The World Trade Centers Association stimulates trade and investment opportunities for commercial property developers, economic development agencies, and international businesses looking to connect globally and prosper locally.
Our association serves as an 'international ecosystem' of global connections, iconic properties, and integrated trade services under the umbrella of a prestigious brand.
World’s trusted global brand facilitating international business connections and trade.
● Promoting and protecting our WTC brand for the collective benefit of our membership;
● Expanding the reach and increase the quality of our global WTCA network;
● Strengthening our global presence through connecting engaged members;
● Actively seeking out potential members and establishing WTCs in new growing markets;
● Providing members support in enabling them to connect with their counterparts within the network to foster international trade;
● Expanding the reach and quality of the WTCA network through our members WTC branded properties and integrated trade services;
● Making sure our members maintain and provide the highest quality service to their business members;
● Having strong continental and regional structure to meet our members’ needs; and
● Migrating, leveraging, transferring, and utilizing the strengths of our experienced Members’ best practices
Our Board Members contribute diverse global trade and industry expertise that encompass the WTC global brand of iconic properties and integrated trade services. Click on the names below to learn more about the Association’s officer and directors.
John E. Drew
– WTC Washington, D.C.
– WTC Panama
Luciano Montenegro de Menezes
– WTC Curitiba
Ex-Officio Director & Board Managing Director
John Drew is founder and President of The Drew Company, a Boston-based real estate management and development company that is internationally known for its innovative real estate projects. John Drew serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Seaport Companies, which includes the World Trade Center Boston and Seaport Hotel, and is Chairman of Trade Center Management Associates, which manages the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. Mr. Drew has served on the Board of the World Trade Centers Association since 1990 and has been its Chairman since 2019.
As developer and President of the World Trade Center Boston and Seaport Hotel, John Drew is a pioneer in the development of Boston’s revitalized Seaport District. Since its opening in 1986, the World Trade Center Boston has become one of the premier facilities for conferences and exhibitions in New England. Mr. Drew led the development of a three-building, 1.75 million s.f. expansion of the World Trade Center complex that included hotel, offices, retail and parking facilities. The 426-room Seaport Hotel opened in 1998, World Trade Center East opened in 2000, and World Trade Center West opened in 2002. In addition, Mr. Drew’s company is co-developer of Waterside Place, a 1.2 million s.f., mixed-used project to be located adjacent to the World Trade Center.
Mr. Drew’s second major trade center project is the International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., which opened in 1998. The International Trade Center, located at the Ronald Reagan Building, is the US government’s most prominent site for trade promotion. In addition, the ITC’s conference center has become the premier forum in Washington D.C. for international meetings and major special events.
The Drew Company’s development portfolio includes the Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts, Bayside Exposition Center and Constitution Plaza in Boston. The firm also provides asset management services, as well as development advisory services to businesses in the U.S. and abroad.
Prior to founding his firm, Mr. Drew served as Director of Federal Relations for the City of Boston. During that time, he was responsible for the creation of the “Boston Plan,” a redevelopment plan for the city. In recognition of this achievement, the Boston Jaycees named him one of its “Ten Outstanding Young Leaders.”
Mr. Drew received his undergraduate degree from Stonehill College, a master’s degree from Boston University, and is one of the region’s top authorities on public-private partnerships and development. His civic commitments include Chairman Emeritus for Caritas Christi Health Care System in Boston, and Chairman of “A Better City” (an organization of business leaders working to ensure Boston’s future competitive advantage).
Mr. Drew serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Boston History Collaborative, The Boston Public Library Foundation, Stonehill College and was appointed Honorary Consulate of Monaco - Boston. He also served as Chairman of the Boston 2000 Commission, having been appointed by the Mayor of Boston.
Mr. Drew’s impact on tourism, hospitality and development in the Boston area has won him numerous awards and distinctions. He has received an honorary degree from Newbury College and a lifetime achievement award from the Boston Jaycees. He was presented with the “Distinguished Individual” award from the Massachusetts Hospitality Association, was honored as one of the “Top 125 Leaders Making a Difference in Boston,” from Banker and Tradesman, and was honored by NAIOP (National Association of Industrial and Office Properties) in 2002 as “Developer of the Year.” Under his leadership, Seaport Companies was recently named “The Best Place to Work in Massachusetts” by the Boston Business Journal.
Mr. Swaab’s ties to the World Trade Center Panama began with its construction in 1996. Strengthening his commitment to WTC Panama, he became its Chairman of the Board in 2010. During this time, he focused on improving communications and maximizing revenue sources. He was also involved in international trade and economic relations of other WTCs through the World Trade Centers Association and was elected in 2015 to serve on the WTCA Board of Directors. As a Director of the WTCA Board he is also currently holding the position of Vice-Chair-Treasurer as well as chairman of the Digital Steering Committee.
