Law firm Butzel-Long and Wayne County organized a cocktail party on Wednesday, February 26th to welcome the new Consul of Mexico in Detroit, the Hon. Juan Manuel Solana.
Consul Solana came to Detroit after his post as Consul of Mexico in Indianapolis. With a solid background in marketing, finances, international commerce, and diplomacy, Consul Solana previouslsy served as Senior Vice-President of the “Nego-Centros Project” of the Mexican SMBs system, and as Director of Planning and New Product Development for Banco Mexicano Somex. In the United States, he has also held positions in the Mexican Consulates of Houston and Albuquerque, and now represents Mexico in Michigan and Northern Ohio.
Justin Kimko of Butzel-Long and Jessica Pellegrino, Wayne County Senior Executive and Special Project Manager, gave a warm welcome to guests and introduced Consul Solana. Following, Consul Solana thanked his hosts, and began speaking about the current changes that are happening in Mexico.
“Thinking Mexico is only labor is a thing of the past. 2014 will be the year of Mexico,” explained Consul Solana. He specifically talked about the long awaited energy reform bill that will soon open the door of Mexico’s enormous oil industry to private capital. PEMEX (Mexico’s 75 year old oil and gas state-owned monopoly) is worth $95 billion a year, and in fact is the world’s 10th largest oil producer.
Consul Solana also announced that in 2013, Michigan exported to Mexico goods and services in the amount of $12.17 billion, representing an increase of 16% over 2012. He spoke about Mexico’s need to integrate more with Canada, and about the benefits that the prospective construction of a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor will bring. He also commented on Mexico’s recent victory in its fight against organized crime (probably referring to the capture of drug lord Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán).
Later, the Hon. Robert Ficano presented Consul Solana with a Proclamation on behalf of Wayne County.
Guests to Consul Solana´s welcome reception included Councilwoman Raquel Castañeda-López, Detroit District 6, the first Hispanic council member in Detroit, and the Hon. Patricia Pérez-Fresard, the first Hispanic female judge on the Wayne County Circuit Court.
Other attendees included Camilo Suero, President of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Vicente Colmenares, Vice-Consul of Mexico in Detroit; Heaster Wheeler, Executive Director at Detroit NAACP; Angel Habid Ramirez, First Secretary of ProMexico in Detroit; Diane Lee, Project Director of the Minority Business Development Agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce; and Rogelio Landín, Chairman of Matrix Human Services.