Fostering Bilateral Trade and Investment Flows Between Brazil and Florida

Member Spotlight

We are proud to highlight the following Council members in President's Circle and Patron membership levels. Learn more about prestigious companies who have selected the Brazil-Florida Business Council as their partner to foster business relationships between Brazil and Florida. If you wish to upgrade your membership category, contact us.

Akerman LLP is a top 100 U.S. law firm recognized by Financial Times as among the most forward thinking firms in the industry. Its more than 700 lawyers and business professionals collaborate with the world’s most successful enterprises and entrepreneurs to navigate change, seize opportunities, and overcome barriers to innovation and growth. Akerman is known for its results in middle market M&A and complex disputes, and for helping clients achieve their most important business objectives in the financial services, real estate, and other dynamic sectors across the United States and Latin America.

The Akerman Corporate Practice Group advises public and private companies, including private equity funds, on M&A, capital markets, financings, and other transactional matters, with a strong focus on the middle market. Akerman is top-ranked nationally for mergers, acquisitions and buyouts: middle market by The Legal 500 and is recognized as a leading U.S. law firm by U.S. News – Best Lawyers for corporate, M&A, private equity, securities/capital markets, securities regulation, and banking and finance law, and is listed in PitchBook league tables as among the most active law firms in the United States for M&A and private equity deals. 

Citrus Products, Inc. was established 40 years ago in the business of importing and distribution of citrus products (orange juices and by-products) as a wholesale. The company operates an orange juice terminal in the Port of Newark, NJ and has offices in Orlando, FL.

Our mission is to be a worldwide consistent source of high quality orange juice, its products and services, adding value to the citrus business, respecting the community and the environment.

Synonymous with excellence, quality, customer service and unwavering commitment to the highest standards of luxury, Fortune International Group has been a recognized leader in development, sales and marketing since 1983. With over 7,000 units and 9 million square feet of projects delivered, the company’s prestigious development portfolio includes many of the most prominent residential properties in South Florida including Jade Signature, The Ritz-Carlton Residences Sunny Isles Beach, Auberge Beach Residences and Spa Fort Lauderdale, Jade Residences Brickell; Jade Beach, Jade Ocean, Artech Residences, and Hyde Resort & Residences Hollywood. In addition, Fortune Development Sales is the premier, exclusive on-site sales and marketing representative for third-party development projects in South Florida, having sold more than 25,000 units and currently representing some of South Florida’s most successful projects such as: Cipriani Residences, Missoni Baia, Una Residences, 57 Ocean, 2000 Ocean, Monaco Yacht Club, Baccarat Residences & Casa Bella Residences, among others. Led by visionary founder Edgardo Defortuna, Fortune International Group has 20 offices around the world with nearly 1,000 associates. Fortune’s international broker network reaches legions of prospective buyers from South Florida to Buenos Aires, Hong Kong to São Paolo, and Manhattan to Paris.

Formed in 2004, Mosaic is a young company rooted in history and experience. Recognized as innovators in our field, this status owes much to the combined strengths of the crop nutrition business of Cargill, Inc. and IMC Global Inc., our founding companies. In 2014, Mosaic completed its acquisitions of the Florida phosphate business of CF Industries, Inc., and of Archer Daniels Midland Company's fertilizer distribution business in Brazil and Paraguay.

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S.A. is the highly successful Brazilian airline launched by JetBlue founder David Neeleman. The quality of its services has been acknowledged by many national and international awards. In 2015 Azul was named by Skytrax World Airline Awards, for the fifth time in a row, as the "Best low-cost airline in South America." Azul launched their services in the Brazilian domestic market on December 15, 2008 between three cities: Campinas, Salvador, and Porto Alegre. The company's business model was based on meeting the demand for frequent and affordable air service to underserved markets throughout Brazil. Today, Azul is the airline with the greatest number of destinations served in Brazil. The company has a fleet of 140 aircraft, more than 10,000 employees, over 900 departures per day, 100+ destinations being served, and one-third of all the departures in the country. 

