Sue Ashdown, President
With a professional background in media planning, technology and education, Sue Ashdown has been a frequent visitor to Cuba since 2000, eventually dividing her time between the United States and Cuba where her son attends public school. As the co-owner of Utah’s first internet service provider (ISP), XMission, she founded a coalition for independent ISPs confronting the illegal anti-competitive actions of their major telecom supplier/competitors. She went on to direct the American ISP Association in Washington DC, representing independent ISPs before state legislatures, Congress, the FCC and the press. She is a fully qualified translator specializing in Cuban Spanish and is a member of the American Translators Association as well as Cuba’s Association of Translators and Interpreters (ACTI). She is a graduate of the University of Utah.
David Urra Arias, Chief Analyst
David Urra Arias has provided marketing expertise at various Cuban institutions, as a consultant for foreign companies seeking business and investment opportunities in Cuba. During the early 2000s, when Cuba opened its first Free Trade Zone, he produced market studies for foreign clients under the auspices of the Business Information Service at Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment (CITMA). He also worked directly with Latin American and European clients involved in hotel construction and light industry on the island. With a broad portfolio of professional contacts in a wide variety of Cuban sectors, he has produced custom market studies to support targeted projects within Cuba’s IT, tourism, ranching, pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors.
Todd A. Kruse – USA Counselor
Kruse’s wealth of experience on complex international trade issues began with his internship with Commissioner Seeley Lodwick at the U.S. International Trade Commission in 1986 where he completed a research report on energy tax policy options. He has an extensive network of business and political contacts in Europe, Canada, and the United States due to his extensive travel for his public affairs client projects.
He holds a Master’s degree in International Management with Spanish studies. Additionally, he studied at the University of London, the Forester Institute of Costa Rica and the international trade program at Oxford University/George Mason University. He has taught World Politics, U.S. Politics and Macroeconomics courses via the Minnesota State University system since 2009 and also heads the Constantine Group consulting firm.