Leading Executives Discuss U.S.-Brazil Business Challenges and Opportunities at Miami Event Organized by Martell Innovation

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwire - Feb 19, 2013) - Martell Innovation, an innovation strategy and planning consulting firm, organized last week's event held by the Wharton Club of South Florida on U.S.-Brazil cross-border operational challenges and sales opportunities.

Over 100 executives, community leaders, and entrepreneurs gathered to hear presentations by South Florida based senior executives from some of the largest global U.S. companies and global Brazilian companies.

The sponsors for the event were American Airlines, Inc., Giraffas, and The University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park, a Wexford Equities property. Special support was provided by The Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida, The Brazilian Consulate of Miami, and The Beacon Council.

"As Brazil's wealth grows, its cross-border business with the U.S. will continue to increase dramatically, particularly with South Florida," said Maxine Martell, CEO of Martell Innovation. "Brazil is already Southeast Florida's largest trading partner."

There were many insightful points made by the event's speakers.

Art Torno, American Airlines' Vice President - Mexico, Caribbean, and Latin America, noted the important role that the World Cup and Olympics will play in Americans learning about Brazil. He also pointed out that changes to the U.S. Visa requirements for Brazilians will dramatically increase the already exploding tourism from Brazil and number of people flying between the two countries, which American Airlines will be ready to handle.

Alex Blochtein, President of Emerson Network Power Systems in CALA, identified the potential challenge of obtaining labor in Brazil, and described how Emerson solved that problem by using well thought-out local education and corporate training programs.

Mark Van Genderen, Harley-Davidson Motor Company's Vice President and Managing Director, Latin America, discussed establishing branding, noting how his company succeeded in Brazil by quickly building media relationships and using an edgy ad campaign.

Luiz Silva, USA President of Saccaro, a Brazilian company with 70 stores in 25 countries, noted that the "grass is greener" in the U.S. when compared to the bureaucracy in Brazil and its unpredictable laws for business. He stated that Saccaro's eco-friendly story helps U.S. sales.

João Barbosa, Chief Executive Officer of Giraffas USA, part of a Brazilian company with nearly 400 locations in Brazil, said that while the bureaucracy was more predictable in the U.S., variations among city requirements created challenges. He noted that most businesses start in the Northern Hemisphere and then expand to the Southern Hemisphere. He stated that Giraffas would be successful going in the other direction, from Brazil to the U.S.

About Martell Innovation

Martell Innovation is an innovation strategy and planning consulting firm. The purpose of the firm is to look beyond the client's core business and identify new business opportunities based on emerging technologies, new markets, and new trends. The firm also provides services to obtain management and employee "buy-in". By embracing the future, the firm's clients ensure their sustainability and growth.