As the #1 school for entrepreneurship education for 24 consecutive years, Babson College comes to Miami to serve working professionals in the Southern US and Latin American markets, where Babson already has a large alumni base of almost 5,000 people.
The Babson Miami Hub will offer three graduate programs (Blended Learning MBA, Masters of Science in Business Analytics and Certificate in Advanced Management) starting fall of 2018. Founded in 1919 in Massachusetts, Babson brings to Miami nearly a 100 years of excellence and expertise from different centers on entrepreneurship, women leadership, social innovation and finance, among other activities.

Bernardo Piccolo Team for Real State Solutions is a Residential & Commercial Real Estate practice with 15 years of market experience in the Tampa Bay and surrounding areas. With over 800 transactional parties assisted and $100+ millions in Real Estate Sales. Bernardo Piccolo PA is within the top 1% in Sales volume & Units sold in the Tampa bay. Bernardo and his team specialize in Domestic & International relocation, Investment Real Estate, residential & commercial sales. Assistance in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

More than 4,000 Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) flights take off every day, connecting people across more than 275 destinations on six continents with a commitment to industry-leading customer service, safety and innovation. As the leading global airline, Delta's mission is to create opportunities, foster understanding and expand horizons by connecting people and communities to each other and their potential.

Delta's more than 80,000 employees believe our customers should not have to choose between seeing the world and saving the planet. Delta is working toward more sustainable aviation by leveraging existing solutions and technologies, investing in the future of sustainable aviation fuel and actively engaging with next-generation solutions.

Digibee enables organizations to build flexible, highly scalable integration architecture. Founded in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2017, the Digibee team is based throughout the Americas with offices in Florida. Our platform allows enterprises to compete and excel in today’s rapidly changing digital environment. The technology is cloud native, low code, fully recyclable, and discoverable–connecting applications, processes, and people for faster time-to-market without a major investment.

Ten times faster than other systems, Digibee is the preferred e-iPaaS solution for 250+ corporate customers including Accenture, B3, Carrefour, Payless, Santander, and others.

Drummond Advisors has a multidisciplinary team with experience and certifications to operate in the United States and Brazil. Our team has accountants, lawyers, managers and consultants with experience in international business. The qualifications of these professionals enables Drummond to have a broad and complete overview of the challenges involved in international transactions, including those relating to accounting standards (US GAAP vs. IFRS-International Standards), tax, legal and market analysis.

In a market with fewer economic barriers, it is important to be in constant contact with specialized professionals who are in tune with world economic trends. In such a global market, it is vital to have qualified consultants certified in specific countries to help ensure proper international accounting, taxation and legal compliance, with security and excellence. In this challenging environment, Drummond Advisors was created to fulfill the needs of companies operating in both the Brazilian and U.S. markets.

In order to deliver an exceptional level of high quality service, the consulting performed by Drummond Advisors presents a set of skills that differentiates us in the market, allowing greater efficiency, timeliness and promptness in service. We mean to always work in partnership with our clients, ensuring their accounting, tax, legal and market needs are aligned to your goals, thus enabling sustainable financial decisions and successfully exits.

TMG Places Agriculture and Food Policy expert at Holland & Knight | The  McCormick GroupWith more than 1,600 lawyers in our U.S. and international offices and legal colleagues in over 40 countries around the world, Holland & Knight LLP serves clients globally. Our clients recognize the ability of our firm to consistently provide excellent value in a variety of areas that range from commercial litigation, regulatory matters, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and government advocacy. We are committed to providing the highest quality legal counsel combined with the utmost in client service – across state and national borders – in a seamless, cost-effective manner.

Council News

Led by Shining Star, Brazil Business Council Gains Traction

Although The White House, Commerce Department and US Trade Representative’s Office are all led by protectionists these days, various chambers of commerce throughout the United States are moving ahead with promoting two-way trade and investment flows between the United States and Latin America.

One of the most active is the Brazil-Florida Business Council, which after only three years in operations has gained a reputation for its high-profile Brazilian guests while scoring strong feedback from attendees of its events, who lavish praise on the council’s founder, Sao Paulo native Sueli Bonaparte.

Read more at Latinvex.

Bonaparte: Brazil Back on Track

Brazil’s economy, Latin America’s largest, is back on track, says Sueli Bonaparte, president of the Brazil-Florida Business Council (BFBC). In this interview with Latinvex, Bonaparte talks about the outlook for Brazil’s economy, US investor interest, investment grade and why she started the BFBC.

