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PRMA set to elect 2nd woman to preside group in 84 years

Waleska Rivera

For the first time in 12 years and the second in its 84-year history, the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association is gearing up to elect Waleska Rivera, president of Danosa Caribbean, to head the trade group during elections slated for this weekend’s annual convention, Executive Vice President William Riefkohl said Tuesday.

Rivera, who will succeed Pedro Watlington, is the sole candidate for the job and should be confirmed during an assembly planned for this Saturday. Only the CEO of a manufacturing company with local operations can occupy the position of PRMA president.

The executive has been an active member of the PRMA for the past 25 years, sitting on the Board in numerous capacities, from regional director to vice-chairwoman. She has also been the recipient of several distinctions for her work, including “Manager of the Year” in 1998 and “Manufacturer of the Year” in 2006.

Prior to Rivera’s nomination, the only other woman to have been elected to the PRMA helm is Lucy Crespo, general manager of Hewlett Packard Caribbean, from 2000 to 2002.

If confirmed, Rivera would be accepting a two-year term.

Changes in agenda
Contrary to what was originally announced, this year’s opening night presentations will not feature Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina, who along with his former contender Hipólito Mejía, were slated to speak Thursday evening.

While several weeks ago the PRMA said the winner of the neighboring island nation’s presidential elections would be making his first appearance at the convention, Medina will not be attending “due to unavoidable commitments,” the trade group said in a statement.

The PRMA’s annual convention kicks into high gear this Friday, with a daylong agenda of conferences and panel discussions. At 10 a.m. Friday, representatives from several private sector companies will expand on the convention’s theme “We’re all Manufacturers,” discussing the sector’s contributions to the economy.

Peter M. Pérez, deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration will offer the day’s keynote speech.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 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 areas of the economy.

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