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Olympic gold medalist Mónica Puig among Animus Summit speakers

By on November 29, 2018

SAN JUAN – Animus, the summit designed to inspire and open doors for women to pursue their highest level of personal and professional development, will hold its fourth edition Nov. 30 at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, where the attendance of more than 1,000 people is expected.

Animus is aimed at women (and men) of any age, including students, executives, entrepreneurs, future entrepreneurs, volunteers and anyone “who wants to grow and make a difference,” the organizers explained. The event is structured to feature various formats—from five minute-talks to keynote speeches and panels.

Founded by Lucienne Gigante and Carlos Cobián, Animus will feature more than 25 speakers, including local leaders and international figures, this year.


Among them, Puerto Rican Olympic tennis champion Mónica Puig, who, for the first time, will participate in a summit where she will speak about her life and career.

“We continue betting on the economic development of women as the catalyst for our economic growth. This year, more than 50 professionals and entrepreneurs of all ages and industries will be delivering speeches, presenting products and serving as mentors, resulting in the creation of ideas, new businesses, expansion of existing companies and economic growth for Puerto Rico,” Gigante said.

Cobián added that more and more businesses are led by women, which is why Animus broadened its platform to provide a larger showcase for existing businesses with the creation of A+ Market.

“We know that businesses led by or with women among its ranks are more profitable than their competitors and it is the responsibility of all, both men and women, to provide opportunities, connect and accelerate the growth of our ecosystem, driving these businesses to reach the next level,” Cobián said.

A+ Market is “a creative space to showcase and promote innovative, women-led companies who are shinning in the arts, fashion, service, entertainment, technology and manufacturing industries.” More than 20 companies will be chosen to present their company at the A+ Market to more than 1,000 attendees and influencers.

The summit will also include a series of workshops to peer into key issues of professional and business development, including leadership, positioning, sales and social media strategy. These will be free of cost and concurrent during the morning of the event.

The Mentor Booth, from which speakers and leaders provide mentoring to the participants, and the Startup Showcase for women-led companies that were chosen to present their proposals to the public, both return this year.

Animus has distinguished itself by its selection of leaders of all ages and industries who have broken the mold in their respective fields.

Among the people invited to Animus 2018 are:

–Adriana Díaz, Table-tennis champion
–Carmen Ríos, Vice President and co-owner of Dulzura Borincana Inc.
–Camille Burckhart, Chief Information and Digital Strategy Officer of Popular, Inc.
–Gina Rudan, Diversity Manager at Google Inc.
–Ginoris López-Lay, Executive Vice President of Strategic Management and Commercial Banking at FirstBank
–Ilia Rodríguez Torres, Chief Human Resources Officer of Triple-S Management Corp.
–Janice Muñiz, veteran coach who has worked with directors, entrepreneurs, heads of emerging companies and community leaders stateside and in Latin America for more than 15 years
–Lucy Morillo, LM & Associates, lawyer and nonprofit foundation management expert
–María Cristina González Noguera, Senior Vice President of Global Public Affairs at Estée Lauder and former former first lady Michelle Obama’s Communications Director
–Maribel Delgado, Puerto Rican cuatro player
–Mónica Puig, Puerto Rican professional tennis player, Olympic gold medalist
–Naíma Rodríguez Rivera, founder and producer of Teatro Breve
–Nancy Santiago Negrón, director of Strategic Alliances of the Reach Higher initiative of former first lady Michelle Obama
–Natalia Oberti Nogueras, founder & CEO of Pipeline Angels
–Nely Galán, media magnate and first Latina to preside over a TV station in the United States
–Peggy Wallace, founder of the first and largest company that invests in women’s businesses, Golden Seeds
–Stella Nolasco, renowned Puerto Rican designer who has presented her collections several times at New York Fashion Week

The first companies chosen for A+ Market were:

–Aguja Local
–Arinay Bath and Body
–Coquí Bounce Splash
–Permisos SOS
–Tilde and Company
–Vereda Celestial

Workshops will be held by:

–Cristina Villalón, co-founder, principal interior designer and director at Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón

–Macarena Gil, founder of Flow

–Humberto Tapia, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Tolic

The Startup Showcase will be on:

–Blockfarms – Rebeca Villalba: High production hydroponic units that work within a shipping container

–Isleñas – Karla López: Espadrille made in Puerto Rico; through a direct consumer model, high–quality, elegant and comfortable footwear for a fraction of the traditional retail price

–Produce – Crystal Diaz: An app that connects local producers with chefs and restaurants across the island

–Retazo – Auralís Herrero and Ruby Dávila-Rendón: A fashion industry agent of change

–Guilty – Suhaily Sepúlveda: the first clothing rental subscription service in Puerto Rico

–Coquí Bounce Splash – Alyz Torres and Kiara González: A company developed with help from the Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Program of the Boys & Girls Club of Puerto Rico

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