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Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Executive appointments in Popular, Foxwoods Casino, PR Women’s Foundation

This edition of Climbing the Corporate Ladder reports on executive appointments in a cross-sector of industries in Puerto Rico.

Javier Ferrer

José Coleman-Tió

Popular names COO, chief legal officer
Popular Inc. announced the appointment of Javier D. Ferrer as COO and head of business strategy. It also named José R. Coleman-Tió as executive vice president, chief legal officer and general counsel, succeeding Ferrer.

In this capacity, Ferrer will have responsibility for all Popular’s business units, including its Puerto Rico and US-based retail banking, individual credit, commercial credit, financial and insurance service units, overseeing their day-to-day operations and long-term strategy. Ferrer will report to CEO Ignacio Álvarez.

Ferrer’s appointment, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2022, aims to facilitate Popular’s business transformation to meet customers’ evolving needs and allow the company to compete more effectively, Álvarez said.

“Popular is at an exciting inflection point. Leveraging our strong financial position, our dedicated colleagues, and our commitment to our customers, we believe that Javier’s appointment as COO creates the structure necessary to deepen the transformation of our business to take advantage of future opportunities,” said Álvarez.

Ferrer has served as Popular’s executive vice president, chief legal officer, general counsel, and corporate secretary since 2014 and as a director of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico since 2015. He has also overseen the company’s strategic planning function since 2019.

Meanwhile, Coleman-Tió’s new designation is effective Jan. 1, 2022. Coleman-Tió has served as Popular’s senior vice president, deputy general counsel and assistant secretary since 2017.

“Javier and José will be crucial partners to me and the rest of Popular’s leadership team as we chart this journey under a new leadership structure that we believe positions us to be more responsive to the evolving needs of our customers,” said Álvarez.

Foxwoods El San Juan Casino announces new executive leadership team
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and LionGrove announced the appointment of a new leadership team that will oversee operations of the soon-to-open Foxwoods El San Juan Casino.

From left: Jacqueline Ríos, Miguel Guzmán, Orlando Vega, Kathlyn Pérez, and Adamarish Falcón.

“We’re pleased to announce the latest stellar additions to the Foxwoods El San Juan leadership team. We’re confident that there is no team more qualified to both propel the next generation of this historic casino forward into its new phase as the Foxwoods El San Juan Casino and deliver award-winning gaming experiences to Puerto Rico,” said Stuart Levene, managing director of Foxwoods El San Juan Casino.

Orlando Vega-López, Foxwoods El San Juan’s new director of Casino Operations, began his career in the casino industry at 18 years old as a croupier. In 2007 he assumed the role of Gaming Inspector for the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., which provided the opportunity to learn each casino in Puerto Rico, and the operations and relationships built within every level of casino employees.

Kathlyn Pérez, director of Casino Finance, brings two decades of casino industry experience to the Foxwoods El San Juan leadership team. She has held numerous positions within casino finance – having started her career at El San Juan Casino as an accounting clerk, she also served as the general books auditor at Condado Plaza Casino before returning to El San Juan as an income auditor.

She later held positions as accounting manager and comptroller at the Condado Plaza Casino before eventually resuming her career at El San Juan as the director of Casino Finance. Her extensive knowledge and experience will surely serve as a continued benefit to the iconic Puerto Rican casino.

Jacqueline “Jackie” Ríos, the casino’s new director of Casino Administration, got her start in the casino industry at the Condado Plaza Casino in 1988 as a compliance/security officer. From there, Ríos continued her journey throughout various levels of the casino team as a player services agent, credit/reservations coordinator and casino administrator. She also served as casino director of Dorado del Mar Casino in Puerto Rico.

With her varied background in the casino industry, Rios is the ideal candidate to lead casino administration at Foxwoods El San Juan.

Adamarish Falcón-Ramos, Foxwoods El San Juan’s new director of Casino Marketing, first began her career in the casino industry as a part-time telemarketer and never imagined that a decade later she’d become the head of marketing at such a storied property.

She previously served as marketing manager at Casino Del Sol at the Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort, and marketing manager at Casino Del Mar at La Concha Resort. Falcón-Ramos will lead with hospitality and first-class customer service as a top priority, ensuring guests are offered the premier entertainment and gaming experience in Puerto Rico.

Miguel Guzmán, Slots and IT Manager, started in the casino industry at the original El San Juan Casino in 1991 as a slot cashier. He then served across numerous positions within the El San Juan Casino until he was appointed director of slot operations in 2001.

When the casino closed in 2016, Guzmán transferred into the IT department, during which he completed his degree in information systems and received a master’s in telecommunications and network administration. Now, Guzmán will work for the casino once again, managing its information technology and slot systems.

Puerto Rico Women’s Foundation hires 1st executive director
Verónica Colón-Rosario is the new and first executive director of the Puerto Rico Women’s Foundation. This was announced by the Board of Directors of the entity dedicated to feminist philanthropy and co-chaired by feminist leaders Sara Benítez and Elba Montalvo.

Veronica Colón

“Verόnica brings a fierce commitment to gender equity and women’s empowerment—and an array of skills and experience — to her new position,” the co-chairs said in a joint statement.

“She has designed and managed programs in a range of settings; raised money from foundations and individuals; planned and implemented fundraising events, workshops and conferences; and carried out organizational analyses,” they said.

“She is known for her ability to build bridges and create mutually beneficial connections among diverse individuals — from nonprofit participants to colleagues to board members to elected officials,” they added.

​​Born and raised in San Lorenzo Puerto Rico, Colón-Rosario lived for 11 years in Washington D.C. and has traveled extensively within Latin America. She began her career at the National Institutes of Health before pursuing her master’s in Latin American Studies from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University.

After Georgetown, Colón-Rosario joined the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Latin American Program. She later joined the National Science Foundation as a Social Scientist for the Directorate of Social and Economic Sciences. 

When Hurricane María hit Puerto Rico, Colón-Rosario came back home to contribute to the recovery efforts. She joined Grupo Guayacán Inc., a nonprofit that supports start-up entrepreneurial efforts.

She was then recruited to launch and serve as the director of Holberton School, a Puerto Rican software development program with roots in San Francisco. She is currently on the board of the True Self Foundation, which supports Puerto Rico’s LGBTQ+ community — particularly trans and gender-fluid individuals.

“Over the course of my career, I’ve worked and lived in many places and addressed a range of economic and social issues,” Colón-Rosario said. “But at the heart of everything that I’ve done is the goal of gender justice. I feel as if my multi-disciplinary background and training all comes together to support me in the wonderful position that I am about to fill. Being the Executive Director for the Puerto Rico Women’s Foundation is the job that I have been preparing for all my life.”

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 27 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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