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TIAA in Panama: Crossroads of Commerce
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Join TIAA for our second conference of 2017 in Panama City, Panama, at the crossroads of the world and trade.

9/22/2017 to 9/23/2017
When: Friday, September 22, 2017
7:00 PM
Contact: Jake Strickler

Online registration is closed.
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TIAA is proud to announce the next in our regional global conference series developed and designed for the precise professional and personal development concerns of our fellow alumni. We celebrate the important role T-birds play in global understand and business. Join TIAA on September 22-23, 2017 at the Crossroads of Commerce Conference in Panama in the Casco Viejo district - Panama City's most historic and well-loved area where we will once again provide intimate business networking and education on a new level.  


Schedule, Venues, and Attire:


Friday, September 22:

9:00 a.m.
Panama Canal Tour; More Info TBD

7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Opening Reception and Cocktails
Salon Viejo, American Trade Hotel
Attire: Business Casual


Saturday, September 23:

9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Registration and Networking
San Jose Room, Central Hotel
Attire: Business Formal

9:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
Opening Remarks

9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
The Colón Free Trade Zone with Surse Pierpoint

10:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Coffee Break

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The Transformation of Value Creation with Dana Green

12:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Lunch - San Francisco Room, Central Hotel
Top Gun: The Best of the Best with Capt. Jim DiMatteo, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

1:45 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Group Photo

2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
The Money Tree with Meg Lowman and Michael Hanemann

3:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Coffee Break

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Expanding the Panama Canal with Ilya Espino de Marotta

4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Break Before Dinner and Party

7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Dinner - Dining Room, American Trade Hotel
Attire: Smart Casual

8:30 p.m. to Late
Party - Danilo's Jazz Club, American Trade Hotel

Pricing for the Summit:


Registration includes all conference events, including opening and closing receptions and Saturday night dinner.



$325 per person         Lifetime and Current Student Members                                               

$375 per person         Premier Members                                                                                

$425 per person         Annual, Recent Grad and Business Members                                     

$450 per person         Friends and Family Members                                                              

$500 per person         All Alumni and Non-Members (includes Annual Membership!)             




Speaker Bios

Dana Green         

A business acceleration expert who leaders call on for well-grounded guidance to address a range of business challenges, Dana Green offers more than 35 years of experience working with Fortune 500 organizations as well as domestic small and medium-sized enterprises across a range of industries and geographies.

Dana focuses on value development, change leadership and business transformation. He is an expert in the creation and execution of strategies to drive corporate growth, post-merger integration, organizational change, asset optimization and a host of other value-enhancing initiatives.

As a skilled collaborator, he works with board officers and the senior executives of multinational corporations as well as with the owners and operators of privately or family-held entities. He accelerates business value that leads to optimized liquidity event planning and execution, in addition to expanding equity options for owners involving buy and sell-side merger and acquisition, internal succession or organic growth.

Client engagements have included leading a post-merger planning and integration initiative for a $20b semiconductor manufacturer and heading a team to conduct due diligence on a pending acquisition for a $7b global information services and publishing company. His past clients include a global organizational and leadership change initiative for the Nuclear Power division of Westinghouse Electric; a divisional transformation initiative for NetApp, Inc.; and an organization-wide culture and leadership change initiative for the U.S. Army.

Dana served as the initial President and CEO of Sage | Kotter, with Dr. John Kotter, Harvard Business School professor emeritus, author of the New York Times best-seller Leading Change and architect of the widely acclaimed 8-Step Change methodology.

He spent nine years with Microsoft Corporation, serving in senior leadership roles within worldwide operations, various product groups, and corporate finance. In 1995, he teamed with Microsoft’s Mergers and Acquisitions team in the Corporate Development office to create a new post-close acquisition integration model that became the standard by which future Microsoft acquisitions and partnerships were addressed. He held leadership responsibilities with several noteworthy ventures, such as the creation of MSN; the founding of Expedia, from concept through buildup, spinout, and IPO; and the establishment of MSNBC. In addition, Dana led key aspects of 44 corporate acquisitions valued at over $8b.

