Animus celebrates 5 years of promoting women’s development

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.

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“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.

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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 Eloan.com / 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 https://animussummit.com.




Puerto Rico wall spaces reserved for muralists from around the world

Celso González, Alexis Bousquet, Vero Rivera and Bob Snow. (Courtesy DiscoverPuertoRico.com)

Street artists urged to showcase their talent alongside island’s own

SAN JUAN – In partnership with Puerto Rico’s local art community, Discover Puerto Rico, the island’s destination marketing organization (DMO), has launched the “Blank Canvas Initiative,” a call to street artists around the world, inviting them to share their craft on the walls of Puerto Rico’s streets, and form part of the Island’s unique and booming arts scene.

“Puerto Rico boasts exceptional art museums, a flourishing art gallery scene, independent collectors, curators, quality events and highly skilled artisans, offering their work across the Island, and a thriving street art and mural experience unlike any other. For travelers who crave and seek out cultural arts and authentic experiences, Puerto Rico should top their list,” the DMO said about the inspiration for the initiative.

Local Puerto Rican artists identify and reserve wall spaces throughout the island inviting muralists worldwide to join the “Blank Canvas Initiative.” (Courtesy DiscoverPuertoRico.com)

Internationally recognized Puerto Rican artist Alexis Bousquet, also the founder of the Santurce es Ley street art festival, is teaming up with local artists Celso González, Vero Rivera and Bob Snow. Together, they are identifying wall spaces across the island to create “Reserved for” signs, which will serve as “blank canvas invitations” for global street artists around the world, to feature their art alongside Puerto Rico’s own, the Discover Puerto Rico explained.

“As artists, we believe in expression, and I hope that my fellow artists around the world see this opportunity to express themselves while being a force for good,” Bousquet said. “We welcome them to our Island, to take part in our booming art scene and to explore a place that will surely capture their hearts.”

The new artwork from the “Blank Canvas Initiative” will be showcased in time for the holidays, which the DMO always makes sure to remind potential travelers that the island’s are “renowned as the longest in the world.”

The holidays in Puerto Rico “are like no other, and culminate” with the San Sebastián Street Festival, the largest in Puerto Rico where thousands of locals and visitors alike gather to experience parades of cabezudos (big heads), live music, dancing, libations, food, and hundreds of authentic crafts by local artisans,” the organization explained.

The new murals will also be a focal point during upcoming “Santurce es Ley” street art festivals, which celebrate the thriving mural scene and stunning works in the area, approaching its eighth anniversary, where works are being created and unveiled live.

“Some areas of Puerto Rico are a true haven for mural art, yet we’re not a destination typically visited for that,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico. “In addition to Santurce es Ley, our Island offers many options for travelers looking for rich arts and culture to be inspired – from our artisan’s work, widely available throughout the Island, to museums and art galleries open year-round, and other art-focused events like the MECA Art Fair – our Island is a culture lovers’ delight for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in authentic experiences and everything Puerto Rico has to offer.”

Puerto Rico’s “art culture sets it apart from other Caribbean destinations,” the DMO assured in the initiative’s announcing release, adding that the island hosts the annual MECA Art Fair Nov. 21-24 – “the largest” in the Caribbean.

“The unique blend of Taino Indian, African and Spanish heritages makes the art scene across the Island one-of-a-kind with a cultural DNA unlike any other. The Island has more than 70 museums and 50 art galleries that contain works ranging from ancient Indigenous and African, to Baroque and Victorian, and contemporary works of art,” Discover Puerto Rico wrote.

For global artists interested in joining the “Blank Canvas Initiative,” Discover Puerto Rico welcomes them to contact BlankCanvas@DiscoverPuertoRico.com.




Puerto Rico’s Parallel18 teams up with Google Developers Launchpad

Parallel18 entrepreneurs (Courtesy photo; by José R. Madera)

Affiliation to reap benefits of knowledge, network sharing to support island’s startup ecosystem

SAN JUAN – Startup accelerator Parallel18 broadened its resources network by joining Google Developers Launchpad‘s group of regional partners. The collaboration grants access to Google’s global network resulting in gained insight and learning of best practices of startup accelerators around the world.

