Interested in participating in one of our events as a speaker or an exhibitor?
We are always looking for professional speakers with interesting stories or services that will appeal to our readers.
For more information, please contact Niamh Daly by submitting your interest here
Below is a selection of the experts you may hear from at our events.
INTERNATIONAL LIVING REPRESENTATIVES
Portugal Correspondent, International Living
Growing up in New Jersey, Terry Coles embraced writing at a young age expecting to pursue a career in journalism. After only one year in college, she landed her dream job working as the entertainment editor for a daily local newspaper and thought she had found her niche. But soon wanderlust took over. She left her position to travel across the country and serve as a missionary, discovering the allure of travel.
Through the years she worked in retail management, was a licensed cosmetologist and certified medical assistant.
But it was not until 2004 when she married Clyde that her life changed drastically. He promised her that life would never be boring and since that day, it hasn’t been. A career firefighter and paramedic in Corpus Christi, Texas, Clyde always wanted to retire at age 57. But with the high cost of U.S. healthcare plus an ex-wife that gets a chunk of his pension, how could they stay in the U.S. and survive? A subscription to International Living gave him hope that perhaps retiring abroad could be the answer. But neither of them had ever traveled abroad so could they really do it now?
Terry and Clyde left the U.S. in 2011 and retired to Panama where they lived happily for five years. They bought a house, had plenty of friends, and were enjoying life, until one day Terry had an idea. She wanted to see Europe and planned a month-long trek visiting five different countries. They returned to Panama as different people, longing for more worldwide travel, yet lacked the funds to make it happen. Then a friend suggested they try international house- and pet-sitting and the rest is history.
They sold the house with everything in it and walked away with two, carry-on sized suitcases each. For the next two years they traveled full-time, living in other people’s houses while caring for their pets. They lived in or visited over 40 countries including exotic places like Egypt, India, Kenya, and Thailand. It was from a housesit that they discovered Portugal and decided to make it their next home.
Belize Correspondent, International Living
Laura Diffendal is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. She and her husband, Dave, moved to Placencia, Belize in early 2014 to build a small boutique hotel on the beach—Caribbean Beach Cabanas. They love Belize for its natural lifestyle, year-round summers, and business opportunities. They purchased a second hotel in Ambergris Caye, Belize, called PUR Boutique Cabanas, and they also own two rental condos at Paradise Villas in San Pedro.
Their hotel in Placencia was chosen as Small Hotel of the Year in 2017 by the Belize Tourism Board.
Laura is a great source of knowledge about Belize in the following areas: starting and running a business; general tourism questions (hotels, tours, etc.); pros/cons/differences in the most popular areas of Belize; traveling with and having a pet in Belize; condo ownership and rentals; resources for trustworthy builders and real estate agents and other local contacts; the lifestyle impact of living in Belize; safety considerations; driving in Belize; and other general questions, such as what you need to know about moving to or shopping in Belize, healthcare, and anything else you can think to ask! Laura is thrilled to be International Living‘s Belize Correspondent. She thinks about, answers questions about, and writes about Belize all the time—so this was a natural fit. Laura also has a blog about moving to Placencia, www.pureplacencia.com, which is a good resource for anyone thinking of moving to Belize.
Costa Rica Correspondent, International Living
Kathleen Evans was an International Living subscriber back in the early 1990s, when she worked as a media sales executive, doing the “Corporate America” grind in Austin, Texas. Originally from Chicago, Kathleen had brief expat experiences in England and South Africa while traveling the world, and she dreamed of a slower lifestyle in a tropical climate. After researching various places, including Mexico, Panama, and Belize, she and her husband finally found the right fit in Costa Rica. They made the move in 2013 to the lively beach town of Tamarindo on the northwest Pacific coast, popularly known as the Gold Coast.
With more time to follow new passions, Kathleen reinvented herself as a writer. When the opportunity came along to join the International Living team as the Costa Rica Correspondent, she did not hesitate. Kathleen credits IL with being the catalyst that set the wheels in motion for her to make her dream life a reality. She loves to share her Costa Rica experiences and knowledge with all who are interested. Kathleen now possesses permanent residency and when she is not writing about her adopted home country, she is out exploring it. She is also working on her first novel and maintains a blog at www.katsjourney.com.