Remy Swaab holds degrees in Financing and Banking as well as in Computer Science and Systems, both from the Universidad del Istmo in Panama where he additionally took advanced specialized courses in Business Administration, Marketing, Accounting, and Economy. He maintains ongoing studies in the IT realm to keep up with the ever-changing technology. He is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Dutch.
Mr. Swaab has diverse networking and interpersonal skills as well as extensive knowledge of business management and dynamic leadership. He has widespread experience having worked in different industries such as Technology, Financial Services, Shipping and Logistics, Advertising and Real Estate, mainly occupying C-level positions. He has set up multiple commercial companies and partook in the co-founding of different associations (both professional and recreational). He has been asked to join multiple Boards of Directors, mainly occupying the Chairman position during his collaboration.
His additional business interests include companies dedicated to Banking and Fintec Technology, Commercial Real Estate Management and International Business.
See more of Remy Swaab's Profile here: http://remy.swaab.me/.
• Hemet High School – Hemet, California – USA – from January/1991 to September/1991
• PUC-SP - Pontifícia Universidade Católica: Business Administration – From January/1992 to June/1997
• University Of Pittsburgh
• The Katz Graduate School of Business
• International Executive MBA Program – From March/2000 to June/2001
AMCHAM – American Chamber of Commerce – Brazil – WWW.amcham.com.br
• Internship in Sales in the Trainee Program – From June/1992 to July/1993
• Best Seller Award in the year of 1993
• Coordinator of the Trainee Program - From August/1993 to August/1994
• Commercial Coordinator – From August/1994 to November/96 – creation of a commercial area structured to procure sponsorship for institutional programs and events.
• Membership Services Manager – From December/1996 to July /1998 – responsible for areas including commercial, events and committees, international, products and services to the associate.
• Brazil Commercial Manager – From August/1998 to June/2000 – partnerships with international entities such as University of Thunderbird, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Corenet - Real State, among others. Responsible for opening Regional Units in Recife, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Campinas, Goiânia, Brasília, and Ribeirão Preto.
• Services and Commercial Director – from July/2000 to August/2002 – Growth from 900 members to 7500. A revenue from R$ 3 million to R$ 35 million in a period of 10 years.
• Executive Director – From September/2002 to May/2006 – responsible for one of the two business units of Amcham, besides the Exhibition and Convention Center.
TESA Telecom – Telecom South America SA – WWW.tesatelecom.com (telecommunication operator – STFC – fixed telephony) and part of the Graber Group
• Marketing and Commercial Direction (statutory director) – From June/2006 to february/2012
Start up of the operation, today with a revenue of R$ 25 million. Title of the operator that has grown the most in the last two consecutive years by the Telecom Yearbook and recently awarded by Exame PME as the 14th company that has grown the most among 250 other competitors. The first one in the telecommunication sector.
Main activities: development of products, sales channels, press advisory, corporate sales and alliance with retail sales. Development, strategy and execution of the commercial and marketing area, web channels.
Management of customer service area 24x7 in accordance with all Anatel requirements.
World Trade Center SP - www.wtc.com.br
• CEO - Chief Executive Officer - September/2012 to present
ACTIVITIES & COURSES
• US Chamber – Washington DC - From December/1996 to February/1997 – work performed while a manager of membership services in order to narrow the relationship between the Amcham Brazil and US Chamber
• University Of Buffalo – NY Creative Solving Institute – June/1996, June/1998, and June/1999
• Obra do Berço – Octorber/1997 – Volunteer work for gathering resources
• SOS Nordeste Sem Fome Campaign – Volunteer work of collection of funds and forwarding of food for the Northeast drought - 1998
• Instituto Qualidade no Ensino [Institute of Teaching Quality] – Entity maintained by the American Chamber of Commerce SP and Recife – Volunteer during 3 years
• Infinity Officing Solutions – From January/2006 to June/2006 – consulting related to the best results of the sales team
• ABCR – Associação Brasileira de Captadores de Recursos [Brazilian Association of Gathering Resources] – Founding director in the period from 2000 to 2003
• ABEOC – Associação Brasileira de Empresas de Eventos [Brazilian Association of Event Companies] – director in the 2004 term
• World Trade Center – vice-president of the WTC Club board – From January 2007/ to present
• FIESP – participation in the committee of young entrepreneurs
• Jovens Lideres [Young Leaders] – participation in the creation of the New Generation National Front
• Work performed to end the CPMF tax in Brasilia
• Green Building Council – participation in the founding in Brazil
Mariette Mulaire has been the President and CEO of the World Trade Centre Winnipeg since its official opening in April 2013. Prior to that, she was the President and CEO of ANIM from its inception in 2007, where she was involved in numerous economic development initiatives on behalf of Manitoba including helping to spearhead the creation and hosting of Centrallia, the first international B2B forum of its kind in Western Canada. Her previous economic development experience includes holding the position of Executive Director for the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities for ten years and serving as a civil servant with both the Department of Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Department of Canadian Heritage. Ms. Mulaire has served on the Board of the World Trade Centers Association since 2015, has been its Vice Chair-Secretary since 2019 and chair of its Executive Committee.
