The Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico is governed as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization administered by a Board of Trustees. Although the Board of Trustees cannot delegate its broad legal and fiduciary responsibilities, it does delegate responsibility for day-to-day operations to the Executive Director, who, in turn, delegates responsibilities to his executive team. The Executive Director is in charge of managing the Trust and accomplishing the goals and objectives set forth by the Board of Trustees. Additionally, an Advisory Council assists the Trustees and the Executive Director in their duties.
In response to the increasing challenges in environmental conservation and the growing complexity of Conservation Trust programs, the Trust instituted a management model aimed at increasing its performance capacity by establishing structured core teams, known as management modules. Each management module covers a critical function of the
institution and integrates multiple staff from different divisions. Each module has a Division Director or Support Unit Manager as its leader. Management modules adhere to pre-scheduled meetings and operate with a clear agenda. This management system is designed to broaden participation of the Trust staff, including that of the Advisory Council and the Board of Trustees.
How we operate
The Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico is a private, non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status under the US Internal Revenue Code, also registered with the New York State Attorney General.
During its first ten years, the Trust received funds from US tariffs paid by the petrochemical companies operating in Puerto Rico. The Trust also began generating income through private financial transactions with companies operating under Section 936 of the US Internal Revenue Code. The Trust later began receiving a portion of the rum tax returns from the federal government, and building up an endowment fund. These financial resources allowed the Trust to generate its own revenue, primarily to acquire lands with high ecological value.
In addition to its federal funds and private financial transactions, the Trust also relies on income earned from its diverse active participation programs, including memberships to its AMIGOS Program,
entrance fees to its Nature Reserves, the Encounters Program, among others, as well as earnings derived from sales at its Visitor Center stores and tree nurseries. The Trust has also implemented a fundraising program to attract individuals and entities interested in collaborating with the Trust’s mission. The Trust actively seeks awards, grants and donations to fund different programs and initiatives, including its active participation programs and outreach campaigns.
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Board of Trustees
Marie Salerno is President/CEO & Co-Founder of the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy. For 40 years, Marie Salerno has held leadership roles at New York’s publishing, cultural, literary, and educational institutions. She has created and implemented strategic development and marketing campaigns, produced major public and fundraising events, executed the start-up of several magazines, initiated earned income revenue centers for non-profits and forged alliances with public/private sectors and diverse communities to better serve constituents.
In 2001, prior to incubating and founding the Harbor Conservancy, she was the first Campaign Finance Director for the successful campaign of Betsy Gotbaum for Public Advocate. In 1998, Ms. Salerno was appointed President of NYC 100, the public-private centenary celebration of the City of New York
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commemorating the consolidation of New York’s five boroughs into Greater New York. She led a consortium of over 200 entities, producing and specially arranging hundreds of programs and events that illuminated the city’s rich heritage. It featured a simultaneous fireworks display in all five boroughs, a concert on the Great Lawn of Central Park featuring for the first time on the same stage, Kurt Mazur and the New York Philharmonic, Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops. She produced the first immigration curriculum for schools and co-authored with Arthur Gelb The New York Pop-Up Book (1999), Universe/Rizzoli.
In 1994, the New York Public Library recruited Ms. Salerno as Vice President of Public Affairs to create its centennial celebration, the platform for launching a $500 million capital drive. She produced a system-wide strategic plan for its research and branch libraries, including programs, exhibitions, and lectures. In 1996, the Library was awarded the Silver Anvil Award of the Public Relations Society of America.
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Prior to that, she was Managing Director of Thirteen/WNET.
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Joaquín Bautista Viso
Mr. Joaquín Bautista Viso serves as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Alara Pharmaceutical Corporation and Orbix HealthCare Corporation, firms dedicated, respectively to develop pharmaceutical products and to provide pharmacy benefits management services to health insurance providers.
Mr. Viso founded Patheon Puerto Rico, Inc. (formerly MOVA Pharmaceutical Corporation), a subsidiary of Patheon Inc. in 1986 and served as its Chief Executive Officer and President until August 1, 2005.
Mr. Viso worked at GlaxoSmithKline for 16 years, where he held various senior management positions, including President and General Manager of Operations in Puerto Rico from 1978 to 1986.
