As we continue to elevate our NASCO profile and North American voice, we have compiled several of our leading North American members who are excellent speakers.
Kenneth (Ken) Allen
NASCO Chairman & Former President
Firestone Farm Tires, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC
As former president, Ken Allen was responsible for the manufacturing, sales and marketing of Firestone brand agricultural, forestry and light construction tires. In 2002, Allen joined then Bridgestone Firestone Inc. as export sales manager for Firestone Agricultural Tire. He transferred to the Off Road Products Group (ORPG) as general manager, export sales in 2003. Three years later, Allen was promoted to director; global OEM of engineering and export sales for ORPG. In 2007, he moved back to Firestone Agricultural Tire, this time as executive director of sales and marketing. In 2008, Allen was promoted to vice president, and in 2009, he was promoted to his current position. Allen began his career in 1978 with Mid America Group. He also worked with Armstrong, Pirelli Armstrong and Titan Wheel International, which purchased Pirelli Armstrong’s agricultural unit. Allen serves as NASCO Chairman and President of The National Council for Agricultural Education.
Co-Founder and President
Taxco Produce, Inc.
Alfredo Duarte is the co-founder and President of Taxco Produce Inc. Taxco Produce opened in 1985 in the Farmer’s Market District in Dallas, Texas. Jesse Mendoza and Alfredo Duarte were one of the first area produce vendors to recognize a growing trend toward Mexican food. They felt that a company that targeted this market could be successful in the Dallas area. Little did they or others in the food business realize the extent to which that market would one day grow. As the Hispanic influence and market share has seen exponential growth, Taxco Produce has found itself in the forefront of food service distribution with an emphasis on Mexican Imported food products. Contacts throughout the Southwest and Mexico have provided a steady flow of Mexican food resources vital to the restaurant and food service operator. Taxco has been fortunate to list among its customers, more than 1,000 local restaurants, stores and food outlets. As the customer base grew, so did the inventory base at Taxco. While keeping the original name as a produce company it is now a full line food service company, now providing everything from meat and cheese to paper and cleaning supplies, in addition to produce.
CODEFRONT, Government of the State of Nuevo Leon, Mexico
As of September 2015, Mr. Gonzalez has served as the Director General of the Corporation for the Development of the Border Area of Nuevo Leon State (CODEFRONT) and as Executive Secretary of the “Solidaridad” International Bridge Trust, which aims to promote the advantages and benefits that accrue to cross the Colombia Nuevo Leon International Bridge. Hugo Gonzalez has extensive experience in the logistics, commercial and international trade sectors, leading companies in trade, design, transportation and operations areas; and the development and implementation of both business and government logistics programs. In his previous experience, he has been the Director of Logistics Development for the State of Nuevo Leon where he helped develop highway, airport, railway, customs and inland ports. He also was the Director of Development and Government Relations for Interpuerto Monterrey, where he had great achievements in developing the largest inland port project in Mexico.
Managing Director, Economic Growth
George W. Bush Institute
Matt Rooney joined the Bush Center in June 2015 from a career as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. At postings in Washington and abroad, Matt focused on advocating market-driven solutions to economic policy challenges in both industrialized and developing countries, and on protecting the interests of U.S. companies abroad. In his current role as Director of Economic Growth at the Bush Institute, Matt works to strengthen economic integration in North America and increase economic integration among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to strengthen the US economy, create opportunity across the continent, enable the U.S. to better compete, and ultimately improve the global economy. As part of this work, the Bush Institute has developed a “scorecard” to compare the economic competitiveness of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico relative to other major economic regions and countries with large economies. In addition, Matt leads a North America working group which looks into issues regarding energy, human capital, and border infrastructure and releases policy recommendations on those topics. Matt and his team are fierce North American advocates in correcting misperceptions and lead the debate in all three countries, but especially in the U.S., in a more positive direction.
Gerardo (Gerald) Schwebel
Executive Vice President
Corporate International Division, IBC Bank
A key resource to IBC international customers, Mr. Schwebel offers special expertise in international trade finance, industrial/economic development and transportation. Widely regarded as one of America’s leading experts on international trade and finance, Mr. Schwebel represents IBC and its customers in consultation with top government and business leaders in the United States, Mexico and Canada. His knowledge and unique overview have resulted in his being called upon on numerous occasions to testify before Congress on issues of U.S.-Mexico trade, including the North American Free Trade Agreement-NAFTA, U.S.-Mexico Transportation and Logistics issues, issues related to international finance and most recently on U.S. Immigration Reform issues. Mr. Schwebel’s opinions and perspectives have also been featured in major business journals and magazines in the U.S. and Mexico on various topics related to international trade, economics and banking.
For contact information, please contact Rachel Connell.