Mariette Mulaire represents the World Trade Centre Winnipeg as board member with the Bank of Canada, the Canada West Foundation and TV 5 Canada-Québec. She was also co-chair of the 2017 Canada Summer Games organizing committee in Winnipeg.
She was awarded the Ordre des francophones d’Amérique in 2010, was the May 2011 recipient of the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction award under the “Leadership” category and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. Mariette Mulaire holds a national designation with the Canadian Institute of Management (CIM) as a Professional Manager, in management and administration.
Ghazi Abu Nahl
– WTC Amman
– WTC Accra
– WTC Gibraltar
– WTC Savannah
Ghazi Abu Nahl was born in Barbara, Palestine in 1946. He started his career in insurance with an Insurance Agency (Arab Commercial Enterprises) in Qatar in 1960. Today, the Jordanian businessman is a major shareholder and Chairman of a Group whose net assets exceed US$300M with subsidiaries and affiliates in the MENA region, UK, Spain, Qatar, Oman, Cyprus and Malaysia.
In 1979, with 20 rich years of experience under his belt, he started Qatar General Insurance & Reinsurance Company as a domestic Insurance company in Qatar now with a Paid-up Capital of US$37M. He has been the General Manager since then, and today the shareholders equity stands at more than US$320M. The Company is publicly quoted in the Qatari Stock Exchange and considered an excellent security in both Middle East and the International Market with a BBB+ Rating.
In 1989, he established Trust International Insurance Company BSC© Bahrain, Trust Re, as one of the then few Reinsurance Companies in the region, with a Paid-up Capital of US$15M now standing at US$100M. He has previously held the Chairman position and is currently a Board Member and a Special Advisor to the Board. The recent upgrade of TIIC- Bahrain rating to A- (AM Best) is one of the major achievements of Ghazi Abu Nahl and a great pride to the Arab Reinsurance Industry.
For Ghazi Abu Nahl, Trust is not just a business tag; it is a name he has carefully chosen to reflect the trust he has in the potential the Arab markets holds and the capabilities the Arab Professionals enjoy; Trust that hard work and persistence definitely yield positive results.
He believes that success is achieved by building trust with all stakeholders; employees, colleagues and business partners and he has always strived to build this trust. Trust as a keyword is evident in the expansion in the Arab geographical scope especially in countries where the political or legal situation was not particularly encouraging to investors and businessmen like Palestine or Algeria (at the time of the establishment of Trust Algeria).
1989 was truly a year brimming with achievements with the establishment of Nest Investments (Holdings) Ltd of which he is the Chairman and 100% Shareholder. The company's net assets exceed US$300M.
1989 also came to crystallise the aspiration of creating a direct insurance arm of the group with the establishment of Trust International Insurance Company (Cyprus) Ltd now with a Paid-up Capital of US $31M with subsidiaries and affiliates in Algeria, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Libya and Syria. Other expansion plans for direct subsidiary companies include insurance market like Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey and others.
Ghazi Abu Nahl is also a Board Member of the World Trade Centers Association-New York since April 2004 and is the Chairman of World Trade Centre Holdings (Cyprus) Ltd. The Cyprus World Trade Centres Holding Company owns and operates 15 World Trade Centres in the MENA, Cyprus, and Perth (Australia) region.
Ghazi Abu Nahl has a profound vision to see the entire Group maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and to be a household name regionally. His colleagues and staff unanimously agree that irrespective of the many ways in which he phrases his vision; it is the faith and commitment he works with and the motivation he spreads that inspires them to work up to this vision.
He has an affirmed commitment to build up and strengthen his staff calibre and professional ability, which he demonstrates in the substantial amount of time and resources dedicated to training and development. Enhancements of the in-house training facility and internal on-the- job training have been on-going and a new ambitious graduate trainee programme was introduced to refine the staff expertise and ability.
Ghazi Abu Nahl is relentless in strengthening and enhancing long-term relationships with strategic partners in select markets as well as expanding presence in new markets within the Group's geographical scope. He is a Pro of solid non-opportunistic investment policy and in adding value through intensified marketing and innovative underwriting philosophy.
Ghazi Abu Nahl has three sons and two daughters Kamel, Fadi, Hamad, Reem and Amal. Having firmly differentiated the Group as a well-reputed and reliable regional player, he has given them a strong platform to take the driver's seat, capitalise on opportunities and expand and strengthen presence and activities towards a continued growth and profitability while maintaining the highest level of operational ability and client satisfaction.
Described by Mr. Abdul Khaliq Raouf, the Secretary General of the General Arab Insurance Federation, Ghazi Abu Nahl has remarkable finger-prints in the Insurance & Reinsurance Industry through a Group of insurance and reinsurance companies that blend some of the best technical and managerial Arab expertise with high level of professionalism and adherence to high standards. On the personal level, he describes him as someone who has never hesitated in lending a helping hand whenever he felt needed.