Mr. Viso serves as Chairman of Orbix Healthcare Corporation. He served as the Chairman of MOVA Pharmaceutical Corporation from August 1, 2005 to December 31, 2006. Mr. Viso served on the Board of
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Patheon from December 23, 2004 to April 29, 2009 and rejoined the Board on December 4, 2009. He also serves on the boards of directors of the Government Development Bank, Genomas, Inc., the privately funded medical school Universidad Central del Caribe, and Scotiabank of Puerto Rico.
Mr. Viso has been recognized in Puerto Rico as an outstanding representative of Puerto Rico’s entrepreneurial achievement and contributor to economic development. In 1999 he was named “Businessman of the Year” by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico and a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Michigan.
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Described as “the point man on health reform for the nation’s most powerful union” by The New York Times, Dennis Rivera brings decades of experience as a “bridge builder” and political strategist to his current role as chair of SEIU Healthcare and director of the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) national ongoing work to ensure affordable, quality healthcare for every man, woman and child in America. After 18 years as president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, Rivera became chair of SEIU Healthcare in 2007. Representing more than 1.1 million healthcare workers throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, SEIU Healthcare seeks to unite workers everywhere in a movement to deliver quality, affordable healthcare to every patient, and to ensure that millions of healthcare workers can improve the quality of their work, their lives and their communities.
Cited as “a man with a reputation for getting the job done” by Politico, Rivera moved to New York City from
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his native Puerto Rico in 1977 and worked as a union organizer in several of the city’s healthcare facilities. After years of helping thousands of hospital workers join the union, he was elected president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East in 1989 and served in that role until 2007.
Under Rivera’s leadership, healthcare workers transformed labor-management relations in New York and established essential benefits for the first time ever for low-wage workers, including healthcare coverage, child care services, retirement plans and career-building education and training programs. Led by Rivera, the union emerged on the national stage as a united, passionate voice for working families on a host of issues, including affordable, quality healthcare, economic justice, immigration rights and ending the Iraq war.
Born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, in 1950, Rivera continues to be an outspoken advocate on behalf of the economic, social and environmental health of Puerto Rico and its people. Rivera currently chairs the Partnership for Quality Care, a coalition of healthcare providers and healthcare workers that cares for more than 60 million patients each year. He also holds a variety of advisory and board positions on leading labor and nonprofit organizations, including the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, the environmental organization Riverkeeper and the Hispanic Education and Legal Fund.
Jorge San Miguel Esq.
Jorge San Miguel serves as Chairman of the Advisory Council. He is Capital Partner of Ferraiuoli LLC. He was previously a Partner in O’Neill & Borges, concentrating in the practice of Environmental Law and Litigation. He is a member of the boards of several professional and charitable organizations, author and speaker on environmental law topics. He earned a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center; and a Bachelor in Business Administration from Texas Christian University.
Fernando Abruña, FAIA
Considered “the Father of the Green Building Movement” in Puerto Rico, Fernando Abruña is a retired Professor of the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Architecture and maintains a private practice with his wife and partner, Margaret Musgrave. His design and research work have received numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the PR Architects and Landscape Architects Association (CAAPPR), among others. His most important works include Casa Ausente, Puerto Rico’s first sustainable house, and the Carmelo Feliciano elementary school in Culebra, Puerto Rico’s first Public EcoSchool. He is also the designer of Solaria, the island’s first predesigned EcoHouse, which earned the Green Builder Award in 2011. Abruña is currently finishing a second green public school and is developing a newsustainable vehicle for urban centers in Puerto Rico. Dr. Abruña is past President and Founder of the Caribbean Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and the recognized authority on Sustainable Design and Construction on
the island. He is a frequent lecturer at universities in the Caribbean, North and South America, and Europe. His publications are considered essential references on the issue of sustainability by academia and industry alike. In 2005 he was named Fellow of the AIA in recognition of his professional and educational achievements in promoting sustainable design and construction. In 2006 he received the Award for Environmental Excellence from the US Environmental Protection Agency. In 2010 CAAPPR bestowed on Dr. Abruña the Henry Klumb Award, its highest honor, for his contributions to the field of sustainable architecture. Dr. Abruña earned his doctoral degree in Design Science from International College as an apprentice to Buckminster Fuller, a Masters degree in Architecture from The Pratt Institute, and Baccalaureates in Architecture and Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Juan Acosta Reboyras, Esq.
