Rainmaker’s Global Partners are the core strength of our company. They offer an unbeatable combination of professional experience and global business awareness which lends itself to targeted intel specifically for your region in question.
Rainmaker’s Global Partners are the core strength of our company. They offer an unbeatable combination of professional experience and global business awareness which lends itself to targeted intel specifically for your region in question.
Clark Grue, CITP | FIBP
CEO, Founder & Director
Clark Grue is a visionary global business leader who has advised hundreds of companies on the nuances and strategies of business expansion and diversification. His creativity and out-of-the-box thinking has guided companies and organizations to exponential growth as they embrace the global marketplace. He has been proud to apply his skills to small businesses as well as multinational, public, state-owned companies and government agencies in Business Events, Economic Development and Tourism.
Mr. Grue’s leadership has been recognized by many organizations that have engaged him to provide vision, strategy, strong governance, and business growth.
Some of the roles he has held in addition to his role at Rainmaker include:
His focus on business expansion and recovery has been a key foundation for Rainmaker since its inception. His passion for volunteering has expanded his understanding of the global marketplace and allowed Mr. Grue to learn from some of the world’s top business and thought leaders.
Casey McMechan, CITP | FIBP
Vice President, Client Services
Casey McMechan is a global Business Development and Marketing expert; spending the past decade helping some of today's leading companies strategically enter new markets in Canada and around the world. Prior to joining Rainmaker in 2011 he worked for a prominent Malaysian media organization in Kuala Lumpur as well as the Canadian-Ecuadorian Chamber of Commerce in Guayaquil, Ecuador. This experience has sharpened his cultural and language skills. Mr. McMechan is fluent in English, French, and Spanish.
At Rainmaker Global, Mr. McMechan advises Senior Executives across multiple sectors on their exponential growth strategies. This has allowed him to develop unique, world-class analytical skills and a strong network of global professional contacts. His strong mix of structured and creative thinking are what make him a key asset to any Business Development client or initiative; especially when it comes to exploring new markets for his clients’ goods and services.
Timothy Kozmyk, MBA, BSc., CMC
Chairman & Founder
As a co-founder and senior partner, Timothy Kozmyk has earned a reputation for excellence and innovation. He has been both an executive and entrepreneur for the past 34 years, consistently building success into his many ventures.
Mr. Kozmyk co-founded Rainmaker after a highly successful career in the energy industry. The vision of the company with its unique Business Development model captivated Mr. Kozmyk and inspired him to join Rainmaker, both as a Principal and Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Kozmyk's professional career began as a Geologist in 1980 with Kansas-based Koch Industries. Retaining progressively senior roles at Koch, he was the Vice President of Exploration for the company’s upstream exploration and production division. He directed the strategic growth and development of the company’s highly successful Canadian heavy oil and oil sands business.
Looking to build his own company, Mr. Kozmyk and a group of colleagues took over the management of the fledgling TSX-listed BlackRock Ventures in 1999. Under the stewardship of Mr. Kozmyk and his colleagues, the market capitalization of BlackRock grew organically from an initial $25 million in 1999 to $2.4 billion in 2006 when the company was purchased in a friendly acquisition by Shell Canada.
Since leaving BlackRock, he has been involved in successful ventures in petroleum, real estate development, energy services, manufacturing, management consulting services and consumer goods and services.
Mr. Kozmyk holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Liverpool and a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Geology from the University of Calgary.
The Honourable Lois Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD
In 2015, Lois Mitchell was installed as the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Canada. Mrs. Mitchell is a well-known leader in Alberta, and she extends her vast business knowledge to a wide range of volunteer and charitable causes.
Prior to 2015, in addition to being a cofounder of Rainmaker, Mrs. Mitchell acted as a Director for UBS Bank (Canada). Mrs. Mitchell participated as a member of the Board of Directors for Mitacs, developing the next generation of innovators with vital scientific and business skills. Previously, Mrs. Mitchell acted as a Chair of the Advisory Board of the Latin American Research Centre at the University of Calgary, as well as being a board member of Canada World Youth. Mrs. Mitchell also acted as the Vice Chair of the Global Business Forum, an annual executive retreat held in Banff, Alberta for 200 senior executives from around the world.