Google Developers Launchpad is a branch of Google that operates a global acceleration program to help startups grow. As part of its strategy to support innovation ecosystems outside of Silicon Valley, the organization teams up with top independent accelerators across Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Parallel18 is a startup accelerator created by the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust to attract and create high-impact startup companies that can scale abroad. The trust is a nonprofit created in 2004 to promote investment and the financing of research and development as a catalyst for job creation and the retention of highly qualified talent. Since its founding in 2015, Parallel18 has worked with more than 200 startups from Puerto Rico, the states, Latin America, Europe and Asia and has gained international attention for the local tech and innovation network it supports.

The “parallel18 Powered by Google Developers Launchpad” initiative will connect the Puerto Rican organization to some of the world’s top accelerators, allowing it to share information and leverage resources. Parallel18 will also be afforded access to Google’s global network, Silicon Valley-based startup programs and “20 years’ worth of Google research and best practice insights on building businesses, products, and teams at a massive scale,” the startup accelerator explained.   

Parallel18 said the new resources will help its startup portfolio, which already includes some of the fastest-growing companies in the region, scale its businesses exponentially. 

“This alliance with Google Developers Launchpad instantly widened our network of speakers and expert mentors, which are the key to offer a business development curriculum that is of the highest quality and relevant to the entrepreneurs we serve,” said Eduardo Padial, operations manager at parallel18, in charge of the acceleration curriculums.

“Our alumni consistently highlight the educational component and the mentorship with local and international experts as Parallel18’s greatest value. By teaming up with Google Developers Launchpad we reaffirm our commitment to support young innovative companies in their journey to scale globally,” Parallel18’s executive director, Sebastian Vidal, said in the related press release.

“During the past few years, we’ve been working to create new bridges between Latin America and the United States. Puerto Rico is one of the most promising entry points to the Hispanic market in America, and thanks to Parallel18, all startups, both in the Island and everywhere else in the world, can benefit from our Launchpad program and mentor network,” added Kevin O’Toole, global head of Strategy, Operations and Partnerships for Google Launchpad.

Kevin O’Toole, global head of Strategy, Operations and Partnerships for Google Launchpad (Courtesy)

As part of the collaboration, experts from Google’s network will join the Startups of Puerto Rico Speaker Series to offer conferences and workshops open to the community.

“In the coming years, markets outside of Silicon Valley will increasingly impact the global startup and technology ecosystem. And while it’s easier than ever to start a company, access to success methodologies, expert mentors, and ecosystem best practices for building companies remain unevenly distributed,” O’Toole pointed out of one of the challenges the Google program aims to address.




Samsung Galaxy Note10 arrives in Puerto Rico

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New flagship line bets on improved productivity, creativity features

SAN JUAN — Technology products company Samsung Latin America and telecom provider Claro presented Thursday in Puerto Rico the new line of Galaxy Note10 smartphones manufactured by Samsung Electronics with the aim of improving users’ productivity and creative potential.

Among the surprises, the new Galaxy devices come in two sizes for the first time. The Note10 integrates the “S Pen” with a “Cinematic Infinity Display” that is 6.3 inches-large, diagonally. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note10 Plus has an even larger 6.8-inch screen, which is surprisingly easy to hold and use.

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Also, its Dynamic AMOLED display is certified HDR10+, resulting in a dynamic distribution of tones in said sources that can achieve greater brightness than on previous Note devices.

This new series incorporates the evolution of the S Pen to control certain aspects of the device through gestures. Similarly, users can write notes by hand and instantly convert them into text, via the Samsung Notes app, and save them in a variety of different formats, including Microsoft Word. In addition, developers can create custom controls that give users the ability to play or use their favorite applications through gestures.

The devices’ new cameras integrate advanced video technologies such as “Live Focus Video,” which adds depth settings, and “Zoom-In Mic,” which amplifies the audio of the frame that is in focus and removes background noise. Also, night mode, now available on the front-facing camera, allows users to capture “selfies” no matter how dark conditions are.

The Note10 includes the ability for players to record their screen to add some personality to their broadcasts, for instance, vloggers who wish to improve their tutorials.

