The Team

Antonio J. Soave — CEO and Managing Director

Antonio J. Soave is the CEO of CGA. In this capacity he has assisted myriad businesses to expand their operations abroad, establish joint ventures and conduct acquisitions. He has done so in a number of business sectors including, but not limited to, the following: construction and real estate, biotech, high-tech and general manufacturing. He is also active in business restructuring consulting and foreign capital/equity raises, as well as corporate turn-around. His geographic areas of competence and specialization are the Middle East, Europe and South America.

In 2008 and the beginning of 2009, and while operating CGA, Antonio served as the Executive Director of the School of Business at Benedictine College in Kansas. While at Benedictine, he created the first ever International Business Advisory Council (I-BAC) comprised of twenty-five (25) high-level business and financial leaders from around the globe. He was also the founder of the Journal of International Business and the creator of the Global Financial Summit (GFS) that was held on the campus of the Benedictine College in April of 2009. Its objective was to proactively avert another global financial crisis.

Antonio is also the founder and former CEO of RGI International, a boutique investment banking and marketing consulting firm with offices in the U.S., Europe and South America. Antonio was responsible for leading RGI for over a decade, and he became a leader in the consolidation of large manufacturing facilities around the globe.

Antonio later teamed up with the WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort in 1998 to create the World Youth Soccer Academy™ at Disney’s Wide World of Sports® Complex. This was a four-year operation that led to the creation of a children’s television program, a line of sports gear for kids, and an Internet portal for international understanding.

Due to his extensive writing in law school, Antonio later became known as a prolific writer, author and commentator on issues concerning international and foreign affairs. He is the author of various articles, journals, screenplays and novellas. His works include: The Journal of International Law and Practice (4 volumes), My Beloved Croatia (political biography), and The Consequence (novella).

During the early years of his professional career, Antonio was an adjunct professor of international economics and international business (graduate level) at the Walsh College of Business in Troy, Michigan. He was also an intern at The White House in the Office of Public Liaison’s Department of Foreign Policy and Defense under President Ronald Reagan. While at The White House he worked on issues such as the political transition in Nicaragua, the plight of the “captive nations” (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia), and the resolution of conflicts in Angola and Mozambique.

In the late ‘90’s, Antonio received an honorary “knighthood” from the Antiche Tradizioni Veronesi in Verona, Italy for his work in improving business relations between Italy and the United States.

Antonio has a B.A. in International Studies from The American University in Washington, D.C., a Juris Doctor from the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University, and an LLM (Masters of Law) in International Law from the University of San Diego. He is a former high school All-American athlete in the sport of soccer and plays ice hockey as a hobby. He is also a volunteer with One Voice, the joint Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative.

Antonio Soave’s Corporate Highlights:

Martin Kupper — Director, Global Real Estate and Construction Technology

Martin has over 25 years of comprehensive experience in commercial real estate development, brokerage, and finance. Martin received numerous awards and recognition while participating in over $100 million of commercial real estate transactions in Kansas City, Dallas and Los Angeles.

In January 2003, Martin founded Kupper Strategies, a marketing and development company that designs innovative business development strategies and solutions. The Company tag line is, “Building empowered relationships that last a lifetime.” Martin is fluent in relationship building where companies, ideas and capital converge. Client engagements have included Capistrano Films, Kono Media and Magazine, AgeNation, Insulock International, Avail Partners, Empact Interactive Media, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dermacare Laser & Skin Care Clinics, The Beauty Spot, Extreme Pita Restaurants, Serenity Hospice Foundation and a host of entrepreneurial projects, nonprofit consulting and special events.

Prior to founding his own company, Martin leveraged his business experience as a Director of Sales with Leadership Network Corporation, a producer of executive leadership conferences for Fortune 500 Companies. Martin was instrumental in the production of the Investment Leadership Invitational that brought professionals from the investment industry together for three days of comprehensive relationship building. In addition, Martin was the Executive Director of Leadership Children’s Foundation, a charitable non profit chartered by Leadership Network Corporation that raised funds for The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Make-A-Wish, ChildhelpUSAd, The National Center for Mission & Exploited Children all dedicated to alleviating the pain and suffering emanating from child abuse, exploitation and disease.

Martin has a BA in Business Administration from Lee College and an MBA in nonprofit management from American Jewish University both in Los Angeles, California.

