Erica K. Smith is founder of IMS and has over 14 years’ experience as a consultant focused on strategy analysis and development, export development and intellectual property rights management and commercialisation. She has for over 20 years specialized in the negotiation of licence agreements with and on behalf of clients locally worldwide and has significant practical experience understanding the nuances of communicating across cultures and implementing strategies to achieve desired outcomes.
In terms of training, she has developed and facilitated training across various areas of business including key elements to consider in the negotiation of licence and distribution agreements. Erica has undergraduate degrees in law and management and a Master of Science degree in International Business (University of Groningen, the Netherlands), a LL.M. in Intellectual Property law (University of Alicante, Spain) and a LL.M. in International Sports Law and Management (ISDE, Spain). She undertook her doctoral studies at the University of Agder, Norway. She has been a member of the National Intellectual Property Committee of Barbados since 2004 and is Secretary of the Small Business Association of Barbados since 2020. She is also a member of the Caribbean Corporate Governance Institute.
Ms. Natallie Rochester is an International Trade and Development Consultant based in Kingston, Jamaica. She has over fifteen years’ experience in international trade and investment, business sector assessment, research, and trade-related capacity building. She has worked in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, North America, and the Pacific. Ms. Rochester has taught international trade subjects at the University of the West Indies, Mona and Cave Hill campuses. Ms Rochester’s research spans creative industries in the digital economy, trade in higher education services, value chains in medical tourism, trade in services negotiations, rules of origin, and fisheries subsidies.
Ms. Rochester has supported traders and governments in identifying development needs and foreign market access interests, and facilitated related training workshops. She has developed multimedia information products for Caribbean exporters on export prospects and target market trade regulations. She has designed, commissioned and managed research projects in preparation for negotiation of commercial access to new markets. Her previous roles include: Technical Advisor and Services Specialist at the Office of Trade Negotiations, CARICOM Secretariat (formerly the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery); Economic Affairs Officer at the Commonwealth Secretariat. Ms. Rochester served as CARICOM negotiator on Trade in Services, Ecommerce and Cultural Cooperation in the CARICOM-Canada negotiations, and supported CARIFORUM negotiators of these subjects in the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations with the EU. She also supported Small States in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations.
Ms. Rochester holds a Master’s of Arts in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University and, from Barry University, a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a Bachelor of Science in International Business.
Mr. Richards is an international trade specialist and trade negotiator with over 12 years’ experience working with the private sector, government, inter-governmental organizations and academia at national, regional and international levels. Mr. Richards spent over five years representing the interests of the Barbados private sector in trade negotiations and providing support to firms in their interactions with other firms and governments in multiple countries. He also spent over five years working at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat’s Office of Trade Negotiations where he was part of the region’s team of experts leading negotiations with negotiators from other countries such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and other countries. Currently, Mr. Richards is an international negotiator based in Geneva, Switzerland, where he is negotiating on behalf of several Eastern Caribbean countries at the World Trade Organization. In this regard, he is negotiating and interacting with representatives from 164 countries on an almost daily basis. For the past several years, Mr. Richards has also been an adjunct lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, where he has participated in designing and lecturing a course on “International Negotiations and Advocacy” as part of the Master’s in International Trade Policy Programme.
Mr. Richards holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Relations from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus and a Master of Science Degree in International Trade Policy from the UWI, Cave Hill Campus. He is currently reading for his doctorate in International Relations at the UWI, St. Augustine Campus.