top of page
San Juan Registration Page Header.png

2023 SPESA Executive Conference

San Juan, Puerto Rico | March 30 & 31, 2023


Wednesday, March 29


8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. |Golf

Bahia Beach Club; Organized by Greg Gimble

Please contact for information

3:00-5:30 p.m. | SPESA Board of Directors Meeting

Executive Boardroom

SPESA Board members only

6:00-9:00 p.m. | Board Dinner
SPESA Board members & guests only

Thursday, March 30

12:00 p.m. | Lunch & Registration

Please come by Las Olas Ballroom for a casual lunch on the terrace and to pick up your name badge for the conference.
1:00 p.m. | SPESA Executive Conference Begins

Las Olas Ballroom

1:00-1:05 p.m. | Welcome
1:05-1:15 p.m. | SPESA Chairman’s Address
Ed Gribbin, Gribbin Strategic


1:15-1:45 p.m. | Opening Keynote
Jonathan Fantini-Porter, Partnership for Central America
The conference will kick off with a keynote address from Jonathan Fantini Porter, Executive Director and CEO of the Partnership for Central America (PCA). PCA is the coordinating body of the White House public-private partnership launched by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in 2021. In its first six months, the partnership mobilized $1.2 billion in foreign direct investment and launched programs supporting 20 million people, including nearshoring more than $150 million in manufacturing supply chains to the Americas.
1:45-3:00 p.m. | Friends with Benefits: How the U.S. and Its 3rd Border Countries’ Sewing Industries Can Be Mutually Beneficial 
Panelists will discuss opportunities related to trade, nearshoring, and manufacturing capabilities as well as the power and influence of foreign investment in the sewn products and manufacturing industries in Central America. 


Nicole Bivens Collinson, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.


Andrea Maribel Mansilla Salazar, Vestex 
Emilio Penhos Mougrabi, CANAIVE 


3:00-3:15 p.m. | Break

Las Olas Terrace
3:15-4:30 p.m. | Nearshoring and the Western Hemisphere Manufacturing Base

A technology-focused discussion on the capability, demands, and opportunities of the sewn products manufacturing base in Central America and the surrounding region.



Michael Penchansky, CGS, Inc.



Mario Alberto Canahuati, Grupo Elcatex

Jimmy Haygood, Delta Apparel, Inc.

Simón Medina, Capaz International SAS; Zona Franca Pro-Industria, S.P.M.
4:30-5:45 p.m. | Sewn Products Industry Transformation
From Detroit to Puerto Rico, the next generation is approaching manufacturing in a different way, driven by sustainability and social motivators. This panel engages industry entrepreneurs to look at the future of sewn products.



Michael McDonald, SPESA

Milton Putman, Complete Image Manufacturing
Auralís Herrero-Lugo, Bluewater Defense, Inc.
Karla Lopez, Isleñas 

5:45-6:00 p.m. | Day 1 Closing Remarks
6:00-7:30 p.m. | Welcome Reception

Hammock Garden - All guests must wear their name badge to the reception and check in with security at the pool/beach entrance.

Friday, March 31

7:30-8:00 a.m. | Breakfast

Las Olas Terrace


8:00-8:05 a.m. | Day 2 Opening Remarks

Las Olas


8:05-8:15 a.m.| Texprocess Americas Update

Kristy Meade, Messe Frankfurt North America


8:15-9:30 a.m. | Made in America’s Best Kept Secret: Puerto Rican Manufacturing

Why is Puerto Rico Made in America’s best kept secret? Puerto Rico has solidified itself as one of the largest and most creative manufacturing bases for the U.S. apparel manufacturing industry. On this panel, local manufacturers will discuss what drives the industry in Puerto Rico.



Humberto Zacapa, SNC Technical Services

Gabriella Graves, M M Manufacturing, LLC

Greg Gimble, Va Bien

9:30-9:35 a.m. | Closing Remarks

10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. | Factory Tours

Bluewater Defense, Inc.

Cooperativa Industrial Creación de la Montaña

Original Footwear

Please meet in the hotel lobby for a timely departure - Transportation and lunch will be provided.


6:30-10:00 p.m. | Closing Night Reception

Princesa - Cocina Cultura

Please meet in the hotel lobby for a timely departure - Transportation dinner, and a great night will be provided!

*This agenda is subject to change. Please check back for updates!

Haven't registered yet? Click here!

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

bottom of page