Messages from the Founding President
Throughout the year, I will be sharing with you relevant messages to keep you up to date on The Council progress and development.
Thank you! Obrigada!
A Message from the Founding President (2018)
Dear Members, Partners and Friends:
We are very pleased to announce Mr. James O’Rourke, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Mosaic Company as the recipient of the 2018 Brazil-Florida Business Award. This prestigious honor is awarded annually to remarkable business leaders and corporations for their extraordinary contributions to the economic development of Brazil and Florida.
James O’Rourke, also known as “Joc”, has been Mosaic's Chief Executive Officer and President since August 2015. Prior to that, Mr. O'Rourke served in the roles of Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Operations since joining the company in 2009. He has over 25 years of experience in operating global mining enterprises and has spearheaded a variety of large scale expansion projects. Mr. O'Rourke was selected as awardee by the Brazil-Florida Business Council (BFBC) for his continued contributions to the economic and social lives of both Brazil and Florida. At Mosaic, he has led programs to improve operational efficiency, lower production costs and advance sustainability performance through water, energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
The Mosaic Company is one of the world’s leading producers and marketers of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients for the global agriculture industry. Florida is the home of Mosaic’s phosphate operations headquarters. Mosaic's recent acquisition of Vale Fertilizantes in Brazil, is the next step in its global growth strategy and expands the company's market access to one of the key agricultural economies in the world. The acquisition doubled the size of Mosaic's global workforce and grew its output in the Americas by adding 4.5 million tons of phosphate production capacity in Brazil.
Mr. Jose Luis Cutrale, Chairman of the Board at the Cutrale Group and the 2017 Brazil-Florida Business Award honoree will introduce Mr. O’Rourke on this special occasion.
This annual BFBC signature event and most anticipated Brazil-Florida Business Award Luncheon will be held at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina at 12 PM on November 7, 2018.
We hope you will join us to salute Mr. O’Rourke and welcome Mr. Cutrale back to Tampa!
Sueli Cristina Bonaparte
A Message from the Founding President (January 2018)
Looking back on our 2017 accomplishments and forward towards the new year!
Dear members, partners and friends:
As we look back upon the past year, we would like to acknowledge those who have helped us shape the Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc. (BFBC) "to strengthen the ties between the two markets and bring the vast opportunities they present for one another to light." (Peter Baumgaertner, Partner and Head of the Latin America Practice Group at Pillsbury, from an excerpt of an article published in Latinvex, November 2017).
It was an extraordinary year with amazing accomplishments thanks to loyal and committed members, partners, and friends like Peter. The high point of the impressive 2017 calendar of activities was the Brazil-Florida Business Awards Luncheon held on November 15th. The 2017 honoree was Jose Luis Cutrale, Chairman of the Board of the Cutrale Group, a notable business conglomerate that has been contributing to the economic and social development of both regions for a half-century. The honoree was introduced by Muhtar Kent, Chairman of the Board of the The Coca-Cola Company, who delivered a passionate and memorable speech highlighting Cutrale's contributions. Ambassador Adanio S. Ganem, Brazilian Consul General in Miami, and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn also participated in the event program before an audience of more than 300 business executives. Videos of their presentations are available on our site.
One of our chief goals for this year is to make the communication line with you more efficient. Please follow us on LinkedIn at Brazil-Florida Business Council Page. To reach a larger business audience, we will use this page to disseminate current business reports, articles of interest, member news, and BFBC announcements. Please send us your corporate releases, speeches delivered at conferences or published in trade magazines, and reports covering topics related to Brazilian-American and Brazilian-Floridian business matters. We will review and select those for distribution with priority given to BFBC members.
With your continued commitment and unwavering dedication, we are confident that 2018 will be another spectacular year for the history of the BFBC. We will continue to work hard to better serve our members and the business community. Thank you very much for your trust and friendship! Muito obrigada pela sua confiança e amizade!