The least that can be said about the future outlook of Ghazi Abu Nahl is not bounded: more geographical expansion, enhancing corporate risk management and corporate governance, strengthening human resources, rating, diversifying investments, keeping up with technological development are just some of the headlines that will keep the team of Trust working hard towards the vision of its founder.
Despite his frequent travels juggling issues, Ghazi Abu Nahl is a family man; his perfect free time is amidst his wife, children and grandchildren. He seems to always find the time to catch up with the news and the occasions of his brothers and sisters and big family.
Togbe Afede XIV is an investment banker with more than 20 years’ experience. He is the Executive Chairman of World Trade Centre Accra and founder of the SAS Finance Group Ltd, comprising of Strategic African Securities Ltd, a stock brokerage and corporate finance advisory firm, and SAS Investment Management Ltd, an asset management firm.
Togbe also founded Strategic Initiatives Ltd (SIL), a portfolio and private equity investment firm, and is the co-founder of Databank Financial Services, Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Ltd, Africa World Airlines Ltd, Cloud Ghana Ltd and Lighting & Construction Africa Co., Ltd.
As a member of the Government of Ghana Transition Team , Togbe led a three-man interim Ministry of Finance management team which prepared the draft national budget for 2009.
Togbe served on the board of the Central Bank of Ghana from 2003 to 2013 and was a member of the President’s Economic Advisory Council from 2009 to 2012.
Togbe’s other current directorships include:
• Accra Hearts of Oak Sporting Club Ltd (Chairman), Ghana’s premier football club
• Africa Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership, a partnership of African development organizations
• Africa World Airlines Ltd (Co-chairman), a domestic and regional carrier
• Aluworks Ghana Ltd, an aluminium rolling mill listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE)
• Ensign College of Public Health, a private university training public health practitioners
• National Investment Bank Ltd (Chairman), a majority state-owned, publicly traded universal bank
• Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Ltd, an independent power generating company
Among Togbe’s many awards and recognitions are the following:
• Top 100 Ghana Most Influential People (Ranked 17th), May 2015
• Induction into Ghana Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame, April 2015
• Special Entrepreneurial Achievement, 2012 3rd Ghana Entrepreneur Awards, 2012
• Golden Image Award 2011, Liberia Recognition For Peace Development Initiatives
• Best Entrepreneur, Energy Sector 2010, 2011 World Entrepreneurial Day Awards
• Chieftaincy Leadership, 2010 Millennium Excellence Awards, Ghana
• Order of the Volta, 2008 National Republic Day Awards
• Planters of Seed Award, 2006 Ghana Top 100 Businesses Awards Ceremony
• Personality of the Year, 2005 Millennium Excellence Awards, Ghana
Togbe Afede XIV is also a traditional ruler. He is the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State in Ghana. He is also the President of the Volta Region House of Chiefs and a member of the Standing Committee of Ghana National House of Chiefs.
Togbe received his MBA from Yale University in 1989.
Ed Allison-Wright is a Director at Fairhomes Group of Companies, the proud developer and operator of World Trade Center Gibraltar.
World Trade Center Gibraltar launched in February 2017 and was 98.5% occupied within a month, bringing significant foreign direct investment, delivering crucial incubator space for fast-growth enterprises and providing headquarters workspace for established corporate occupiers. WTC Gibraltar contributes an estimated £65,000,000 per annum to the Gibraltar economy.
Fairhomes Group of Companies is an entrepreneurial organisation involved in several industries internationally, from vegetarian skincare cosmetics to real estate investment and development. As a Board Director, Mr Allison-Wright’s focus is predominantly on the international property side of the group, with active real estate investments and developments in the USA, Germany, UK, the Netherlands, Spain and Gibraltar, where their Head Office is located. Within this remit, Mr Allison-Wright is responsible for World Trade Center Gibraltar. He is also responsible for the group’s other two owned licenses, these being World Trade Center London and World Trade Center Madrid. As part of his role, Mr Allison-Wright also takes responsibility for the public sector / government liaison with the group, helping to shape policy towards supporting employment generating growth and prioritising local socio-economic benefits of major regeneration projects.
Mr Allison-Wright is a Chartered Surveyor with specialism in Commercial Real Estate and is also a Chartered Town Planner. He has experience in attracting inward investment, encouraging localised growth and in providing a platform for start-up enterprises to thrive, through his involvement with several public-private sector partnerships. Mr Allison-Wright continues to be heavily engaged in these initiatives, holding board positions since 2012.
Within the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA), Mr Allison-Wright has been a Member of the WTCA European Regional Advisory Council from its inception in October 2018 to September 2021, as well as Chairing the Real Estate Members Advisory Council since it’s inception in January 2018. He has also been involved in the WTCA’s 2019 Accreditation Pilot Programme and has judged the WTCA Champions Awards. Mr Allison-Wright was elected to the WTCA Board of Directors in September 2021 and sits on the Executive Committee.