Publisher, International Living
Jackie Flynn is the Publisher of International Living. She started her career in publishing in New York City in 1989, where she worked for well-known publishing houses such as The New York Times and Forbes Inc. Then Jackie returned to her native Ireland, where she worked for International Living for seven years before joining the American Writers and Artists Inc., as Director of Marketing for their Travel Division. In 2009, she came back to International Living to take the reins at Agora Publishing’s flagship magazine.
Uruguay Correspondent, International Living
Before coming to Uruguay, David Hammond lived in Port Townsend, Washington for over 20 years. In Washington, David spent 10 years as a licensed Merchant Marine captain operating his own charter boat, working in rescue towing and salvage operations, and providing launch service for ships. After a decade on the water, he spent the next 10 years on land, building homes and selling real estate. Looking for a new adventure and real estate opportunities, he came to Uruguay in 2006. He liked it so much, he simplified his life and moved to Punta del Este the same year. He currently lives in Montevideo, the country’s capital. David always enjoyed writing as a hobby. Since making the move south, he has the time and opportunity to combine his interest in writing with his passion for life in Uruguay.
Senior Editor, International Living
Suzan Haskins grew up in Kansas, North Dakota, and New Jersey and then spent nearly 25 years working in corporate advertising and marketing in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2000, she said “not another winter in Omaha” and began looking for a place to live where the weather and scenery were better and she could do more of the things she had always wanted to do.
An International Living subscriber, she started pestering the company for a job. In 2001, International Living relented, and hired Suzan and her husband, Dan Prescher, to work for the company in Quito, Ecuador. From there, the Haskins/Prescher team moved to Mexico in late 2002, and in 2006 and 2007 they lived in Panama and Nicaragua before returning to Mérida, in Mexico’s Yucatán state, where they renovated a colonial home. For six years, they lived in Cotacachi, Ecuador. Suzan and Dan are now permanent residents of Mexico and enjoy exploring the country in search of their next home base.
Malaysia Correspondent, International Living
Keith worked in the investment banking arena for most of his life and retired in Hong Kong in 1998. He then went on a three-year journey of discovery around Australia, and wrote the Atlas of Australian Dive Sites: Traveller’s Edition, a book about scuba diving your way around Australia. It was published by HarperCollins in 2003 and it’s now in its third printing.
He worked for various think tanks in Australia and the U.K. between 2003 and 2009, concentrating on Asian and European country risk, and finally returned to live in Malaysia in 2009. He had last lived there with his parents in 1970. He started writing for International Living in 2011 and in the same year authored Penang: An Inside Guide to its Historic Homes, Buildings, Monuments, and Parks, already in its second printing, and wrote and co-directed a documentary titled 1941: The Fall of Penang, which showcased on the History Channel in August 2012.
Keith is a fellow of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society and continues to travel and explore Asia at every opportunity. He also mountain bikes (badly) and consequently knows the Malaysian medical system and its hospitals well.
Roving Latin America Editor, International Living
Jason Holland had the benefit of living overseas from an early age. His father was in the U.S. military and later worked for the U.S. government in Turkey, Germany, and Spain. Jason was born in Madrid and, after a brief stint in the States, spent most of his childhood back in Spain, on the southern Atlantic coast near Cadiz. He returned to the U.S. for college, graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Journalism.
After several years in the trenches covering local news for community newspapers in Florida, Jason was offered a position as a writer and editor with Early to Rise, an Agora-affiliated company offering educational resources for entrepreneurs and online marketers. Over the years, he managed to indulge in his love of travel with trips to Thailand, Singapore, Jamaica, and Costa Rica. After years of dreaming of living overseas again, he and his family moved to Costa Rica in February 2012. After four-and-a-half years of the Pura Vida lifestyle, Jason and his family were ready for a new adventure, and moved to Mexico…but they still have a soft spot for Costa Rica.
Southeast Asia Correspondent, International Living
Wendy’s love of travel was ignited at a very early age, when her grandparents brought back trinkets and tales from India and Thailand. Her family took extensive trips throughout the United States, and as a young woman she lived for two years in a Bavarian village a stone’s throw from the East German border. To finance her travels, she worked as a bookkeeper, then as a business owner, and finally as the Director of Professional Services with a hospice in central California for 10 years, until she took an early retirement at the age of 51.