Warm regards e forte abraço,
Sueli Cristina Bonaparte
A Message from the Founding President (October 2017)
Dear Friends, Members and Partners:
On behalf of the Advisory Board and the Board of Directors of The Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc. I am pleased to announce Mr. José Luis Cutrale as the Brazilian Recipient of the 2017 Brazil-Florida Business Award. Mr. Muhtar Kent, Chairman of the Board of the Coca Cola Company will introduce this year's illustrious honoree. This prestigious honor is awarded annually to remarkable business leaders and corporations for their extraordinary contributions to the economic and social development of Brazil and the U.S.
Mr. José Luis Cutrale is Chairman of the Board of Cutrale Group, the largest citrus company in Brazil and one of the largest suppliers of orange juices in the world. Not only is it the largest player in the Brazilian market, but it also has deep roots here in Florida. It owns local juice processing plants employing hundreds of Florida workers and is a major orange-juice supplier to the Minute Maid and Simply Orange brands. Mr. Cutrale's family has been in the orange business for over 50 years, and today the Cutrales also invest in soy trading and other commodities. In 2015, Mr. Cutrale partnered with Brazilian banker Joseph Safra to acquire Chiquita Brands International Inc., one of the world's largest banana producers and distributors.
Cutrale Citrus Juices USA is based in Auburndale, Florida's Polk County and Chiquita Brands International has relocated its US headquarters to Broward County while its fresh convenience division of Fresh Express is now located in Orange County. As one of the major economic players in the state of Florida, Cutrale Citrus Juices USA is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
We hope you will be able to join us to salute Mr. Cutrale at the 2017 Brazil-Florida Business AwardsCeremony and Luncheon to be held on Wednesday, November 15 in Tampa.
Sueli Cristina Bonaparte
Founding President & Chairman
A Message from the Founding President (February/March 2017)
Dear Members, Friends and Supporters,
What an amazing way to start off the New Year!
The 2017 Brazil Business Forum held on January 24th at the Tampa Club was a tremendous success--a sold-out event! Business executives from across the region gathered to listen to renowned experts on Brazil's political and economic outlook, as well as the country's business and investment developments and opportunities. This highly-regarded business conference was opened by Ambassador Adalnio Senna Ganem, Consul General of Brazil in Miami, who delivered an optimistic address about the future of the largest Latin American economy.
The takeaway message from the Forum was that despite the political uncertainties and current economic adversities the country is facing, there are untapped investment opportunities for foreign investors, especially in infrastructure projects.
Brazil's large and diverse economy can't be ignored! Businesses around the globe will continue to look to this nation of 201 million people population for robust business growth in the coming years.
It gives me great pleasure to inform you that the following members have upgraded their membership for 2017: Vaine Angelo, CEO, Geração Mulher, and Munawar Iqbal, President of PrimeCo Mining, both to the President's Circle Level; and Pedro Drummond, Partner of Drummond Legal Advisors LLC to Patron Level. The strength of the BFBC comes from the involvement and support of our membership. To our valued members, we thank you for your continued support, trust and partnership!
Through the support of our membership base, we remain resilient and look forward to laser-focusing on our mission to achieve the objectives set for 2017.
Sueli Cristina Bonaparte
Founding President & Chairman
Message from the Founding President (January 2017)
Dear Friends, Members and Partners,
I recently had the privilege of having a conversation with Dr. Bolivar Lamounier, a renowned Brazilian Political Scientist, Senior Director of Augurium Consulting and author of several books on Brazil's political and economic perspectives.
Dr. Lamounier shared his views on what's ahead for Brazil in 2017 and why savvy investors and multinational corporations continue to invest in the world's ninth largest economy by nominal GDP, and the fifth largest by purchasing power parity.
This special interview is a timely preamble to the 2017 BRAZIL BUSINESS FORUM to be held on January 24th at 4 PM at the Tampa Club. This highly-regarded business conference was designed to kick off the annual calendar of programs of the Brazil-Florida Business Council.
