPO) company focused on back-office document processing for financial institutions in Brazil. Read more.
Michel is a licensed CPA in the state of New Hampshire and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. Michel joined our team at Drummond after working in Big 4 environment at E&Y. After leaving public accounting, Michael specialized in international accounting and tax consulting. Read more.
Arnaldo is currently the Managing Partner at Strategic Business Alliance, a consulting firm that helps IT, manufacturing, agriculture and healthcare clients to enter or expand into the USA, Brazil, and Africa. With over 25 years of experience in banking, technology, and operations, he has served at the top executive levels at Safra National Bank, Chase Manhattan Bank, Bankers Trust Company, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Read more.
Daniel Aguiar de Melo
Daniel Aguiar de Melo is a partner with A15 Investments, a Florida based company that specializes in educational investments. He started his career as a project engineer for commercial and residential construction in Brazil, then he joined the Whirlpool Group Brazil, as responsible for introduction of new products to the Brazilian market. After his experience in the construction and manufacturing sectors, Daniel joined educational business as a manager of a group of private high schools under the Objetivo System, Brazil’s largest educational holding.
Vaine is professional speaker, trainer, and coach. As an expert in high performance development, she helps individuals and teams in their personal and professional growth through the practical application of John Maxwell's proven leadership methods. She is an experienced entrepreneur, who have been actively involved in the startup of several Brazilian and American businesses. Currently, in additional to her coaching and training company, she is also a partner in the startup of Brazilian Fashion brand, Geração Mulher. Read more.
Kari Goetz is the Director of Marketing for the Tampa International Airport. Kari leads a highly creative team of designers, analysts, and marketing managers with one mission: To make Tampa International Airport the best airport in the world. Read more.
Gonzalo Padron is Director of Marketing & Business Development, Latin America, Port Tampa Bay. Gonzalo has more than 20 years of sales and business development experience within the maritime transportation industry. His responsibilities include Port Tampa Bay's outreach and liaison with beneficial cargo owners and ocean carriers, with a particular focus on trade with Latin America. Read more.
Sherwin P. Simmons II
Sherwin Simmons concentrates his practice in the area of domestic and international tax with particular emphasis on businesses and high-net-worth individuals with a primary focus on minimizing his clients' world-wide tax exposure. Read more.