Juan Acosta-Reboyras is Managing Member of Acosta & Ramirez Law Offices, LLC. He is a Certified Public Accountant since 1977 and licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He initiated his career at KPMG, a firm that he elected to leave after 19 years of service. At KPMG he was Partner for 10 years and was in charge of the Puerto Rico tax practice during his last 4 years of service. He then joined a major law firm in Puerto Rico where he was appointed tax practice director. In 1998 he left the large law firm environment to establish his own tax and corporate law firm with his colleague of many years Attorney and CPA Rafael Ramirez. A former President of the Puerto Rico Society of Certified Public Accountants, he is an active member of the Puerto Rico Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is also a frequent speaker on tax issues. He has chaired the Tax Committee of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce. Acosta Reboyras is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico School of Law and the School of Business.
Luis Álvarez served as President of National Urban Fellows, Inc. from 1976 through January 2002, and reappointed as President on February 19, 2004. He is the former Director of Development for ASPIRA of New York, Inc. and, later, Chief Executive Office for ASPIRA of America, Inc.; former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Community for Latino Leadership, the Latino Fund of the Tri-State, and Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center; member of Aspen Institute Society of Fellows; recipient of the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award, the National Hispanic Hero Award, the Mid-West Voter Registration & Education Project Award, the Hispanic Champion Award, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Award and the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Recognition Award.
An authority on wildlife law, Michael Bean is Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the Department of the Interior. He worked previously at the Environmental Defense Fund, where he directed the fund’s wildlife conservation policy initiatives since 1977 and most recently served as co-director of its Center for Conservation Incentives. Bean pioneered the use of various incentive-based strategies to gain the cooperation of private landowners in conserving endangered species. Bean’s work in this area was instrumental in Environmental Defense Fund’s creation in 2003 of a Center for Conservation Incentives, dedicated to exploring, testing, and implementing incentive-based strategies for conserving biodiversity. His book, The Evolution of National Wildlife Law, the third edition of which was written with Melanie J. Rowland in 1997, is generally regarded as the leading text on the subject of wildlife conservation law in the United States. He is also the author of numerous book chapters, reviews,
and articles on conservation. A graduate of the Yale Law School, he has served on the boards of Resources for the Future, the Xerces Society, and the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, among others.
José Rafael Fernández
José Rafael Fernández is President, Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors Oriental Financial Group. Mr. Fernández is also a member of the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council of The Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Fernández graduated with a Bachelor degree in Science from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. After working at Drexel, Burnham & Lambert and The Chase Manhattan Bank, he joined Oriental Financial Group as Assistant Vice President in the Group’s Treasury Division. Under his leadership, Oriental became number one in Puerto Rico in the retirement planning market and reached a sustained and solid growth through the years. In 2010 he led the acquisition of the assets and liabilities of Eurobank, Oriental’s most important transformational event in its 47 year history. His involvements in the not-for-profit sector include the Advisory Council of the Mendoza Business School at the University of
Notre Dame, the Board of Trustees of Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in Santurce, Puerto Rico and his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rico Center for Social Concerns (PRCSC), a project which he founded with other University of NotreDame alumni to address the social and educational needs of youth in low income communities in Puerto Rico. He has been selected one of the Top Ten Business Leaders on five occasions by Caribbean Business and received the 2007 Men in Business recognition by El Vocero de Puerto Rico.
Blas Fonalledas earned a Juris Doctor and a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School in 2009, and a Bachelor’s degree from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University with concentrations in International Environmental Resources and International Politics. While obtaining his Bachelor’s degree he worked at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation in Washington, D.C. He previously worked at one of Puerto Rico’s leading law firms as an associate in their Environmental, Energy and Land Use Group. He has also volunteered at various conservation and educational projects in New Zealand, Peru and Puerto Rico.
Francisco Xavier González Calderón
Francisco Xavier González Calderón is the Managing Director of Municipal Finance at RBC Capital Markets in New York City. He was previously Managing Director at Goldman Sachs & Co. He obtained a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.B.A., Harvard Business School.
