EO Puerto Rico presents new board, 1st female Chair and focus on unity
EO Puerto Rico, the local chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization, a global nonprofit that promotes personal and professional growth among entrepreneurs, recently presented its new board of directors for fiscal 2024 and introduced its first female chair, Carmen “Mely” Torres.
Other board members include Armando Colón of PCTM Construction Corp., Jean Paul Rocafort of BCS Architects & Builders, Álex Goachet from Onshelf Media, Gustavo Castillo of Empresas GAC, Michelle Arce from Zen Spa, Carlos Bruno from Arteria Advertising, Krupa Srinivas of Owned Outcomes, Jorge Mejía of Fusion Works, and Pedro Nieves of Vidal, Nieves & Bauzá.
“Life has put me in places to be brave, open paths and support more women by example so they continue to lead in different spaces. Leading is not easy, but we have it in our DNA,” said Torres, founder of On Point Strategy, a local management consulting firm that specializes in grants and financial management. Torres is also the local cycling federation’s first female chair and the third globally.
With 24% female enrollment, EO Puerto Rico has the highest percentage of women among all EO chapters in Latin America. During her year as chairwoman, Torres hopes to encourage female enrollment and increase the total number of local memberships from 89 to 100.
“We want to continue growing as an organization, but I would like to see more women join EO,” Torres told News is my Business.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, government agencies and various business organizations, women business ownership in America is increasing steadily, except during the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected all demographic groups. Women own nearly 13 million of 33.2 million small businesses, the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship reported in July. These businesses generate about $1.8 trillion in revenue and employ almost 10 million people.
Increasing female membership aligns with EO Puerto Rico’s new motto: Embracing Unity. The slogan highlights the impact of unity in all life areas.
“It’s within this collective force that we discover the true potential of our individual being,” Torres said in her statement to the board.
In an interview with News is my Business, Torres emphasized the vital role of collective force in entrepreneurship and in the health and success of every person and every group in society – from individuals and families to companies and communities.
“In entrepreneurship, if you don’t have a community to support you, you won’t grow. We grow together,” Torres said. “We have to watch for the people around us. At the end of the day, that’s how we make an impact in Puerto Rico.”
Among EO Puerto Rico’s entrepreneurship programs are EO Global Student Entrepreneur Award, a competition that offers student entrepreneurs support, mentoring, recognition and connections, and the EO Accelerator, a catalyst that helps early-stage entrepreneurs to take their business idea to the next level. These programs are organized under a peer-to-peer model in which EO members share their professional and personal experiences, successes and lessons learned.
EO is a global business network with more than 18,000 entrepreneurs in 220 chapters across 76 countries. Founded in 1987 by young entrepreneurs, it helps business owners connect with other local and international entrepreneurs, learn from each other, and achieve greater success in their projects and businesses.
Local chapters, like the one established in Puerto Rico in 201, promote economic development by partnering with businesses in their respective areas. Membership is invitation-only, with candidates required to be founders, owners or majority partners of companies generating $1 million or more in annual revenue.