The Bravo Family Foundation announced that a broad-based group of leaders within the private equity industry has committed significant financial resources to expand the size and scope of its Podemos Puerto Rico fund, which is dedicated to providing immediate and long-term recovery assistance to the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane María.
The fund is currently at more than $25 million, the Bravo Family Foundation confirmed.
These private equity leaders include: Joe Baratta of Blackstone, J-P Conte of Genstar, Ian Loring of Bain Capital, Hollie Moore Haynes of Luminate Capital Partners, Dave Roux, former chairman of Sliver Lake Partners and attorneys from the law firm Kirkland & Ellis.
The Foundation also received a firm-wide contribution from KKR. Through Podemos Puerto Rico, “the generosity of the private equity community will have an immediate and long-term impact in Puerto Rico,” Foundation executives said.
“We started with an initial pledge to provide direct and desperately needed aid to Puerto Rico,” said Orlando Bravo, founder of Podemos Puerto Rico and managing partner of Thomas Bravo, a private equity firm based in San Francisco.
“In a short period of time we have built an efficient supply chain, assembled a great team, developed close partnerships with mayors and local leaders of the municipalities that we serve, and touched many lives,” they said in a joint statement.
“Our work has made a substantial positive impact in communities that would otherwise have been left behind,” they added. “At the same time, we realize that our work is just beginning. Our longer-term plans are centered on improving educational standards and providing opportunities for talented young adults in a way that promotes social justice.”
Bravo, a native of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, initially pledged $10 million through the Bravo Family Foundation to create Podemos Puerto Rico.
Days after the hurricane, it organized a series of airlifts to Puerto Rico, delivering supplies to communities, hospitals, and local authorities in need.
For its relief efforts, Podemos Puerto Rico works closely with mayors of municipalities and local residents to understand first-hand the needs of each community.
It then directly fulfills those needs by delivering aid through its supply chain operations, which include storage facilities in the mainland and western Puerto Rico, as well as air and sea operations.
“I am grateful to have such an amazing group of friends and supporters in the private equity community,” Bravo said. “They are now part of the Podemos team. Their generosity is inspiring, and their contributions provide significant resources in a critical time of need, while enhancing our organization’s ability to further its long-term goals.”
In the coming months and years, Podemos Puerto Rico will continue to deploy its model based on applying efficient business operations that respond to the specific needs of the communities it aspires to strengthen.
Its long-term mission is to promote educational programs and provide opportunities to talented young adults in a way that rebuilds Puerto Rico into a more just society, according to the Foundation.
“We are all paying close attention to the sad situation in Puerto Rico. I was moved and incredibly impressed by Orlando’s extraordinary initiative,” said Roux.
“I am happy to be supporting the Podemos Puerto Rico team — a well-informed local group that is passionate about providing humanitarian aid to their island and who are maximizing impact by setting clear priorities, taking immediate, direct action and delivering critical goods and services to the people who need it most,” Roux said.