Fantastic first event of the year at Americas Conference & COIBE Meeting in Panama

January 2020

The modern capital city of Panama – Panama City – framed by the Pacific Ocean, was the location for the first of Russell Bedford’s conferences in 2020, with the Americas Conference and COIBE Meeting (in Spanish). Hosted by Russell Bedford’s Panama member, Forero Gordón & Asociados, and held at the iconic InterContinental Miramar Hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the first conference of the year drew members from more than 20 countries from around the world.

COIBE Meeting

The COIBE (Ibero-American Committee) Meeting, delivered in Spanish, began with a networking lunch prior to the opening of sessions.

After a welcome note the host firm, Forero Gordón & Asociados, opened the meeting with a welcome presentation which was followed by a session on transfer pricing by Raúl Hurtado (TP Consulting).

After a short break for further networking, Russell Bedford’s Puerto Rico member firm, RRC CPA Group, delivered their new firm presentation. Russell Bedford’s Marketing Executive, Clara Sanchez, closed the first day of sessions with a workshop on best practices for branding Russell Bedford member firms.

On the first evening in Panama City, delegates enjoyed welcome drinks and dinner at the conference hotel.

Board members for Latin America, Daniel Ryba and Javier Jiménez, opened day two of the COIBE Meeting with a presentation on network developments in the region. This was followed by a presentation and interactive workshop on managing different personalities by Marcelo Bueno.

At the close of the COIBE Meeting, delegates joined with the delegates of the Americas Conference for a networking lunch.

Americas Conference

After a welcome note from board member for North America, Steve Horn, Upward Spiral Partnership’s Martin Bissett opened the Americas Conference with his session on ‘Presenting the Commercial Longevity Ladder’. Martin followed this session with a further workshop on ‘Success Step 3 – creating your pipeline’.

Following a networking break, Russell Bedford’s CEO, Stephen Hamlet, delivered an update on what’s been happening in the network and was joined by Russell Bedford’s Chair, Bruce Saward who discussed the future strategy of the network.

After a successful first day of sessions, delegates made their way to the historic Panama Canal, famed for its cobblestoned walkways and colonial-era landmarks like the neoclassical Palacio Presidencial, for dinner and continued networking.

Day two of the Americas Conference opened with a session called ‘Trump’s NAFTA replacement: What does USMCA mean?’ delivered by the partners of some of Russell Bedford’s member firms in North and Latin America - Hartley Cohen, Javier Jimenez and Steve Horn.

Hinge Marketing’s Lee Frederiksen joined to deliver a session on ‘How to gain a sustainable competitive advantage’. After a networking break, Lee resumed with a session on ‘Growth through mergers: beating the odds’.

Up next, the conference welcomed a very interesting guest, as ex. Penn. State Football team captain Lee Rubin joined to talk about the five components of extraordinary teams.

Janine Cubbon and Deidree Bain from Russell Bedford’s Isle of Man member firm, SMP Partners followed with a discussion on ‘Economic substance: challenges and opportunities’ and finally, Lee Rubin closed the conference with a motivational session on ‘How to think like a winner’.

The conference closed in style with an authentic Panamanian cultural experience, with an evening of dinner and entertainment at the Jazz Club located in the luxurious American Trade Hotel in Panama City’s most desirable area - Casco Viejo.

Russell Bedford’s CEO Stephen Hamlet said: “It’s been a most successful conference and such a great way to commence this year’s conference season. As always, our members have come out in their droves to connect and share business practices and ideas, as well as solutions to shared or similar business challenges.”

He added: “I’m always very eager to visit as many locations as possible with the aim of integrating with our members in more and more locations around the globe. It’s been fantastic meeting with one of our more recent recruits during my term as CEO, our Panama member, Forero Gordón & Asociados, as hosts of our first conference of the year. I’d like to extend a big thank you to Rogelio and Gabriel for their hospitality and support in delivering an exceptional conference.”

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