Our People

CEO and principal consultant

Tom Popper - New York

With more than 20 years of experience working in Cuba, Tom is widely considered a leading expert in doing business in Cuba, Cuba travel, U.S.-Cuba policy, government relations, and U.S. and Cuba regulations.

In the early 2000’s, Tom founded and was President of insightCuba, a storied travel company, which pioneered legal travel to Cuba. All at a time where few U.S. companies had ventured into Cuba. There was no road map, no internet, and no diplomatic relations. 

Throughout Tom’s time working in Cuba, he’s nurtured long established relationships with the Cuban government and people across the island. Tom’s also navigated U.S. and Cuba regulations spanning six presidential administrations and three presidents in Cuba.

Tom founded 82° West Consultants to help businesses explore and execute a market entry strategy into Cuba and to help unlock its potential as an island nation strategically positioned to be a major contributor to the region and the world.

Tom has been featured, interviewed, and quoted by hundreds of newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Cigar Aficionado, Condé Nast Traveler, The New Yorker, and National Geographic. Tom’s also been a contributor on CNN, ABC, CBS, and National Public Radio.

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Karla Gattorno - Havana

An impassioned and forward thinking native Habanera, Karla has dedicated her life and career to unlocking and expanding business potential in Cuba.

A highly respected voice among business leaders and government officials, Karla has advised domestic and international companies spanning various industries including pharmaceutical, tourism, sports, events, and marketing.

Adept at understanding the many nuances of Cuban regulations and the business system, Karla is dedicated to bringing business to Cuba to help bring about new products, services, and jobs.

Karla graduated with a degree in tourism at the University of Havana and earned her master’s degree in human resources and administrative sciences at Jose Antonio Echeverria Polytechnic Institute.

For seven years Karla was a professor at the University of Havana School of Higher Studies and taught postgraduate students in negotiation, communication, and other managerial skills.

Karla is also the author of, Open, which outlines how entrepreneurs or cuentapropistas can maintain private businesses in Cuba, manage and generate wealth, and navigate Cuban regulations.

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