President’s Report 2015

From: Miguel Cortines, President

To: CCA Alberta Members

Our Vision for the Future

For almost 25 years The Canadian Council for the Americas Alberta, CCA Alberta, has played an important role in creating a variety of informational events and networking opportunities to enhance trade and investment linkages between Alberta companies and countries of the Latin America and Caribbean region. For some time it has been discussed the initiative of moving CCA Alberta to the next level by having an executive position that will assist to create additional manpower to execute our CCA vision for the future. Our Board is currently evaluating the strategy that will allow CCA gradually move forward with this initiative.

Our vision is to position CCA Alberta as the most ACTIVE and RELEVANT organization in creating networking opportunities and business links to connect Alberta businesses with the Latin America and Caribbean regions, and to connect Latin America with Alberta. To achieve its 2020 vision, CCA Alberta plan is to focus on four strategic perspectives: Revenue & Productivity Growth, CCA’s Stakeholders Engagement, Internal Processes Efficiency and Continuous Improvement with the following important goals:

  • Be more proactive in generating relevant programs and activities based on industry needs and economic trends.
  • Diversify into other industries and areas of opportunity.
  • Engage our corporate community and stakeholders in general to financially and logistically support CCA Alberta long term vision.
  • Increase and retain CCA membership.
  • Improve our internal processes and communication tools to better serve, communicate and engage with CCA stakeholders.

CCA’s members and audience are composed of large, medium and small size organizations in the oil and gas and another sectors interested in doing business or expanding its operations to Mexico and Latin America. Other members include government agencies and educational institutions which mandate is on international trade and investment opportunities between Canada and the Americas region. We look forward to work with our stakeholders to identify areas of mutual benefit. We rely on the support of our stakeholders, industry, sponsors and members to achieve the long term vision of a great organization.

Future Activities

We are in the planning process for different activities in 2015 including The CCA Alberta Lunch of the Americas in June 2015 that is organized in conjunction with GPS. CCA Alberta is approaching its 25 anniversary since its inception. We are planning a great Latin America style celebration to recognize this important milestone. We also have put in our agenda to have our first Conference of the Americas in 2017. Stay tuned for more details about how you can be involved.

  • CCA Alberta Lunch of the Americas in June 2016.
  • CCA Gala Dinner XXV Anniversary in November 2016.
  • CCA Conference of the Americas in April 2017.

Summary of Activities in 2015

  • On March 5 2015, CCA hosted a seminar breakfast event at the Calgary Petroleum Club with the topic “Business Opportunities in Latin America in Turbulent Times” with the participation of Steven J. Landry, Senior Vice President & Chief Development Officer, ATCO Group; Umberto Marseglia, Vice President, Global Business, Calfrac Well Services; Ian McFeely, Vice President, Enbridge International Inc. and Carlos Solórzano, Partner, SMPS Legal. More than 120 guests attended the event to learn more about the direct experience of companies doing business in Colombia, Peru and Mexico.
  • On June 8, 2015, CCA Alberta presented its annual keynote event “The CCA Alberta Lunch of the Americas – Opportunities in the Americas” hosted in conjunction with the Global Petroleum Show. The event counted with the participation of local and international speakers including Carlos Cantu, with PEMEX Procurement International; Ambassador Mario Chacon Carrillo, Head of Investment Promotion & International Business with PROMEXICO; Barclay Hambrook, President and CEO, Americas Petrogas inc.; Curtis Evert, Vice President at Sherritt International. The panelists discussed experiences and market entry strategies with a focus on the Argentinian, Cuban and Mexican markets. More than 150 people attended the lunch.
  • On October 19, 2015, The Canadian Council for the Americas – Alberta and Calgary Economic Development hosted Mr. Edgar Escudero, Investment and Trade Coordinator, Commercial Office of Peru in Toronto who presented “Opportunities to Expand Your Business into Peru” at the Global Business Centre. The presenter provided an overview on the incentives and opportunities for Alberta-based companies to expand their business into Peru, including, general economic information about Peru, market entry strategies and opportunities in diverse areas were presented including oil & gas, agri-food, mining, information and communications technology.
  • On November 20, 2015, CCA Alberta welcomed H.E. Nicolas Trujillo, Ambassador of the Republic of Ecuador to Canada, who hosted “Ecuador Investment Opportunities Breakfast”, at the Global Business Center. Ambassador Trujillo provided an excellent presentation with great details about the legal framework and economic incentives for investors in the hydrocarbon sector, and investment in strategic sectors with emphasis in Oil & Biofuels.
  • December 4, 2015. We are closing our year with a keynote event on the Mexican Energy Reform, having the Minister of Energy of Mexico, Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, who will provide an update of the implementation process of the well-known energy reform in Mexico. The event is hosted in conjunction with the Consulate of Mexico and it is anticipated that there will be an attendance of more than 140 people at the Devonian room of the Calgary Petroleum Club.