Dana began his career as a senior manager at The Boeing Company, providing contracting and program management leadership for the Boeing Aerospace and Boeing Computer Services Divisions. Among the many projects he was involved in over eleven years was the European economic offset planning initiative associated with the U.S. Government’s sale of Boeing’s AWACS aircraft to NATO, program managing large-scale supercomputing and software development projects for the City of New York and the U.S. Air Force, and several engagements with the Department of Defense.

Other posts include Vice President Strategy with Jump Associates, Senior Vice President Growth and Development with Sipi Metals and Senior Partner with Morgan Samuels.

Dana earned a B.A. from Seattle Pacific University with a concentration in Economic and Business Management. He has completed MBA coursework at the American Graduate University as well as additional specialized training in management, contracting and negotiations.  In 2012, Dana was appointed Adjunct Professor with Hult International Business School – London.


Meg Lowman

Called the “real life Lorax” by National Geographic and the “Einstein of the treetops” by Wall Street Journal, Meg Lowman exudes a passion for trees and forest conservation. She is an author, explorer, scientist, arbornaut (translation: treetop explorer!), mom, and change-agent for conservation. As a child, she built tree-forts and collected wild flowers. In her adulthood, she has devoted over 3 decades to exploration and research on forest canopies, as one of the first pioneers to found the field of canopy science. She has developed a toolkit for treetop exploration, including ropes and harnesses, canopy walkways, hot-air balloons and inflatables, cherry pickers, and construction cranes. Her research on tree canopies and forest conservation takes her to many countries with relatively little scientific infrastructure, where she can make a difference and also mentor girls at every opportunity.

CanopyMeg has published 8 books and over 125 peer-reviewed publications. Her first book, Life in the Treetops, was featured on the cover of the NY Times Sunday Book Review. Her work is showcased in Wired Magazine, Popular Science, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Reading Rainbow, The Explorers Journal, Playboy, and as an ICON in the premier business magazine, Florida Trend. Carolyn Shoemaker named an asteroid after her, which represents some prime real estate near Jupiter. A children’s book featuring Lowman taking her kids into the canopy is currently used by over 14 states for next generation science standards (NGSS) in middle schools, based on her work as chief scientist for the Jason Project watched by millions of kids via satellite tele-communication, working alongside Bob Ballard of Titanic fame. Lowman has a BA in Biology, MSc in Ecology, PhD in Botany, and Executive Management certificate from Tuck School of Business. She has received myriad prizes including the Mendel Medal, Roy Chapman Andrews Distinguished Explorer Award, Kilby Laureate, Odum Award for Excellence in Education, and Lowell Thomas Medal by the Explorers Club. Her website, receives over 2 million hits/year and she frequently speaks to public groups ranging from kindergartens to corporate leaders to college commencements.

CanopyMeg was the founding director of the Nature Research Center in Raleigh, North Carolina; Executive Director of Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida; and inaugural Chief of Science and Sustainability at California Academy of Sciences. She has advised the Tommy Hilfiger Foundation and the Florida cabinet about sustainability, and was a science journalist for over a decade. Her current priorities including leading a biodiversity expedition in Malaysian rain forests, and partnering with Coptic priests in Ethiopia to save their last 5% remaining forests (that exist in church yards). Her mantra is, “no child left indoors,” and she brings Oreo cookies on all her climbing expeditions. 


Ilya Espino de Marotta

Executive Vice President for Engineering and Programs Management

Panama Canal Authority


Obtained her Marine Engineer degree from Texas A&M, in Galveston, Texas, U.S.A., in May 1985; and in 1996, her Masters in Economic Engineering from the Universidad Santa María La Antigua in Panama City, Republic of Panama.  Took Managerial Development courses in: The INCAE Business School, located in Managua, Nicaragua (February 2000) and, The Kellogg School of Management, located in Illinois, U.S.A. (July 2006). Is a Certified Public Translator.  Obtained her Project Administrator Certificate from the Project Management Institute in May 2007.

