The MCA Team
Mexico Consulting Associates is a consortium of independent consultants each of whom has a specialty in Mexico. Geographically, we have offices in Chicago, Monterrey and Mexico City.
Each consultant is the principal of his own company and all have at least 15 years of experience working on projects in Mexico and other countries including Brazil and China.
Depending on the nature of the project and the specific activities required, several MCA members may be working as a team on behalf of a client.
Managing Director, Mexico Consulting Associates (Chicago)
Ralph Biedermann is President of The MRB Group, an international market development firm in Lake Bluff, Illinois. He has more than 40 years’ experience in the industrial, consumer, defense, and aerospace fields.
The MRB Group works with foreign companies to develop and implement manufacturing, marketing, and distribution strategies for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Basin. It also represents various private sector interests in the U.S. Dr. Biedermann has represented the Mexican States of Tamaulipas and Yucatan in the U.S. He works with major industrial parks, construction companies, contract manufacturers, shelter operators, and professional service providers in Mexico.
Before establishing The MRB Group in 1987, Dr. Biedermann was President of Brunswick International, Ltd., and Director of Corporate Relations for the Brunswick Corporation. Earlier, he worked for Northrop, General Electric, and Grumman Aerospace.
Ralph served as President of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, Mid America Chapter. He has served as Chairman of the Washington-based Committee for Production Sharing and Vice Chairman of the U.S. Government's Industry Sector Advisory Committee for Consumer Goods. Dr. Biedermann has been a member of the Board of Advisors of Georgetown University's Landegger Program in International Business Diplomacy. He was a member of the Professional Services Group of the Fritz Companies, formerly the largest customhouse brokerage and marine insurance firm in the world, now part of UPS.
Dr. Biedermann is an Adjunct Professor of Economics at DePaul University where he teaches a course on NAFTA. He is a Board member of the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago. He has a BAE degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an MBA from St. John's University, and a DBA from The George Washington University.
Richard Roche is the President and CEO of ROCHE International, a business expansion firm which advises leaders on doing business in Mexico. He is a “Manufacturing Executive” who knows what it takes to move, start and run manufacturing plants in the USA and Mexico.
Prior to establishing ROCHE Industries Shelter Services, Richard had decades of executive manufacturing experience and his vast accomplishments include many years directing international multi-plant operations with complex production processes.
He founded a shelter services firm in 2001, based in Central Mexico, which has a team of professionals who manage the fiscal, legal and regulatory compliance requirements for Multinational Manufacturing Companies operating in Mexico. The core services included: Plant Start-up, Foreign Trade (Import / Export /IMMEX), Human Resources, Accounting, Tax, and Freight & Logistics. The firm today serves companies who already operate in Mexico as well as those considering their first venture. Clients have ranged from midsized privately-held to Fortune 500 companies and their industrial focus spans a broad range of manufacturing types including automotive parts, appliance parts, medical devices, aerospace components and electrical motors.
Richard is also a social business entrepreneur and part of a leadership team whose purpose is to train, equip, coach and resource Mexican entrepreneurs with a vision to be Triple Bottom Line companies. These bottom lines include: 1) to make a profit in order to be sustainable, 2) to have a transformational impact in the communities they operate, and 3) to have a positive spiritual impact with the people in their communities. As part of this broader vision, Richard joined other like-minded businesses leaders in partnering with a major faith based international NGO who bring people together to help the oppressed.
As the Principal for O’Meara and Associates (O+A), Arthur brings with him almost 20 years’ experience in international trade and trade compliance management.
O+A’s focus is on the development of compliance programs and training tailored for the corporate environment in the areas of import/export compliance, freight terms, valuation, classification (under ECCN, USML and HTS), service provider management, strategic use of terms and conditions in international commerce, and US supply-chain security programs, such as the Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and the Importer Security Filing (ISF). O+A has extensive experience in assisting US importers to achieve and maintain C-TPAT status and has managed US Customs and Border Protection C-TPAT validations in the North America, Europe and Asia. O+A is well-versed in US export and defense controls and have many years’ experience in implementing these compliance requirements in the multinational corporate environment.
As the former Export Control Officer and Manager for Supply Chain Security for Bosch North America, Mr. O’Meara is also an Instructor for the Global Training Center, a Senior Advisor for the Trusted Trade Alliance and a frequent speaker in North America and Europe, both at public conferences and at seminars. Recent events included conferences sponsored by the International Compliance Professional Association (ICPA), the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI), the American Conference Institute (ACI), the Kane County Bar Association of Illinois (KCBA), International Trade Association of Greater Chicago (ITA/GC) and others. He is the President of the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago, a member of the Illinois District Export Council, has attended the ICC's Incoterms® Masterclasses in Paris, France and is a US Licensed Customs Broker. He obtained his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago.
Since 1994, Sal has been President of Cosmex, S.A. de C.V., a consulting firm that has helped more than 100 companies in establishing their first operation in Mexico. A graduate of Monterrey Tech and Syracuse University, Sal began working for Bristol-Myers (1969-1974) in an assignment to launch a pharmaceutical operation in Puerto Rico. His responsibilities were to transfer the FDA-manufacturing knowledge to employees who had no experience about it.
From 1974-1975 Sal was in charge of initiating the manufacturing operation of WD-40 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Immediately after, he worked for Avon (1976-1984) as a member of the team that launched new subsidiaries in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru. Each of these assignments required to establish the business framework (legal, tax, logistics) and to screen, hire and train local employees that would locally implement corporate processes and procedures while fully comply with the countries' regulations.