Latinvex: To what extent have recent economic reforms in Brazil helped interest in Brazil among US companies?

Bonaparte: Despite Brazil’s dismal economic performance, foreign direct investment has hit record highs amid recent reforms. Savvy US companies recognize Brazil’s underlying economic fundamentals and see this is a historic buying opportunity. The economic team of the current administration has brought confidence to the international financial market and they have quickly taken essential actions to bring the economy back on track. Despite modest economic growth forecasted for the coming year, analysts expect that the new administration will continue pro-growth policies to foster more robust economic recovery in the coming years.

Read more at Latinvex.

Council helps businesses in Brazil, Florida navigate bureaucracy

Brazil is Florida’s No. 1 trade partner when it comes to exports, but getting in the door isn’t easy. The Brazil-Florida Business Council provides a forum for business people to exchange ideas and network.

Sueli Bonaparte - President and FounderTAMPA, June 17 — Brazil is Florida’s No. 1 trade partner when it comes to exports. But getting in the door isn’t easy. Cutting through red tape and tariffs requires a sharp tool.

Enter Sueli Bonaparte, who for 17 years served as executive director of the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce in New York City, slicing through bureaucracy to create international partnerships. After moving to Florida a few years back, Bonaparte said, she saw a lot of untapped potential for connecting business threads between this state and her native Brazil.

Read more.

Encontro realizado em São Paulo auxilia investidores brasileiros interessados em ingressar no estado da Flórida

Uma das maiores ambições de empresários brasileiros é fazer com que seu negócio seja reconhecido internacionalmente, porém, muitos não possuem as informações e regras para trilhar esse caminho.

Pensando em auxiliar esses executivos, as organizações Brazil-Florida Business Council (BFBC), Enterprise Flórida e APEX-Brasil, que trabalham na intensificação do relacionamento entre o estado da Flórida e o Brasil, realizaram no último dia 7 de julho, em São Paulo, um encontro com o objetivo de apresentar estratégias para o investidor interessado em ter uma fatia de seu negócio nos EUA.

Com o tema "Investindo na Flórida: desafios e oportunidades", o encontro foi apresentado pela presidente-fundadora, Sueli Bonaparte, e contou com a participação de líderes empresariais com filiais no estado americano.

Read more.


    • December 15, 2022
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • The Tampa Club

    • December 17, 2022
    • January 09, 2023
    Wishing you and your family a relaxing and wonderful holiday season. Happy New Year!
    • January 19, 2023
    • 5:00 PM
    • Hybrid
    Discussion and networking. More information to follow soon!
    • January 26, 2023
    • 5:00 PM
    • Holland & Knight, 100 North Tampa Street, Suite 4100
    Pre-COVID, nearly two-thirds of Florida residents were found to have migrated to Florida from other states and one-fifth of those migrated from a foreign country.  COVID changed the way we live and work.  Remote work arrangements have made it unnecessary to be tied to a physical location.  Since COVID, over 900 people move to Florida each day.  People move to Florida for many reasons: the weather is beautiful, they want to move closer to family and friends, they are attracted to the business-friendly environment, etc.  Tax isn’t always a first priority; however, it is a significant factor.  Many strategies may be implemented to mitigate U.S. income and estate taxes before becoming a Florida resident and even after arrival.  We invite you to attend our presentation covering the following international tax-related topics:

    ·         U.S. Income Tax Residency
    ·         Income Tax and Reporting Requirements for U.S. Residents
    ·         Strategies for Remediating Potential Noncompliance
    ·         U.S. Domiciliary Status for Estate Tax Purposes
    ·         Estate Tax and Reporting Requirements for U.S. and Non-U.S. Domiciliaries
    ·         Structuring Strategies to Mitigate Income and Estate Tax


    ✅William M. Sharp, Sr. is a partner with Holland & Knight with more than 38 years of experience representing clients in a wide variety of international tax planning and tax controversy cases. Mr. Sharp has extensive experience in handling matters related to cross-border tax planning, compliance and tax litigation matters.  Mr. Sharp also coordinates inbound as well as outbound global tax planning by working with an extensive network of lawyers throughout the world and also advises financial institutions and their clients on international tax enforcement initiatives.