The list of organizations Mrs. Mitchell has co-chaired is extensive, ranging from her role with Calgary 2012 to the Gold Medal Plates dinner in support of current and aspiring Canadian Olympians. She is a Patron of the Special Olympics Canada Foundation, former Chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, past Board Chair of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and past director of the Hockey Canada Foundation. She has also served as the Honorary Consul of Colombia for the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan for 12 years.
Karl Teviotdale possesses over 20 years of experience within energy and, specifically, the Oil & Gas Industry. He has worked with large multinational operators along with smaller independent operators and service companies around the world. Prior to joining Rainmaker, Karl held a position as General Manager of Leni Gas and Oil’s Spanish Assets.
Currently, Karl is working on projects in Aberdeen including the subsea decommissioning of Shell’s Brent Delta in the North Sea. Throughout his career, Karl has built up a network of international contacts across the energy industry, and continues to build on this extensive network as the industry evolves.
Anthony D. McDaniels, P.E. has 14 years of experience in the oil and gas industry focusing on the upstream, subsurface production and development of wells and fields as well as executive level business development. Anthony is a Graduate of the Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering and holds Professional Engineering Licenses in multiple US States. While attending university Anthony served simultaneously in the Colorado Army National Guard Field Artillery Battalion with one year of Active Duty attaining the rank of Sergeant (E-5). Serving in the military while in college allowed Anthony to develop experience in the sense of teamwork and leadership principles earlier than most young professionals.
After finishing college and military service Anthony spent 8 years working for larger and mid-sized oil and gas E&P. He then founded Rare Petro in 2015 to focus on consulting for day to day operations, regulatory compliance and leveraging modern technology tools and platforms to assist in those areas.
While being a Global Business Partner to Rainmaker, Anthony is currently the Principal and CEO of Rare Petro, an organization of around 30 individuals ranging from college graduates to over 40yrs of experience. In this capacity Anthony not only brings his experience but the resources and experience of the Rare Petro team to Rainmaker and any of Rainmaker's potential clients in the energy space. In addition, Anthony, as somewhat of a serial Entrepreneur, has started other businesses both inside and outside of the energy industry and serves in advisory and board positions with other organizations ranging from retail, real estate and the general energy sector.
Monica Rovers operates a foreign direct investment/international business advisory firm, Global Connect Corporation, where she assists organizations to grow through her global business experience and relationships. She helped Energy companies raise capital in her role of Head, Global Energy at Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange. She assisted companies in their international expansion plans while she was the Business Development Manager of International and Energy at Calgary Economic Development.
Monica is regularly sought after as a guest speaker and moderator at a variety of events worldwide, speaking on energy finance and international business. With over 25 years of international relations and business development experience in non-profit, private and public organizations across multiple sectors, Monica facilitates global development by encouraging investment in and collaboration with international companies. She has led and hosted numerous international trade missions and has built a strong global network.
Monica holds an MBA in Global Management and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management. Monica is invested in building connections between international organizations and businesses. She has worked and travelled in Argentina, Brazil, Canary Islands, China, Colombia, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Oman, Peru, South Africa, South Korea, Spain,Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, UAE, UK, USA and Vietnam.
Monica also has experience in Africa and has spoken and moderated discussions in France, Nigeria, South Africa and the Canary Islands at Africa focused events (Africa Energy Assembly, Nigeria-Canada Investment Summit, Africa Investment Forum and Global Economic Institute on Africa). She also has years of experience assisting companies expanding their operations into Latin America.
Monica has held Board Chairperson positions on Canadian Council for the Americas and Immigrant Services Calgary and has previous Board experience with Stonechair Capital. She is presently on the Board of the Nigeria-Canada Trade & Investment Group.
Said Younes has a 36 year track record of starting around the world such as Canada, Germany, Luxembourg, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirats.
Said brings a breadth of entrepreneurial experience to various sectors as he has worked, traded, and had business transactions with international corporations such as: HSBC, Saudi British Bank, Cadbury, Carrefour, Van-Rijn, Ikea, Al Futaim Group, IG Wealth Management, ManGo Aviation, Skymax and Travel Group GMBH.
