Board Members

Claudia Rojas


​Claudia Rojas is a Colombian native with a Master’s Degree in Marketing and 22 years of Sales and Marketing experience in the Latin American Region. She is a founding board member and the Executive Director of the Colombia-Texas Chamber of Commerce. Claudia has a significant devotion to the promotion of business, culture, education and charitable projects between Colombia and the United States. Claudia worked for four and a half years for the Government of Colombia Trade Bureau (Pro Colombia) as Executive Regional Representative, promoting Colombia’s exports, foreign direct investment and tourism. Previous to that, she worked for IBM Andean and Compaq Latin America, responsible of Global Accounts. Claudia is a member of the Houston Mayor’s International Trade and Development Council (MITDC-Americas), Pro Panama Board of Directors, and the advisory board of the World Chamber of Commerce of Texas.

Juan Felipe Arjona

Vice President 

Juan Felipe Arjona is the Corporate New Ventures and Technology Manager for the Offshore Business Unit at Technip. Mr. Arjona has worked for Technip for over 15 years, in various roles covering Information Technology, Corporate Strategy, Technology Investment, Business Development and New Ventures.  Throughout his career, Juan has worked in Colombia, the US and France.   Juan holds a MBA from the HEC School of Business (Paris) and a Civil Engineering degree from the Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia).

Tim Tirlia

Vice President

​Tim Tirlia has a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering degree from Marietta College in Ohio as well as an MBA from ST. Thomas University in Houston, Texas. He has worked for Anadarko for 18 years as their International Exploration Drilling Manager in which his group manages the land, shallow water and deepwater global exploration drilling operations. Throughout Tim's career, he has worked or managed drilling operations in 7 US States and 16 countries. Tim is on the 2014 steering committee for the Colombia Oil & Gas Summit and Exhibition and is an active member of the Board of Directors for the Colombia Texas Chamber of Commerce.

Francisco Vives

Vice President

Francisco Vives is an International Attorney with significant experience in handling all aspects of business development and contract negotiations in Latin America and the U.S. Foreign Legal Consultant with experience in cross-border negotiation and corporate consulting who has directed and successfully coordinated projects in the U. S., Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and Central America. With an outstanding educational background including a Masters degree in International & Economic Law from the University of Houston; a specialization in Contracts from Universidad El Externado and business management and Juris Doctor from Universidad del Norte in Colombia. Mr. Vives has been also an adjunct Professor of Law in the University of Houston.

Pablo C. Ferrante


​Pablo C. Ferrante is a founding board member of the Colombia-Texas Chamber of Commerce. Pablo is a partner Mayer Brown Corporate & Global Energy practice groups. Pablo advises clients in structuring, negotiating and documenting global corporate and energy transactions, with focus on Latin America. He has extensive experience representing oil gas companies on domestic and cross-border projects, mergers and acquisitions. He has also significant experience in representing financial institutions and companies across a wide range of industries in cross-border financings and business transactions across Latin America, as well as advising companies on compliance with anti-corruption and embargo laws. Pablo has been activily representing Colombian companies doing business in the United States, as well as representing major international companies doing business in Colombia. He has being involved in several of the major transactions and infrastructure projects in the energy industry in Colombia in recent years.

​Rafael Carsalade 


 Rafael Carsalade is the International Tax Director at PKF Texas.

Johnny Minervini


Johnny Minervini Is a native of Colombia with a master degree in International shipping and logistics from the University of Plymouth in the UK. He is the President of 7 Seas Energy and former shareholder, Co-Director and Executive Vice-president of Coremar Group in Colombia, an asset base trusts, which today is a leading provider of oil & gas turnkey logistics in the country.
Mr. Minervini has well over 15 years of experience in maritime transport, port operations, and marine offshore support related services. Mr. Minervini is also known for his entrepreneurial spirit which has taken his group over the boundaries of Colombia to serve in diversified offshore markets throughout Latin America.

