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CofC announces ’22 Zenit Award recipients

The Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce (CofC) will bestow its top awards — the Zenit and the President’s Special Awards — to a broad array of individuals and organizations in a ceremony later this week, the organization’s President Luis A. Gierbolini confirmed.

The Zenit Awards are the CofC’s highest recognitions, which it bestows annually to entrepreneurs, companies, and associations with an outstanding record in carrying out their duties and responsibilities and that contribute significantly to the development of the business sector.

“The purpose of the awards is to recognize honest and transparent work. Likewise, the recognitions seek to stimulate practices that lead to the strengthening of professional ethics in business,” said Margaret Ramírez, Awards Committee chairwoman and third vice president of the CofC.

“We’re excited to recognize at an in-person event this unique group of business and government leaders for their valuable contribution to the private sector,” said Gierbolini. “We hope that these awards will serve as a timely stimulus to these and other entrepreneurs and organizations to continue their work of excellence, so that they continue to lift up Puerto Rico’s name.”

This year’s Zenit Awards recipients are:

  • “Businessperson of the Year” — Agnes Suárez Méndez, president and CEO of AIG Insurance Co.;
  • “Citizen of the Year” — Fernando Cabanillas, medical director of the Auxilio Mutuo Hospital Cancer Center;
  • “Journalist of the Year” — Aiola Virella, editor-in-chief of the Metro Puerto Rico newspaper;
  • “Government Entity of the Year” — Family Department’s Socio-Economic Development Administration (ADSEF);
  • “Institution of the Year” — Remaking Communities with Hope (REHACE for its Spanish acronym); and,
  • “Innovation Award” — Cultivate AI;
  • “Teodoro Moscoso Award” — Juanita Polanco, fashion designer and creator of the social project Costureras Soñadoras and founder of JPI Designs, a sustainable fashion brand that designs eco-friendly textiles using organic cotton and scraps;
  • Banking sector — FirstBank Puerto Rico;
  • Real Estate sector — Reality Realty;
  • Retail sector — Empresas Fonalledas;
  • Construction sector — Bermúdez, Longo, Díaz-Massó Inc.;
  • Cooperative sector — TU-COOP Savings and Credit Union;
  • Manufacturing sector — Amgen Manufacturing Unlimited;
  • Health sector — Merck Puerto Rico;
  • Insurance sector — Triple-S Management Corporation; and,
  • Tourism sector — PRISA Group.

As president of the CofC, Gierbolini will award special recognitions to the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., the Puerto Rico Retailers Association (ACDET, in Spanish), CPA Luis J. Torres-Llompart and FirstBank’s Vice President of Individual and Small Business Banking, Aysha Issa.

President’s Special Awards to former CofC presidents will also be conferred to the late Bob Leith (1983-1984) and to Carmen Ana Culpeper (1999-2000). The CRECE Foundation, Medical Card System Inc. (MCS), and Attorney Luis E. Pizarro-Otero will also be recipients of the president’s special recognition awards.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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