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Animus celebrates 5 years of promoting women’s development

By on November 13, 2019

Animus founders Carlos Cobián and Lucienne Gigante (Courtesy)

Friday event will gather over 35 local, international speakers at Puerto Rico Convention Center

SAN JUAN — The platform for women’s personal, professional and business development, Animus, announced that its fifth annual summit, which is of the largest innovation conferences in the region, will take place this year at the Puerto Rico Convention Center on Nov. 15.

In five years, Animus, created by Cobian Media and Lucienne Gigante, has impacted more than 4,000 women and has brought together over 120 speakers from Puerto Rico and the world from all types of industry, including STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) finance, banking, academia, medicine, the third sector, agriculture, communications, arts, media and sports.


“We bet on investing in women as a foothold for the economic development of the country. Animus connects, opens doors and provides tangible tools to businesswomen, professionals, students and leaders of all ages and industries, driving the moment in which they find themselves with ambition and purpose to improve their lives and community,” said Gigante, who has been creating innovation and economic development programs for women for more than 12 years.

Animus has been a platform for thousands to meet great women and their stories, including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, entertainment icon Rita Moreno and Olympic medalist Mónica Puig.


This year, “Animus: Women’s Innovation Journey” will present a variety of topics, stories, teachings and tangible actions. Some of the speakers that have already been announced include Veronica Chambers, Afro-Latin poet, co-author of four New York Times bestsellers and editor of a collection of essays by Michelle Obama; Shailee Basnet, Mt. Everest summiteer, comedian and leader of the “Seven Summit Women Team,” the first group of women in the world to climb the highest mountain on each continent; and Helga Yarí Paris-Morales, professional dancer and artist of the Studio Company at Washington Ballet Studio Co.

“The inclusion of women and men in the decision-making of our companies translates into more profitable companies. We continue making room and opportunities for the development of an inclusive ecosystem and a stronger economy for all,” added Carlos Cobián, co-founder of Animus and founder of Cobián Media.

Carlos Cobián, co-founder of Animus and founder of Cobián Media (Courtesy)

Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy announced that his department is joining forces with Animus to offer more tools for women entrepreneurs through the agency’s platform, “Maletín Empresarial para la Mujer” (“Business Briefcase for Women”), and that he will be presenting a series of programs designed to support them.

“Through the portal ‘Business Briefcase for Women’, we offer the tools to guide, facilitate and orient all those interested in creating their own businesses or expanding and growing their existing businesses with the vision of exporting their goods and services competitively to the world market. We know the power of Puerto Rican businesswomen and their growth is a key contributor to the economic development of Puerto Rico,” the official said.

After celebrating 2018 breaking attendance records with more than 1,000 attendees, Animus continues to grow in more areas.

Animus health

This year, with the launch of Animus Health, the platform provides a space to educate about the importance of treating health as a priority in life.

Animus Marketplace

Animus launched a call for innovative companies led by women and today announces the 30 companies chosen to exhibit their products and services at the summit.

Animus Workshops

Animus expanded its workshop series to address issues in greater depth, especially focusing on professional and business development, wellness, leadership, strategic positioning, finance and personal branding.

Animus Startup Showcase

Five businesswomen were chosen to make their pitch and present their value proposition to the audience, which includes potential investors, clients and business opportunities.

Animus Mentor Booth

The Mentor Booth allows participants to coordinate one-on-one appointments for the opportunity to receive mentoring by speakers and leaders.

Animus 2019 Speakers

—Charo Henríquez, senior editor, Digital Transition Strategy, New York Times; journalist, coach and mentor

—Elise Labott, CNN’s global affairs correspondent whose work has also appeared on MSNBC, Politico and other news outlets

—Erin Pelton, founder, Puerto Rico Live and Pinpoint Strategies / Public Affairs and Communications strategist who served in several senior positions in the Obama administration

—Helga Yarí Paris-Morales, professional dancer and Washington Ballet Studio Co. teaching artist

—Jen Auerbach-Rodríguez, head of strategic growth markets at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

—Lauren Cascio, co-founder and COO, Abartys Health / business leader and entrepreneur

—Lorel Torres, CEO, co-founder and designer, Mare Cheia Swimwear, Miss Universe Puerto Rico’s official swimwear

—Mara Liz Meinhofer, finance expert and TEDx speaker

—Mariel Arraiza, Managing Director of / financial, technology and marketing executive

—María Pérez Díaz, professional judoka

—Robin Leeds, CEO, Winning Strategies, public policy expert with more than 30 years’ experience in Washington, leading human rights and women programs under First Lady Hillary Clinton

—Robyn Moreno, president, Robyn Moreno Media / writer, Latinx leader and Emmy-nominated TV presenter

—Shailee Basnet, Everest Summiteer, leader and professional comedian

—Sonia Torres, businesswoman and talent manager / Vico-C’s wife

—Veronica Chambers, Afro-Latin author, editor and poet / co-author of four New York Times best sellers and editor of Michelle Obama’s essay collection

Animus Startup Showcase

Amasar, Marisol Villalobos Rivera

étnica, Gloriann Sacha Antonetty Lebrón

Hazel Bar, Carmen Luisa and Carmen Fernanda Valentín

Lush: Plus Fashion Garb, Glorimari Arregui

OGMA Language Studio, Carla Bauzá López

Animus Marketplace

A Medias, Yéssica Delgado 

Ashtanga Yoga Puerto Rico, Elizabeth Sallaberry

Bien Cool, Josie Arroyo

Blueroof Puerto Rico, Alana and Naomi Cáceres

Dos Pinceles, Gabriela and Patricia Urrutia

For Reasons Unknown Creative Studio (FRUCS), Glenda Rosa

Gfree Foods, Ailed González & Jonelie Vélez

KNOT Predictable, Jeniffer Selosse and Lizzie Muñoz

MARIMU, Mari Muñecas

Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico, Carolina Cortés

Papaya Tropical, Vanessa Vila

Professional Writing and Development, Zaira Arvelo

Puerto Rico Loves Yoga & Wellness, Nayda Fernández

Renovad, Pilar Ávila

Retention Strategies, Marisol Ortiz

STEMpresarial, Dr. Margarita Cabrera

TeeChealo, Vettelinn Rodríguez

Tereques La Tiendita, Belisa Álvarez

Tersa Body Care, Betsy Serrano

The Dining Traveler, Jessica van Dop DeJesus

Ubuntu Puerto Rico, Yaribel Vega

21 Memories, Janette Rojas

Animus Workshops

—Andria M. Salvá, Ph.D., president, SHRM & EUˆQuest Talent Consulting / consultant and international facilitator of strategic organizational development

—Clarissa Llenza, owner, Home Cooking Therapy

—Charo Henríquez, senior editor of Digital Transition Strategy, New York Times / Journalist, Coach and Mentor

—Cynthia Martínez, founder, My Barely Famous Life / entrepreneur and strategist

—Idia Martínez. Lic. RP28, president, Upfront Communication Inc. / crisis management specialist and author of “Y ahora, ¿qué digo?” (“What do I say now?”)

—Mara Liz Meinhofer, finance expert and TEDx speaker

—Robyn Moreno, president, Robyn Moreno Media / writer, Latinx leader and Emmy-nominated TV presenter

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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