Meet Empire State Development’s Foreign Office Directors

Our global network of trade directors provides local expertise for the markets they represent by conducting customized research, facilitating connections and identifying potential distributors and agents for New York companies looking to export their products and services globally. They also serve as liaisons between Empire State Development and potential foreign investors. Global NY’s foreign office directors are currently located in Africa, Canada, the Caribbean region, China, Europe, India, Israel, Mexico, and South America.

 

Richard Zurba

Global NY Director, Africa - Trade

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.  
 

 

Benjamin Kalman

Global NY Director, Canada - Trade & Investment

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.

Headshot, Sapphire Chang, China Representative, Trade and Investment

 

Sapphire Tang

Global NY Director, China - Trade & Investment

Ms. Sapphire Tang joined Tractus as a Consultant in August 2021. Since she joined Tractus, She is representing the New York State Empire State Development (ESD) in China for both investment attraction and trade promotion. Ms. Tang earned her bachelor’s degree from Tongji University, majoring in Industrial Design. Sapphire has rich experience in cross-cultural project management, consulting in fund raising, government negotiations, facilitation of trade and investment co-operations, and business development. Her strength is in resource integration and negotiations.

Prior to joining Tractus, Sapphire was in a small consultancy start-up that focused on China-Europe co-operations as one of the co-founding partners and Business Development Manager. She was involved in many trade & investment related projects and has worked with Chinese government officials & staffs (some of the YRD cities, and some from Sichuan Province, mostly investment recruitment office, few cities to their mayors), European government officials (Germany, Serbia), European and South America trading companies, Chinese SOEs (Construction, grain& agricultural product, aluminum, steel& alloy), Chinese manufacturers (PPE, steel, medical, large machine), Chinese Trading & Trade Service groups (Shanghai), and Investment Bank & Funds (Medical and new energy sectors, mostly VC funds, some PE funds, few Chinese gov. funds).

Headshot of Marine L’Herrou, Global NY Director, Europe

 

Marine L’Herrou

Global NY Director, Europe - Investment

Marine L’Herrou is Project Manager-Senior Consultant at OCO Global. ​ Based in Paris, she specializes in Lead Generation for FDI attraction and she serves as the FDI Director, Europe for Empire State Development. She is also a consultant for InvestHK in France (Hong Kong). In these roles, Marine advises French and European companies in their investment/set-up and development projects in New York and Hong Kong. ​

Before joining OCO Global, Marine spent several years abroad: as the account manager at Camper in Spain and in Mainland China, where she worked for a popular e-commerce grocery store, managing the sales and business development operations in Shanghai. ​Prior to joining OCO Global, Marine was Head of Business Development at a consulting company and the EU representative for a regional Chinese Investment promotion bureau to head up lead generation and support private firms and research institutes investing in Mainland China. ​​

As a French national, Marine holds a Master’s degree in “Europe-Asia International Business”, a Bachelor’s in Export and International Negotiation and a degree (HSK5) in Chinese from Shanghai Jiaotong and Qingdao Universities. Marine is fluent in French, English, and Spanish; she also speaks Chinese (mandarin – HSK5).

Headshot of Dylan Yeates, Global NY Director, Europe

Dylan Yeates

Global NY Director, Europe - Trade

Dylan joined OCO Global 5 years ago as an International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment consultant and manages the trade portfolio for ESD’s Europe office.

With extensive experience in strategy development, Dylan supports both private companies and government entities, helping them to develop and realise their international growth plans. Dylan has previously collaborated with a number of leading Trade and Investment promotion agencies throughout Europe. This includes the UKs Department for International Trade, Germany Trade and Invest, Business France and Switzerland Global Enterprise, among others. In addition, he has also worked with developing economies in North Africa, on various aspects of strategy and capacity development.

Dylan is based in Belfast, the United Kingdom, and earned a first-class honours degree in Economics and Finance, from Queens University.

Headshot of Antrikch Rastogi, Global NY Director, India

 

Antrikch Rastogi

Global NY Director, India - Trade & Investment

Mr. Antrikch Rastogi is a Senior Research Analyst with Tractus Asia and is representing the New York State Empire State Development (ESD) in India for investment attraction and trade promotion. Mr. Rastogi has over eight years of experience in economic development, cross-border business and investment, bilateral trade, technical collaboration, Joint venture, and developing government relations, where he advised public and private sector organizations on expansion strategies.

Before joining Tractus, Antrikch worked as Manager for the Commercial Wing of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea known as KOTRA. In this role, he worked directly with the C-Suite levels to support Korean companies in their market research, market entry strategies as well as fundraising for their activities in India. He holds his bachelor’s degree in Electronics & Communication.