Confirmed speakers include Ambassador Adalnio Senna Ganem, Consul General of Brazil in Miami, Gabrielle Mandel, Senior Country Manager, United States Trade and Development Agency and Luis Wolf, Managing Director, KPMG Brazil. They will address the challenges and investment opportunities for corporations and investors and how the largest economy in Latin America can align trade and investment for sustainable growth.
I look forward to counting on your steadfast support and active participation to help us make 2017 another banner year for the Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc.
Wishing you a healthy and a magnificent New Year!
Sueli Cristina Bonaparte
Holiday Message from the Founding President (December 2016)
At this time of the year, it is a joy to pause and thank the many people who have made our progress possible in 2016. Please know that we truly appreciate your friendship, partnership, loyalty and steadfast support of our organization this year.
We are deeply thankful and we wish you a magical holiday season with peace, health and happiness following you throughout the coming year.
We look forward to your unwavering involvement to the continued growth and development of the Brazil-Florida Business Council in 2017.
Happy Holidays and a magnificent New Year! Boas Festas e um Ano Novo magnífico!
Sueli Cristina Bonaparte
End of the Year Message (December 16, 2015)
Dear Members, Friends and Supporters,
As we approach the end of our inaugural year, I am pleased to report that the Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc. (BFBC) established itself as one of the most dynamic international business associations in the state of Florida. Through the contributions of our membership base, we remained resilient and reached our goals for the year despite the global economic slowdown and its impact on the Brazilian economy, and look forward to continuing our mission going forward.
What a banner first year we had! With the amazing support of our members and sponsors, the BFBC hosted a series of monthly programs attracting more than 500 attendees. These events included business luncheons, member networking receptions, webinars and roundtable discussions. Certainly one of the highlights of the 2015 events calendar was the inaugural Brazil-Florida Business Awards luncheon that honored David G. Neeleman, Chairman & CEO of Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S.A. and Gary J. Spulak, President of Embraer Aircraft Holding, Inc. In keeping with its mission, the BFBC recognized two remarkable business leaders and their global corporations for their contributions to the economic development of Brazil and Florida as well as to the well-being of citizens of both regions.
Since its incorporation on December 16, 2014, the BFBC has recruited more than 50 corporate members from diverse sectors of the economy. While our organization has already established a reputation as one of the most active and respected bilateral organizations in addressing key issues affecting Brazil-Florida business relations, we can certainly do more.
With the active participation of our members, we will continue to identify new areas where the BFBC can play a valuable role in promoting mutually-beneficial trade and investment between our regions. Your feedback and insights are essential to allowing the Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc. to realize its full potential in the coming years.
On behalf of the advisory board, officers and directors, we thank you for your past support and we look forward to your continuing involvement in 2016.
With much appreciation,
Brazil Florida Business Awards (November 4, 2015)
Dear members, friends and supporters,
We are incredibly proud to host The Brazil-Florida Business Awards to acknowledge and celebrate two remarkable and visionary business leaders. Their innovative and global corporations are admired for their sustainable development contributions to the economies of Brazil and Florida.
Please join me in extending our warm and heartfelt congratulations to this year's honorees: David G. Neeleman, Chairman & CEO of Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S.A. and Gary J. Spulak, President, Embraer Aircraft Holding, Inc.
Convenient and comfortable air service between Brazil and Florida is an essential foundation to countless business opportunities between these two regions. However, these extraordinary leaders run corporations that are much more than just high-profiles businesses - they are model corporate citizens central to the fabric of our community and the backbone of our economies.
Our honorees' success stories are paved with big ideas, resilience, imagination and aspirations for the future. Their achievements inspire other corporations to strive for excellence within Brazil and international markets.
As the business communities of Brazil and Florida continue to integrate, our member-based and private sector organization will play a pivotal role to in providing a forum to foster the exchange of ideas, disseminate the most current and accurate business intelligence and celebrate experiences and successes.
