Puerto Rico execs appointed to high-ranking positions in public, private sectors
This edition of Climbing the Corporate Ladder highlights appointments in both the public and private sectors that now have Puerto Rican executives in high-ranking jobs.
MMM promotes president to regional role
Orlando González, president of MMM of Puerto Rico, has been named president of Medicare East Region for Anthem Inc. Anthem is MMM’s parent company of and provides health benefits for 45.3 million people in the US mainland and Puerto Rico.
In this role, González will oversee a region that includes Florida, New York and eight other states as well as Puerto Rico.
González has a 22-year career in the healthcare industry. His passion for quality and dedication to the well-being of all Puerto Ricans led MMM to earn its current rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars given by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Star Rating program. His vision and experience earned MMM recognition as one of the top 10 Medicare Advantage plans in the U.S. thanks to its focus on preventive care, compliance with drug therapy, and effective management of chronic conditions.
Before leading MMM González served in several positions in the government of Puerto Rico, including executive director of the Health Insurance Services Administration (ASES, in Spanish).
González, who is an attorney and Certified Public Accountant by profession, will continue to serve as president of MMM. He is a board member of CODERI, a nonprofit school that provides education and rehabilitation for children with special needs. González lives in San Juan with his wife and children.
SBA appoints new deputy district director
The US Small Business Administration has appointed Ricardo Martínez to serve as the new SBA Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands Deputy District Director, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the federal agency’s office across the Caribbean.
Martínez succeeds former Deputy District Director María de Jesús who recently retired after a decade at SBA and 20 additional years in federal service. Martínez will manage and supervise the entire District Office staff while aiding District Director Josué Rivera in overseeing the delivery of SBA programs and services. Martínez will also oversee the creation and adherence to the district office’s strategic plan.
Before his appointment to this position, Martínez was the executive director at the Puerto Rico Small Business & Technology Development Center, where he led, implemented, and established strategic vision and priorities for the 10 Service and Specialized Centers and their staff serving the island’s small business ecosystem across its 78 municipalities.
Martínez brings a wealth of experience to the job. Prior to leading the PR-SBTDC, he served as its Associate Director for 20 years where he oversaw the management and finance of the organization, consistently achieving and surpassing annual goals. As a Certified Public Accountant and active member of the Puerto Rico Society of CPAs, Martínez believes in professional education as a key factor in being competitive and innovative to achieve success.
Martínez has volunteered in several nonprofit organizations and participated in different entrepreneurship and economic development committees in professional and business associations. He graduated with honors from the University of Puerto Rico and holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance.
Growth Digital appoints country manager in Puerto Rico
Growth Digital, a digital advertising company and Google Media Sales Representative in Puerto Rico, announced the appointment of Laura Riesco-Cestero as country manager for Puerto Rico.
Riesco-Cestero is a professional specialized in media and marketing with more than 20 years of experience in advertising agencies in Puerto Rico and New York, working in campaigns of multi-platform media both in the region of the Caribbean and for the Spanish market of the United States.
Before her appointment as Manager of Growth Digital Puerto Rico, she had worked at the company as senior business growth consultant since its launch in January 2021, and previously she had worked as media director leading media strategies in advertising agencies. During all these years, she has worked in agencies like Badillo Saatchi & Saatchi (now Publicis), McCann/UM Puerto Rico, JMD Communications and The Vidal Partnership (New York). Laura also has a master’s in International Business and Management from ESCE International Business School and EAE Business School.
In early April, Growth Digital announced the start of operations in the Dominican Republic as Google Media Sales Representative and offers strategic consulting and free training regarding Google’s marketing platform to agencies and advertisers.
Plexos Group hires Puerto Rico-based infrastructure and housing expert
Plexos Group, L.L.C., a Baton Rouge-based infrastructure program delivery and project management company, announced that Dennis González, has joined the company as vice president of Strategic Initiatives.
As former Puerto Rico Department of Housing Deputy Secretary for Recovery, González brings 18 years of program design, policy, compliance, and engineering experience that directly complements the company’s ongoing large-scale infrastructure and disaster recovery program management work on the island.
González will provide key knowledge and insight to help Puerto Rico improve its civil and social infrastructure with projects funded by the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. He will also support Plexos’ ongoing program and construction management work for the Department of Housing’s $1.29 billion City Revitalization Program and its $2.18 billion Repair, Reconstruction, and Recovery Program.
After the devastation of Hurricane María, González helped Puerto Rico repair more than 100,000 homes using $1.3 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power program funding. He also designed, managed, and implemented a $20.2 billion Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program — the largest disaster recovery program in HUD and US history.
Among his career accomplishments, González has managed a 54,000 public housing portfolio that encompassed more than $1 billion in construction projects. His wide-ranging construction management experience also includes an additional $1.5 billion in projects for hospitality, commercial, high-end residential and multifamily housing, and sports centers.
Before he joined Plexos, González served as a director at an emergency management consulting firm where he managed a $200 million+ FEMA Public Assistance Program for more than 900 churches and diocesan facilities of the Puerto Rico Catholic Church.