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Chairman Executive Committee

Albert C. Zapanta, a retired U.S. Army Brigadier General and SMS Consultant, began his career as an industrial engineer for Bethlehem
Steel. From there, he moved to ARCO where he served as Director of Governmental Affairs. During that period he was responsible for negotiations with Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) on oil and gas matters and the copper mines owned by Anaconda, an acquisition of ARCO. He was also the company's representative to local, state and federal governments on oil and gas legislation, environmental regulation, transportation-related issues (pipelines, ocean tankers, tanker trucks and rail tank cars) and public affairs.

Al, as he is known to his friends and associates, has held numerous Presidential appointments, including White House fellow in 1973-74 and Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Management and Administration from 1976-77. During this time, he participated as chairman of Infrastructure Studies on Urban Mass Transit, Rail Transportation, the Airport Airways Study, the Water Conservation Initiative, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Fraud Review, the Teton Dam Disaster Audit, and was the representative to the National Visitor Center Intermodal Station in Washington, D.C.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Al to the U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on International Trade Technology and Development from 1981-1987. President George W. Bush named him private sector delegate to the U.S.- Mexico Partnership for Prosperity from 2001 to the present. Al was the first U.S. senior officer to lead a Peacekeeping Mission to the United Nations Referendum on the Western Sahara to serve with USSR, People's Republic of China, French and British military officers as Chief of Staff.

His military record and awards include the Silver Star, five Bronze Stars for Valor, the Purple Heart and thirty other awards during the Vietnam War where he served as a Ranger Commander. He was recently awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal for Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Restore Hope in Somalia and Restore Democracy in Haiti. Al served as Chairman of the Reserve Forces Policy Board (RFPB) from 2002-2004. During that same period he also served as President/CEO of the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

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