Some of Said’s specific start-up and milestone projects include:
Said has a Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration BBA, Faculty of Commerce degree from Cairo University.
Ken has over 25 years experience working for global oil and gas service companies in operational, technical support, HSEQC, business development and senior management roles. He has worked in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. He also has an additional 12 years experience in providing independent business advice around the Far East region.
Currently a resident in Jakarta Indonesia, Ken has lived and worked throughout the Far East since 1994 when he moved to Singapore for a UK company as the Region Engineer. He then advanced to Regional Product Line Manager and then Group Area Manager, China. He played a large role in the development of new regional markets for them before embarking as an independent business advisor in mid 2001.
As an independent advisor, Ken has worked with Advertising, Education, E-commerce, FMCG, Manufacturing, Renewable Energy and both Up and Midstream Oil & Gas industries. In his advisory role he has:
Ken’s Far East experience covers Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Russia (Sakhalin), Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Over the years of living and working here, he has an excellent understanding of what it takes to be successful within these cultures.
As a globally minded business leader, Mei has 15 years of experience in international business, strategy, investment, economic development, and public policy in North America and Asia. She adds value to organizations by solving complex issues. She does this by leveraging her knowledge of multiple industries, strengths in analytical and strategic thinking, and leaning on her extensive network in the business community and government.
Mei saw her responsibilities steadily increase throughout her career. She held a senior leadership role in Alberta Economic Development, Trade and Tourism, where she advised corporate and institutional investors in North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East on business expansion and investment opportunities. At the Alberta Department of Energy, she led initiatives to develop Asian markets for the Canadian energy industry and facilitated B2B commercial activities. She played significant roles in support of Canadian business delegations traveling to Asia to discover new business opportunities, as well as promoted Canada as an ideal investment destination.
Prior to joining the public sector, Mei worked for two Fortune Global 500 companies and helped expand their businesses in marketing and business development capacity. A former coal trader, Mei marketed Canadian coal to Japan’s steelmaking and power industries. She started her career in the information technology industry with a top 10 global enterprise solution company in China.
Mei holds an MBA from the University of Alberta and is a CFA candidate. Originally from Beijing, she is fluent in Mandarin and conversant in Japanese.
Patricia is a Global Business Partner based in Victoria, British Columbia serving small and medium businesses that are looking to expand into markets in the Pacific Rim and around the world.
She is a highly competent leader with over 16 years of municipal government experience where she led high-profile community-impact projects focused on bringing business strategies, people and a common purpose together. Patricia has extensive business analysis experience and process thinking in cross-functional organizations. Working with multiple stakeholders, she brings a solid understanding of policy, strategic alignment and government process by leading strategic projects toward successful outcomes.
With 12 years combined private sector experience in real estate valuation as a residential appraiser, business owner and associate, Patricia has emerged as an analytical leader who lives the values of integrity, inclusiveness and determination. She listens with curiosity and applies creative methods to solve problems. An expert in simplifying complicated, innovative and ambiguous concepts, she excels at translating information in ways that best suit each audience.
Tony Agbonkhese is a Rainmaker Global Partner for Africa. His education includes a Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA, CPA), Master of Business Administration (MBA), and an extension Certificate in Project Management.
With a passion for Africa’s development and opportunity creation, Tony has successfully collaborated with several corporations across the globe in varied sectors seeking to expand their operations and presence in Africa. He has also worked with numerous African companies to develop and increase their global and local presence.
Tony has over 15 years experience, specializing in international trade, business development, consulting, and advisory services. In addition, he has managed accounting and project teams for over a decade. He also finds time to give back to his community by lecturing, speaking and provided tutelage at Canadian Colleges and Universities.
Gabriel Parrodi attended the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico and graduated as an Engineer in Telecommunications, Control and Electronics in 1975. He then received his MBA from IESE Universidad de Navarra in Barcelona, Spain in 1981 and attended the Harvard Business School of Business, where he received a NAFTA Certification for International Business in 1993.
Gabriel became the President and Founder of Mensajes Electronicos SA and carries more than 30 years experience in the Electronic and Telecommunications Industry. Here, he was instrumental in product design and development for High Tech Electronics for his clients in various Government and Academic institutions. Gabriel is also the President and Founder of Intercambi SC and carries more than 20 years expertise in facilitating and supporting International business for foreign Canadian, US and Mexican companies.