Andrew Light, PhD
Andrew Light, Ph.D., is currently a Senior Fellow and Director of International Climate Policy at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to policy development in the United States, and Director of the Center for Global Ethics at George Mason University. He is also a Senior Fellow in the Energy Program at The German Marshall Fund of the United States. At CAP, Light is principal adviser on international environmental issues to CAP’s founder and chairman of the board, John Podesta, and leads a team working primarily on international climate finance, mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants, and land use change. In his academic career Light is an internationally recognized expert on the social dimensions of terrestrial restoration ecology, urban ecology, and new and emerging technologies. On these topics and others he has authored, co-authored, and edited 17 books. He is a frequent adviser to various government agencies, including the U.S. State Department, the National Security Council, and the National Science
Foundation. He completed his doctoral work at the University of California at Riverside and UCLA, and a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in Environmental Risk Assessment in the School of Medicine at the University of Alberta.
Lucilla Fuller Marvel
Lucilla Fuller Marvel, AICP, PPL, has over 30 years of experience in urban and social planning, housing and community development in Puerto Rico. She obtained her BA in Architectural Sciences from Harvard-Radcliffe College, and received a Masters Degree in Planning from the Graduate School of Planning of the University of Puerto Rico. Since establishing the Social Planning Workshop in 1973, she has worked with community organizations, private entities, and city and state governments in the preparation of needs analysis, social sector studies, housing plans, and strategic plans. She has prepared the social and housing plans for many communities, including La Perla, Cantera Peninsula, Gandul, and most recently the Housing Plan for the Martin Peña Canal Comprehensive Development Plan in San Juan. In 1996, Ms. Marvel co-founded the non-profit Puerto Rico Housing Network. In 1997 she received the Puerto Rico Planning Society’s Outstanding Professional Planner Award. Her book “Listen to What They Say: Planning and Community Development in
Puerto Rico”, is considered an important tool for understanding the history of the development of social planning in Puerto Rico and the work still to be done. Ms. Marvel was Professor of Social and Urban Planning at the Graduate School of Planning of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) from 1973 to 1984 and visiting professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Services at UPR from 1980 to1999. Her civic activities currently include Habitat for Humanity of PuertoRico where, as President of the Board, she oversaw the completion of Habitat’s first projects on the island. She is a board member of the Buckminster Fuller Institute, the Center for the New Economy and the Chana and Samuel Levis Foundation.
Hon. Juan Carlos Navarro
Considered the primary environmental leader in Panamá, Juan Carlos Navarro served as mayor of Panamá City until 2009. He is the founder of ANCON (Asociación Nacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza), a private, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the natural resources and biodiversity of Panamá. He was selected in 1998 as the first Inter-American Conservation Fellow by the Nature Conservancy’s Center for Compatible Economic Development, with the support of the MacArthur Foundation. He was elected to the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as Regional Councilor for Latin America in 1990, and reelected in 1994. He is also a published author. Navarro possesses a degree in Geography and Government from Dartmouth College and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University.
In January 2013 William Riefkohl retired as Executive Vice President of the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association and became a Contract Lobbyist for PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association). He is opening his own office specializing in lobbying, economic development and promotion. He was Chief Executive Officer of the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association since 2002, where he spearheaded public policy and lobbying efforts. From 2001 to 2002 he was Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO), where he was instrumental in establishing industrial conglomerates or clusters as starts to the future industrial development of Puerto Rico. Mr. Riefkohl also has experience as a former University of Puerto Rico (UPR) professor, and Chancellor of the UPR’s Regional Colleges System; a European Office Chief in Frankfurt, and Deputy Administrator for the former Economic Development Administration (EDA). He earned three degrees from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus: Bachelor of Arts, Masters in Public Administration and Juris Doctor.
Dr. Rafael Rodríguez Mercado, MD, FACS
Representing the UPR. Dr. Rafael Rodríguez-Mercado, MD, FACS was appointed Chancellor of the Medical Sciences Campus at the University of Puerto Rico in October 2009. He is Associate Professor in Neurosurgery and Director of the Neuroendovascular Surgery Program (since 1997). He is in charge of the Neuroendovascular Fellowship Training Program that has graduated physicians from different countries in Latin America. He has received multiple awards for his contribution to the improvement of medical health, including the Zenith Prize given by the Chamber of Commerce of Puerto Rico and awards by national neurosurgical and interventional neuroradiology societies. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He participates frequently as a guest speaker and visiting professor in local, national and international forums. He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico Medical School and received a formal, two-year fellowship training by Dr. L.N. Hopkins at the University of New York at Buffalo.
