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Our History

A group of businessmen interested in the development and expansion of trade relations between the United States and Venezuela, and dedicated to the Pan American ideal, met on the 9th day of July 1936 at the India House on Hanover Square in downtown New York. The purpose of their meeting was to form a nonprofit organization pursuant to the Membership Corporation Law of the State of New York which they named the Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce of the United States, Incorporated.

John L. Merrill was chosen as President, Herman G. Brock, Carlos A. Scholtz, and James S. Carson were elected Vice Presidents, and Amos B. Foy,Treasurer.

The first Board of Directors was made up as follows:

Carlos Adrianza C. Adrianza & Co.
Herman G. Brock Guaranty Trust Co. of New York
James S. Carson American Foreign Power Co.
Fred De Sola De Sola Brothers
Amos B. Foy Chemical Bank and Trust Co.
H.E. Henneman The National City Bank of New York
G. Hintz Wessels, Kulenkampff & Co.
John L. Merrill All America Cables
W.S. Morrison U.S. Steel Products Corp.
Hendrick S. Muller Royal Netherlands S.S. Co.
F.W. Nichol International Business Machines Corp.
Pedro R. Rincones Atlas Trading Corporation
M.V. Rodríguez Llamozas Federated Metals Division
M.M. Upson Raymond Concrete Pile Co.
Carlos A. Scholtz Scholtz & Co.
Louis M. Vidal Krajewski Pesant Manufacturing Corp.
Evan E. Young Pan American Airways System

At the 39th Annual Meeting held May 28, 1975, the members voted to change the name of the chamber to Venezuelan American Association of the United States, Incorporated, to reflect more accurately its present-day activities and purposes.

Past Presidents

Over the years our Presidents have provided leadership and inspiration, contributing to the prestige and the growth of our organization. We are grateful to them for their vision and their hard work, and we are proud to recognize them below:

John L. Merrill All America Cables 1936-1938
Herman G. Brock Guaranty Trust Company 1938-1940
Chester R. Dewey Grace National Bank 1940-1941
Maxwell M. Upson Raymond Concrete Pile Co. 1941-1943
Thomas W. Palmer Standard Oil Co. of N.J. 1943-1945
C.W. Hamilton Venezuela Gulf Oil Co. 1945-1946
M.V. Rodríguez Llamosas Federated Metals 1946-1948
Godfrey MacDonald Grace Line, Inc. 1948-1952
Lloyd G. Smith Creole Petroleum Corp. 1952-1957
Robert R. Ellis Frederick Snare Corp. 1957-1958
Ralph E. Kimpel Guaranty Trust Company 1958-1959
Godfrey MacDonald Grace Line, Inc. 1959-1960
J.J. Dempsey Armor Products, Inc. 1960-1961
G.A. O’Connor Raymond International Inc. 1961-1963
Norman Maxon Grace Line, Inc. 1963-1966
Francis E. Grimes Chase Manhattan Bank 1966-1967
Frank De Sola De Sola Brothers, Inc. 1967-1969
William J. Paden Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. 1969-1972
Pedro M. Rincones Creole Petroleum Corp. 1972-1977
Gilberto M. Rincón Zoom International Courier, Inc. 1977-1985
Kevin Corrigan Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A. 1985-1988
Robert Y. Stebbings Marks & Murase 1988-1994
Dean D. Bishop Empresas Polar 1994-1996
Alfredo J. González Banco Unión, C.A. 1996-2007
Clara Krivoy Chadbourne & Parke 2007-2013

Highlights of the VAAUS calendar of the past have included events in honor of:

  • The President of the Republic.
  • The President of Petróleos de Venezuela.
  • The Secretary General of OPEC.
  • Ambassadors of Venezuela to the U.S. and of the U.S. to Venezuela.

Non-governmental speakers have included:

  • The President of the Andean Development Corporation (CAF).
  • The Chairman of Banco Mercantil.
  • and other economic and political leaders with various viewpoints.

We are pleased to show you photos and key information about VAAUS events held in the past.

From Left: Mr. Oswaldo Contreraa Maza and VAAUS President Alfredo J. Gonzalez of Banco Unión.

From Left: Amb. and Mrs. Milos Alcalay, VAAUS Director Diego Arnal of Banco Mercantil and his wife.

H.E. Hugo Chavez Frias

From left: David Muldford of Credit Suisse First Boston, President Chavez, Alfredo J. Gonzalez, President of VAAUS.

President Chavez addressing the assembly and the head table, including sponsors and other distinguished guests

Some of the 450 attendees

Mr. L. Enrique García, President of Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF), the Andean Development Corporation, speaking at The Plaza Hotel.

Hon. John Francis Maisto, Ambassador of the United States to Venezuela

From left: VAAUS President Alfredo J. González of Banco Unión, C.A.; VAAUS Director and Past President Dean D. Bishop of Empresas Polar; Hon. Dr. Pedro Segundo Conde Regardíz, Consul General of Venezuela in New York; VAAUS Director and Past President Pedro M. Rincones, President of the Bolivarian Society of the U.S.; Dr. Gustavo Marturet, Chairman of Banco Mercantil C.A.; and VAAUS Director and Past President Robert Y. Stebbings, Attorney.

From left: VAAUS Directors Mario Caires of Banco Industrial de Venezuela and Andrés Sala of Banco Mercantil C.A.

Tenth Annual Dinner-Dance, held at The Plaza Hotel. The González family, from left: Malula, Paul Alfredo, Malula Graciela, and Alfredo J. Gonzalez, President of VAAUS.

Tenth Annual Dinner-Dance, From left: Mónica A. Calabrese of Corp Banca, Dean D. Bishop of Empresas Polar, María Olga de Bishop, and Susan Gómez of Excel Bank, N.A.

Photos by Miguel Rajmil and Linda Calvet.