Prior to this, Gabriel was CFO for Redes Via Satelite SA Satelite Communications, Mexico DF, where annual sales were $32 million USD and he facilitated four lunches to represent Arianspace for a total value of $300 million USD. He was also CEO of Meissa Telecommunications Inc., a private US teleport company in Houston, Texas.
Over his career, Gabriel has managed projects for SEMAR (Mexican Navy). This was the first Satellite network for the Mexican new Satellite generation. This project was sold on behalf of Advantech Wireless Inc. a Canadian Corporation. He also was involved with Pemex (Petroleos Mexicanos) in building 18 prefabricated shelters and rooms for two offshore drilling platforms; which was later sold on behalf of Lonestar Drilling, A US Corporation.
International relations and business development – are the key aspects at the core of Mark Wilger’s 25 years of experience.
A natural people-person who has experience with his own multiple start-ups, Mark is quickly able to understand and empathize with those leading the charge into a new market. He is very familiar with cultural differences and sensitivities.
Mark was born of Ecuadorian and German ancestry and is married to a wonderful Chinese national. He has lived in China for over 12 years, as well as Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Myanmar, Ecuador, Mexico, and Qatar, to name a few. Fluent in English, French, Spanish and Mandarin, Mark enjoys connecting with people of all cultures and backgrounds.
Mark was born and raised in Saskatoon and grew up working in family businesses in the agricultural, manufacturing, and plastics industries. He graduated with great distinction from Chemical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan and immediately sought out an international opportunity. His international oil and gas services career started with advanced technical and management training and aggressive personnel development programs. Breaking off into another small but expanding company, Mark learned first-hand the process of starting a new company in China. He repeated this in China, again in Calgary, then in Singapore.
As General Manager, Mark oversaw and was responsible for providing full administrative and human resources support for oil and gas, petrochemical, mining, and construction companies, large and small, that started up or expanded in China. Mark was able to provide some of the resources, advice, connections, and tips that were key to their success. From cultural aspects to tax policies to the best restaurant in town, Mark openly shared his experience as well as the lessons learned by dozens of other companies that he helped do business in China. This helped many companies avoid pitfalls, saving them both time and money.
Mark moved to Calgary in 2014 and is ready to share his China experience and connections with you as he helps provide you with any support you may need.
Henrique Malina is a serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in international business development. He has been helping companies from all over the world to do business in Brazil, as well as Brazilian companies to expand globally. Besides being the country manager for a Danish company in Brazil, Henrique is Rainmaker Global Business Partner. He is also a member of IBREI (Brazilian Institute of International Business Relations Development) and President of the Pharmaceutical Industry Commission on this non-profit institution.
Henrique is graduated in Business, has a MBA in Business Management and a post-graduate in International Business. He is passionate by international business development, innovative business models, global branding and international growth. His background is vast and the major industries / sectors are: health (pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, food supplements, sports supplements, pet supplements, e-health, medical devices, etc.), beauty (cosmetics, skin care, personal care, etc.), technology (software development, industry 4.0, IoT, etc.) and startups. During all those years his major asset is the relationship created within these industries.Regardless your industry, Henrique can help you entering Brazil and/or local companies seeking for expansion. He believes in creating B2B ventures to grow innovation, brands and products.
Andreas Kohler has over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry with focus on pipeline and upstream sectors.
Andreas is founder and CEO of CDIi.Energy.Consult, a consultancy company specialized in the development and implementation of market entry strategies for highly qualified services providers, suppliers of high quality products and outstanding contractors. CDI operates mainly in Europe, the Middle East, Central and East Asia, and offers extensive cross-market knowledge and access to global networks.
