Nelson Balido | Chairman & CEO

Nelson Balido | Chairman & CEO

Nelson Balido drives results in diverse government, politics, private industry, and non-profit arenas. As one of the leading authorities on the U.S. border for trade, travel, energy and security issues, he leads Balido and Associates, a strategic management consultancy, and is founder of the Border Commerce and Security Council and the Energy Council of the Americas. Prior to assuming his current role he was the President of the Border Trade Alliance; a presidential pick to lead the private sector division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and also served on the Homeland Security Advisory Council appointed by the Secretary of Homeland Security, where he was awarded the department’s highest civilian award – the Outstanding Public Service Medal.

He has extensive experience in the public and private sectors at the local, state and federal levels. For years, Nelson has worked closely with the governments of U.S., Canada, and Mexico at every level by advocating on behalf of policy initiatives designed to improve cross-border affairs, trade and security relations, energy reform and cultural understanding. In 2014, Nelson was re-appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Industry Trade Advisory Council by United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Commerce.

Governments, companies and media outlets seek his council for his extensive outside-the-beltway relations, real-world international cross-border experience and unique understanding of bi-lateral businesses insights. Nelson was recently credited by the San Antonio Business Journal with orchestrating the largest hydrocarbons deal of 2014 in the Sabinas Basin by taking advantage of Mexico’s new energy reform laws.

His other career stops include respected companies as SBC Communications (at&t), where he served as the company’s director of multicultural marketing, Commissioner of the Texas Commission on the Arts, Member of the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board, and various other positions within municipal agencies and non-profit boards. Mr. Balido holds a B.S. in International Economics and a B.A. in Spanish from Texas Tech University, a Graduate Certificate in Advanced International Affairs from the Bush School at Texas A&M University and a Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Land Management from the University of Houston. He is an active U.S. NAVY reserves public affairs officer, a professional speaker for Energy, Trade and Border Security conferences, the ASPEN Institute, the US Department of Commerce, and a FOX NEWS LATINO contributor.

Follow Nelson here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelsonbalido

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US Border Security Begins in Mexico

US Border Security Begins in Mexico

In the 2016 presidential election cycle, illegal immigration was generally attributed to Mexican migrants and a border wall was prescribed to prevent them from entering the United States. While the rhetoric resonated with many voters, it belied the vastly more complex trends in illegal border crossings and what is needed to address them. Most undocumented migrants arriving at the US border today are not Mexican, and a border wall will not affect what happens when they arrive.

Last year, Border Patrol apprehended nearly 409,000 people attempting to illegally cross the southwest border, a dramatic increase from the 331,000 in 2015, though somewhat less than the high mark of 479,000 in 2014. Last year, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Border Patrol apprehended 59,757 unaccompanied children and 77,857 family units, respectively a 13 percent decline and 12 percent increase from 2014. Border apprehensions are often an indicator of how many people are entering the United States undetected, but the numbers in 2016 do not tell the whole story.

According to the Pew Research Center, there was no statistically significant change in the illegal immigrant population in the United States between 2009 and 2014. But that does not mean illegal entries have stalled. From 2009 to 2014, 13 states saw a change in the size of their unauthorized immigrant populations. In states where illegal populations decreased, it was because illegal Mexican residents left. In states where illegal populations increased, it was due to a growth in the number of residents from countries other than Mexico, which in many cases are those in Central America’s “Northern Triangle” (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras). Last year, the number of apprehensions from Central America exceeded those from Mexico, the second time that trend has been seen, with the previous instance in 2014.

Read More… NEW – US Border Security Begins in Mexico

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Confirmation of DHS intelligence head is too important to politicize

Confirmation of DHS intelligence head is too important to politicize

Most Americans have never heard of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Yet, in January, acting Under Secretary for I&A David Glawe found himself on national television attempting to explain in less than two minutes what the office he leads will do in the face of the Trump administration’s much-debated “travel ban.”

For the lay viewer with no awareness of I&A, it suggested political participation where there is none. With Glawe’s nomination to permanently lead I&A, there is more politicking on the horizon, but this is a mistake — one that can be avoided if we put security before partisanship.

I&A is the only member of the intelligence community charged with sharing threat intelligence with state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners, as well as receiving information from those partners to share with DHS and the intelligence community. This mission is a direct answer to problems identified in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Read More…Confirmation of DHS intelligence head is too important to politicize

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Ilia Rosenberg | Board Member

Ilia Rosenberg | Board Member

Ilia Rosenberg is VP Programs at Cogniac Corporation, a market leader in specialized applications of Artificial Intelligence for Homeland Security, Geospatial Intelligence and Defense markets. Ilia is an executive with a track record of delivering strong results across a wide range of functions, geographies, and business models. Prior to joining Cogniac in 2016 he served as Managing Director of ISR GeoSensing consulting group, where he was leading technical developments and commercial negotiations with a variety of gov’t and private customers. From 2011 to 2015 he served as Chief Technologist for AGT International Global Delivery Organization in its Headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.