In 2005, she and her husband, David, left the U.S. for Asia, fulfilling her dream of discovering new places, seeking out new adventures, and immersing herself in new cultures. Since that time, she has also fulfilled a life-long dream of becoming a writer. She has been the Vietnam Correspondent for International Living since March 2016, and became the Southeast Asia Correspondent in May 2019. Wendy has traveled throughout Northeast and Southeast Asia, and has lived in Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur, Nha Trang, and Da Nang. Home is currently in Hanoi, where she has lived happily for the past nine years.
Colombia Correspondent, International Living
A native of Massachusetts, Nancy graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Medical Technology. She lived in Maine for 27 years, where she worked for several large healthcare organizations, including hospitals and a medical school, while obtaining her MBA from the University of Southern Maine in 2001, and raising her daughter, Kathleen.
Nancy’s most recent role was as CEO of a large private medical practice. It was this position that she left in October 2011 to take a four-month adventure through Central and South America. This adventure ultimately led to her relocating to Medellín, Colombia in May 2012.
Now happily living full-time in Medellín, Nancy teaches English to business executives and is co-owner of a small travel agency that specializes in cruises and introducing North Americans to Colombia.
JEFF D. OPDYKE
Editor, Global Intelligence Letter
Jeff spent 17 years writing about personal finance and investing for The Wall Street Journal, and seven years as Executive Editor for The Sovereign Society, where he traveled the world to meet with politicians, economists, taxi drivers, and bellhops to better understand local economies, local consumers, and the politics that drive investments, currencies, and gold. He has written eight books on personal finance, global investing, and the rise of the consumer class outside the West. He has also written several award-winning TV pilots and screenplays (including rom-coms—don’t judge!). Jeff grew up in South Louisiana, but has lived in Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York, among other places. He currently lives in Prague, Czech Republic, and regularly travels to random parts of the world as a digital nomad.
Emcee for the Event, International Living
Dan Prescher is a native of Omaha, Nebraska. He earned a degree in Journalism at the University of Nebraska and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Dan worked as a copywriter for many years in educational fundraising and electronic fund transfer systems marketing until he met his wife, Suzan Haskins, with whom he ran a successful multimedia marketing business in Omaha until 2001. That’s when Suzan suggested selling the house, cars, and furniture, and moving to Ecuador to take a job with International Living. It was a decision that has occasionally made them (and their friends and family) wonder about their sanity, but one that they have never regretted. Since then, Dan and Suzan have lived and worked in Ecuador, Panama, Nicaragua, and three locations in Mexico for International Living. In his spare time, Dan enjoys playing the guitar and songwriting. He and Suzan and are now permanent residents of Mexico and enjoy exploring the country in search of their next home base.
Panama Editor, International Living
No stranger to “international living,” Jessica Ramesch had called the U.S., India, and Panama home by age 14. So it was no surprise to her family when she won a full scholarship to study International Politics and Diplomacy at the University of Richmond. After graduating with honors, Jessica worked as an interpreter for the World Access travel emergencies hotline, followed by a stint as a Panama Canal editor. Not content to watch the ships go by, she went on to join the cruise industry. After visiting 25 countries, Jessica abandoned ship for the good life in Panama City. As International Living’s Panama Editor, she writes about Panama’s beaches, islands, mountains, and countryside. She is also the author of Escape to Panama, International Living’s bestselling book on all things Panama.
Jessica also manages the singles overseas Facebook page for International Living and she gives a talk in this event on being single overseas, which you can find in your bonus videos section.
France Correspondent, International Living
A native of Southern California, Tuula graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara and later obtained a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from California State University, Northridge. She worked as the director for several retention and outreach programs in the non-profit and higher education sectors before moving to France.
She currently lives in the southern France region known as Provence, and has maintained a travel blog (https://belleprovencetravels.com) since moving to the area in 2010. Since starting the site, Tuula has contributed to publications and organizations like France Living magazine, Expedia Online Paris Guide, Berkshire-Hathaway, and the Charming Small Hotels (France edition) guidebook—along with reviewing several hotels and cooking schools in the south of France.
She works in the seaside city of Toulon as the manager for an English-language school and is delighted to speak to you about her passion for this beautiful and fascinating country.