Meanwhile, the devices were engineered a cooling system that includes a thin vapor chamber, which helps achieve optimum performance during, for example, a gaming session. With the “Game Booster” feature, which is based on artificial intelligence, the Note10 optimizes performance and energy consumption depending on the game. Also, with the PlayGalaxy Link P2P streaming service, users can resume where they left off on any PC game and allow them to continue playing without the need for local storage.

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Part of the features that distinguish the Note10 Plus is an available 45-watt super-fast charger. According to Samsung, a mere 30-minute charge lasts an entire day. Also, with the “Wireless PowerShare” tool, users can wirelessly recharge their Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Buds or other Qi-enabled devices with the Galaxy Note10.

The product manager of Samsung Puerto Rico, Gianmarco Leri, explained that compared with last year with the Note 9, the company has seen more people register during the global pre-sale process. Similarly, he said the number of people in Puerto Rico who pre-registered this year to purchase the Note 10 was “much higher” than for the Note 9 last year.

“Puerto Rico is a very important market for us because it really likes the Samsung Galaxy Note line. This trend has increased since the launch of Note 8 and then Note 9, based on the sales and studies we do,” Leri told Caribbean Business.

“We expect the same results as other previous releases such as the Samsung Galaxy S10, which on the first day, we broke records. We hope that today and tomorrow we beat records, too,” he added.

For his part, the president and chief executive officer of Claro, Enrique Ortiz de Montellano, said that some 4,000 users registered this year for the pre-launch sale.

“The pre-registration levels have been maintained. The time for this process was a little longer last year, but by that time, the pre-registration was available for more days. However, this gives more time so people can register, but this figure has also been maintained,” he said.

“The important part is not how many register, but how many actually come to buy it. Although many people register, what I am seeing is that people are now waiting, not necessarily changing it the following year, but the second year because they change their phones more on the second year than the first year. So, if you see it today, this phone really has new things and that is what makes people make that change because it already has an important difference compared with their previous model,” the executive told Caribbean Business.

The Note 10 starts at $949, unlocked; while the Note 10 Plus starts at $1,099. The first deliveries and in-store units will be available Friday.




Puerto Rico Top Level Domain celebrates 30th anniversary

To hold Domain Name System Week Aug. 20-23

SAN JUAN — As part of its 30th anniversary on the island, the Puerto Rico Top Level Domain (PRTLD) organization will celebrate Domain Name System Week (DNS Week) at the Hyatt Place San Juan Aug. 20-23.

DNS Week events are organized by the Latin American and Caribbean Country Top Level Domain (LACTLD) organization and the PRTLD. Each event will address different topics related to the Domain Name System (DNS) and the operation and management of the ccTLDs (country code Top Level Domains), with a focus on the Caribbean region.

The vice president of PRTLD, Pablo Rodríguez, told Caribbean Business that “the event will feature both closed and open sessions to the public, aimed at operators of country codes in the Caribbean” that do not currently participate in the regional forums “where all operators meet.”

“We invited all Caribbean ccTLD administrators to discuss problems in the region and seek joint solutions,” LACTLD General Manager Miguel Ignacio Estrada wrote in an editorial.

Rodríguez explained that in addition to the anniversary celebration, PRTLD will hold the event “so everyone learns about the organization that groups the operators of the country codes of Central and South America as well as the Caribbean so they can benefit and express their concerns, interests and can take them to the highest forums in the world” such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the worldwide nonprofit organization dedicated to maintaining the safe management of the internet, as well as its interoperability, through the development of policies on the internet’s unique identifiers through the coordination of the internet’s domain name system (DNS).

Among the activities for DNS Week, is the LACTLD Workshop on Aug. 20-21 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Although the two-day workshop will be closed for ccTLDs and sponsors, it will address relevant topics for ccTLDs’ operation and management.

One of the activities open to the public will be training on the IPv6 communications protocol, which provides an identification and location system for computers and routes traffic across the internet.

This session will be held Aug. 20-21 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will consist of an IPv6 training hosted by PRTLD and the Internet Society of Puerto Rico (ISOC-PR) and featuring Alejandro Acosta from LACNIC as guest trainer. The first day will feature a theoretical approach of the IPv6 Protocol and the second will consist of a “Hands-On” workshop.

Meanwhile, on Aug. 20, PRTLD will hold its invitation-only anniversary celebration at La Casita de Rones in Old San Juan.

