Meet Global NY’s Foreign Office Directors

With representatives around the world and programs offering export funding and assistance, Global NY helps New York businesses enter or expand their presence in the global marketplace. Our global network of trade directors provide local expertise for the markets they represent by conducting customized research, facilitating connections and identifying potential distributors and agents for New York companies abroad. Global NY’s six foreign office directors are currently located in Canada, China, Europe, Israel, Mexico, and South Africa.

Headshot of Bert Chen, Global NY Director, China

Bert Chen

Global NY Director, China

Mr. Chen joined Tractus China in March 2021 as an Analyst, representing Empire State Department (ESD, New York State) for investment attraction and trade promotion.

Mr. Chen earned his master’s degree in finance from Brandeis University in Boston and graduated from Wenzhou-Kean University with a bachelor’s degree in International Business.

Prior to joining Tractus, Mr. Chen began his professional career at Mercer, the world's largest outsourced asset manager with over US$300 billion outsourced assets under management. Mr. Chen was engaged in their investments practice for Multinational Clients Group and Health & Benefits business line. At Mercer, Mr. Chen participated in several consulting projects focused on organizational structure and investment management for multiple industries including: Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical, Real Estate, FMCG among others. Prior to Mercer, Mr. Chen gained experience in finance while at Red Pulse Investment Management Co., conducting research and data scraping, as well as quantitative and qualitative analyses on numerous companies. He also contributed to market mapping for companies within the Raw Materials sector including: Forestry, Mining and Petrochemicals among others. Mr. Chen also worked at Huaxi Securities, Yiwu Branch, where he designed marketing and business development plans for customer attraction and retention into stock trading accounts. During the course of his education in Waltham, MA (USA), on his STEM-designated Master of Science in Finance program, he participated in financial projects for a Multinational Food Franchise on the 2019 Net Impact Investment Challenge. He also contributed to projects on equity distribution for airlines and on corporate financial modeling for multinational casual clothing company.

Photo of Global NY Foreign Director Barbara Grunewald

Barbara Grunewald

Global NY Director, Europe

Barbara has over 15 years of experience in economic and social business development, project management, strategic analysis and client relationship management in a range of industries including the financial sector, the aviation industry, and international development. She holds a master’s degree in English, Business Administration and International Law, as well as a Master of Advanced Studies in International Development and Cooperation.

In the past, Barbara established a regional office in Brazil for a global SME operating in the aviation industry. She liaised directly with a broad range of stakeholders including customers, investors, small business organizations and government agencies. After successful market entry and a sharp increase in sales, a local representative took over the local operation. Barbara moved on to give strategic and operational support to the US office, overseeing the development of a growth strategy which led to an increase in international trade. 

Throughout her career, Barbara has developed strong business acumen and an extensive knowledge in trade and investment of SMEs and global corporations. She has lived and worked in Europe, North and South America and is fluent in English, German, Spanish, Portuguese and French.   

Benjamin Kalman

Global NY Director, Canada

Benjamin holds a Master’s degree from Concordia University in Montreal. He has spent the majority of his career in economic development, having become a subject matter expert in investment attraction. He has extensive experience leading teams of Economic Development Associates on behalf of state and federal government clients in multiple sectors, including automotive, aerospace, advanced manufacturing and materials, life sciences, AI and advanced technology, clean tech, and tourism. He has also developed specialized programs with Fortune-level companies which has led to longstanding business relationships with renowned organizations and significant FDI projects for a multitude of clients with companies such as Equinix, Instacart, Intel, Microsoft, Mondelez, Mouser Electronics, Nordstrom, Twitter and WeWork.

Sreehari Marar, Global NY Director, India

Sreehari Marar

Global NY Director, India

Mr. Sreehari Marar has built up considerable experience in his 12 years advising both public organizations and private sector companies realize trade and investment opportunities between North America and Asia. His past clients include the States of Washington and New Jersey as well as large corporations such as Met Life and Dow Chemicals. Mr. Marar started his career at Goldman Sachs in the wealth management division. In recent years he has advised over 50 North American companies enter the Indian market, as well as advised several Indian firms on investing in North America.

Through providing advice to private and public clients, Mr. Marar has built up considerable experience in economic development, cross-border trade and investment, international trade, corporate finance and government relations across multiple sectors. Past projects has provided him with experience in the aerospace, automotive, energy, infrastructure, health and life sciences, financial services, IT, among many others.

Mr. Marar holds an MBA in Strategy and International Business from Copenhagen Business School and European Business School. His undergraduate education was in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.

Efren Flores Rangel

Global NY Director, Mexico

Efren holds degrees from California State University Northridge and  ITESM in Monterrey, Mexico. As an international business development consultant, he travels widely throughout the U.S. and Latin America addressing marketing strategies and opportunities to do business in Mexico. He’s consulted with federal and state governments in Mexico and overseas, as a representative of the World Trade Organization for the Ministry of Economy, a member of APEC negotiation board and a senior trade specialist for a recognized consulting firm. He is General Director of Global Business Partners Mexico, S.C., a firm he founded in 2006. Efren has participated in 45 trade missions to Mexico and has worked with more than 1,500 U.S companies from Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, New York and Wisconsin as well as European companies to establish business ties in Mexico. He’s been recognized for skills in negotiation, international business development, business culture, international trade and investment, market strategy, strategic planning, international sales and business management. Efren’s expertise spans a range of industry sectors including: automotive, environmental, agricultural products and equipment, heavy machinery, telecommunications, civil and general security, medical, plastics and chemicals.

Gerry Stoch

Global NY Director, Israel

Gerry has been a business and economic development consultant based in Israel—and  since 1998,  Director of Global NY’s Office in Israel promoting exports from New York State to Israel and foreign direct investment from Israel to New York.  In this role, Gerry has organized several Technology Cooperation Agreements between the State of New York and Israel.  He has led several delegations of Israeli companies to New York and hosted visiting delegations. Most recently, he hosted a Global NY delegation, identifying potential distributors and import partners.  Eight of the 10 companies signed agreements within six months.  From 2003-2010, Gerry also managed the back office of a major Private Equity Fund. Gerry  works closely with foreign investors, including U.S.-based semiconductor designer, Advanced Micro Devices. Gerry is a board member of the Friends of the Volcani Institute, the Israeli Government’s arm for Agricultural Research and Development and International cooperation, the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce in Tel Aviv and the Orthodox Chamber of Commerce. Gerry previously worked for the Israeli Government Ministry of Finance, both in Israel and in the U.S. He has an M.S. in Agricultural Economics and Management from the Hebrew University at Rehovot and a B.A. in Economics and Psychology from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

Richard Zurba

Global NY Director, South Africa

Richard is the Director of Zurcom International (Pty) Ltd, the contracted representative for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers, representing ESD/Global NY in sub-Saharan Africa since 1999. Richard came to Africa in 1993, and worked on humanitarian projects in the D. R. Congo for World Vision Relief before moving to South Africa in 1996 as an export manager selling into 20 African countries.  In 1999, Richard opened the Great Lakes St Lawrence Governors & Premiers Africa Trade Office in Johannesburg, representing several U.S. state governments in international business development.  Richard is Coordinator for the IBG Global partnership, providing trade network services through 22 partner companies in 56 countries servicing more than 150 country markets. Zurcom has worked with approximately 3,700 companies on international trade projects, with staff in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Richard has a B.A. and M.A. in International Relations (University of Alberta; the London School of Economics) and an M.B.A. in International Business (University of Western Ontario).  Prior to his move to Africa, Richard led development projects in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Austria, Malawi and the Bahamas.