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Focus Forward 2016

October 13, 2016 - October 14, 2016

$150.00 – $2000.00

Panama Gateway has added online event registration to its list of services. Focus Forward 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 13-14, is the first event for which the new service is being offered.

Panama is one of the world’s most important global connection points for international trade, import-export free zones, and banking and finance. New Orleans has long been recognized as an epicenter for transportation and shipping. The two locales are a natural cultural and commercial fit!

We invite you and your company to attend Focus Forward 2016 and become a sponsor. It is an excellent opportunity for you and your business to be recognized for leadership in and support for the Hispanic community. If you are interested in late registration please contact Jacqueline Brettner at (504) 782-1166 and/or jbrettner@panamagateway.org.

Here is the agenda for the event:

Focus Forward 2016 – New Orleans & Panama: Gateways to the Americas

October 13-14, 2016

New Orleans, LA


All panel sessions and keynotes will be held at: the J.W. Marriott Hotel, 614 Canal Street. (For special hotel rates, click here to make a reservation at the JW Marriott New Orleans or here to make a reservation at the InterContinental Hotel of New Orleans.)

Cocktail receptions will be held at: the InterContinental Hotel of New Orleans, 444 St. Charles Avenue.


Daily agenda

(All times are Central time)

Wednesday, October 12

Copa Flight # CM498 arrives in New Orleans from Panama City, Panama at 10:17 p.m.

Transportation to hotel is on your own.


Thursday, October 13

7:30 – 8:20 a.m. Breakfast and networking

8:20 – 8:30 a.m. Opening remarks – Jacqueline M. Brettner, General Counsel, Panama Gateway International Association (Remarks will include background on PGIA and partnering entities and event overview.)

8:30 – 10:00 a.m. Cultural Significance of the Arts in the Gateway Cities (Panel discussion. Topics will include cultural similarities between New Orleans and Panama as driven by culinary, musical, and artistic expression, the role which these industries play in domestic and international tourism, and the historical and present-day significance of the arts in our respective educational systems as compared to the rest of the world).


  • Olga Sinclair – Renowned Panamanian artist and former cultural attaché of Panama.
  • Susan Guidry –Council member, District A, New Orleans.
  • William “Billy” Herron –Fundacion Danilo Perez
  • Chef Adolfo Garcia

10:00 – 10:20 a.m. Break

10:30 – 12:00 p.m. Financial Management in a Global Economy (Panel discussion. Topics will  include commercial benefits and tax incentives available to entrepreneurs in New Orleans & Panama).


  • John M. Schaible – CEO and president of AtlasBanc Holdings Corporation.
  • Marcel Gonzalez – Gulf Coast Bank & Trust.
  • Yolany Alvarado – ProPanama.
  • Christina D’Anelo de Varela – Troncoso y Associados.
  • Carolina Troncoso de Yanes – Troncoso y Associados y Presidenta de la Comisión de Actos Jurídicos de APEDE.

12:00 – 12:15 Break

12:15 – 2:00 p.m. Lunch keynote address: Business Opportunities Post- Panamax (Ricardo Zubieta – Chief of Staff, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Republica de Panama).

2:00 – 3:30 Intellectual Property in the Global Marketplace (Panel discussion. Topics will  include the basic tenets of intellectual property – including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets – and a discussion about how businesses can protect their IP internationally and the international effects of U.S. intellectual property.)


  • Emily L. Gummer – Carver Darden law firm.
  • Robert J. Brown – Assistant director, Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization.

3:30 – 3:45 p.m. Break

3:45 – 5:15 p.m. Medical Tourism Defined (Panel discussion. Topics will include research and development in the medical field as a driving force in semi-permanent tourism, the status and impacts of emerging tropical diseases on Central and South American tourism, and the benefits associated with international partnerships between medical facilities and medical schools.)


  • Amritha Appaswami – Director of BioInnovation and Health Services.
  • Michael Hecht – CEO Greater New Orleans, Inc.

6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception and B2B Networking (We’ll walk to the InterContinental behind a traditional New Orleans Second Line Marching band. Depart J.W. Marriott for the InterContinental at 6:15 p.m.)


Friday, October 14

7:30 – 8:20 a.m. Breakfast and Networking

8:20 – 8:30 a.m. Opening Remarks

8:30 – 10:00 a.m. Business Tourism Dossier: Packaging a Successful and Effective Experience (Panel discussion. Topics will include expanded capabilities for both New Orleans and Panama’s international airports, logistics to handle the tourism boost anticipated as a result of these efforts, and the role of private air and the hospitality industry in responding to the changes.)