Prominent among the week’s events is the LAC DNS Forum for industry, internet policy and technical professionals interested in debating DNS-related issues with a focus on the Latin America and the Caribbean region.

The forum featuring the participation of regional organizations and speakers will also provide an opportunity for regional stakeholders to engage and network with global key players and experts in the field. The forum is open to anyone interested in issues related to the domain name industry and its potential business opportunities.

The annual LAC DNS Forum was first held in 2013 and is jointly organized by LACTLD, the Latin American and Caribbean Address Registry (LACNIC), the Internet Society (ISOC), the Public Interest Registry (PIR), and ICANN.

Visit http://lacdnsforum.lat/ to register.

On the last day of DNS Week, Aug. 23, a remote and closed online training will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for LAC Registries and Registrars for ICANN regional Top Level Domains registries. For more details about DNS Week, visit dnsweek.pr

Expected attendance for the events has already surpassed projections.

“We had room for 50 people and we blew past that, twice. There is an incredible interest in the community, students and academics; there is hunger to learn about this kind of thing,” Rodríguez said.

In addition to being the only organization authorized worldwide to administer the “.pr” country code to represent Puerto Rico and its users online, PRTLD works with ICANN to maintain a stable, secure and interoperable network configuration to promote competition and the development of policies for these unique identifiers.

Rodríguez emphasized that part of PRTLD’s purpose is to provide entrepreneurs their identity on the internet so they work directly with each merchant to provide a low-cost or even free name for their domains with the “.pr” extension.

The executive urged citizens to consider acquiring their identity under the “.pr” code because, based on experience, “.com” domains are so numerous that losing the name that identifies the user or company throughout the internet could be at risk of being lost.

The PRTLD is a regional pioneer, with an established online presence totaling some 10,000 registered domains.




Evertec, Santander to open Chilean merchant acquiring market

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Puerto Rico tech company expands its business solutions footprint

SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico-based payment processor Evertec has announced an agreement with Banco Santander Chile under it will provide acquiring processing services as well as other solutions for the bank, which is entering the merchant acquiring business in the South American country.

Under the agreement, Evertec said it will provide Santander, the largest bank in Chile, a cloud-based solution that includes the switching and authorization of transactions; the acquiring platform to manage the merchant business; “omni-channel solutions, including e-Commerce offerings as well as Mobile Commerce”; and security and fraud management and solutions.

“With Evertec’s credentials as a leading regional payment processing company, Santander will leverage our robust client base to achieve our strategic objective of increasing the coverage, depth and security of the payment methods in Chile, both face-to-face as well as in e-commerce. As a result of this initiative, Santander will accelerate the transformation of the payments market in Chile allowing any entrepreneur, merchant or business owner to have their own point-of-sale (POS) device to accept card payments in a more secure manner,” Banco Santander Chile’s general manager, Miguel Mata, said in the announcing release.

Evertec manages payment networks that process more than two billion transactions annually and offers bank and cash processing services as well as technology outsourcing. The company owns and operates ATH, a leading personal identification number (PIN) debit network in Latin America network. The company operates in 26 Latin American countries.

“This confirms our strategy of localizing our platform for key markets such as Chile, as well as the transition of our license products to processing products,” Mac Schuessler, president and CEO of Evertec said in release. “As a processor with local capabilities, we believe we are well-positioned to meaningfully benefit as the market grows.”




National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce among entities pushing for passage of North American trade agreement

National Association of Manufacturers, Domino’s Pizza and Dow also join Pass USMCA Coalition

The The Pass USMCA Coalition logo (Screen capture of www.passusmca.org)

SAN JUAN – The Pass USMCA Coalition, an alliance advocating for the passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, welcomed the National Association of Manufacturers, Domino’s Pizza, Dow, and the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce as its newest members.

Pass USMCA is an effort led by Democrat Gary Locke, former ambassador to China, secretary of commerce and governor of Washington; and Republican Rick Dearborn, who has served two presidents and six senators.

The deal promotes “U.S. exports, enhances intellectual property protections for U.S. creative industries, and boosts resources for America’s small businesses,” the group group of trade associations and businesses says, stressing that its provisions will “defend American jobs, cultivate innovation, and encourage business development, spurring growth for local, state, and national economies.”