Mr Allison-Wright holds a BSc (Hons) in Estate Management from the University of Reading (Berkshire, UK) and a MSc in Town Planning from the University of Brighton (East Sussex, UK). Accordingly, he is a Professional Member of both the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). He is also the holder of a Private Pilot Licence.
Mr. Center is a Savannah native, born in 1955. He is a product of the public school system and graduated from Beach High School in 1973. Scott attended George Washington University, the University of Southern California, and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1978. In 1982, he attended the Fails Management Institute at Georgia Tech where he received the "Outstanding Student Award."
In his second term as a Board Member for the World Trade Centers Association, Mr. Center serves on the Executive Committee and the Nominations and Compensation Committee. Mr. Center has also served as the Chairman of the Investment Committee which is charged with growing WTCA’s assets and making sure that the association has sufficient operating funds.
Mr. Center is the president of National Office Systems, an interior design/contract furnishings firm. He is a graduate of Leadership Savannah (Past President) and Leadership Georgia. He is a Director of the Savannah Technical College Foundation (Past Chair), World Trade Center Savannah (Board President), and the World Trade Centers Association. Mr. Center also was formerly president of the local chapter of AIPAC. He was a Director the Savannah Economic Development Authority, the Rotary Club of Savannah, the Mickve Israel Synagogue (Past President of the Brotherhood), The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, King Tisdale Cottage Foundation, the Executive Association of Savannah, the Frank Callens Boys and Girls Club, Vision 20\20 (Past President), the Chatham County Democratic Party, the American Cancer Society, The Nature Conservancy’s Corporate Council, CASA, United Way of the Coastal Empire, Ameribank, BB&T Bank, Parent and Child Development Agency, Step Up Savannah (Treasurer), Savannah Jewish Federation, the Savannah Music Festival and the Greenbriar Children’s Center. In 2019, the Greenbriar Children’s Center named Mr. Center Honorary Chair of their 75th Anniversary Celebration Year.
As president of Vision 20/20, Scott was involved with the conception, planning, and passage of the first local option sales tax for community improvement projects, the successful solicitation of a low fare airline for Savannah, a lobbying effort to create state incentives for businesses expanding and relocating in Georgia, the nomination of Savannah as an All American City, and the Yamacraw Art Project. As a Board Member at SEDA, he successfully recruited DIRTT Environmental Solutions to open a manufacturing facility in Savannah and help found WTC Savannah. As Chair of WTC Savannah, he established an EB5 Regional Center and helped Savannah secure its first international regularly scheduled air service.
The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce named Scott Center its “Small Business Person of the Year” in 1995. Scott was the president of the 1996-1998 class of Leadership Savannah. Scott has received accreditation from the United States Green Building Council as a LEED Professional. Scott is married to Tatsiana Shakhmuts and has two children, Sofia and Leo.
– WTC Montevideo,WTC Punta del Este
Pamela D. Pascual
Chairman and CEO
– WTC Metro Manila
– WTC Nice/Sophia Antipolis
– WTC Cyprus
Ignacio Del has a CPA degree from the University of the Republic in Uruguay and an Executive Master of Business Administration at the IEEM Business School.
As a professional, he served in Senior Executive and Board of Directors roles in several multinational companies like Tata Consultancy Services, Tenaris and Diageo among others.
Today, he is the CEO of World Trade Center Montevideo Free Zone, the services Free Zone of the World Trade Center Montevideo complex in Uruguay, one of the most important WTC complexes in the world with six buildings comprised of more than 160,000 square meters. WTC Free Zone hosts more than 130 companies, providing off-shore services.
Del is recognized as an important leader in the Free Zone and international trade communities, serving as Board Member of the Uruguayan Free Zone Chamber, President of the British – Uruguayan Chamber of Commerce from 2017 to 2019 and Honorary Consul in Uruguay.
He is also the Vice President of Junior Achievement Uruguay, part of JA Worldwide, one of the world’s largest youth-serving NGOs and is also a Board Member of B Corporation Uruguay.
Pamela has been with the World Trade Center Metro Manila for nearly a decade a half and has ascended to this top post for her consistent track record in successfully managing the exhibition business, ensuring its efficient operations and profitability. In the same capacity, she implements strategic visioning of the company to maintain its position as the premier world-class venue for exhibitions and events of the country.
Ms. Pascual currently holds a seat in the Board of the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) and in the WTCA Foundation, and a member of the WTCA Executive Committee. She was also the former and pioneer WTCA Chairperson of the Members Advisory Council, Conferences and Exhibitions APAC and the inaugural WTCA Champions Award for Member of the Year 2020. Ms. Pascual is concurrently the Treasurer and Director of the Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers (PACEOS) and a former Board Member of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB). Ms. Pascual was a recipient of the 2018 Philippines Women Leadership Award.
As director of a leading development group, Mr. Draak became fascinated by the potential of the World Trade Centers concept and philosophy.
It was this group which in 1980 took the initiative to develop and build phase 1 of the World Trade Center in Amsterdam.