Has worked for the Panama Canal Commission / Panama Canal Authority for over 30 years in various positions.  Among them as a Design Engineer for Industrial Division-the shipyard-where the Canal floating equipment, Dredging Division; and for the Mechanical Engineering Branch, Engineering Division.  Also worked for the Accounting Division as Valuation Engineer.   Was the Investment Program Coordinator for the Maritime Operations Department.  In May 2002, assigned to the Canal Master Plan coordinating team, under the Administrator’s Office, where she participated in the development of the Panama Canal Master Plan and the Expansion Proposal presented to the Nation for a Referendum on October 22, 2006.  She then transferred to the Programs Development Office under the Administrator’s Office, where she participated in planning the execution of the various works required for the Expansion Program.

In May 2007 she was appointed as Executive Manager of the Resources Planning and Project Controls Division, Engineering and Programs Administration Department, responsible for the execution of the Expansion Program.  She acted in this position until 2012.

She was assigned as Executive Vice President for Engineering and Program Management. This Vice Presidency is in charge of all engineering of the Panama Canal including preparing the designs and specifications for all Panama Canal Projects, also issuing and managing all the construction contracts for the Panama Canal; and heading the execution of the Panama Canal Expansion Program.

In the development and execution of her responsibilities, has been recognized several times with several awards of excellence for her contribution to various programs.

She has also given many lectures on the Panama Canal Expansion Program and the national and international level and was awarded as “Outstanding Woman of the Year” by the Panamanian Association of Business Executives; Global Chairman’s Diversity Leadership by Stanton Chase; Forbes Magazine of Mexico recognized her in its list of the 50 most powerful women in Central America; 2016 Women who make a difference by the International Women Forum; and holds the Distinguished Woman Award from the Association of Professional and Business Woman of Panama.

Member of the Board of Directors of the Ronald McDonalds Charity Organization of Panama; Women Corporate Director (WCD) and the International Women Forum (IWF).

Personal: Happily married for 28 years with Peter Marotta, three kids Marco 26, Peter 24, Andrea 21.

Likes: travel, go to the beach, working out, photography, diving, cooking when time allows.



Surse Pierpoint

Surse Pierpoint has been General Manager of Colon Import & Export, S.A. since 1989. He was born in Panama in 1958 and was educated at UNC-Greensboro in North Carolina, USA from which he received a double major in Spanish and Latin American Literature in 1982. He then went on to complete an MBA at the School of International Management in Arizona.

Surse is currently the General Manager of Zona Libre de Colón since July 2014. Former President of the Colón Free Trade Users Association and has been a Member of the Board of the Free Zone Users Association since 1987. He is also a Member of the Board of the British Chamber of Commerce in Panama, a Member of the Advisory Board of the Georgia Tech Logistics and Innovation Research Center in Panama, and a founding board member of the Bastiat Society.

Additionally, he is President of Fundación Libertad Panamá - a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting classic liberal thought in Panama.

Surse is fluent in both English and Spanish.

He is married with four children.


Capt. Jim DiMatteo, U.S. Navy (Ret)

Red Bull Air Race - International Race Director

Breitling - U.S. Director of Aviation

After graduating from the University of California Berkeley in 1986, Jim followed in his father’s and brother’s footsteps and joined the US Navy where he began an unprecedented Naval Aviation career.  He retired as a Captain and has amassed over 5,000 hours in 5 different fighter aircraft (F/A-18, F-16, F-14, F-5, A-4) in over twenty-five years of service.  After extensive combat flight time in Desert Storm, Jim was recruited into the prestigious TOPGUN Adversary squadron.  It was there that he accumulated more TOPGUN Adversary flight time than anyone in the history of the US Navy and Marine Corps, ultimately being named the Commanding Officer of both VFC-13 and VFC-111, the TOPGUN Adversary squadrons on each coast.  While under his command, his squadrons won the Triple Crown of Naval Aviation awards for Operations, Safety and Maintenance, a feat that had never been done before.  After command of his squadrons CAPT DiMatteo was asked to join the headquarters of Naval Aviation in San Diego, California and worked for the Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) overseeing the TOPGUN Adversary program.  While at CNAF, he led one of the most publically visible programs in Naval Aviation history, a yearlong celebration to honor the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation in the year 2011.  CAPT DiMatteo directed what the U.S. Secretary of the Navy and Navy CNO have touted as one of the greatest events in recent Naval Aviation history.