Víctor R. Rodríguez Martínez
Mr. Rodríguez-Martínez is a Capital Member of Ferraiuoli LLC specializing in environmental compliance, energy law and government and legislative affairs. Before joining the firm, Mr. Rodríguez-Martínez was a partner at O’Neill Borges law firm in San Juan. Prior to that, he spent 13 years as in-house counsel to Exxon Mobil Corporation in Puerto Rico, the State of Florida, and in Rome, Italy. Additionally, during the mid 1990′s, he served as Special Assistant to then Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce, Luis Fortuño, working on legislative affairs matters such as a Labor laws reform, UCC reform and Corporations law reform. Between 2007 and 2008, he was part of Governor Fortuño’s Platform Executive Committee. Mr. Rodríguez-Martínez holds a BA from Yale College and a JD from Columbia Law School. He is a member of the American Bar Association.
Miguel A. Soto Class, Esq.
Miguel “Mike” Soto is a member of the Board of Directors of the Baldwin School of Puerto Rico and a member of the Growing Wealth Working Group of the Corporation for Enterprise Development in Washington, D.C. He is the founder of the Center for the New Economy (1999), an independent, nonprofit research and policy development organization dedicated to promoting innovative economic development strategies. He has written columns for El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico’s largest circulation daily, since 2004. His first book, The Economy of Puerto Rico: Restoring Growth, was published by the Brookings Institution in 2006. He obtained his B.A. from Yale University and a Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University.
Dr. Winifred “Woodie” Woodward is President of Woodward and Associates, providing consulting services on aviation-related issues. She enjoyed a successful career at the top levels of responsibility in both the Legislative and Executive branches of the federal government. Most recently, Dr. Woodward retired as the Associate Administrator for Airports of the Federal Aviation Administration. Prior to serving as the Associate Administrator, Dr. Woodward held numerous positions at the Federal Aviation Administration including Acting Chief of Staff, Office of the Administrator; Deputy Regional Administrator, Southern Region; and Director of the Center for Management Development in Palm Coast, Florida. Before joining the FAA, Dr. Woodward held theposition of Chief of Staff to Georgia Senator Mack Mattingly from 1981 to 1987. Dr. Woodward holds a Bachelors degree from Florida State University and Masters and Doctorate degrees in administration and personnel management from the University of Kansas.
Leslie D. Mattingly
Ms. Mattingly is an attorney, mediator, advocate for environmental and historic preservation and musician. Throughout her career, she has been active in a large variety of civic and charitable issues, primarily focusing on historic preservation, conservation & ecology, Music and the Arts, civil rights of children, & child abuse prevention. She has been actively involved with mentoring and tutoring programs for at-risk youth, and conflict resolution/mediation for adults and children. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including recognition by Georgia Trend Magazine on their Most Influential Georgians and the City of Anderson, Indiana’s highest honor, their “Key ward”.
She currently serves as a Trustee of the Georgia Conservancy and has served as a member of the Advisory Council of the St. Simons Island Land Trust since 2004. She also served on the St. Simons Island Land Trust Greenspace initial Advisory Committee, helping to develop long-term plans and goals for the
Trust and for sustainable growth within the context of rapid development of the fragile Coastal Marsh environment on St. Simons Island.
From 2003-2012 she served on the Coastal Marshlands and Shore Protection Committees of the State Department of Natural Resources. While her husband, former United States Senator Mack Mattingly, was Trustee of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico between 2005 and 2013, Ms. Mattingly supported the organization and Puerto Rico’s conservation efforts in many projects. In 2001 she served as a member of President George W. Bush’s committee to interview and recommend nominees for positions of Federal Judge, U.S. Attorney, and Federal Marshall from the State of Georgia. She was the Founding President of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia Society and served as a member and officer (President Elect) of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia Board of Trustees. Ms. Mattingly was a member of Rotary International from 1991 until 2006 and has twice served as Club President and is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow.
She founded a massive Historic Preservation endeavor in Anderson Indiana which in turn sparked a community wide preservation and restorationeffort. She served numerous Boards and Organizations as President or Board Member in Anderson and Indianapolis, Indiana over 15 years.
Ms. Mattingly holds both a B.S. degree, in Business Administration (80’), and a J.D. degree, in Law (‘84), from Drake University. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Anderson University. She is certified in Domestic and Civil Mediation, and Arbitration in Georgia.