Before founding his own consultancy, Andreas worked for 10 years as Managing Director in ILFs’ Headquarter for Oil & Gas business in Munich, Germany. Andreas successfully developed ILF’s position in the international pipeline and upstream sectors and grew the business to $15M USD with 900 staff. ILF mainly operates in Europe, Middle East, Central Asia and West Africa. Andreas was responsible for business development, finance and administration, and was having supervisory functions in major projects for multi billion investment projects like Trans-Asia Gas Pipeline, supplying gas from Central Asia to China, Baku-Ceyhan Crude Oil Pipeline, delivering oil from Azerbaijan to Turkey. Prior to his role as MD Andreas worked as Project Manager and Business Development Manager on international oil and gas projects.
Andreas started his career at Trans Alpine Pipeline (TAL) in Austria, which operates the largest crude oil pipeline in Western Europe. He also holds an MBA from Donau-Universität Krems, and a Master of Science degree in Economics from Leopold-Franzens Universität Innsbruck.
Emma Parston is a partner at ConnectSeven Group – a boutique tourism and event management firm focused on sustainable development. As a logistics and project management expert, Emma has been helping her clients bring their meetings, conferences, and events to the next level for over 15 years.
With strengths in destination promotion, sustainable event execution, event impact measurement, and stakeholder engagement, Emma has worked with clients to use their events to create the outcomes they require, including the United Nations, TED, Destination Canada, Destination BC, Travel Alberta, Richmond Hotel Destination Association, Destination Greater Victoria and many more.
At ConnectSeven, Emma is responsible for overseeing the event execution team, being on top of the latest MICE trends, and making sure everything we do is having a positive impact and outcome.
Previously Emma was the Director of Operations for MCI Canada – a multinational Event and Conference firm and was a key member of the TED production team. She has been on the board of MPI and ILEA and was recognized as a top 40 under 40 in North America by CollaborateMeetings. Her team recently won Conference of the Year at the Canadian Special Event Awards.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a minor in History, University of Leeds, UK.
Alexis Kereluk is a partner at ConnectSeven Group – a boutique tourism and event management firm focused on sustainable development. As an innovative, sustainable destination strategist, Alexis has been leading unique and impactful tourism projects within group sales, sustainability, and MICE development for over 10 years.
With strengths in sales, project management, stakeholder engagement and environmental/social analysis, Alexis has led the development of numerous tourism impact and development projects including for Destination Canada, Destination BC, Travel Alberta, Richmond Hotel Destination Association, Destination DC, Visit Copenhagen, Visit Monaco and many more.
At ConnectSeven, Alexis is responsible for leading the strategies behind our tourism projects, using innovation to engage visitors and buyers for sustainable growth within destinations.
Prior to starting ConnectSeven, Alexis was the top Business Development Manager for MCI Canada – a multinational Event and Conference firm, was the Manager of tourism Development for InterVISTAS Group and was a tourism analyst for Twenty31 Consulting.
She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance and Management Science, Simon Fraser University (graduated with honours).
Justin Hospedales is a senior business executive specializing in business development and international relations.
With over 15 years of experience at some of North America's largest marketing and financial institutions, he has increased profitability, while achieving corporate objectives by creating award-winning sales solutions.
Justin understands the many challenges corporations face in the complex global business environment. Whether driving new business opportunities in emerging markets or navigating through complicated regulatory issues with elected officials, Justin brings a unique approach to achieving results and solving problems.
Justin is a graduate from Acadia University with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Political Science. He went on to obtain post-graduate certificates from Harvard University, Google, and Mortgage Professionals, Canada.
Scott McNear is an accomplished energy professional with 10 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. His primary focus is upstream development and subsurface production of wells with a strong background in waterflood and enhanced oil recovery field management. Scott graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and a Master of Business Administration from Texas Tech University. He also holds Professional Engineering Licenses for Petroleum Engineering in several U.S. states.
As a Global Business Partner, Scott utilizes industry experience to leverage his network and connect clients with potential opportunities. Scott also serves as Engineering Manager for RARE PETRO, which assists Rainmaker and its clients keep a pulse on key developments and trends in the energy space. He is a strong believer in continued improvement to operational efficiency and communication throughout the oil and gas sector.
Elaine Laflamme is an Educational Consultant at Rainmaker Global Business Development in Calgary, Canada, who is passionate about inspiring others to achieve their vision, goals and creative potential. Elaine holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (McGill University), Master’s in Educational Technology (University of Calgary), and Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Communication Major (University of Alberta). She is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach.