Upon completion of this project in 1985, he took the position of C.E.O. of WTC Amsterdam, a position he held until 1996. As a result of a well-developed business plan and management strategy, WTC Amsterdam has become one of the more successful members of the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA).
In 1992, Rolf Draak was elected on the Board of the WTCA and became an active member of the WTCA family, offering guidance and sharing experience with many other WTCs. He has served as a Vice Chair on the Board as former Chair of its Executive Committee.
Rolf Draak wants to put his knowledge to work on future WTC developments, and has completed many feasibility studies and marketing strategies for various WTC projects around the globe. He has been helping many members to prepare WTC applications and start-up strategies including those in Almere, Belfast, Curacao, Aruba, Heerlen-Aachen, Leeuwarden, Schiphol-Airport and Tbilisi.
Among others, he has taken the role of leading the development team for the project of WTC Barcelona, which also has become a very successful WTC operation. He has also taken the initiative to develop, build and operate WTC Nice / Sophia Antipolis in France.
Rolf Draak's greatest ambition is to develop a stronger relationship between the countries of the European Community and the countries on the African Continent. In this context he has taken the initiative to develop a twin WTC project in the very south of Spain, Malaga, and in Morocco, Tangier, thus creating a vitual bridge over the Strait of Gibraltar, and enhancing stability, peace and understanding between the cultures of that region.
Rolf Draak holds a graduate degree in Civil Engineering (1964). Prior to joining WTC Amsterdam, he spent over 20 years working in many foreign countries, where he gained a wealth of international business experience and respect and understanding of other cultures.
He has lived in Mexico, Spain, France, former Czechoslovakia, the Middle-East, West Africa and South America and he has a working knowledge of several languages.
WORLD TRADE CENTER NICE / SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS.
Rolf Draak is Co-investor, Chairman and C.E.O. of WTC Nice.
World Trade Center Nice is located in Europe's greatest international Business and Science park, named Sophia Antipolis, an area located between the cities of Nice and Cannes.
Because of strong development regulations, the authorities do not allow for high-rise buildings and consequently the WTC Nice was developed under a campus model. It consists of 3 adjacent buildings; WTCN-1: 150,000 sq.ft of offices; WTCN-2: 70,000 sq.ft of business center, meeting facilities, a 100 bedroom hotel (Media Garden Hotel), and start-up facilities; and WTCN-3, ( CICA), 250,000 sq.ft ,which is the Convention Center, and Center of Permanent Education.
WTCN is working in very close relationship with local authorities and Chamber of Commerce to foster the international community.
Presently, WTCN has taken the initiative to develop, in close cooperation with local stakeholders, the construction of an Airport World Trade Center at the airport of Nice. It is expected to start the design of this important project early 2009. Nice Airport is France's second largest airport, after Paris, and this new Center will be an important gathering place for international business partners.
Mr. Eftekhar has been a Director and the Group Head of Corporate Services at Nest Investments Holdings Ltd. since 1995. Through his efforts, WTC Cyprus obtained certification as a Center of Excellence, and hosted the WTCA EMEA regional meetings in 2006 and 2015. Mr. Eftekhar was advisor to WTCA’s Ad Hoc Governance Committee, helping bring reforms and added transparency to WTCA’s business practices. Mr. Eftekhar has been involved in real estate developments located in, Algeria, Jordan, Australia, China, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Cyprus, United Kingdom and Spain.
• Trust Underwriting Ltd (FCA Regulated)
• Market Insurance Brokers Ltd (FCA Regulated)
• Nest Investments (Holdings) Ltd.
• WTC Saudi Holding (Riyadh, Al Khobar, Jeddah)
• WTC Algiers
• World Trade Center Cyprus
• World Trade Center Association (New York)
• Trust International Insurance (Cyprus) Limited ( EU Regulated)
• Chairman of the Audit & Risk Cmte of Market Insurance Brokers Ltd.
• Chairman of Audit and Risk Cmte of World Trade Centers Association
• Member of the Nomination & Compensation Cmte of Trust International Insurance (Cyprus)
• Former President of the Cyprus International Business Association
• Former President of Limassol Rotary Club
Mr. Eftekhar is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, having qualified in 1978. He is also a Fellow of the UK Institute of Directors and a Chartered Director.
He is the founder Trustee of Leapday foundation helping children and families in need in Cyprus.
– WTC Twente
– WTC Denver
– WTC Mumbai
Deputy General Manager
– WTC Istanbul
Karen Gerwitz brings 30+ years’ experience in international business to the organization in the private, public and non-profit sectors. She currently serves as Chair for the WTCA's Member Advisory Council on Trade Services for the Americas. Her enthusiastic vision for how Denver can become a more globally-conscious city is what is driving the organization to its new development in the Fox Park neighborhood near downtown. With business development, strategic growth and marketing as her main functional expertise, Karen has served overseas in Ghana and Austria, and in Colorado in multiple sectors including: IT, Aerospace, Lumber, Science, Mining, and Government. Her protocol and international cultural expertise prepared her well to host the official visits of the Emperor and Empress of Japan, the G8 Summit, the Western Hemisphere Ministerial Summit, and hundreds of other delegations. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in International Business and her Masters of Public Administration from the University of Colorado.