Spain Correspondent, International Living
Marsha Scarbrough was born in Los Angeles and worked in Hollywood for 20 years as an Assistant Director on major feature films and prime time television (www.imdb.com/name/nm0349384/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1). Between films, she traveled with Buddhist teacher Joan Halifax, danced with movement guru Gabrielle Roth, earned a brown belt in karate from martial arts legend Tak Kubota, participated in Native American healing ceremonies with Beautiful Painted Arrow/Joseph Rael, and produced workshops for a Nigerian master drummer. She has traveled throughout the U.S. as well as to Mexico, Canada, Central and South America, Asia, Europe, and North Africa. In 2000, she lived in Ajijic, Mexico. From 2006 to 2016, she lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2017, at the age of 70, she embarked on a late-life adventure and moved to Madrid, Spain, on her own.
Marsha is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Journalism. As a freelance journalist, she’s had almost 100 articles published in national magazines including TV Guide, Natural Home & Garden, and Written By: The Magazine of the Writers Guild of America. Marsha is the author of the award-winning memoirs Medicine Dance and Honey in the River. For more about Marsha, visit her website: www.marshascarbrough.com.
Italy Correspondent, International Living
Born and raised in northern Ohio, Valerie Fortney-Schneider is a writer and genealogy researcher who lives in her ancestral region of Basilicata, Italy with her husband, Bryan. Valerie enjoys exploring and writing about historical sights, hill towns, and cuisine, and puts her on-the-ground expat experience to work as International Living’s Italy correspondent.
Valerie earned a degree in History from the University of New Mexico, and as a freelance writer combines her love of history with her extensive experience in the tourism industry to provide insightful, informative articles about life and travel in Italy. Her grandmother instilled an “Italian identity” in the family and Valerie knew from an early age that she wanted to visit the Old Country. Her travels turned into a love affair and an eventual move. She lived in Le Marche region for two years and has lived in Basilicata now for 10 years, where she and Bryan are fully integrated into village life. She recently published her first book, 52 Things to See and Do in Basilicata.
Ecuador Correspondent, International Living
In 2014, Donna gave up her high-stress job and moved to Cuenca, Ecuador to save her from her taco-eating, wine-drinking, Ambien-taking, TV-watching, dead-end lifestyle. Donna grew up in Florida and, after securing a Journalism Degree from the University of Florida, put on her traveling shoes—which led to adventures like trekking through Europe, sailing from Florida to the Bahamas, swimming with sharks, paragliding in the Dominican Republic, and traveling extensively across Central and South America.
Donna’s motto is, “Don’t be afraid to walk through the open door.” This has led her to many opportunities to give back as a writer and professional fundraising/marketing executive. She’s helped women work out of poverty in Nicaragua, built medical camps for seriously ill children for the late actor Paul Newman, and created spay/neuter programs for animals in North and South America, including forming Cuenca Bitches, a women’s giving club raising funds for spay/neuter programs. Donna also teaches memoir writing to expats and blogs about travel destinations.
THE INTERNATIONAL LIVING EVENTS TEAM
Conference Director, International Living
Niamh is originally from Waterford, Ireland. After obtaining a degree in Business, she took a position with The Irish Times newspaper in Dublin. She then worked in a publishing house in Ireland, but was based in New York City, where she was involved in high-profile events on the Irish-American scene globally, before returning to her hometown to take up a position as IL‘s Events Director. Niamh is the lucky person who gets to organize the conferences and Private Screenings you attend from her desk at International Living HQ in Waterford. Niamh is pretty well traveled throughout Europe; North, Central, and South America; along with Asia, thanks to the opportunities International Living has afforded her. After nine years, she’s still hungry for new experiences, and continues exploring and learning about the amazing countries where International Living has resources and contacts.
Events Manager, International Living
Jenna joined the International Living Online Marketing team in 2016, shortly after graduating with a First Class Honors Degree in Marketing with Advertising and Online Media. Jenna has spent much of her time exploring Europe, the U.S., and the U.A.E, but always enjoys arriving home to County Wexford, Ireland. Now a member of the International Living Events team, Jenna spends her days planning, advertising, and running IL’s worldwide conferences and Private Screenings, including this one!
Events Coordinator, International Living
Tel. +800 926-6575 or 561-243-2460
Contact Online: internationalliving.com/events-questions
Jillian attended one of the top hospitality schools in the U.S., the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, before moving down to sunny Delray Beach, Florida. She then began working as a conference coordinator for International Living‘s sister company, Opportunity Travel, where she learned she could combine her two passions: travel and events. Previously she has traveled through the Caribbean and Europe, and now, thanks to becoming part of the International Living Events team, she will be able to explore even further.
