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Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Puerto Rico’s corporate sector names top execs across multiple industries

This edition of Climbing the Corporate Ladder includes executive appointments in a cross-section of industries in Puerto Rico, from technology to insurance.

Laura Rentas and Hilda Rodríguez.

DuartePino expands team of advisors
Consulting and outsourcing firm DuartePino announced the expansion of its team appointing new leaders for the consumer and communications practices.

Hilda Rodríguez was named senior marketing advisor and leader of the Consumer practice, while Laura Rentas-Giusti was named senior communications advisor and leader of the Communications practice.

“Laura and Hilda’s combined experience in their respective areas of expertise profoundly strengthens the firm’s ability to support the growth of our business partners by implementing strong brand strategies and better serving their consumers,” said Antonio Duarte, president of the firm.

ACODESE names new Board
The Puerto Rico Association of Insurance Companies (ACODESE, in Spanish) has elected a new Board of Directors for 2022-2023, to be chaired by Agnes Suárez, of AIG Insurance.

Agnes Suárez

Ramón A. Pérez-Domínguez of Óptima Seguros was elected as vice president, José Benítez Ulmer of Universal Life Insurance Company as secretary and Frederick Millán of United Surety & Indemnity Company, as treasurer.

Other Board members are, Idalis Rodríguez of Caribbean American Property Assurance Company (Assurant); Carlos Santana of First Medical Health Plan, Roberto Pando of MCS Life Insurance Company, and Alexis Sánchez, of MAPFRE-PRAICO Insurance Company.

Royal Sonesta San Juan names GM
Royal Sonesta San Juan announced the appointment of Raul Bustamante as General Manager of the beach-front property located in Isla Verde. In his role, Bustamante is responsible for the successful execution of all aspects of the hotel’s operations, including sales, marketing, and finance.

“I’m proud to hand over the reins of the hotel to a great professional like Raul who will continue to lead this exceptional team into success in the years to come,” said Michael Herrmann, senior director of operations, Sonesta Hotels International Corporation.

Raúl Bustamante

Bustamante has more than 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Royal Sonesta San Juan, Bustamante held multiple leadership positions with Hilton International, and most recently performed as general manager of the InterContinental Cartagena in Colombia.

He is well-known in Puerto Rico for his professionalism and dedication, where he was based for 20 years at properties, including the Caribe Hilton and Conrad Condado Plaza. Bustamante was also the owner and General Manager of the Ramada International San Juan hotel. 

Throughout his career, Bustamante led new hotel projects, renovations, and the repositioning of various properties, as well as mentored many professionals on to successful careers in the tourism industry. For his active participation in community projects,

Bustamante has been honored with several awards, including Medalla al Merito Civico in 2018 by the Mayor’s Office of Cartagena, Top 10 Business Leaders of Puerto Rico in 2015 by Caribbean Business, and Hotelier of the Year by the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association in 2008 and 1995.

He has also served on various Board of Directors in both the public and private sector, including as Chairman of the Board of the San Juan Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, and President of the Board of the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association.

VMLY&R names Innovation and Client Experience director
Iván Santos, CEO of the local office of the multinational advertising company VMLY&R, announced the appointment of Alexandra Ferris-Fernández as the agency’s new Director of Innovation and Customer Experience (CX, in English).

Alexandra Ferris

In this role, she will lead the digital strategy of all the advertising clients, working closely with the VP of planning together with the executive and account groups.

In her role, Ferris will develop and implement digital business transformation (DBT) strategies that lead to innovative and connected propositions for the agency’s clients and their audiences. In addition, she will provide high-level consulting, planning, and leadership of DBT strategy, new product innovation, and service reinvention projects. Other responsibilities include the analysis and application of knowledge to synthesize technological resources into concrete actions.

Ferris has nearly 10 years of proven experience in digital marketing, supporting clients’ strategies in a range of sectors, including restaurants, healthcare, government, higher education, food distribution, telecommunications, retail consumer products, automobiles, and others.

NUC University names 3 women to top positions
NUC University announced the appointment of three professionals from the institution who will assume new managerial roles — Yarelis González has been named vice president of Admissions or Enrollment Management, Jennifer Caraballo has been promoted to vice president of Marketing and Yelitza Gutiérrez to director of Marketing.

Yarelis González, Jennifer Caraballo and Yelitza Gutiérrez.

González has worked at NUC University since 2012, when she started in the Technical Division of NUC-IBC in Manatí, and for three years she has been leading the Corporate Enrollment Management team. Her contribution, strategic vision and performance are the reason for this new job challenge.

Caraballo, meanwhile, has contributed to the development of the institutional brand since 2016 and is now transitioning to her role as vice president of marketing with a focus on realigning marketing between the campuses of the Puerto Rican institution and particularizing the needs of each educational unit.

Gutiérrez, who has been with the institution for more than 10 years, will work alongside Caraballo in the marketing department. From this new role, Gutiérrez will assume responsibility for managing the budget and investments of traditional and digital media in Puerto Rico.

NUC University has 1,575 women in its workforce, which represents 68% of the institution’s total human resources. These professionals lead the campuses daily.

Steven Vélez-Orta

Múltiples Mortgage names new president
Luis M. Cordero-Rivera, president of the Cooperativa Seguros Múltiples Group (GCSM), announced that Steven Vélez-Orta assumed the presidency of Múltiples Mortgage. Under his direction, and with the support of the GCSM, the Puerto Rican institution seeks to promote its strategic growth plan. MM is part of the group of companies affiliated to the GCSM.

Vélez-Orta has an extensive career in the local mortgage industry, including the Mortgage Bankers Association, an institution in which he was executive director and chairman of its Board of Directors from 2008 to 2010. He was also part of the Association’s Board of Governors.

As part of his extensive work experience, Vélez-Orta has worked as an independent consultant for organizations within the mortgage industry and has collaborated on several projects with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Similarly, for several years he worked for RG Mortgage, where he held senior management positions, including president.

Coralis Chaulisant.

Lopito, Ileana & Howie names Customer Interaction Manager
Lopito, Ileana & Howie announced the appointment of Coralis Chaulisant as the new manager of the Customer Interaction department, previously known as the agency’s media department.

The experienced communications strategist assumes her new role after more than 10 years of experience in the advertising industry. She has worked for the retail, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, health, insurance, and tourism industries, among others.

Chaulisant has vast experience developing successful online and offline marketing strategies for local and international markets and diverse audiences, including the Hispanic diaspora in the United States.

Chaluisant studied at the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Communications. Her work has been recognized by the Puerto Rico Advertising Association and the Puerto Rico Sales and Marketing Executives Association.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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