From 1985-1986, Sal directed the construction of a cosmetics manufacturing facility for Sara Lee; selected a union in Mexico City and launched a new 400-employee operation overseeing the recruitment and training of employees at every level. Immediately after, he was hired by P&G (Tambrands) where he worked from 1986 to 1994. First he relocated to Massachusetts to undertake the corporate task of replacing the family-owned management staff of the acquired companies by new local professionals. From 1992 to 1994, he was sent to China to manage the selection, recruitment and training of local professionals who assumed the responsibilities of expatriates and corporate visitors. Sal has had plant management experience in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Brazil and China as well as in Mexico.
Gabriel is a Mexican industrial engineer and is President of Prucumex, S.A. de C.V. For fifteen years he has specialized in identifying and evaluating capable metals and plastics suppliers for foreign companies who wish to establish a strong supplier base in Mexico. He is experienced in designing and conducting quality audits, assessing management capability and in helping suppliers to develop their abilities to meet special client needs.
Gabe has served many U.S. and Asian companies in a wide variety of assignments. He developed, for example, a lower-cost supply base for Helix Technology, a designer and manufacturer of cryogenic equipment. The work for Helix, now Brooks Automation, was a two year assignment, involved over 1,300 part numbers and required his evaluation of more than 100 prospective suppliers.
Gabriel has worked on similar assignments for many other clients. Several of his significant supplier validation assignments have been and are for foreign automotive manufacturers. Their requirements have included casting, machining, sheet metal formation, stamping, deep draw and plastics. He manages end to end sourcing solutions and process from assisting clients in preparing RFI’s and RFQ’s through NDA completion, developing drawings and specifications, securing timely quotations, sample/first article development, regular production, ongoing inspection and logistic support.
Gabe graduated as Industrial Engineer from Universidad Regiomontana in Monterrey, Mexico. He is fluent in Spanish and English.
As President of his own company, Integrated Environmental Management Services, S.A. de C.V. (IEMS), Scott has lived and worked in Mexico for over 20 years. He has performed hundreds of environmental, health and safety regulatory compliance audits and property transfer assignments within Mexico and other Latin American countries. Some other of his projects include Due Diligence/Phase I and II assessments, regulatory negotiations and EHS audits as well as the investigation, design and construction of large-scale wastewater treatment facilities, industrial ventilation systems, and ground water and soil remediation projects.
Scott is the author of many articles and a frequent speaker at international conferences regarding Mexican start-up regulations including transport, industrial facility operation, environmental, health and safety issues as well as ground water treatment.
He is a Civil Engineer from George Washington University and holds a M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a registered professional engineer, a U.S. Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP), and an Environmental Management and System Compliance Systems auditor.
A native of Cleveland and a graduate of Northwestern University, John has been a journalist most of his life. After writing for several U.S. newspapers in Mexico City, he became an Economist for the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico focusing on the maquiladora industry.
Following this, John worked for CIEMEX-WEFA developing quarterly reports and meetings on the industry. When CIEMEX-WEFA was acquired by Global Insight and then IHS, he continued to report on the maquila industry until 2006 when the industry became IMMEX.
In addition to his consulting work, John writes articles on the industry and the Mexican economy for MexicoNow.
TOM JOHNStON, José Jiménez and LOURDES RAMÍREZ
Tom, Jose and Lourdes are principals of Business Development Partners, S.A. de C.V. (BDP), initially started in Mexico City in 1993. The company draws on the long careers of each of the partners to provide customized market research, channel identification, relationship building, product promotion, fabricator searches and other business support services in the Mexican market.
BDP specializes in research and partner identification for small and medium sized manufacturers of high quality industrial equipment and components. The company also works closely with providers of agricultural and food industry products and equipment to establish them in the Mexican market.
Tom has, for over 25 years, combined his experience in research and manufacturing. He has consulted for the Agency for International Development and the World Bank in Central America, managed the Southern Cone representation office of the State University of New York in Chile, and has overseen manufacturing operations in Mexico for a New York apparel firm in the early years of NAFTA. Tom has a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. in Latin American Studies from the State University of New York.
José has over 30 years of experience in international research and trade promotion, having served clients including the Australian Embassy Trade Commission, the Délégation Générale du Québec trade promotion office, the State of Illinois trade promotion office and the Massachusetts Port Authority. José holds a B.A. in Economics from Long Island University (LIU) in New York and conducted post-graduate studies in Korea, the United States at LIU and in Mexico at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.
Lourdes has worked for 25 years in trade promotion in Mexico. She began her career with the American Chamber of Commerce and later joined the California Office of Trade and Investment in Mexico. Lourdes assisted several hundred California companies over the course of 12 years, serving as Senior Trade Specialist and later as Acting Director. She is a specialist in Mexico’s retail industry, overseeing representation and recruitment services for the International Housewares Association in Mexico and Central America since 2003.
Rosy is a bilingual senior executive based in Mexico City, where she has been working continuously for over 30 years. Much of her experience has been in the consumer goods area where she held positions in marketing, product development, sales and supply chain. For 18 years, Rosy worked in vendor development for Avon Cosmetics. She also been a legal clerk for a law firm with responsibilities for all due registries of newly established businesses. On MCA projects, she is a key team member in performing due diligence in the Mexico City area.