Trade with Canada and Mexico supports 14 million U.S. jobs, the coalition says. “In 2017, the United States exported more than $275 billion in goods to Mexico and nearly $350 billion in goods to Canada.”

In announcing the newly joined entities, the coalition described the National Association of Manufacturers as “the largest manufacturing association in the United States”; Domino’s as the “world’s largest pizza seller, with more than 16,000 stores”; Dow as the “world’s leading materials science company”; and the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce as “a vital advocate for entrepreneurship and innovation within Puerto Rico’s economy.”

Trade with Canada and Mexico “supports two million U.S. manufacturing jobs,” the coalition stressed, adding that “Puerto Rico’s economy and businesses are overwhelmingly dependent on North American trade,” and that “chemical exports to Canada and Mexico have tripled since NAFTA went into effect” in 1994.

“We’re thrilled to add four more well-respected organizations to our coalition,” said Joe Crowley, honorary co-chairman of Pass USMCA and a former congressman from New York. “Our coalition is exceedingly diverse–and that speaks volumes about the widespread support for USMCA.”

Rick Dearborn, Pass USMCA Coalition’s executive director, summarized the need for the agreement’s passage by Congress by stating that “North American trade supports millions of jobs and generates billions in economic output.”

Gary Locke, honorary co-chairman of Pass USMCA, added that it was “terrific to have four more leading businesses and groups making the case for USMCA,” and that “the new trade pact with Mexico and Canada isn’t a partisan issue,” the “deal benefits every American,” and would “improve our trading relationships” with those countries.




‘Mortality in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria’ was most mentioned scholarly work in 2018

SAN JUAN – A study on the death toll in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria and the spread of fake news online topped the articles in the Altmetric Top 100.The annual list by Altmetric, which develops software to analyze online activity around scholarly research, reveals the discussion generated by published works in public policy documents, the media, blogs, Wikipedia and social networks to “provide a more robust picture of the influence and reach of scholarly work,” according to the company.

The company said it tracked more than 25 million mentions “of 2.8 million research outputs.”

Altmetric spoke with Satchit Balsari, a co-author of the most discussed academic paper this year, who emphasized the importance of his team’s research on mortality rates following Hurricane Maria. The event is regarded as the worst natural disaster on record to affect Dominica and Puerto Rico.

“Colleagues from Puerto Rico were concerned that the official death counts seemed very low compared to what they were seeing in their communities, and reached out to us to see whether there was a way to help ascertain the mortality estimate.

“Given the large difference in our mortality estimates and the official counts, it was gratifying to see that the media played its role in efficiently translating a scientific paper for mass consumption,” Balsari said.

The paper is the most widely shared in the Altmetric Top 100’s six-year history.

“The Altmetric Top 100 continues to highlight an array of fascinating and diverse research that often relates to the broader cultural zeitgeist and the year’s most notable events,” Altmetric COO Catherine Williams said. “From climate change to misinformation and diets, the most widely shared and discussed research focuses on global challenges that affect us all. Encouragingly, the levels of attention we see here demonstrates that expert knowledge still plays a very central role in our shared understanding of these issues.”

This year’s list features papers published in 45 different journals. The University of Cambridge had the most affiliated papers (10), while the journal Science featured more than any other (12 times).

The top 3 articles of 2018 are:

“Mortality in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria” (New England Journal of Medicine, July 2018), which was the most widely shared paper in the Altmetric Top 100’s six-year history.

 

“The spread of true and false news online” (Science, March 2018), which found that rumors spread much faster and further on Twitter than truth.

 

“Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016” (The Lancet, September 2018), which reveals that the only “safe” level of alcohol consumption is no alcohol at all.

 

The highest ever Altmetric Attention Score is 11980 (as of November 29, 2018). The score belongs to an article titled, “How Diversity Works”, published in Scientific American in 2014.

