Our Team

Allan Gochenour: B.A. degree in Economics & Latin-American studies from the University of North Carolina (1988) and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin (1997).

After initial experiences as an international trade economist for the U.S. Government and American Chamber of Commerce in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Gochenour worked for 3 years as a business and change management consultant for the Hay Group, managing projects for over 25 Brazilian and international firms in Brazil and South America. After his MBA, he assumed multiple roles in both sales and marketing working 3 years for Procter & Gamble Brazil and then 7 years for Intel Corporation in the US and European regions, where he led international teams in marketing research, program marketing, tele-sales, client relationship management and business development. Gochenour recently returned to Brazil to assume more entrepreneurial ventures as the group's principal analyst and ESSE Commercial Practice Leader for Brazil and Latin America.

Claude Girard: B.A. in Latin American studies from McGill University.

A true field observer and international relations specialist, he crossed the USSR a year prior to its implosion, disembarked from his trans-Siberian train to Tiananmen square a few months after the Chinese student rebellion, and opened a border between Vietnam and Cambodia through diplomatic savoir-faire. After working in Tokyo for over ten years on different international projects, among others with the Japanese Government and top engineering firm Pacific Consultant, Girard became an independent entrepreneur, producing international musical and commercial events throughout Japan. Claude speaks 5 languages fluently and is the Commercial Practice Leader for Quebec and North America. He is the founder and director of ESSE CONSULTANTS.

Takashi Okanuma: B.Com. in management and economy from Rykkyo University in Tokyo.

Okanuma worked in the music event planning business before putting his managing and planning know-how to the contribution of Japanese SMEs and the green economy. His analysis framework and team spirit being coupled with vast field experience make him the perfect partner by virtue of the trust he inspires, an indispensable value to any success in Japan. Takashi is the group specialist in green economy ventures and overseas Japanese Business development based Kyoto, Japan.

Mika Wada: Degree in tourism management at the Travel Journal Institute of Japan with a specialization in overseas tourism planning.

After initial corporate travel planning and tour development for the Fiji market, she assumed a leadership role for I.D. Tours South Pacific for Australia and New-Zealand markets for 5 years. Mika is our Communications, Logistics and Support Services Specialist for Asia Region.

Pierre Hafteck: B.S. in Agricultural Engineering Graduate School of Agriculture and Food Industries, Nancy, France, M.S. in Agricultural Economics, Reading University, England; M.S. of Management in Local Governance and Development from the Graduate School of Public and Development Management, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Pierre's credentials speak for themselves. His institutional experience in Europe and Africa deals with private and public project evaluation and management. He has published articles on decentralized cooperation, integrated rural development as well as on management and institutional systems while working for the European Commission and other international agencies. Pierre is our planning and project management adviser and our specialist in green technology projects. He is based in the Los Angeles, California area.

Raymond D’Aoust: B.A. degree in Latin American Studies (1989) and a M.A in Information Science (1994) from McGill University.

Raymond has traveled widely throughout Latin America and South-East Asia, and worked as a researcher for both the private and public sectors in Canada and the United States. In 2004, he completed a degree in web design and is our web research specialist and leader for web design and e-commerce practices.

Victor Orantes: B.A. degree in Law from the Universidad Centrale de Venezuela, M.A. in International Studies and a Ph.D. in Law and International Economics from the University of Barcelona.

Victor was a researcher at the Institute for European-Latin American Relations (IRELA) in Madrid, the International Institute of Governmental Relations in Barcelona, and a consultant for LatinFocus, councelling investors and government agencies on the political economy of Asian and Latin American markets. Victor our legal expert on economic developments in emerging markets.