BFBC Newsletter September 2015 (September 25, 2015)
The challenges of doing business across borders is ever increasing, with a shifting economic landscape and new competitive pressures at every turn. The Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc. is off to an impressive start in helping companies navigate the U.S. and Brazil business environments, but we rely on our greatest asset: our members.
What an honor it has been to lead such an energized, engaged and strong bi-national organization! We are continuing to organize a variety of top-level programs and member services with the goal of providing increasing value of your membership.
Since our diverse membership roster includes supporters across the United States and Brazil, we recently launched our webinar series with great interest and success. This program format allows our members and friends around the globe to listen to noted speakers addressing current topics of interest, all at a time and place of their convenience. Ambassador José Alfredo Graça Lima, Undersecretary of State at Brazil's Ministry of Foreign Affairs helped us launched this new initiative sharing his remarks about "The China Factor and Its Impact on Brazil's Economy."
For those members able to join us in Florida, we are also looking forward to our annual "Brazil-Florida Business Awards Luncheon" to be held on November 4 at The University Club in Tampa. High-level representatives of the private and public communities will come together to honor two visionary and magnificent business leaders with distinguished careers in US-Brazil business: David Neeleman, Chairman & CEO, Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S.A. and Gary Spulak, President, Embraer Aircraft Holding, Inc.
We pride ourselves in providing a variety of bold programs and valuable services to fulfill our mission of serving our members and the general public and contributing to the economic development of our communities.
To our valued members, we thank you for your support! If you are not yet a member, consider joining our rapidly growing network. The BFBC Team stands ready and prepared to accept the challenge to help your business grow. The strength of our organization comes from the involvement and support of our membership. As such, we are committed to earning your business, trust, satisfaction and partnership.
Feel free to call me at 813-390-8364 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting or conference call to further discuss how your firm can benefit from joining one of the fastest growing international business organizations in the region. Forte abraço.
BFBC Newsletter Launch (August 26, 2015)
Dear Members, Supporters and Friends,
The Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc. ("BFBC") has been praised as the "reliable voice of Brazil-Florida business" and has emerged as one of the most dynamic international business organizations in the region.
With our continuous commitment to improve our services and activities to better serve the Brazilian-American business communities of both regions, we are pleased to introduce the inaugural edition of the BFBC electronic newsletter.
This informative vehicle was designed to keep you engaged and to remain abreast of our progress, disseminate the most current information and spotlight our members and their accomplishments. We hope you find this and future issues to be a valuable source of member news and insight on Brazil-Florida business. Read BFBC Newsletter.
Thank you. Muito obrigada.
President and Founder
Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc.
Council Update (June 1, 2015)
Dear Members, Friends, and Supporters:
It has been a privilege to lead the Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc. (BFBC) since its inception and incorporation in 2014. To oversee the amazing growth and reinvigorated environment created in the international business community during the past few months has truly been an honor. Through its role as a business membership organization, the BFBC remains a preeminent public forum for discussion and debate on Brazil’s and Florida's business issues.
Our past events included noted and respected speakers in the international business community. Our speakers were: His Honorable Mayor of Tampa, Bob Buckhorn; Steve Knode, Commercial Consul of the U.S. Consulate General in São Paulo; Rick Homans, CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation; Sandy Murman, Commissioner of Hillsborough County; Fabio Yamada, Brazil Office Director of Enterprise Florida; and Gabrielle Mandel, Director for Brazil of the U.S. Trade and Economic Development Agency.
The Brazil-Florida Business Council’s website, www.brazilfloridabusiness.com, continues to play a vital role in promoting our accomplishments, and serves as a platform to efficiently and effectively assist the needs of thousands of visitors. Visitors browse our pages daily in search of the most current information regarding trade, business, and economic matters.
We have also received outstanding support and exposure from media outlets in Florida and Brazil. Click here to access an article about our organization, which was recently published in the Tampa Tribune on May 17, 2015.
