Joey Christopher Cancel-Planas has been named the Economic Development Bank’s new president, taking office six months into Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla’s term. His appointment was announced Monday by EDB Board Chairman Javier Ferrer, who is president of the Government Development Bank.
“Addressing Puerto Rico’s economic growth is our priority, and the EDB plays a fundamental role in the economic development of our island,” said Ferrer. “With this appointment, we strengthen our focus on the creation of initiatives to encourage the development of the island’s economy that result in a better quality of life for all Puerto Ricans.”
Cancel-Planas is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Business Administration, where he majored in Accounting. He has more than 10 years of experience in the banking industry. Prior to entering public service, Cancel-Planas worked as second vice president of FirstBank’s government loans and business development division, responsible for creating, implementing and developing this area.
“I am honored to take on this new responsibility. During the past 10 years I have gained extensive experience in commercial banking, working for two major banking institutions in Puerto Rico,” Cancel-Planas said.
“Now, I will use my knowledge to direct the EDB and foster our island’s economic growth in various sectors. Entrepreneurs from all parts of the island are born and developed at the EDB,” Cancel-Planas added.
Since January, the EDB had been operating with interim leadership, keeping relatively quiet about its activity so far. In April, however, acting President Ivelisse Acevedo noted that in the first four months of the year, the agency had approved 95 loans to local entrepreneurs and farmers.
“I appreciate the vote of confidence they have given me through this assignment, it was a great experience to serve the EDB from another perspective. I welcome the new president and I extend my support to him in his new role,” said Acevedo.
Since its inception in 1985, the EDB has provided financial products and services to support new local entrepreneurs, as well as those wanting to expand their operations. By providing financing, the EDB helps create and retain jobs, thus supporting Puerto Rico’s economic development.