As part of National Small Business Administration (SBA) Week, Nydia Padilla, president of South Puerto Rico Towing & Boat Services Inc., nominated by FirstBank, received the “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” Award for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In 2004, Padilla took over the reins of the company, leading a 60-person team in an industry traditionally dominated by men. She oversees all the departments, particularly maritime operations. Padilla has been recognized before for her professional career in the maritime industry.
“Nydia Padilla is an example of a successful leader with great vision in a very competitive environment. Over the past 16 years, she has made a name for herself in the maritime industry, holding active roles in the Puerto Rico Shipowners Association and the Caribbean Harbor Pilots Trust,” said Aysha Issa, senior vice president of Retail and Small Business Banking at FirstBank.
“We feel so proud when recognition is given to entrepreneurs who, in times of great challenge, see opportunities for growth in the services they offer and help boost the economy,” said Issa, noting that the counseling and SBA-guaranteed financing FirstBank granted to Padilla Nydia “allowed her to bring several of her projects to fruition, including purchasing the high-tech tugboat and making improvements to an existing one.”
Puerto Rico Towing & Boat Services was founded in 1956 by her father Oscar Padilla and her mother Rosario Claudio in the southern town of Guayanilla.
Over the past 64 years, the company has provided local and international tugboat services, as well as sea rescue services for industrial-sized barges transporting liquefied natural gas, propane gas, petroleum, molasses, and other cargo entering the southwestern ports of Puerto Rico. It also provides tugboat services in the USVI and the Dominican Republic.