Brian Hottman


Brian Hottman is the Business Development Director for the Geotechnical and Survey Division of Fugro out of Houston, Texas, Mr. Hottman relies on a variety geotechnical and geophysical skill sets.  In the beginning of his career, Mr. Hottman began as a Geophysics Technician at WesternGeco on one of their marine vessels. After several years offshore he moved to the processing center where he expanded his processing skills. Later in his career moving up within the company to the geophysical supervisor.  During that time, Mr. Hottman lead the geophysical division with as many as 8 survey vessels and over 140 crew members. Since joining Fugro, he has concentrated on developing business and opportunities for the geophysical and geotechnical division out of Fugro USA’s corporate office. He is also been tasked with the new role of manager of Fugro Colombia office.

Angel Curet


Angel Curet obtained a PhD in Geological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has Master and Bachelor degrees in the same discipline from the University of Minnesota and the University of Puerto Rico, respectively. During his academic activities he worked for the Department of Natural Resources, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) with field mapping responsibilities. In 1980, Angel joined Mobil Oil Co. and from 1980-1984, he worked for Mobil Exploration and Production Services Inc. in Dallas, Texas, and Mobil North Sea, London, as a geologist. In 1985, he moved to Mobil Exploration & Production Inc. South East New Orleans and served as Exploration Supervisor until 1988. The following year he moved to Dallas as Supervisor Mobil Exploration New Ventures Inc. with responsibility for Latin America. In 1991 he moved to La Paz, Bolivia, and served as General Manager. From 1995 to 1998, he worked for Mobil Oil Co. in Fairfax, Virginia as Director of Government Relations for Latin America. He returned to Houston in 1998 to become Exploration Advisor for Mobil Exploration and Production US, Alaska Organization. In 1999, with the merger of Exxon-Mobil, he was assigned to support South American exploration operations and new business development. In 2003, Angel was assigned as Project Manager Mexico, ExxonMobil Exploration Co. In 2009, he was appointed Exploration Coordinator - Latin America. In 2013, he was assigned to Bogota, Colombia as Operations Manager at ExxonMobil Exploration Colombia Limited, where he was responsible for leading seismic and drilling operations in the country. In addition, during his career Angel participated in many educational efforts including: the Institute of the Americas’ program for legislators and regulators from Latin America; seminars and lectures to governmental agencies on the key elements of the petroleum geology, the various oil and gas resources and critical operational issues; programs related to increase awareness of the importance of energy and economic development; and STEM activities.  

Milton Chaves


Milton Chaves is a seasoned Corporate Public and Government Affairs Professional with over two decades of managerial, advisory, and international field experience in the oil & gas industry and in the US Government. Extensive high profile domestic and international network. Proven track record on negotiating, analyzing, developing and leading strategic initiatives. Broad multi-cultural, relationshipbuilding, and commercial diplomacy to effectively advocate, position, promote and protect organization’s image/reputation. Spanish-English speaker at U.S. and International fora. Milton E. Chaves held managerial positions in corporate and upstream public affairs mostly in the western hemisphere for Exxon Mobil Corporation. He also was on assignments in Angola and Equatorial Guinea in West Africa. He was the Government Relations Director and a member of ExxonMobil de Venezuela’s leadership team in Caracas, Venezuela. He served as the Upstream Public Affairs Manager, Latin America & Caribbean in Houston and later joined International Government Relations in Houston and Washington, D.C. as Sr. Advisor, Americas and Director, Americas. He spent the last 4-years as Sr. Advisor in the Government Affairs office, Exxon Mobil Corporation in Washington, DC. Prior to his assignment in D.C. he was Manager Public Affairs-Latin America & Caribbean for ExxonMobil Exploration Company. Mr. Chaves worked for the US State Department and for the US Department of Commerce. He was Senior Commercial Advisor at the US Embassy in Venezuela where he was directly responsible for major projects, trade promotion and energy portfolios.