In this role he supported leading the worldwide engineering team to assure effective development of new products and creative solutions in line with the AGT strategy for growth and acquisition. Before joining AGT International in 2011, Ilia Rosenberg served as the Director of Technology Assessment for the Boeing Global Security Solutions in Arlington, VA. Since 2005 he participated in the work of Boeing Technology Sourcing, Evaluation and Integration group with the mission to initiate and grow global R&D alliances and secure strategic technologies. From 1995 to 2005 he was a Boeing Integrated Product Team lead on the Space Station Communication System and co-chaired the Space Station Boeing-NASA International Partners Super Problem Resolution Team. After the Shuttle Columbia accident he led activities in Radio Frequency Systems Certification Assessment for the Space Shuttle Return to Flight Program. Before joining Boeing he worked in the field of atmospherical physics and completed his postdoctoral studies at the Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. His projects were covered by Washington Technology, New York Times, Time Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, New Scientist, The BBC, Discovery Channel, and Washington Technology.

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Patrick Brunett | Board Member

Patrick Brunett | Board Member

Patrick Brunett is Director, Business Development at Quanergy Systems, the leading developer of 3D LiDAR sensors for border and perimeter security, autonomous vehicles, UAVs, industrial automation, and mapping. Brunett manages the company’s Detroit office with a focus on the transportation, industrial and government markets. He has over 20 years in the automotive market with a focus on infotainment systems, power electronics for electric vehicles, and connected and automated vehicle technologies. Prior to joining Quanergy, he held senior and executive level sales, business development and business unit leadership positions at companies such as Sony Electronics, Sirius Satellite Radio, Intelligent Mechatronics Systems, Panasonic, Cohda Wireless and Brunett Consulting. Brunett received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University.

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John Renison | Regional President

John Renison | Regional President

John Renison is Chief Executive Officer at Britton & Company, a Customhouse Brokerage firm established in 1944 along the Southwest Border of the United States. John represents Mexican Manufacturers that have a global presence and are key players within cross border trade operations.

John is also Founder of Piggyback Technologies, a crowd sourced on demand same day delivery start up, currently in app development and investor pitch mode. The idea is to disrupt the shipping industry and make same day shipping a collaborative community effort.

Piggyback’s market niche is just about anything that needs to get delivered within the same day or even within the hour. Whether its in store pick ups from online purchases, trade show and convention deliveries, Piggyback enable users to locate pre screened drivers to get the job done, taking advantage of your daily established transit routes.

Based on his 18+ experience in global logistics, John has gained much exposure to the just in time shipping expectations from consumers.

John attended the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives and holds a Professional Certificate on Innovation and Strategy from the Harvard University DCE.

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César Martinez | Board Member

César Martinez | Board Member

César is one of the top media advisors in the US and Latin America, with more than 20 years of experience in marketing, political advertising and broadcast news. During the 2008 Presidential Elections, MAS Consulting was the Hispanic advertising agency of record for the McCain-Palin campaign, with César was in charge of production of Hispanic media materials for Senator McCain.

César served as Hispanic Creative Director/Producer for the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign, and was a member of the Strategy/Media team for Bush-Cheney 2004. He has also served as Hispanic Creative Director for Jeb Bush 2002 and Rick Perry 2002 Texas Governor Election Campaign. César’s experience also includes campaigns in Mexico, Latin America and Spain.

César is the recipient of numerous prestigious advertising awards including Clios, EFFIE, Telly, Mobius as well as Addy awards. Additionally he was named “Creative All Star” by Adweek. César has been a guest speaker in many forums including George Washington University, Harvard University, Universidad Europea de Madrid (Spain), Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca (Spain) and Tec de Monterrey (Mexico) to name a few.

On the Public Affairs Arena, César has helped many organizations with their Hispanic communication needs like the Foundation for a Better Life and MATT.org (Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together). He is a member of the board of ProLiteracy World Wide, which is the most important Non-Governmental Organization in the world for Adult Literacy. Further, he also helped pass legislation for the anti-littering campaign in the city of Morelia in Michoacán, Mexico. He has also been active in the Water fluoridation campaign for Bexar County in the City of San Antonio, as well as a Plastic Bag Recycling movement/campaign for Bexar County in the city of San Antonio.

