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ITC Staff

International Trade Center 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.

    Douglas Smith


    Douglas Smith is Assistant Director of the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center.

    He has worked in international consulting for 30 years, focusing on import and export development, marketing channel management, international marketing strategy and market and economic research. His consulting experience involves a broad range of industries, ranging from industrial products to processed foods.

    He has consulted for small businesses and a broad range of organizations, including IBM and Johnsons Wax, Business Round Table, and the foreign trade agencies of Thailand, Portugal, and Colombia. His international experience includes projects in Western Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa.

    Before joining the Center, he was Vice President for Consulting at Global Trade Information Services, an international trade information company; a member of the International Business Department, University of South Carolina, and consultant with Frank Lynn & Associates, an international marketing channel management advisory company.

    He was a contributing editor to Textile Asia Magazine and has published in Atlanta International Magazine, Twin Plant News, and Business Horizons. He holds a M.A. International Relations and a M.B.A. in Finance and International Business from the University of Texas Austin, and is a Certified Global Business Professional. He is also a member of the Camino Real District Export Council, a position requiring nomination by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

      Julio Garcia de las Mestas


      Julio is a Sr. International Business Advisor at the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center providing international trade advising assistance for small and medium size businesses.

      Julio earned a bachelor of science degree with a major in Nautical Studies and Maritime Transport from the University of A Coruña and worked as deck officer on board 4 vessels of the Spanish Merchant Marine fleet. He has studied different fields of global trade, obtaining a degree in International Shipping as well as having received his license as a Freight Forwarder, Transport Agent and Wholesaler in the European Union.

      In 1994 he was awarded a scholarship to support the activities of the Commercial Service of the Spanish Embassy to Mexico. While in Mexico he was involved with several different businesses and was later in charge of the Industrial Expansion Program at the Universidad Veracruzana (UV) in Veracruz. In that position he also helped create the Mexican Association of Small Business Development Centers (AMCDPE).

      Julio has an MBA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and is also a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) with more than 15 years of experience helping small businesses position their products and services in the global market. He is a believer that promoting business success is a way to tackle social inequalities and promote business opportunities for American People.

        Anabel Guerra


        Anabel Guerra is a Sr. International Business Advisor at the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center. As a Sr. International Business Advisor, she leads the GO TEXAN COVID19 Recovery and Growth Initiative. A project that helps the Texas Department of Agriculture GO TEXAN companies recover from the pandemic and prepare for future growth.

        She also assist in managing the center’s advising performance and productivity as part of a set of strategies implemented by the center to fulfill the organization’s vision. In addition, has managed the center’s training programs in the development, planning, and coordination of international trade events since 2011.

        Prior to joining the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center in February of 2011, she worked at the UTSA Mexico Center as a graduate research assistant where she conducted various research projects on U.S. and Mexico related issues as well as assisted in the coordination and implementation of events. She holds a M.S. of Science in Sociology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is bilingual and bicultural having worked and lived in both Mexico and the United States. She is from Matamoros, Mexico.

          Rick Rayne


          Rick Rayne is a Senior International Business Advisor at the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center.

          Rick has been working in the international business field for over 30 years. He spent many of those years at FedEx advising and providing customized solutions to exporters and importers of various sizes about the intricacies of global logistics, international marketing, e-Commerce, government regulations, and overseas business partner outreach. He also worked at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s MBDA Export Center promoting international business development among minority-owned businesses. He has also spoken at a variety of international trade seminars and conferences throughout South and West Texas.

          Rick holds a Master of International Management degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Rick is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP), and is also a member of the Camino Real District Export Council.

            Reneé Walter


            Reneé is a Sr. Administrative Associate for the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center.

            Before joining the Center in 2018, she served over 19 years with the UT Health Science Center where she was the Accounting Coordinator for both the Department of Radiation Oncology and The Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics.

            Originally from the Rio Grande Valley, Reneé moved to San Antonio in 1998.

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