ERNESTO ARRAÑAGA PATRÓN
Inter Lex Mexico Foreign Investment and Corporate Law
Ernesto Arrañaga Patrón was born and raised in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico. He is an alumnus of the University Anahuac del Sureste Law Degree program (1996 to 2001), where he graduated with honors. In 2003, he traveled to Spain and obtained a Master’s Degree in International Tax Law at the University of Salamanca. After returning to Mexico in 2004, he joined the well-known firm Ernst & Young in Cancún as their Legal Manager (2004 to 2007). Ernesto left his position to found Inter Lex Mexico, a foreign investment and corporate law firm specializing in real estate transactions and closings. His reputation as a successful and reliable attorney has gained him the trust of many of the area’s largest real estate projects and real estate companies. He is licensed to provide legal assistance to clients both in Yucatán and Quintana Roo states.
Ernesto is now recognized as one of the most knowledgeable and well-respected real estate lawyers in the peninsula. He applies the same high degree of skill and professionalism for each and every one of his clients, whether they are first-time investors, retired persons, or a large development group.
Founder, Churchill Method, Inc. Founder, Barefoot Consultants, Inc.
Winton Churchill is the founder of Churchill Method, an international training and consulting company. His firm helps clients find ways to put their skills, services, products, and career experience on the global market by tapping into the 30% to 70% of opportunity most U.S.-only and Canada-only businesses and individuals leave on the table.
“By taking charge of their earning power, rather than waiting for governments, financial institutions, and employers to ‘right themselves,’ the baby boomer generation now has the power and access to put their skills and abilities on the global market regardless of where they live or work,” Winton says.
In addition to consulting, Winton has written and lectured on a broad range of career and internet sales and marketing topics. His opinions are frequently quoted in a variety of publications and outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Marketing Sherpa, Inc. Magazine, Software CEO, Sales & Marketing Management, Fox News, and a number of other industry-related business, internet, and software-focused publications. He is the author of bestselling book Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles (Morgan James Publishing).
Prior to the founding of his own firm, Winton was involved in a variety of senior sales, marketing, and management roles for Apple Computers, Oracle Corporation, Spinnaker, Contact Software (ACT!), and Sun Microsystems.
Winton is a past President of the South Bay Association of Chambers of Commerce. The SBACC serves 18 Chambers and more than 53,000 businesses in coastal Southern California. In 2007, Winton made Huatulco, Mexico his primary residence and divides his time between Huatulco and San Miguel de Allende.
RONALD L. ELLEDGE
Medicare Insurance Specialist / Expat Medicare Consultant
Ron’s forte is Medicare options for those living and traveling abroad and is always available to International Living participants for consultation and direction. He is the author of the book, Medicare Made Easy: What Expats, Frequent Travelers, and You Need to Know. This one-of-a-kind book provides dependable details about how to decipher your Medicare options—in plain, accessible, understandable language. Ron is a senior market insurance agent and has been a consulting Medicare planner in Arizona for more than a decade. He is up-to-date with Medicare regulations, coverage options, and enrollment protocols. So much information is available on the Medicare website—but it can be dense and confusing to navigate, so Ron will help draw you a map. He’ll focus, particularly, on expat living and help you understand the questions you should ask and the pitfalls to avoid.
[Legal Note: Ron’s content is NOT approved, endorsed, or authorized by MEDICARE. All information regarding MEDICARE discussed or mentioned is available for free from MEDICARE.]
JUAN FEDERICO FISCHER, ESQ., MBA
Andersen Global (Uruguay Attorney)
Juan Federico Fischer is the Office Managing Partner of Andersen in Uruguay and a member of Andersen’s Global Board.
Juan Federico has over 25 years of experience in corporate legal advice, assisting multinationals and high net worth individuals investing or engaging in cross-border deals in Uruguay. He works with clients from the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America, on matters such as: Acquisition of local companies by multinationals, structuring investments in agribusiness, international tenders in privatizations and 3P structures, set-up of local franchise operations for global brands, and development of commercial and residential real estate investments.
Deals led by Juan Federico include: The sale of Uruguay’s leading beef producing company (British-owned) to one of the top global Japanese food companies; the project finance structuring of the first Uruguay airport privatization; the negotiation and set-up of major global retail brand operations; the negotiation, land acquisition, structuring, and set-up of operations for international agribusiness, timber, and mining ventures.