Top 10 articles of 2018:

  1. Mortality in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria (New England Journal of Medicine, July 2018)
  2. The spread of true and false news online (Science, March 2018)
  3. Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 (The Lancet, September 2018)
  4. Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene (PNAS, August 2018)
  5. Association between physical exercise and mental health in 1·2 million individuals in the USA between 2011 and 2015: a cross-sectional study (The Lancet Psychiatry, September 2018)
  6. Dietary carbohydrate intake and mortality: a prospective cohort study and meta-analysis (The Lancet Public Health, September 2018)
  7. Evidence that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is rapidly accumulating plastic (Scientific Reports, March 2018)
  8. Complementary Medicine, Refusal of Conventional Cancer Therapy, and Survival Among Patients With Curable Cancers (JAMA Oncology, October 2018)
  9. Global warming transforms coral reef assemblages (Nature, April 2018)
  10. The biomass distribution on Earth (PNAS, May 2018)

See the 2018 Altmetric Top 100.

The list features papers published in 45 different journals, with the journal Science appearing more than any other single title (12 times).

Authors from the University of Cambridge appeared more than any other institution (10 papers). Other institutions that feature strongly in the list include Harvard University (9) and University of Oxford (8); non-university organizations include the United States National Institute on Aging (3) and Hennepin Healthcare (3).

Harvard survey: Some 4,600 may have died in Puerto Rico in aftermath of Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico gov’t sticks to its commissioned report on hurricane deaths




Report: Puerto Rico is 2nd most popular holiday destination worldwide for Americans

SAN JUAN – According to Allianz Global Assistance’s 2018 Top Holiday Destinations Report, American travel increased 15 percent this holiday season over last year. New York City remained the most popular domestic destination, and Cancun, Mexico; San Juan, Puerto Rico; San José del Cabo, Mexico; Nassau, Bahamas; and Montego Bay, Jamaica, were the top five international destinations.

Allianz, a travel insurance provider, analyzed the number of stateside-based travelers who booked flights via its partners from Dec. 19-27 .

As the only non-tropical destination to make the international top 10, London placed sixth, dropping from second last year, followed by Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Mexico City, Mexico; Higuey, Dominican Republic; and Aruba. This is the first time Mexico City and Nassau, Bahamas were included in Allianz’s Top Holiday Destinations Report for international travel.

New York City took the number one domestic spot again, followed by Los Angeles, Orlando, Boston, Seattle, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City. Boston jumped to fourth from 10th place, and San Francisco climbed back into the top 10.

“Mexico City, named 2018’s World Design Capital by World Design Organization (WDO), is a first-timer to the list, while Puerto Rico jumped up to the second most popular international destination,” said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications for Allianz Global Assistance USA.




The Banker names Popular ‘Bank of the Year Puerto Rico’

SAN JUAN -Popular Inc. announced Thursday that for the fifth consecutive year, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico (BPPR), its banking subsidiary, was recognized as a leading “Bank of the Year Americas” by The Banker, a financial intelligence magazine published by Financial Times Ltd.

Award judges had to decide which banks, from among 140 countries, deserved to be recognized in the publication’s 19th year of the rankings and awards. The institutions had to have delivered solid financial results while developing new products, services and the employment of new technology.

The Banker named Banco Popular “Bank of the Year Puerto Rico,” acknowledging the bank’s continued expansion and customer base growth, “racking up strong numbers in 2017,” a release reads.

The Banker noted that the bank saw a 17% increase in total deposits and added another 31,000 customers. Total assets reached $34.7 billion and market share in total deposits (net of brokered) and total loans increased to 52% and 43%, respectively. Of note for The Banker, is that the bank had to work under emergency conditions for months in the wake of hurricanes that struck the island in September 2017.

The Banker also shared that Popular became one of the first banks to use biometrics for authentication and was the first bank in Latin America to offer mobile payment and digital wallet service Samsung Pay.

This year, BPPR celebrated its 125th year anniversary.

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition on the heels of disaster recovery. At the heart of our success are our employees, whose steadfast commitment to Popular’s customers and communities have set us apart throughout our 125-year history,” said Ignacio Álvarez, president and CEO of Popular.

Popular Inc. is the leading financial institution in Puerto Rico, by both assets and deposits, and ranks among the top 50 U.S. bank holding companies by assets. Banco Popular provides retail, mortgage and commercial banking services in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It also offers in Puerto Rico auto and equipment leasing and financing, investment banking, broker-dealer and insurance services through specialized subsidiaries.