Corporate Sponsorship Program

We started the implementation of our annual corporate sponsorship program to support the long term vision of CCA Alberta. In 2015/2016 we got the support of SMPS Legal as Platinum Sponsor. We also got the support of Enbridge and Toronto Stock Exchange as Bronze Sponsors. In May 2011, we signed a strategic partnership agreement with Calgary Economic Development that will allow both organizations to collaborate in initiatives to enhance more business linkages with Latin America. We appreciate the support of our annual corporate sponsors and strategic partners. We will continue to expand the reach of our annual corporate sponsorship program.

Marketing Activities During 2015

The Marketing Committee has been working in setting up and developing social media channels to promote CCA-Alberta’s activities, enhance engagement with our membership and display the value of the various events to potential new members. Our LinkedIn account was setup a few years ago although there was a lack of input from our side. We have been posted ads on a regular basis through all 2015. We currently have 164 connections in our network group and 9 direct followers. We created our Twitter and Facebook accounts this year and have been promoting upcoming events. We also have been posting photos and comments after such events boosting this way the presence of our keynote speakers and helping us to display the relevance of the program.

For 2016 the plan is to improve the quality of our postings in all our media channels and develop policies and strategies to assist us increasing the interest in our organization in a transparent and effective way.

CCA Essay Prizes

The CCA annually awards two prizes to undergraduate students at the University of Calgary for a research paper or project, one in the Haskayne School of Business and one in the Faculty of Arts (This was previously a Faculty of Social Sciences award). The research papers or projects may be on any aspect of Latin American society or the relationship between Canada and Latin America. Two prizes were awarded in 2015 and announced at the Luncheon of the Americas. The recipient from the Haskayne School of Business was Javed Iqbal for a project on the emerging importance of Cuba to Canada and Canadian business. The Arts winner is Lindy Robinson who completed a research project on Indigenous Politics in Latin America.

Finally, I thank our external administrators at Association Plus (Tanya, Connie and Spryng); and, I would like to recognize the hard work and strategic input from our CCA Alberta Board of Directors.

  • Guillermo Sordo, Vice President
    • Business Development Manager Energy
    • Calgary Economic Development
  • Bruce Cameron, Treasurer
    • Controller
    • Sun God Resources
  • David Najera, Marketing Chair
    • Director, Ecovolution Inc.
    • Past President, CCA Alberta
  • Michael Mc Manus, Newsletter Chair
    • Senior Manager International
    • Enbridge
  • Stephen Randall, Essay Prizes Chair
    • Professor Emeritus & Faculty Professor
    • University of Calgary
  • Jorge Miranda, Website Chair
    • Partner
    • SMPS Legal
  • Monica Rovers, Past President & Director at Large
    • Head Business Development Global Energy
    • Toronto Stock Exchange
  • Anne Marie Simoneau, Director at Large
    • Senior Commercial Account Manager
    • Export Development Canada
  • Jorge Gonzalez, Director at Large
    • Program Manager Latin America
    • Tec Edmonton