Juan was born in France, and besides Uruguay, has lived in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, London, and Central America. His overseas work experience spans deals in the U.S., Canada, most of South America, Mexico, Panama, Britain, Spain, Italy, and Romania. He lectures globally on foreign investment conditions in Uruguay, and is a permanent source on investment conditions in Uruguay to international publications. Juan Federico lived in the United States for 12 years, is fluent in Spanish, English, and French, and is active in the U.S., Japanese, and British Chambers of Commerce in Uruguay. He has been recognized as a leading advisor by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 and is a regular speaker at international conferences on foreign investment in Uruguay, as well as a reference for global publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The Financial Times, and The New York Times, who regularly interview him.
He serves on several corporate boards and on the board of Sembrando, an organization devoted to assisting young entrepreneurs in Uruguay.
MARIA FERNANDA GONZÁLEZ
Attorney at Law, Garcia & Bodan, (Nicaragua Attorney)
María Fernanda González Obregón is Associate at García & Bodán San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.
She has worked in immigration, real estate, and corporate law and has vast experience in different immigration, registration, and administrative procedures and diligences.
Since 2017, Ma. Fernanda has been providing advice and guidance for immigration matters and has helped several clients to get their residency status in Nicaragua. Throughout her career she has been able to determine the best path and strategy for each specific immigration case, always keeping a results-oriented focus. She has acted as mediators between clients and immigration authorities, which has helped to create good communication channels that favor the most complex cases.
Her goal is to simplify this complex matter to her clients, by analyzing every case and documentation, determining the best and most cost-effective course of action, and answering the inquiries the clients may have, whether they are investors, retirees, or simply people interested in living abroad.
PRACTICE AREAS: Corporate-Commercial, Transactional Purchasing and Contracting of Goods and Services, Migratory, Real Estate, Litigation, Mediations.
Founder, Social Security Now or Later
With 35 years of experience in finance, strategic planning, and general management, Steve has honed his ability to present complex financial concepts to the general public clearly and effectively. Currently, he focuses these skills on educating the American public on how to get the most out of their Social Security benefits.
Previously he enjoyed a varied career that included a position as controller for a $50 million multi-year, multi-country regional agronomy and small business U.S. AID development program in West Africa; environmental services management in waste-water treatment facilities; permitting and on-site remediation; technology opportunities in security software; and most recently, vehicle automation. He received a B.A. Degree with Honors from Yale in International Development Studies and an MBA from Stanford in Finance and Public Management.
After 16 years of avidly reading International Living magazine, Steve and his wife are “walking the walk” and are living their happily ever after in Mexico. Steve has his plan in place for leveraging their Social Security benefits, coupled with affordable overseas living, to deliver a secure financial future for their retirement, and he wants to help you learn how to do the same for yours.
[Legal Note: Steve’s content is NOT approved, endorsed, or authorized by Social Security. All information regarding Social Security discussed or mentioned is available for free from Social Security.]
ALAN GONGORA, ESQ.
Langon Colombia S.A.S. (Colombia Attorney)
Alan serves as Managing Partner of Langon Law Group LLC and Langon Colombia S.A.S. Alan specializes in commercial and startup business law and oversees Langon’s International Commercial Transactions practice group.
Alan previously worked as an associate at several prominent international law firms, including Clifford Chance LLP and Morgan Lewis and Bockius LLP. Alan earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School and studied at Oxford University and at the University of Michigan where he received his B.A.
Warren Hardy Spanish School
The Warren Hardy Spanish Webtutor Course is designed specifically for expats who want to get by in Spanish or learn to speak at a high conversational level. His online video course is successfully used by thousands of expats worldwide. It consists of three levels. Level 1 empowers students to be courteous and express their needs with confidence. Levels 2 and 3 teach all the verb tenses in Spanish. Each level consists of 40 twenty-minute video lessons and a downloadable workbook. You own the course for life and can study it on any device that connects to the internet.
Warren has been a Spanish teacher and educator for over 40 years. He and his wife, Tuli, have lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico since 1990, when they founded the Warren Hardy School. The school has become an
institution where expats go to learn Spanish and culture.
Over the years, Warren has finely honed this course of study specifically for expats. Students quickly learn the courtesies, the basic verbs, and the most useful nouns, so they can travel, shop, and comfortably take care of their business. This is the necessary “go-to” course for expats moving to Spanish-speaking countries.
