South-West Texas Border SBDC's are Open for Business ** Details


CGD Staff

UTSA Center for Global Development Staff

Cliff Paredes


Leads the most successful international trade assistance organization in the State of Texas. Founded in 1992, the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center provides no-cost import and export advising, market research and training solutions for businesses. In 2018, the center served over 500 businesses with advising and training services that resulted in the generation of over 7 million in global sales and that led in the creation and retention of 2,264 jobs.

As Director of the UTSA Center for Global Development has led projects that advised and assisted the governments of El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Belize, Jamaica, Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, the Bahamas and Tunisia on launching national networks of SBDCs. By 2018 there were 253 SBDCs located throughout the Americas that assisted over 361,999 entrepreneurs and that created 30,361 jobs, saved 133,303 jobs, generated 3 million in sales and over 11,745 business starts and formalizations.

Provided advisory services for foreign governments on how to adopt the SBDC model throughout the start-up, transfer, implementation, consolidation and internationalization phases. This included collaborating with a diverse group of stakeholders from the private sector, higher-education and NGOs. Developed and conducted over 70 SBDC Counselor and Director Training Diplomado Programs that has transferred the SBDC model to over 10,000 professionals from throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Monica Alcoz


    Mónica Alcoz is a Sr. International Project Manager with the UTSA Center for Global Development in San Antonio, Texas. Under this position, she assists countries interested in establishing sustainable and successful small business assistance networks. Mónica provides in country certificate trainings, technical and certification visits to government, private and high education institutions on how to establish sustainable and successful small business assistance programs. Through her work, she connects the network leaders, center directors and advisors to acquire new knowledge, share best practices and maximize the creation and capture of economic impact. Mónica also promotes export opportunities among small business clients by connecting them with potential international buyers.

    Since 2003, Mónica has been actively involved in the development and expansion of the U.S. SBDC model in over 20 countries, traveling all through North, Central and South America, the Caribbean and North Africa.

    In her previous role, she was a Senior International Business Advisor at the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center (ITC) and a Project Manager of the Southern U.S. Trade Association Minority Export Training program, a customized, one-on-one export program for high-value food and agricultural companies.

    Before joining the ITC in 2001, Mónica was an Agricultural Engineer in her native country of Uruguay. Mónica holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Universidad de la República in Uruguay and a Masters of Business Administration in International Business from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Mónica is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

      Minerva Garcia


      Minerva Garcia is a Sr. International Project Manager with the UTSA Center for Global Development in San Antonio, Texas. She has been involved in MSME consulting services for more than 19 years. Her international experience includes many projects in the European Union and Latin America.

      Since 2006, she has been actively involved in promoting the expansion of the SBDC model worldwide, supporting over 22 national governments in adopting the SBDC model as a means to grow the competitiveness of their small business sectors. Prior to joining the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center, she worked as a Technology Consultant at the Technology Transfer Office at the University La Laguna in Spain. She also worked at the Treasury Unit at the Budget Directorate in the European Commission in Belgium and as an Accounting-Finance Consultant at ATL Consultants in Spain.

      She holds a M.S. in Management of Technology from the University of Texas at San Antonio and is a Certified Global Business Professional. She was born and raised in the Canary Islands, Spain, is fluent in Spanish, English and German and has lived in many European countries.

        Carla Cardenas


        Carla Cardenas is the Project Manager at the UTSA Center for Global Development in San Antonio, Texas.  As the Project Manager, Carla provides training and coordinates the international expansion of the SBDC model. She also oversees the development, maintenance, usage and promotion of the online trade platform, which connects the small business clients of the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States SBDC networks with trade opportunities and education.  Carla joined the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center in 2008 and previously served as an International Market Research Specialist. In this position Carla conducted and provided market research for the small and medium-sized businesses of the 79-county South-West Texas Border Region.

        Carla holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a minor in Business Administration as well as a Master of Arts in International Relations with a concentration in International Development, both from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.  She is also a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP), a Project Management Professional (PMP) as well as a Certified Scrum Master.  Carla was born and raised in San Antonio and is fluent in English and Spanish.

          Footer Top

          Footer Bootom