Puerto Rico Convention Bureau President Ana María Viscasillas resigned to her post late Wednesday, amid media reports of irregularities at the agency and the possibility that it may be merged with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Viscasillas said by stepping down, she was looking to “protect the organization and herself from vicious attacks to which they have been exposed to in recent days.”
“Due to the profound respect that I feel toward the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau and the foundation on which it was built 49 years ago, its members and its excellent work team, I’ve made the tough decision of resigning to the position I have held for the past seven years,” Viscasillas said.
“I don’t think its fair for the Bureau, or the organizations with which I have collaborated throughout the years in and outside Puerto Rico,” she said. “I believe it is my responsibility to make this decision to protect the Bureau and prevent that our image, which we have worked so hard to create, continues to be torn down.”
Late last week, Caribbean Business reported that the Comptroller’s Office is moving forward with an investigation into the PRCB, zeroing in on its senior staff’s alleged high salaries. The situation has reached La Fortaleza, which reportedly asked for swift action by the nonprofit organization’s board.
Regarding Viscasillas’ resignation, Board Chairman Federico Sánchez said: “I feel deeply the situation that has led to Ana María’s resignation, but we understand and accept this decision.
“Ana María is a hard worker, professional, and knowledgeable and we appreciate the passion and commitment with which during 17 years she spent devoted to developing the island’s tourism and convention industries,” he noted.
To ensure continuity of the strategic projects the PRCB is overseeing this year, Viscasillas has been asked to remain as an outside consultant to the board’s executive committee during the next six months, to head the organization’s reorganization. The name of a possible successor was not revealed Wednesday.
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