On behalf of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, The Webster Group has been hired to arrange and manage the logistics and technical program of this event.  The following members of The Webster Group team will be supporting this effort.

Wendy Drake

Wendy Drake is the President and CEO of The Webster Group. She brings to her role more than 20 years’ experience working in fundraising, event management and production with government agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations.  Ms. Drake oversees more than 30 events each year, which have ranged in size from 10 to 43,000 participants. These events include trade missions, multi-day conferences and conventions, dedication and commissioning ceremonies, galas and concerts. She has worked with the U.S. Departments of State, Transportation, and Homeland Security; the U.S. Agency for International Development; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation; the U.S. Coast Guard, USTDA, and numerous non-profits and corporations. She has worked with her team to complete USTDA reverse trade missions, workshops, and conferences.

Phil Hargis, CMP, CGMP

Phil Hargis is the Vice President of Global Events with The Webster Group. He has over 25 years of experience in managing multiple programs and contracts of all sizes for a variety of clients. His event and project management portfolio of experience includes: United States Trade and Development Agency, Association of Public Health Laboratories, Department of State, Missile Defense Agency, Washington Headquarters Services, Department of the Navy, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Mr. Hargis has led all aspects of the USTDA Reverse Trade Missions (RTM), Workshops and Conferences for the past ten years.  He has managed or been involved planning over 50 USTDA events during this time.

Chandani Chandekar

Chandani is a seasoned event professional with over 13 years of expertise in meticulous event planning. Her journey in events commenced at a young age, igniting a fervent passion that steered her to establish and lead a thriving wedding planning company for a decade. With a strong foundation in client relations, production, and innovative design, Chandani has orchestrated over 100 weddings and diverse events spanning the nation.

Currently at The Webster Group, Chandani directs her expertise towards the orchestration of galas, non-profit functions, and conferences. Her commitment to delivering unparalleled experiences and her unwavering dedication to excellence continue to distinguish her within the industry, ensuring memorable and impactful events for clients and attendees alike.

Sophia Wallach

Sophia Wallach is an Event Associate for The Webster Group, based in Washington D.C.  Prior to The Webster Group, Ms. Wallach worked as a Social Media Coordinator for the International Women’s Forum (IWF), where she oversaw social media communications strategy and assisted with event logistics for IWF’s 2023 World Leadership Conference.  In 2022/2023, Ms. Wallach lived and worked in Melbourne, Australia for Sports Travel & Hospitality Group.   During this time, she worked as Operations Coordinator and Business Support Manager.  She worked closely with clients, including Tennis Australia and Rugby Australia, to develop and implement travel and hospitality experiences for the 2023 Australian Open Tennis Tournament and the 2023 Rugby World Cup.  Ms. Wallach is originally from Bethesda, Maryland.  She has a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University, where she studied International Relations, Political Science, and Spanish.

Bryan Erwin 

Bryan Erwin is the Founder and Managing Partner of BlueWave Merchant Partners. He synthesizes and coordinates US Government trade assets to facilitate accelerated growth for US exporters. He was selected by President Obama in 2010 to run the Trade Advocacy Center, the nexus of senior official, US Government advocacy on behalf of US exporters. While Director, Mr. Erwin advanced US commercial interests by leading 177 successful campaigns resulting in $199.7B in new business for US companies supporting 1 million US jobs. These were the best four years the Advocacy Center had in its 22 year existence. This was accomplished, in part, by executing a comprehensive new business strategy resulting in an increased case-load of 165%. This was the largest client roster in Advocacy Center history. Prior to that, Mr. Erwin worked for 8 years as a Vice President in the Investment Management Division at The Goldman Sachs Group. For the better part of the 1990's he was an aide to Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD.) Mr. Erwin hails from the North Fork of Long Island and is the current Chairman of the Long Island State Park Commission. He and his wife, Danielle, are raising two daughters and a stuffed lemur, Coco.

Stephanie Wilson

Stephanie Wilson is an International Trade Specialist with BlueWave Merchant Partners. Her duties include client support, presentation management, internal client controls, and market research. She has been with BlueWave since June 2020, starting as an intern and then transitioned to her current position in January of 2021. Prior, Ms. Wilson worked for The University of Toledo and Lucas County Board of Elections. She graduated in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts and Letters in Political Science with concentrations in Pre-Law and Legal Studies with a minor in Peace and Justice Studies.

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