Mr. Vijay Kalantri, an eminent and versatile business leader, is the first generation entrepreneur who has made remarkable contribution to Industry & Trade Promotion, Infrastructure Development, Development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Sector, Financial Services and Globalization of Indian Business. His work with the central and state governments of India to promote trade and commerce is only matched by his contributions to leading International business organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), UN International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNIDO-India Industries Council.
Mr. Kalantri is the pioneering spirit behind the Balaji Group of Industries, which owns businesses in the Textiles, Leasing Finance and Infrastructure Development sectors.
Mr. Kalantri is presently the Chairman of MVIRDC, World Trade Center (WTC) Mumbai, a member of the Board of Directors of World Trade Centers Association (WTCA), New York. He is the President of All India Association of Industries (AIAI), Promoter of Dighi Port Ltd, Maharashtra’s first private sector port and port-based Special Economic Zone (SEZ, the Indian Council of Foreign Trade and the Indo-Polish Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He also serves as a member on several committees of the Reserve Bank of India, such as the Standing Committee for Small Scale Industries, the Exchange Control Committee, and the All India Export Advisory Committee.
Throughout his long career, Mr. Kalantri has been at the forefront to promote social welfare and won a number of laurels from private institutions and government bodies alike.
The Government of Poland in 2005 conferred on him the ‘Commander Cross of the Order of Merit’, its highest civilian award. The Russian Federation has also commended his outstanding work by conferring on him the ‘Pushkin Award’ in 2014.
Haluk Kanca, born in 1968 in Trabzon (Northern Turkey), currently serves as the Deputy General Manager at World Trade Center Istanbul, which owns Istanbul Expo Center, the biggest exhibition ground in Turkey, located across International Ataturk Airport in Istanbul.
Mr. Kanca's prosperous career based over more than 20 years of experience mainly concentrated on finance, international trade, logistics, business consultancy and real estate management.
World Trade Center Istanbul is the major attraction center of international exhibitions with its state-of-the-art fairgrounds, and facilities that include 2 hotels, a convention center, 3 business towers and its prestigious business club named World Trade Club (WT Club) in its fascinating complex.
– WTC Nanjing
Eugenio Jose Reyes Guzman
– WTC Monterrey
Chief Executive Officer
– WTC Trieste
Khair Ull Nissa
Executive Director- WTC Services
– WTC Noida
Catherine Lee serves as the Managing Director of World Trade Center Nanjing, a 4.3 million square-foot mixed use development, and Managing Director of World Trade Center Suzhou. As the head of development and marketing, she gathered a team of international design and planning experts and made WTC Nanjing one of the most iconic WTCs in China. It has garnered recognition for excellence in planning, hosts the first interactive WTC branding center and is slated to become a WTC LEED® certified mixed-use development.
Ms. Lee is a published professional with over fifteen years of corporate real estate experience. Prior to joining F&T Group, she worked as part of the Acquisitions and Development Group at Tishman Speyer and in Development Consulting at Cushman & Wakefield. She began her career in equity research at Wachovia Bank.
Ms. Lee received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Tufts University and a Masters degree in Real Estate Development from Columbia University where she was a William Kinne Scholarship recipient. She is also an avid collector and a supporter of the arts and culture. Presently, she sits on the Boards of the Queens Council of Arts (QCA), Queens Library Foundation (QLF) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Beijing.
Eugenio has worked for CEMEX, Vitro, Coca Cola and Fiat-Auto in countries incluiding Mexico, USA, Japan and Italy. His business experience is diverse yet mainly related to international markets.
He has a BS in Mechanial Engeneering, an MIM from Thunderbird in AZ, an MBA from NTU in Singapore and a Ph.D. from UANL.
As WTC Monterrey UANL Director, he led the Mexican Association of SBDCs to a higher level.
Cristina Sbaizero is the CEO of the World Trade Center Trieste, with more than 20 years’ experience in international business development, corporate strategy, change management, public-private-partnerships, and global event organization within the WTCs network. Through her efforts, WTC Trieste hosted the WTCA Spring Meeting in 2000, the WTCs European Regional Meeting in 2017 and 2018.
Cristina Sbaizero represents internationally the World Trade Center Trieste –a division of SAMER Group- having attended almost all the meetings, promoting constantly networking and new business opportunities for the benefit of the WTC Members. Her main professional skills are focused on innovative start-up companies, disruptive innovative solutions and business models. She is expert in financial supporting instruments to SMEs at European, national and local level.
She speaks English, German and Italian and has organized trade missions and workshops to support business developments over the years in the following countries: USA, UAE, Japan, China, Canada, Tunisia, Algiers, France, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Bulgaria, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Philippines.