DOUGLAS A. HENDLER
Blaney McMurtry LLP
Doug received his Bachelor of Arts (Economics and Political Science) from McGill University in 1968. He then obtained his Law Degree (J.D.) from the University of Toronto in 1971. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1973 and the New York State Bar in 1984. Doug has practiced law in Toronto, Ontario since 1973 and is currently practicing with the firm of Blaney McMurtry LLP.
Doug’s practice involves representing individuals and the business community in corporate commercial matters, real estate law, and estate planning matters, including the structuring of the personal and business affairs of clients. Doug has developed an extensive network of lawyers in Canada, the U.S., and abroad with whom he works on a regular basis to assist clients in meeting their business and personal needs. Doug’s corporate commercial practice includes all aspects of legal services required by the business community, including representing clients in commercial transactions, drafting and negotiating agreements, and assisting in the proper structuring of transactions.
Doug’s practice includes all aspects of real estate and real estate development as well as representing both borrowers and lenders in financing transactions for both individuals and businesses. Doug’s estate planning work for clients includes the creation of trusts and estate plans, advising clients with respect to asset protection strategies, and the structuring of the assets and affairs of his clients.
Mata-Kelly and Partners (Panama Attorney)
Rainelda Mata-Kelly has practiced commercial, immigration, and maritime law for over 35 years. Together with her team of lawyers and assistants at the Law Offices Mata-Kelly and Partners, she has successfully guided hundreds of expats through the process of becoming residents of Panama. The firm has become one of the leading immigration law firms in Panama and the practice includes relocation-related services such as legal assistance on the purchase and sale of real estate, as well as setting up foundations and corporations for asset protection and estate planning.
Her legal background starts in 1982, when Ms. Mata-Kelly graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Law and Political Science at Santa Maria La Antigua University in Panama. She then went on to Cornell University Law School and obtained a Master of Laws, specializing in Commercial and Maritime Law. Upon graduation, she became the founder, resident lawyer, and manager for six years of the London office of a Panamanian law firm. As part of her practice, Ms. Mata-Kelly was, for 10 years, an External Legal Advisor to the Colón Free Trade Zone Merchants Association (AUZLC), a member of the Editorial Board of La Prensa for several years, and External Executive Director and Legal Advisor to INTERED (Internet Service Providers’ Association).
KATELYNN MINOTT, CPA.
Managing CPA and Partner, Bright!Tax Minott Group
All American citizens have to file U.S. taxes, including those living abroad. Combining personable, American CPAs (most of whom are also MAs) with a secure, user-friendly, online portal, Bright!Tax makes it easy for Americans overseas to become and remain compliant with their U.S. tax filing requirements. Katelynn is a Managing CPA and Senior Partner at Bright!Tax and plays a key role in the development and direction of the firm. She is a leading expert in U.S. taxes for expats, and has been featured in Bloomberg, Forbes, and CNBC, among others. Katelynn, who speaks English and Spanish and who lives overseas herself, began her career with a tenure at PwC.
FRANCISCO MORAIS COELHO
Lawyer at Carlos Pinto de Abreu e Associados, Sociedade de Advogados RL (Portugal Attorney)
A native of Porto, in northern Portugal, Francisco is a senior lawyer at Carlos Pinto de Abreu e Associados, Sociedade de Advogados. For more than a decade, he has been providing advocacy services throughout Portugal. As part of a multidisciplinary law firm, he works in the areas of civil law, commercial, and especially in real estate law. His firm is always keeping track of matters at an international level, with a philosophy of providing specialized and personalized work for their clients.
Moreno di Donato Law Firm (Ecuador Attorney)
Camila Moreno works at the Moreno di Donato Law Firm. She graduated Cum Laude with a degree in International Law and a minor in Law and Justice from the University of Tampa, and is currently pursuing a second degree in Ecuadorian Law. At Moreno di Donato, Camila has been in charge of the International Law department, where she has successfully advised several international clients wanting to retire and invest in Ecuador. Camila focuses on immigration law, Ecuadorian banking, customs, and logistics.
PLaw Group (Costa Rica Attorney)
Roger Petersen is the principal attorney at PLaw Group. He has been practicing law for over 20 years, with a specialization in Costa Rican real estate transactions. Mr. Petersen is a member of both the Costa Rican Bar Association and the Florida Bar.