  • Matt Schwartz – Principal, Domain Companies.
  • Ricardo Pedroza – General manager, USA Copa Airlines.
  • Jason Deibler – Ace Hotel New Orleans.
  • Bianca Bonilla – InterContinental Hotel of New Orleans.
  • Walter Krygowski – Louis Armstrong International Airport.

10:00 – 10:20 a.m. Break

10:30 – 12:00 p.m. Risk Management & Insurance Coverage Basics for the Multinational Corporation (Panel discussion. Topics will include essential insurance coverage issues relevant in the U.S. domestic and international marketplaces.)


  • Jacqueline M. Brettner – Carver Darden law firm.
  • Louis Fey – Wright & Percy Insurance.
  • Sarah E. Stogner – Carver Darden law firm.

12:00 – 12:15 p.m. Break

12:15 – 2:00 p.m. Lunch keynote address: Panama Corporate Success in the U.S. – The How & Why (John Coronado – commercial counselor of the U.S. Embassy in Panama).

2:00 – 3:30 p.m. How to Capitalize on the U.S. – Panama Free Trade Agreement (Panel discussion. Topics will include a discussion of all aspects of compliance with the trade agreement and opportunities created as a result of its implementation. It will also cover recent developments in international trade, shipping, and logistics.)


  • Aristides Chiaritti – COO, Colon Import & Export.
  • Robert “Bobby” M. Landry – Vice president, Port of New Orleans.
  • Edward “Eddy” Hayes – WTC of New Orleans.
  • Paul Aucoin – Executive director of the Port of South Louisiana.
  • John Hyatt – Irwin Brown.

3:30-3:45 p.m. Break

3:45-5:15 p.m. The Role of Education in a Borderless World (Panel discussion. This topic includes technological impacts on education, the benefits of an international education, the significance of a true global market economy and its impact on tomorrow’s workplace needs, and the business of education in the global arena.)


  • Saul Newsome – Breazeale, Sasche & Wilson, co-chair of Super Region Canvas 2016.
  • Mark J. Spansel – Adams & Reese, co-chair of Super Region Canvas 2016.
  • Jacqueline M. Brettner – General counsel, Panama Gateway.
  • John W. Wallace – Chairman, Panama Gateway.
  • Michael Hecht – GNO, Inc.
  • Mayra Pineda – President, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana.

6:30-8:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception & B2B Networking (Walk to the InterContinental– the hotels are a short distance apart.)


Monday, October 17, 2016:

(If Panamanian representatives stay until Monday, group tourism activities will be available as an add-on for registration.) 

Transportation from hotel to airport is on your own.

Copa Flight CM #499 leaves New Orleans, LA for Panama City, Panama at 6:51 a.m.



  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana
  • U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater New Orleans, Inc.


  • COPA Airlines
  • J. W. Marriott New Orleans
  • InterContinental Hotel of New Orleans
  • Carver Darden Law Firm
  • Gulf Coast Bank & Trust
  • International Law Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association



October 13, 2016
October 14, 2016
$150.00 – $2000.00
Event Category:
Event Tags:
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JW Marriott New Orleans
614 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website


Panama Gateway International Association
Greater New Orleans, Inc.
The Hispanic Chamber of  Louisiana
The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce


World FZO to meet in Cartagena May 3-5

The World FZO has posted video showing the best moments of the 3rd Annual International Conference & Exhibition (AICE) held May 3-5 in Cartagena, Colombia..

The annual conference is the largest interactive gathering of Free Zone professionals and experts across the globe and features the world’s leading economic experts, academics, government officials, and policy makers. A hallmark of the annual meeting is the sharing of the latest research, insights and analysis of the increased relevance, importance, and impact of Free Zones on the global economic landscape. This year’s event attracted 900 worldwide attendees who exchanged ideas about developing a vision for the Free Zone of the future.

Registration included entry to the three-day conference and exhibition, including site tours, access to all keynote and panel discussions, workshop sessions, lunches, refreshments plus dinner and drinks during both the gala dinner and networking reception. Attendees also engaged with 30-plus sponsors and exhibitors who provided solutions tailored to tomorrow’s Free Zones, were inspired by sessions filled with insight on the future of Free Zones and joined in networking opportunities with the leading global Free Zones.

For more information, download the event app.