Elaine believes in the transformative power of international collaboration for universal economic advancement. For example, having been the Canadian lead on a European ITEA Grant designed to support the commercialization of business and academic partners’ technological innovations on three continents: North America (Canada), Europe (Belgium/Slovenia) and Asia (South Korea). A dedicated practitioner with over 18 years’ experience, Elaine eagerly promotes Canada’s strengths in academia to benefit business leaders seeking to realize their worldwide research and development ambitions. Conversely, providing academics with the guidance they need to commercialize their research-based inventions for global impact.
Liaising among stakeholders in academia and clinicians in the private sector, Elaine secured funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) in Canada to develop a virtual reality training prototype for parents of children with Autism; a deliverable for a larger NRC IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program) grant she also managed. As an Educational Technology Associate with NeuroStrategy in Western Canada, Elaine has expanded her repertoire of emerging technologies to include certification on PTC’s (USA/Boston) products that offer myriad solutions, such as augmented and virtual reality training, Internet of Things (sensors), and artificial intelligence within multiple industries (e.g., Oil & Gas, Life Sciences, Electronics & High Tech).
Peter-Patrick, Austro-Canadian by birth, is a senior business leader & entrepreneur with deep background in management. As a corporate leader, he cultivated a substantive international strategic growth track record of securing multi-million revenues in competitive markets such as the Americas, MENA, CIS, and the EU. Experience includes management of start-ups both relating to organic growth and growth through mergers & acquisitions. Mr. Baumgartner brings to the table his own exceptionally developed professional network comprising major operators, government bodies and business relations.
Beyond his ties to Canada, Peter-Patrick has lived in France, Germany, and Austria, where he now resides. As such, his reach is deep in all of Continental Europe. He is an expert in identifying his clients' specific needs and creating opportunities for business growth focused on, but not limited to:
• AEC Industry: Architecture, engineering and construction.
• Energy Industry: from traditional to futuristic; oil & gas through to hydrogen.
• Tech Industry: Software and IT.
• Transportation Industry: Logistics and shipping.
• Manufacturing Industry: Equipment and material manufacturing.
• Health Industry: Products & solutions, including those ignited by Covid-19.
Ramon Fosado is an accomplished international business development professional with over 30 years of experience in oil and gas, finance, agriculture, power, manufacturing, midstream infrastructure, government relations, and trade. His education includes a Bachelor’s in Architecture, a Diploma in Public Finance, and a Diploma in Risk Management.
Ramon launched his career at Trammell Crow Company, the largest real estate company in US at the time, opening Western Canada, worked in the US as Vice-President, Business Development expanding business in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina covering all operations in Latin America. He went on to work for the Consulate of Mexico in Calgary, as Director, Commercial and Corporate Affairs with jurisdiction in Alberta and Saskatchewan, accountable for building strong relationships with a particular focus in the energy, and agriculture sectors leading initiatives to promote bilateral relations, trade, and investment. Most recently, he founded Los Toros Energy Inc. providing strategic advice and business development for companies in Canada, US, Mexico, and Latin America.
Ramon joined Rainmaker Global Business Development in February of 2021 as Global Business Partner, Americas. He brings a wealth of experience in developing business opportunities for Canadian companies interested in expanding into, US and Latin America markets. Ramon is a long-time supporter of the Calgary Stampede contributing to the organization as Senior Associate in the Agriculture and Agri-Food Committee. He has in-depth knowledge of the market environments, governments, influential relations, bilingual proficiency in Spanish and English, and has a deep understanding of the business and social culture of Canada, United States and Latin America.
Liz De Swart is an accomplished global business consultant and generalist with over 15 years experience in a wide array of sectors including consumer, fashion and lifestyle goods, luxury goods and services, and wholesale and retail business development with a focus on corporate social responsibility and sustainable growth. As Founder and principal management consultant at Van der Mijl & Company, Liz and her team have a passion for helping individuals and teams to leverage their unique ideas and create sustainable growth for their brands. Always eager to get to the heart of a business’ story, Liz’s fine-tuned analytical approach allows her to provide personalized, highly impactful solutions and get people excited about implementing them.