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Brian J. Conroy | Board Member

Brian J. Conroy | Board Member

Brian Conroy has over 30 years of experience as a senior technology leader in Life Cycle Systems Engineering, Enterprise Information Technology (IT) Operations, and Engineering Program/Project Management. He is currently working for NOVA Corporation, a tribally owned company established by the Dine’ Development Corporation by the Navajo Nation Tribal Council. He has had a very successful and diverse career within the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). His career started as a Submarine Engineer and progressed to numerous Project Engineering challenges to include submarine maintenance and modernization, establishing forward deployed bases and IT Network Design and Development. He was awarded the Navy’s Meritorious Commendation and numerous Engineering Awards.

His career advanced to that of a Naval Sea System Command Information Technology Division Director. In 2008, he took a position with DHS as the Enterprise Operations Director and then to a Deputy Executive Director within Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In this position his responsibilities included the deployment and sustainment of IT and Law Enforcement Technology.

Mr. Conroy holds undergraduate Engineering Degrees in Civil and Electrical Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management, is certified as a DoD Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer, DHS Program Manager Level 3, and DHS Contracting Officer Level 3. He is also a DHS First Responder, DHS Surge Capacity Force Member (Tier 3) and a Doctoral Candidate in Information Assurance.

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Bobby Brown | Board Member

Bobby Brown | Board Member

Bobby Brown leads the Integrated Surveillance Systems Group for Telephonics, Inc., a leader in Homeland Security/ATFP Integrated Solutions, Aerospace, Defense and Commercial Radar markets. His responsibilities include all aspects of Telephonics Integrated Surveillance Systems pursuits, from building the marketing team, market strategy and tactics to program management.
Bobby currently specializes in project development with other specialist companies specialising in Border Security and Terrorist threats. Responsibilities include technical demonstrations and marketing strategy highlighting the Telephonics Mobile Surveillance Capability, Integrated Security Solutions and the ARSS family of Ground Surveillance Radars. Bobby’s expertise in attracting effective development and marketing teams has produced successful projects exceeding contract expectations.
Prior to working with Telephonics, Inc., Bobby worked as the Corporate Marketing Director for Elbit Systems of North America providing ATFP systems to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corp, and U.S. Army.
From 1972 to 2002, Bobby was President and Co-Founder of Brown Motorsports, Inc., a professional Auto Racing Team, Teamed with Ferrari and General Motors. Bobby enjoyed success both on track and in the board room working with such greats as Acer Computers, Seagate, Sun Microsystems and Mac Tools. Bobby held licenses in IMSA, FIA, NASCAR and IndyCar.
Bobby has extensive experience in all aspects of company management, including P&L, engineering, budgets, sales and marketing and program management which have included both military and commercial markets.

Education:
Western Michigan University, Mechanical / Automotive Engineering
Miami University, Marketing and Advertising

Associations:
Vice President Border Patrol Foundation
Advisory Committee for the 2016 Border Expo
International Motor Sports Association

 

 

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Mark Wood | Board Member

Mark Wood | Board Member

Mark is a Business Manager with Utility Corporations and specialises in working with police agencies to solve community relations and transparency issues through the development and implementation of body camera and in-car camera systems. Mark is a life-long police officer and brings over 30 years of law enforcement experience to Utility. He began his law enforcement career with the Houston Police Department in 1982 and retired from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in 2016. Mark has been involved in virtually every aspect of law enforcement including patrol, investigations and administration. His administrative experience includes a heavy emphasis on policy writing, accreditation, crime analysis and IT acquisition projects. These projects include Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS), Automated Mugshot Systems, Crime Analysis Systems, and CAD/RMS systems. Most recently, Mark served as the executive officer to the Deputy Chief of Operations and was the body camera project manager for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
Mark is originally from Detroit and has lived in Michigan, Texas, Indiana and Georgia. He is married to Christy and together they have five children ranging in age from 16 to 30. He enjoys music, hiking, camping, travelling and motorcycle riding.

 

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Jim Albers | Board Member

Jim Albers | Board Member

Jim has been a visionary leader in the identity business for the past twenty years, starting with the development of iris recognition and leading the market to multi-modal based biometric enterprise solutions.

During his career, Jim has worked US Federal, State and Local Government as well as International markets, with major clients in the DoD, Intelligence Community, DHS.

Currently Jim serves as Vice President at Crossmatch, the leading provider of biometric and cyber security software. Previously Jim was Senior VP at MorphoTrust and its predecessor company, L-1 Identity Solutions, responsible for developing and managing teams in all customer facing roles- sales, business development, marketing, Government Relations and Product Management. Jim served in Government as Assistant Secretary of Commerce, and Chairman of the Economic Development Corporation, Urban Development Corporation.

Jim has testified before Congress on many occasions, on topics such as Biometric Border Control and Airport Security.

