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Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Appointments announced at Ford, Lexmark, Porta del Sol

Michael O'Brien

Michael O’Brien

Changes at Ford
Automaker Ford announced that Mark Buzzell, managing director at Ford for Puerto Rico, Caribbean and Central America, has been promoted to the position of general manager of the Great Lakes Market Area, the largest in the United States. During the transition, Michael O’Brien, general manager, Asia Pacific and Caribbean and Central America Regions, will oversee daily operating responsibilities for the team in Puerto Rico.

“Ford is moving very quickly to identify another high performing leader to succeed Mark,” said O’Brien. “There is a strong group of candidates, all very qualified for this position, and Ford is going through the process to determine who will be the best person for the team and dealers in this important market.”

Buzzell strengthened the Ford sales and service team in San Juan, maintaining Ford as the number one selling American manufacturer in the island.

He also directed the development and execution of the “Auto Remedio” primary brand campaign, a fully integrated promotional campaign demonstrating Ford’s class-leading fuel efficiency, innovation and smart design.

“I’m lucky to have worked with an excellent team of professionals who have taken Ford to the next level in the Puerto Rico and CCA Region. I’m confident that they will continue to drive Ford in the right direction,” said Buzzell.

Puerto Rico and the entire CCA Region, continues to be a strategic location for Ford and a critical market for the company’s long-term success. The company has increased the team, expanded its dealer network, achieved impressive results in the market during the past few years, and remains committed to working with dealers to deliver the best of the “One Ford” product plan to customers in the Caribbean and Central America with products that lead in quality, fuel-efficiency, safety, and smart-technologies customers want and value.

René Vela

René Vela

Lexmark names new GM
Technology firm Lexmark announced the appointment of René Vela as general manager for the Caribbean region. The new responsibilities are coupled with Vela’s duties in Lexmark Venezuela, an operation he has been heading since 2010.

Through the appointment, Lexmark positioning itself in the Caribbean, implementing new strategies to spur the growth of its solutions in the region. The announcement comes at a vital time for the company, which is consolidating its leadership based on its managed print services offer and its ability to provide end-to-end solutions.

Vela has worked for the company since 2005, during which he has held multiple responsibilities among which are financial planning director for Latin America, business development manager and multinational chief financial officer.

Vela has been responsible for directing financial initiatives for the region to achieve sales and financial objectives, evaluate and implement best financial practices to improve profitability in the region, and ensure the effectiveness of trade controls and accounting procedures of the divisions. He played a key role in the analysis, planning, research and development of strategic plans and objectives to achieve business opportunities, growth and financial profitability in Latin America.

The executive holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, where she also completed an MBA in December 1998, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jorge Guntín-Pagán

Jorge Guntín-Pagán

Tourism Co. appoints new Porta del Sol director
Tourism Co. Executive Director Ingrid Rivera-Rocafort announced the appointment of Jorge Guntín-Pagán as regional director of Porta del Sol, the 17-town zone along Puerto Rico’s western flank organized as such since 2005.

The work of the Porta del Sol office promotes tourism in the western region as a destination to find beaches, history, culture, golf, scuba diving, nature and adventure. By implementing policies, plans and strategies, it aims to make the tourism industry a major economic sector. The strategy calls for visiting communities to offer trainings, provide technical assistance and infrastructure and educational workshops.

“Strategies to promote and market to Porta del Sol seek to achieve greater visibility through campaigns specifically designed to highlight the unique attractions of the region,” Rivera-Rocarfort said. “We’re confident that Guntín’s experience and expertise will be invaluable to our development plans for Porta del Sol.”

The tourism development zone includes the towns of Aguada, Aguadilla, Añasco, Cabo Rojo, Guánica, Isabela, Hormigueros, Las Marías, Lajas, Maricao, Mayagüez, Moca, Rincón, Sabana Grande, San Germán, San Sebastián and Quebradillas.

Plans include creating jobs, developing tourism-related businesses, and stimulate the local economy by increasing visits and room nights, by improving service quality, optimizing tourist transportation and increasing the quality of Tourism Co.-endorsed rooms and offerings to local and international visitors.

“The economic development of the Porta del Sol region is directly tied to the strengthening of tourism in the region, through the creation of new tourist attractions, businesses and services that promote tourism,” said Guntín-Pagan.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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