As a management consultant Liz brings several benefits as a Global Rainmaker Partner from a local and international perspective, having often managed vertically integrated platforms for start-ups and SMEs. She acquired a unique educational background having studied in the Netherlands at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, a division of the University of Amsterdam Applied Sciences; a degree that covers all aspects of the consumer goods industry supply chain, including product management, production, and manufacturing.
Liz has also been involved in the local community, donating time to sit on a jury panel at the University of Mount Royal in Calgary for a program that develops the understanding of innovations and entrepreneurship. Students were exposed to experienced entrepreneurs and meet learning outcomes by participating in experiential activities and competitions. She also participated on the Apparel Technology Industry Advisory Committee for The Fashion Institute of Olds College in Calgary, where she provided input into the programming, faculty, and opportunities for perspective students.
Sergio Arrambide is a proactive business development professional with 15 years of relationship-building experience. He brings initiative and clear vision, mission and focus to all of his projects, driving discipline from outset to completion. With a Master of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins - SAIS, he brings unique perspective to businesses expanding to new markets.
Sergio started his business development career in Hewlett-Packard Mexico, advising Fortune 500 clients in Mexico City. Eventually, he managed a BPM consulting company's regional operations and advised c-level executives on business process management and enterprise architecture.
Born and raised in Monterrey, he brings organic connections for companies interested in accessing Mexico as a strategic market. Based in Vancouver, Canada, he has developed strong relationships with international industrial organizations and Mexico's mining, steel, automotive and manufacturing sectors.
For five years, he organized in Vancouver, the Annual Meeting of Cooperation and Shared Responsibility for Labour and Business Productivity in Mexico, bringing together industrial leaders and senior executives of Mexican and Canadian companies.
Mr. Arrambide has a proven track record of success as an advisor and an entrepreneur; he founded a commodities trading company and an international consulting and media development firm. Sergio is also a prolific researcher and brings access to EU networks, which he developed during his tenure at the Brussels-based think tank, the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS).
On a similar note, while at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, he identified resources available for Micro, Small, and Medium sized Enterprises in the various countries of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
As a Rainmaker Global Partner, Sergio brings a deep understanding of international markets to our clients. His understanding of Mexico and Latin America is a valuable resource to those companies exploring opportunities in these growth markets.
Colin Fitzgerald has 14 years of experience in the energy industry focusing on the engineering and implementation of completion services within the upstream oil and gas sector. Colin graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering. Out of school he spent several years gaining knowledge in the field and acquiring “hands-on” knowledge with specialties in coiled tubing, hydraulic workover, hydraulic fracturing and well control. From there, he transitioned into the business development realm of the services side of the upstream oil and gas industry and has been part of selling over 20 different product lines. Colin has worked most of the prolific oil and gas basins in the continental United States.
As a Rainmaker Global Business Partner, Colin utilizes industry experience to leverage his vast network and connect clients with lucrative opportunities for their products and services as well as collecting valuable market intelligence from field personnel to C-level executives. Colin also serves as Business Development Consultant for Rare Petro, where he helps keep a pulse on key developments and trends in the energy space. He believes in collaboration to accomplish goals set by the team and celebrating when those accomplishments are achieved.
A multi-disciplined and globally oriented business professional, Diana facilitates development by encouraging collaboration between international companies and regional organizations.
Diana has over 15 years’ experience in strategy development, investment, policy and business analysis. A fluent Cantonese speaker, Diana is a strategy development advisor with deep experience in assisting organizations to streamline operations, enhance efficiency and build capacities that improve organizational profitability and growth. Leveraging her experience in strategic planning, organizational design, feasibility and business analyses, Diana has supported her clients to craft their strategic vision and follow through to successful execution.
Diana helps Rainmaker clients to design strategies for international growth into the best markets for their business. Leveraging the Rainmaker Global network and government support to open new growth opportunities for clients in various industries such as health, Technology, Agriculture and Manufacturing.
Diana holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Science both from the University of Alberta. Diana currently serves on the Board of Boyle Street Services Society, an Executive Committee Member with University of Alberta Alumni Advisory Council, and at NAIT’s JR Shaw School of Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program Advisory Committee.