A Graduate of The George Washington University, Jim is married with two grown children. He resides in New Jersey and Hawaii.

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Righting a NAFTA wrong on trucking

Righting a NAFTA wrong on trucking



logo.pngBy: Nelson Balido

Democratic politics in the early 1990s looked a lot different than they do today.

U.S. Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero expects congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to ease in the next couple weeks, but, in the meantime, he said the agency is scrutinizing the PierPass program.

The idea that a governor from Arkansas, one of a dwindling number of southern Democrats, could run a credible campaign — much less win the White House — seemed a pipe dream, especially in a party still shaking off the haze of the doomed campaigns of Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.

But Clinton didn’t run as traditional Democrat. Instead, he supported things like greater choice in education, and pro-business agenda items such as free trade. Organized labor certainly helped his campaign, but he didn’t owe his victory to the one-time prime mover in traditional Democratic politics.

The 1992 Clinton-Gore ticket burnished its New Democrat agenda by supporting — albeit lukewarmly at first — passage and implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which would create a super-trade bloc of the United States, Canada and Mexico. In the first year of the Clinton presidency, the administration went all-in to get NAFTA passed through Congress.

Despite one-time electoral rival Ross Perot’s warning of the “giant sucking sound” of jobs leaving the U.S., the argument that knocking down high tariffs and opening new markets were critical to allowing American manufacturing to grow won over Congress and the public.

In November 1993, Congress passed the agreement and the president signed it into law on Dec. 8, 1993. Organized labor had been dealt a setback. Suddenly, it no longer had the same sway over Democratic members of Congress it had once enjoyed. Trucking was the area where labor could shift the trade debate.

Under NAFTA, trucks from Mexico were to be able to enter the U.S. interior carrying loads originating in Mexico. The inefficient border zone loading and unloading was to be a thing of the past.

The Teamsters and their allies took aim at NAFTA’s trucking articles with a level of rhetoric that bordered on the absurd. Rep. Pete DeFazio, D-Ore., referred to Mexican trucks as “rumbling death traps.” North Dakota Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan took to the Senate floor to give a speech on the Mexican trucking industry that would have listeners believe Mexican trucks were held together with chewing gum and bailing wire, were driven by drivers who were, at best, overly tired, and at worst, under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The leadership of the U.S. Department of Transportation came under fire, too. The Teamsters in 2008 called for the firing of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters in a nasty campaign featuring radio ads, direct mail and attack ads befitting a contested congressional race.

Attempts to allow Mexican trucks beyond the border zone under pilot programs came and went without success. In 2007, the Bush administration launched a limited pilot program to permit Mexican-domiciled trucks to the U.S. interior. That pilot is known more for the court battles it sparked than for any substantive changes to cross-border logistics.

Mexico was growing impatient. Under the terms of NAFTA, Mexico could have slapped retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, making them more expensive in the Mexican market and hurting overall U.S. competitiveness. Suddenly, the debate was about more than the transportation world. Members of Congress in breadbasket states risked their states’ exports losing a foothold in the world market.

With sanctions looming, it was up to the Obama administration to try again. In the fall of 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration began a three-year pilot program to allow Mexican long-haul carriers to operate throughout the United States. To participate, the Mexican carriers had to undergo a rigorous review before being granted entry.

The program was hardly a hot ticket. From 2011 through last month, only 13 Mexican companies received permission to participate, fueling critics’ charges that so few companies participated in the pilot that there was nothing of substance to glean from the program.

Was that because the regulations placed on the Mexicans were so onerous, or was it due to lack of interest?

The long-established cross-border trade routes aren’t going away overnight if and when full access to the U.S. interior is granted to Mexican carriers.

Distribution centers in border communities such as El Paso and Laredo have existed for decades because they provide shippers the ability to get products to market reliably. Tough U.S. hours of service rules imposed on drivers aren’t likely to be rescinded. And without well-established business relationships, Mexican carriers will to be hesitant to make the trip into the interior unless they can bring back full trailers to Mexico. All of this amounts to a trucking system unlikely to prove attractive to more than a few Mexican carriers.

But despite what looks like minimal impact on binational cross-border trade, the inability to put the NAFTA trucking issue to rest should serve as an embarrassment to the U.S. That we can’t come to some commonsense agreement with one of our largest trading partners and southern neighbor unnecessarily taints what should be one of our strongest strategic relationships.

Meanwhile, we negotiate other trade deals, further staining our credibility. How can we be trusted to carry out new agreements in good faith if we can’t even be counted on to implement something that, in the scheme of world trade, is so trivial?

It’s long past time for the U.S. to solve this issue. But if past performance is an indication of future results, I’m not holding my breath.

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