In 2007 Jim DiMatteo was recruited to be the first and only US Race Director for the International Red Bull Air Races.  He was responsible for the development and coordination of all US aviation related activity, Rules and Regulations development, FAA (or international equivalent) liaison, execution and oversight of all flying sessions and assisted in the track design and qualifications of Race Pilots. In over 75 Air Races around the world the Red Bull Air Race safety record has maintained zero injuries or fatalities.  The complexities of organizing and running a live-televised aviation event in the heart of a major city (Barcelona, Budapest, Perth, Rio de Janeiro, Abu Dhabi, London, Texas and Vegas Motor Speedways, etc) was never more challenging than the race Jim directed in New York around the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan. This race is now heralded as one of the greatest Air Races and aviation achievements in New York history. 

In 2012, Jim was asked to revamp and run one of the largest aviation events in the world, AirVenture, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  For three years he was responsible for all AirVenture’s Flight Operations and Features & Attractions.  The three AirVentures that Jim lead, including 2014 when he coordinated the first ever US jet demonstration Team performance (the USAF Thunderbirds) are among the best, and safest, in the 64 year history of this renowned aviation event.

In 2014, Jim left Oshkosh to run Breitling Aviation in the U.S. and be the Director of the Breitling Jet Team American Tour.  This tour was the first in U.S. history where an International Jet Team performed extensively in America amassing over 40 airshows and over 100 displays and media flights to over 50 million spectators throughout the U.S. and Canada.

In addition to his military, aviation and Air Racing careers, as an entrepreneur Jim has owned and operated a few award-winning restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the San Diego area. He serves on numerous Boards and Committees in both the business and Naval Aviation sectors and has been awarded several prestigious civilian awards including the Spirit of Life Award for the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, the San Diego Trailblazer of the Year Award and the Chairman’s Award for the International Sports Council.  He also was awarded the International Special Events Society (ISES) highest honor, the best in class award, for his Centennial of Naval Aviation celebratory events in 2011, naming his Washington DC Naval Aviation Centennial event as the best Gala in the world for 2011. 

In Naval Aviation, his flying career is very distinguished. He has amassed a remarkable number of awards and accolades, including US Navy Fighter Pilot of the Year, the US Navy Adversary Pilot of the Year, the Top Hook for the USS NIMITZ aircraft carrier, the Top Student Jet Pilot of the Year and the esteemed International Britannia Award from the United Kingdom honoring him as the Top Tactical Jet Pilot in the US Navy and Marine Corps.

Jim loves all sports and proudly represented the United States for many years on the National US Rugby Team, Collegiate All-American and All-Military teams in addition to winning 3 National Collegiate Rugby Championships.   Jim resides in Coronado, California with his wife of 29 years (Kathy) and their two children, Isabella (16) and Nico (13).


Dr. Michael Hanemann

Michael Hanemann is a Chancellor's professor and Professor of environmental and resource economics in the Department of Agricultural and Resources Economics, where he has been on the faculty since 1968. Prior to coming to Berkeley, he earned a B.A. from Oxford University in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, a M.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics and Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University.

Michael's research in economics has focused largely on aspects of modeling individual choice behavior, with applications to demand forecasting, inducing conservation, environmental regulation and economic valuation. He is a leading authority on the methodology of non-market valuation using techniques of both revealed and stated preference.