Cristina Sbaizero is Chartered Public Accountant since 2007, and Legal Auditor since 2009 registered at the Minister of Finance in Italy. She is sitting on diverse Board of Statutory Auditors of private and public companies, covering many sectors of the economy:
- Fondazione CR Trieste (bank institution)
- Confcommercio Trieste (business association of enterprises)
- Synergy Flavours Italia S.p.A. a company of Carbery Group (flavourings production)
- Interporto di Trieste S.p.A. (logistic services)
- Terziaria Trieste S.r.l. (administrative, education and training supporting services to SMEs)
- Fiera Trieste S.p.A. (trade fair)
- ATAP S.p.A. (public transportation services)
- Associazione CSV FVG – Centro Servizi Volontariato (ONG, services and recreational)
- Teatro Stabile FVG “il Rossetti” (art, entertainment and recreational)
- Galleria dell’Accademia di Venezia (art, entertainment and recreational)
In addition to these responsibilities, Cristina Sbaizero actively volunteers by sitting on professional boards and organizations, including the Trieste Rotary Club, the Trieste Circle of Culture and Arts, the Milano Committee for the Internationalization of the Association of the Chartered Public Accountants.
Cristina Sbaizero began her career in 1997 at the UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) in Vienna, by creating the marketing guide and monitoring the budget for launching and further implementing the "Cleaning Production Centres Program" in Europe. She holds M.Sc./MBA degrees from Trieste University of Economics in Italy.
Khair is spearheading the World Trade Center Services and Tenant Services of World Trade Center Noida. She is responsible for forging new Strategic Partnerships while maintaining old. Her main responsibility is identifying new opportunities for revenue growth and achieving annual plans along with instituting and implementing strategies & plans (long term and short term). She provides inputs on potential acquisitions and new developments, critically analyzes current operations and cascading them respectively.
Versatile, results-oriented business professional with broad-based experience in international trade in both private and non-profit sectors. Special expertise in business development, tactical and strategic planning, alliance and team building, and customer relations. Recognized for strong interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills that build consensus among disparate groups. Energetic, dedicated leader and team player with the ability to motivate high levels of performance by others. Adept at cross cultural communications.
Khair is a Masters in Business Management with specialization in International Marketing from University of Leeds, UK. She has worked in diversified sectors such as Real Estate, Leasing, FMCG, Retailing, IT and Fashion, across countries like US, Europe, Middle East and South East Asia and India.
President & CEO
– WTC Taipei
Simon Wang was born in Taiwan, grew up in Taipei, and thrived at TAITRA, the owner and operator of WTC Taipei. He has worked his way up through the rank and file. He started out as a project manager and then moved up to deputy executive. That was followed by a promotion to the executive director and he eventually rose all the way up to the executive vice president and now the President &CEO. During his tenure at TAITRA, he has studied at Northwestern University in Illinois, USA as well as accepted an assignment to work in Northern Europe. Simon has been exploring business opportunities for Taiwanese enterprises for over 36 years.
As a global trade promoter of high proactivity and great innovation, Simon has enthusiastically accepted the challenges to lead his teams to win bids for government projects. With his forward thinking in terms of the digital future and his ability to see the big picture, surely he will greatly contribute to elevating Taiwan’s foreign trade promotion.
- President & CEO, TAITRA (owner/operator of WTC Taipei) (2022/7-present)
- Executive Vice President, TAITRA (owner/operator of WTC Taipei) (2013/7-2022/7)
- Executive Director, Market Development Department, TAITRA (2009/5-2013/7)
- Deputy Executive Director, Market Development Department, TAITRA (2008/8-2009/5)
- Deputy Executive Director, Taipei International Exhibition Center, TAITRA (2007/2-2008/8)
- Deputy Executive Director, Market Development Department, TAITRA (2005/4-2007/2)
- Director, Taiwan Trade Center, Stockholm, Sweden (1997/11-2003/11)
- Board of Directors of UFI (The Global Association of Exhibition Industry) (2020-2021)
- Member of the Advisory Council of Asian Federation of Exhibition & Conference Associations of AFECA (Asian Federation of Exhibition & Convention Association)
New York, NY 10006
+1 212 432 2626
To date, our exclusive 'World Trade Center' and 'WTC' branded properties and trade service organizations are located in more than 90 countries and supported by 15,000 WTC professionals.
The World's Fair in Queens, NY, names its grounds 'World Trade Center'
Rockefeller envisions the construction of a permanent building in New York that would be a gathering place for international trade
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approves the World Trade Center project
Guy Tozzoli is assigned to oversee the building of the World Trade Center
Guy Tozzoli incorporates the World Trade Centers Association in Deleware, USA, as a non-profit organization
The first 15 members of the World Trade Centers Association meet in Tokyo
The World Trade Centers Association moves to the 77th floor
The WTCA reaffirms its message of peace and prosperity through trade and investment
Eric Dahl served as second Chief Executive Officer in the history of World Trade Centers Association from 2012-2015