In addition to his legal education, Roger holds a B.A. from Tulane University in International Relations and an MBA in Finance from National University in Costa Rica. Although Roger was born in Costa Rica, he grew up in eight Latin American countries, which gives him a unique perspective on Latin America in general. This practical living experience helps him provide the best guidance to expats considering relocation to Costa Rica.
Roger is also the author of the bestselling book, The Legal Guide to Costa Rica, and numerous other publications on retiring, living, and doing business in Costa Rica.
Estevan Perera & Company LLP (Belize Attorney)
Estevan (Steve) Perera is the managing partner at Estevan Perera & Company LLP, a general practice law firm with experience and expertise in the areas of commercial and corporate law, litigation, mergers, private acquisitions, investment incentives, banking, intellectual property, and Belize real estate.
Estevan Perera & Company provide legal solutions to local, regional, and international clients, including financial institutions and major corporations.
The firm specializes in providing expert business legal advice to international businesses operating in Belize.
The firm is involved in setting up companies limited by shares and advising on the buying and selling of businesses. The firm also advises on amendments and implications of memoranda of association and articles of association; shareholders agreements and directors’ and trustees’ responsibilities.
Estevan Perera & Company work with all major professionals in Belize, including, but not limited to, bankers, engineers, architects, custom brokers, and real estate agents.
The firm also works closely with all government departments in Belize.
PAULO AMÉRICO MAIA PEIXOTO
Peixoto Advocacia & Consultoria (Brazil Attorney)
Paulo Peixoto is a founding member of Peixoto Advocacia, a leading law firm based in João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil. Paulo qualified in 1999 and has over a decade’s experience in advising national and international clients on all aspects of property and commercial law, as well as civil matters.
Paulo heads up Peixoto Advocacia’s international team. The team is dedicated to assisting a range of corporate and private clients with their Brazilian real estate transactions, and also provides a range of complementary services, such as visas and immigration, company formation, employment and taxation issues, and litigation/dispute resolution. Paulo is a Brazilian national licensed by the Brazilian Bar Association and speaks fluent English.
Executive Director, Pangea, and Editor, Real Estate Trend Alert
There are many so-called real estate “experts” out there—but few have the track record Ronan and his Real Estate Trend Alert service have.
Ronan has been an active real estate investor since his early 20s. He’s an international dealmaker. Some folks call him a profit hunter.
You may be a member of Ronan’s Real Estate Trend Alert group already. Or, you may have read Ronan’s columns in International Living magazine…met him in person at one of International Living‘s events…or read his popular books, Ronan McMahon’s Profit Principle: An Insider’s Guide to Doubling Your Money in Real Estate Overseas and Real Estate That Will Make You Rich…and You Can Get It for Free.
One of Ronan’s biggest strengths is identifying markets that are due for an upswing in values—but where other investors aren’t even looking yet. He’s called it right many times: Like the year 2000 in Ireland, ahead of what became known as the Celtic Tiger, a period of unrivaled and historic economic growth for the country—and its real estate market. He called it again in Panama, in 2004, when he predicted that values in Panama City were about to spiral quickly. He did it in Northeast Brazil, in 2008, when the market was on the precipice of a huge rise in values. And he was ahead of the big growth in Tulúm on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, in 2009, when few investors had gotten in.
Ronan also knows how to spot the right crisis market—where a buyer can get in cheap now but profit as values return to where they should be…or even exceed that. He knows how to wait for the right “trigger moment” to play a crisis market. He did that in Ireland, when the 2008 crash eventually led to fire-sale auctions in 2011. He repeated his success in Spain and Portugal when bank fire-sales popped up in 2013. He acted again in Cabo, Mexico, in 2015, when a rare convergence of circumstances meant you could lock down a luxury home for a fraction of its true worth. In each of those cases, a buyer who followed his recommendation could have doubled their money or more.
Managing Director, Pangea
Margaret was born in Ireland but has spent most of her adult life living outside of her home country. Real estate has always been her passion.
In 2005, Margaret joined Pangea. She spent her first 15 months with the company analyzing the paperwork and due diligence of countless real estate projects. The next step was boots on the ground scouting.
Margaret relocated to Panama in 2007, and has traveled extensively in Latin America, scouting for real estate opportunities. She’s spent time in places you’ve never heard of…researched more markets, scrutinized more deals, and checked out more projects in the region than just about anyone you’re likely to meet. After almost 14 years in Panama, Margaret is now scouting for a new base in Europe.