Headshot of Meghna Jain, Global NY Director, India

Meghna Jain

Global NY Director, India - Trade & Investment

Ms. Meghna Jain is as a Senior Research Analyst with Tractus Asia and represents the New York State Empire State Development (ESD) in India for both investment attraction and trade promotion. Ms. Jain has over eight years of experience in market entry consulting, investment sector analysis, investment promotion, government relations, banking & relationship management, and international trade, where she advised entities on opportunities in India and managed government relationships.

Meghna formerly worked for the Korean Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), where she helped to build connections between the Indian and Korean governments and advised Korean corporations on high-growth investment industries in India. Previous ventures have provided her experience in the electric vehicle industry, automotive, energy, infrastructure, finance, and edutech. 

She holds a Master’s degree in Banking and Relationship Management and a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering.

 

Gerry Stoch

Global NY Director, Israel - Trade & Investment

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.

 

Efren Flores Rangel

Global NY Director, Mexico - Trade

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.

Headshot of Veronica Medina, Global NY Director, South America - Argentina, Chile, Colombia, & Peru

 

Veronica Medina

Global NY Director, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru - Trade

Veronica Medina is the Founder and CEO of BusinessHub Consultants, one of South America´s leading international business development firms which she founded in 2014.  BusinessHub is headquartered in Chile and has an office in Peru. Ms. Medina has over 25 years of experience in international business development and has assisted many governments and companies achieve their international trade and investment objectives in Latin America.  Her industry experience includes agriculture, F&B, clean tech, mining, infrastructure, fintech, ICT, innovation & technology, and renewable energy, among many others. Her previous positions included COO of TradeChile, European Manager for the Colorado Trade Office in London, Medical Information Manager at Gensia Europe Ltd., Drug Surveillance Officer for Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), and Events Organizer at the British Red Cross.  She has a Certificate in International Trade from the World Trade Center Denver & Metropolitan State College in Colorado. In addition, she earned her Masters of Science in Clinical Pharmacology from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) and undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Dallas (USA). Veronica has been a foreign office director for ESD since 2017 helping New York companies to grow their export to South America.

Headshot of Claudia Maria Tomaselli, Global NY Director, Brazil

Claudia Maria Tomaselli

Global NY Director, Brazil - Trade

Founder and Partner Director at TVZ International, Ms. Tomaselli has over 20 years of experience in trade promotion, international business development, project management, and trade events organization. She has been acting as the Principal of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers Trade Office in Brazil since December 2004. Before founding TVZ, Claudia served as the Interim Director and Deputy Director of the Council of Great Lakes Governors (CGLG) Brazil Office, representing and promoting the exports of the States of Indiana, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; the Special Assistant to the US Commercial Center’s Director at the US & Foreign Commercial Service; Trade Event Assistant at the USFCS; and founder and director at CMT Design, a design and promotional event company. Throughout her career Claudia built up considerable experience bridging the US and Brazilian business cultures, having advised over 1,500 US companies interested in entering or expending their presence in the Brazilian market. Claudia received Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communication and Industrial Design from Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP) in São Paulo, Brazil.  In addition to her native Portuguese, Claudia is fluent in English and is conversant in French, Italian, and Spanish.

Headshot of Vania Zulatto, Global NY Director, Brazil

Vânia Zulatto

Global NY Director, Brazil - Trade

Vânia Zulatto, founder and co-director of TVZ International brought to the company 15 years of experience in working with American companies and US government agencies in International trade, export promotion, market entry strategies, marketing and Foreign Direct Investment in the USA, positioning foreign companies to enter the Brazilian market and Brazilian businesses in establishing subsidiaries overseas. Ms. Zulatto is also TVZ’s financial and administrative director responsible for the company’s finance strategies, and for all the office’s budgetary, personnel and administrative aspects.

Prior to founding TVZ in December 2004, Ms. Zulatto worked with the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers, formerly the Council of Great Lakes Governors (CGLG) established in 1997 and assisted the CGLG member state companies to improve and expand their exports, by establishing partnership agreements like technology transfers, joint ventures, distribution, and representation agreements in several Brazilian industry sectors. Ms. Zulatto was previously associated with the USFCS in São Paulo, Brazil, as a Co-Manager of the Trade Events Unit. Her activities included the coordination of all trade fair events on a countrywide basis, assisting the Trade Fairs Unit Director in event recruiting, negotiation of trade fair space and price with prospective exhibitors. Prior to that Ms. Zulatto experienced nine years of working in the private sector, acting as Buyer for Alternativa Produtos Naturais e Integrais, a health food store where she was responsible for the purchase and pricing of approximately 2,000 items.

Ms. Zulatto received her Bachelor´s Degree in Social Sciences from The Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil in 1993 and is also graduated in Visual Communication at Escola Panamericana de Artes in São Paulo. Ms. Zulatto who speaks Portuguese and English fluently, accomplished her English language studies in 1979 in Brazil, taking soon after that  an English extension course in California, and concluded a Business English course at the Wall Street Institute in Brazil. Ms. Zulatto also has conversational and reading skills in Spanish and Italian. 

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