We plan to continue this exciting momentum with a series of activities that will further explore the Brazil-Florida business and investment landscape. Our upcoming programs will include: business briefings focusing on several sectors of the economy in Brazil as well as in Florida, business networking receptions, and members-only programs. On November 4th, we will host the 2015 Brazil-Florida Business Awards Luncheon. Additional information on this program will soon be announced. We hope you will be able to attend these informative, timely, and interesting events, and encourage your business associates to join you.
I would like to thank the BFBC board of directors and my team for their dedication and hard work, as well as the advisory board members for their unwavering support and confidence in the mission of the Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc. Lastly, I want to thank you, the BFBC members, along with our sponsors and partners. Without your support, none of this would be possible.
Thank you very much! Muito obrigada!
Dear friends and supporters,
Brazil is currently Florida’s number one international trade partner, generating a total import and export value of almost $21 billion dollars in 2014. This is the largest ever amount of trade conducted between Florida and any foreign country, and we believe this number will only continue to grow. Brazil is also one of our region’s leading destinations for non-trade economic activity such as tourism and real estate. The accelerating economic engine in the United States is evident in the Tampa Bay region, and we expect that foreign companies and entrepreneurs like those in Brazil will continue to be attracted to the investment opportunities that Florida offers.
As the business communities of Florida and Brazil continue to integrate, our member-based, private sector organization will provide a forum to nurture the exchange of ideas, foster networking opportunities, and celebrate experiences and successes. The overwhelming initial response to Brazil-Florida Business Council’s inception assures our success and development as our goals are realized and expanded. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to all our founding members for their support and dedication to our organization’s mission.
I look forward to working with all of you in the upcoming years as we embark on this exciting journey to strengthening our relations with Brazil. Florida is in an exceptional strategic position with respect to trade with Brazil and Tampa Bay is the perfect region to launch this timely and much anticipated binational organization.
Welcome! Bem vindos!
Update (May 19, 2016)
Dear members, friends and supporters:
Brazil is facing historical crossroads. As Interim President Michel Temer was sworn in, our sources in Brasilia, Washington, São Paulo and New York voiced their hopes that the new administration will improve credibility, lead an economic recovery and attract foreign investors to keep increasing their exposure in Brazil.
Temer said at his first interview that "We need to reconstruct the pillar of the Brazilian economy and strengthen the business environment," and he quickly formed a new cabinet, naming Henrique Meirelles as the new Finance Minister. Meirelles, Brazil's longest tenured central bank governor has been hailed by markets as the perfect choice at this time of urgency to lead a top tier economic policy team to confront Brazil's deteriorating economy. Meirelles lost little time to make clear that he plans to move aggressively to slash spending and debt levels in order to boost investor confidence. He also promises to tackle reforming the nation's pension system and change labor laws to increase productivity.
The Brazil-Florida Business Council plans to play a vital role during this turning point in Brazilian politics by providing a variety of bold and timely forums for discussions that will further explore the Brazil-Florida business and investment landscape. Our upcoming programs will include webinar presentations by Otaviano Canuto, Executive Director at the Board of the International Monetary Fund for Brazil (Washington) and Will Landers, Managing Director at BlackRock (NY). They will address Brazil's economic challenges and investment opportunities for foreign investors. Additionally, we will organize "Investindo na Flórida: Desafios e Oportunidades" conference to be held in São Paulo and "Investing in Brazil: Challenges and Opportunities" set to take place in Tampa. Business executives of corporations doing business in Brazil and Florida will share their experiences and swap "stories learned." Additional information on these engaging and enlightening events will soon be announced.
We pride ourselves in providing a variety of innovative programs and valuable services to fulfill our mission of serving our members and the general public and contributing to the economic development of our regions.
We look forward to your continuing involvement to the success of the Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc.
Thank you very much! Muito obrigada!
President & Founder