Meet the Team

With community support, Elizabeth has managed the CFITO since opening in 2014. The office conducts trade seminars, hosts inbound trade delegations, and connects inquiries to the appropriate regional trade organization in Central Florida. 


Prior to joining the CFITO, Elizabeth worked for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts in Orlando, Florida and for a global consulting firm in Beijing, China helping foreign companies navigate entry into the Chinese market. She also studied the city government of Seoul, South Korea with the Seoul Metropolitan Government and studied the Irish Troubles in Cork, Ireland. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and in International Studies from the University of Iowa. She holds a Master of Science in International Relations from University College Dublin and an MBA from the University of Central Florida.


A life-long entrepreneur, author, speaker and businessman, Mr. Ross currently acts as the President of the National Entrepreneur Center in Orlando, Florida.


His corporate experience includes AT&T, Ohio Bell, and Goal Systems Software, while his successful entrepreneurial ventures range from publishing to entertainment lighting, where he attracted clients as diverse as the Walt Disney Company, Coca Cola, the Olympics, and NASA.


Mr. Ross graduated with a BA from Heidelberg University and an MBA from the University of Dayton.


Carol Milena Palacio works in the Office of Economic Trade and Tourism Development for Orange County Government in Orlando, Florida. Her role is to develop and foster partnerships through international trade and investments within Orange County and the surrounding region. 


Carol fosters and grows strategic relationships in Orange County with organizations such as The Orlando Economic Partnership, Enterprise Florida, the Regional Chambers of Commerce, The Central Florida International Trade Office, The Consular Corps, local companies and regional economic development institutions. 


Ms. Palacio’s mission is to cultivate exchanges between entities to connect them with local and international partners that share the same values and economic interests. These partnerships will increase entrepreneurship, job creation, foreign direct investment and trade. Furthermore, Carol connects businesses and entrepreneurs with local resources that focus on helping their companies to grow.


Carol’s vast experience with the non-profit, private and government sector provides her with a unique approach to unify and create collaborative opportunities within industry clusters. Her skills include marketing, strategic planning, relationship building, problem solving and strong work ethic.


Ms. Palacio attended the University of South Florida for her Bachelor of Arts degree and pursued a Master of Public Administration at the University of Central Florida.