Sergio E. Pagés — Managing Director, Michigan Office

Mr. Pagés is currently the Vice President and Chief Information Officer for StructureTec Corporation, a consulting firm that specializes in providing engineering services for remediation of building structures. As Vice President of StructureTec, he has been a key player for the company by expanding its clientele with profile accounts in the manufacturing, institutional, and healthcare industries across the North America. As Chief Information Officer, Mr. Pagés is responsible for the company’s information technologies infrastructure as well as the technology services offering to their clients. He has been a Board of Director since the foundation of the company, providing executive strategic advice and direction in all aspects of the business.

As a business executive and past entrepreneur, he has been actively involved with an array of startups, from their inception, in developing business plans and raising capital.

Mr. Pagés provides strategic advice to different businesses and organizations. He actively participates in board meetings and strategic planning sessions to coordinate functional goals, budgets and objectives for several corporations and non-profit organizations.

Mr. Pagés was born in Venezuela and immigrated to the United States in 1979 to pursue higher education. He speaks fluent Spanish and English. He is married and is the father of two children in Troy, Michigan.

George Salter — Director, Clean Tech and West Coast Operations

George is CEO and Founder of Blossom Wealth Management. Blossom helps business owners, corporate executives and other successful individuals grow, protect and transfer their assets. These assets take many forms, including concentrated positions in public and private companies that are located in many countries.

Consistent with his sustainable background, George believes that companies best able to compete in the 21st century will be conscious about how they impact society and the environment in addition to being profitable financially. As the Director of Clean Tech and West Coast Operations for Capistrano Global Advisors, George introduces corporate clients to foreign markets and partners.

George’s education began when he earned a soccer scholarship to Dominican University of California in San Rafael. First, George pursued his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He then stayed at Dominican to study business, graduating at the top of his class with an MBA in International Finance/Sustainable Development. Realizing how often legal issues arise in the business world, George completed his education at the University of San Diego, School of Law. While at USD George presided over the Pro Bono Mediation Clinic and received the American Jurisprudence award for receiving the highest grade in International Business Transactions. He earned his J.D. in December 2001.

These graduate studies laid the foundation for the global advisory program that George runs today. Whether working for the environmental department of a gold mine in Ghana, traveling extensively through Spain and Brazil, or learning about wine growing in the Rhinegau region of Germany, George was constantly aware of the interconnected global economy. These experiences, combined with advanced research on behavioral finance during law school, have given George a truly unique perspective that enables him to help companies as they seek to maximize value.

Outside the office, George is active with several non-profits and community organizations. George is an adjunct faculty member at Dominican, teaching a personal finance course. He sits on two business school advisory councils: the first at his alma mater and the second at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He and his wife, Nicole, recently celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary. They live in Alamo, CA with their son, Heathcliff.

Jameel Murshed — GCC General Counsel and MENA Regional Director

Jameel Murshed has attained substantial experience in the Middle East and the United States, and has obtained licenses to plead in front of a variety of courts in Dubai and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries of the Middle East, as well as the Court of Appeals in 2000, and the Supreme Court in 2005. He has also practiced as a legal advocate and legal consultant in the country of Yemen from 1994 to 1999 and in Saudi Arabia between 2000 and 2002.

Jameel also specializes in various types of international contracts and agreements, most of which involving private international law. He has represented his clients in front of all governmental departments in the GCC, non-governmental organizations and courts.

Jameel’s expertise extends to advisory services in domestic law, legal services in the area of international commercial arbitration, and legal services relating to dispute resolution. His experience also encompasses work permits, investments, intellectual property law, patents, insurance issues and civil damages. Furthermore, Jameel is active in a wide array of international human rights issues in the MENA Region.

Jameel represents CGA’s clients in numerous ways, not the least of which involves and includes foreign market penetration in the Middle East, bi-lateral and multi-lateral contracts with the GCC countries, branch office registration in the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and strategic alliance establishment in the overall MENASA Region.

Steve Sharpe — Board Member

Steve Sharpe is an accomplished entrepreneur and former CEO. He founded and developed a multi-million dollar business that was later sold for a sizable margin (as a multiple of EBITDA), and he has also bought and sold numerous other companies throughout North America. Steve began his professional career as a commercial-rated jet pilot, then as a stockbroker for E.F. Hutton & Co. before founding AVP/Avascend in 1985. He served as the Chairman and CEO of Avascend while building it into a national, multi-million dollar hospitality corporation. He increased and enhanced the value of Avascend through both acquisition and exponential sales growth.