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Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Puerto Rican professionals fill insurance, medicinal cannabis, gov’t positions

This edition of Climbing the Corporate Ladder includes executive appointments in the insurance and medicinal cannabis industries, as well as a federal government agency.

Juan Serrano

Triple-S Management names new exec VP
Triple-S Management CEO Roberto García has named Juan Serrano as executive vice president and chief strategy and healthcare delivery officer, a new position within the company.

Serrano is a well-known leader in the insurance industry with broad multi-sectorial experience in the health plan, care delivery and risk management fields across the Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and commercial segments. 

Serrano’s career spans more than three decades in the health insurance and delivery sector.  He most recently advised in the early-stage innovation space, focusing on health optimization for high-risk, high-cost and vulnerable populations.

Previously, Serrano was President and CEO of Munich Health North America, a U.S.-mainland-based health reinsurer. He also served as Senior Vice President for Catholic Health Initiatives and network executive for WellCare Health Plans. 

For 17 years, between 1991 and 2008, Serrano worked for United Health Group in various positions of increasing responsibility, including his appointment as General Manager of Southern Healthcare JV, a joint venture based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Serrano has a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University (1987) with a major in Business Administration.

Gregory Álvarez

CBP San Juan Field Operations names director
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the appointment of Gregory Álvarez as Director of San Juan Field Operations, which covers ports of entry in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Álvarez formerly served as Area port director in Laredo, Texas. 

As the area port director in Laredo since November 2015, Álvarez was responsible for managing a workforce of more than 900 people, operations and enforcement activities at four international bridges, one international airport and one rail crossing facility; as well as maintaining management and oversight responsibilities for processing more than 8.5 million travelers and $115.5 billion in trade annually.

With a vast array of workforce, management and leadership experience, Álvarez previously served as area port director for Blaine, Washington, from 2009 to 2015. The area includes all ports and stations between the state of Washington and the province of British Columbia, Canada, including air and seaport operations at several ports of entry in the Pacific Northwest (17 ports and stations).

With a workforce of 600 employees at that post, they processed more than 17 million travelers arriving by land, more than 1 million travelers arriving by ferry and rail, over 16,000 commercial buses, and approximately $20 billion in commercial trade a year.

Prior to that, Álvarez served as an assistant service port director for Tactical Operations in Great Falls, Montana, (2007–2009) where he maintained administrative management and oversight responsibilities for enforcement and intelligence operations amongst the 18 ports and stations in both Montana and Idaho. 

He also served as assistant service port director for Passenger Operations (2006-2007) where he was responsible for the management and oversight of passenger processing programs in the Great Falls area which included: all aspects of admissibility enforcement actions; regularly representing the agency at multi-component law enforcement meetings and functions; working with multi-agency task forces; and, strengthening relationships with tribal partners.

He was first promoted to the position of port director in Del Bonita, Montana (2005), where he was responsible for all administrative and operational functions at a Class A port of entry.   

Prior to that, Álvarez was program analyst with the Office of International Affairs (2003) where he managed training, technical assistance and support programs under the auspices of the U.S. State Department-funded Export Control and Border Security Program. While there, he worked directly with host governments in Malta, Cyprus, India and Armenia to strengthen border controls and enforce international export control regulations. 

Álvarez first began his career with the U.S. Customs Service as an inspector in Hidalgo, Texas (1998).  While in Hidalgo, he was a member of the Contraband Enforcement and Outbound Teams; received numerous awards and commendations for enforcement successes; and, he was the recipient of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, U.S. Customs Service Award, in 2001 for his enforcement efforts.

Janice Tirado

Encanto Giving Tree names local director
Encanto Giving Tree, a company dedicated to the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of medicinal cannabis-based products announced the appointment of Janice Tirado as operations manager.

Prior to this position, she worked in the company as a senior accountant and human resources assistant since January 2020.

Tirado has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration with majors in accounting and finance respectively, both from the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico, as Javier Vergne and Víctor García-Porrata, Managing Partners of Encanto Giving Tree said

The company based in Santa Isabel, markets its product line of more than 50 items under the Vital brand.

Roberto Torres

MCS names new COO, chief administrative officer 
Medical Card System Inc. announced the appointment of Roberto Torres as chief operating officer and Maité Morales-Martínez as chief administrative officer.  

Torres was most recently executive vice president of operations and has 10 years with the company, focusing primarily on financial and provider matters. Prior to MCS, Torres excelled with his leadership and knowledge of financial matters on various Fortune 500 companies such as Phillips 66, General Electric, Kellogg and Johnson & Johnson.

Maité Morales-Martínez

Torres holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting from the University of Massachusetts and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico

Meanwhile, Morales-Martínez was most recently chief compliance 0fficer and has over 10 years with the Company, focusing primarily on regulatory and legal matters. Prior to MCS, Morales worked in the health industry, as well as having provided legal counsel to government agencies on health, family and women issues.

Morales has a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Puerto Rico Law School and has a master’s degree in Healthcare Law from Houston University.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 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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