    ✅Andrea Darling de Cortés, Partner of the Firm focuses her practice in the areas of inbound international income and estate tax planning, international tax controversy and compliance, cross-border tax planning and related transactional matters. She has advised clients on a broad array of tax and legal, transactional and operational matters, including U.S. income and estate tax planning for non-U.S. high-net-worth individuals with U.S. and non-U.S. assets, pre-U.S. residency tax planning, planning with respect to foreign investment in U.S. real property and U.S. trade or business analysis.

    ✅Chad M. Vanderhoef is a partner in Holland & Knight's Tampa office with many years of experience representing clients in a wide variety of international tax planning and tax controversy cases. Mr. Vanderhoef has served as counsel with respect to U.S. Tax Court, federal district court, and federal appellate court litigation, as well as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) appeals and examination cases. Mr. Vanderhoef provides tax advice to a U.S.- and foreign-based clients, focusing on corporations, high-net-worth individuals, and family offices.

    ✅Alexander Olama is an Associate in Holland & Knight's Tampa office with more than seven years of experience representing clients in a wide variety of international tax planning and tax controversy cases. Mr. Olama’s knowledge involves offshore tax compliance, including providing advice with respect to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), IRS Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), expatriation planning and cross-border tax matters.

    This event will be hybrid. The in-person program includes a networking reception after the discussion. Space is limited.



Brazil 2020-21: Q&A


"Sueli, the amazing energy that you bring to this cause is astounding. I envision this organization and the relationship to go long beyond certainly my tenure as a mayor, and I think building a bond between Brazil and Florida, particularly between Brazil and Tampa, is going to be important. The Brazil-Florida Business Council can play a vital role to the economic growth of the city. If we are going to be the city we want to be, we will have to expand our horizons and be global in our perspective and global in our actions."

Bob Buckhorn, Former Tampa Mayor

"Sueli is relentless in pursuing excellence for Brazil-US relations, and she should really be congratulated for that. Honestly, we highly respect her work and all the great things she’s done now, she’s doing it here."

Gary Spulak, Embraer Aircraft Holding, Inc.

"I'd like to say how excited we are for the launching of the Brazil-Florida Business Council and the important work they'll do in further connecting Brazil's and Florida's business communities and promoting Brazilian companies in Florida.

David NeelemanAzul Brazilian Airlines

"It is important to work with partners such as the Brazil-Florida Business Council to help counsel and advise American companies about doing business in Brazil."

Stephen KnodeUnited States Commercial Service

"Brazil continues to be Florida's largest global market for trade and FDI. The partnership between the Brazilian Office of Enterprise Florida and the Brazil-Florida Business Council play a vital role to capitalize on business prospects in both regions."

Fabio Yamada, Enterprise Florida Brazil

"A Sueli é uma locomotiva para o desenvolvimento de negócios, ela não se cansa de procurar meios para auxiliar o crescimento de todos, prova disso é a Brazil Florida Business Council que em tão pouco tempo já alcançou tamanha expressão e mostra o tempo todo ao que veio, aglutinando mais interesse no Brasil e esse tipo de iniciativa faltava na Florida.”

Marcelo Fleury, LAFINSA

"We see how passionate you, and your staff, are in building relationships across borders to mutually grow global economic development.

Doug Davidson, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

“We are extremely grateful for your continued leadership and efforts to promote the relationship between Florida/Tampa Bay and Brazil.  Your efforts reflect the very best of what we do to promote our community and our regional growth.” 

Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay

The Brazil-Florida Business Council is surely a key partner for Brazilian firms willing to invest in Florida.” 

Andre Leal, Select USA

What you have achieved is truly remarkable in such a short time and serves as an inspiration to all of us. I have always believed that nations in this hemisphere should work closely together. The Council  has demonstrated to me that there are many opportunities to better both Nations by working together and sharing information. At each event we have attended, we have met people that we would not have come in contact with normally, had it not been for the Council.” 

Dr. Gustave ZaderUniversity of South Florida

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