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A service for food industry professionals · Saturday, February 24, 2024 · 691,096,931 Articles · 3+ Million Readers


This past November 28-29, the nonprofit organization transformed the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico into a brainstorming hub for innovation on the island.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, December 1, 2023 / -- Committed to igniting Puerto Rico’s socioeconomic development, the Puerto Rico ICON Institute celebrated the success of the third edition of ICON at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico this past November 28-29, 2023.

Nearly 200 attendees participated in the two-day event including local entrepreneurs, startups, established business executives and top industry leaders. Notably, some attendees traveled from the United States to contribute to the conference. Visiting from Washington D.C., the Cato Institute engaged in a thought-provoking discussion about the implications of the Jones Act on Puerto Rico's economy. Representing the diaspora committed to improving Puerto Rico, Alexandra Valentín from J.P. Morgan assisted to speak with seasoned investor Glenn Greenberg in a conversation titled "Beyond Market Cycles: Timeless Investment Perspectives."

ICON also featured numerous local leaders who are spearheading their industries in Puerto Rico. In the "Santurce's Renaissance: Socio-Economic Revitalization for a Transformed Hub of Business, Culture, and Walkable Living" Panel, Puerto Rican visionaries Alberto Bacó, Iván Zavala, Ricardo Álvarez Díaz, and Luis Báez Black delved into the recent socioeconomic transformation of the urban area, highlighting its emergence as one of Puerto Rico's trendiest cities fueled by local capital. On the second day of the event, local culinary talents Mario Pagán, María Mercedes Grubb, Lucia Merino, and Pedro Álvarez explored the unique opportunities presented by Puerto Rico's gastronomy as a distinctive tourist attraction in the "Savoring Change: Exploring the Pulse of Puerto Rico's Dynamic Food Industry" Panel.

During two days, ICON enjoyed the participation of over 50 speakers, many of whom are industry leaders and key stakeholders in their respective industries. Connecting important discussion makers in one united platform, the conference was created to engage individuals in relevant discussions covering a diverse array of industries and topics such as gastronomy, film, rum, biotechnology, AI & more.

The event's final session featured a candid conversation with two key developers: Rolando Padua, the President of Paulson Puerto Rico, and Federico Stubbe Jr., the CEO of PRISA Group. Moderated by ICON Institute’s Cofounder Richard Santana, the “Doubling Down on Puerto Rico: Playing the Long Game” panel discussed various topics such as hospitality and real estate, providing a comprehensive view of the island's economic challenges and opportunities. The engaging conversation showcased a friendly rapport between these industry titans and concluded with a valuable exchange of ideas, leaving a hopeful outlook for Puerto Rico's future.

In addition to receiving valuable information across fifteen thought-provoking panels, guests were able to participate in interactive Q&A sessions with speakers as well as enjoy social events, such as a Networking Mixer sponsored by Rums of Puerto Rico. Following the grand event, attendees were invited to a lively Closing Cocktail Party hosted in partnership with PRISA Group, where they were able to connect with other professionals, allowing for relationship building among companies based in Puerto Rico, the United States, and Latin America.

ICON functions as a collaborative platform, facilitating the exchange of ideas among brilliant minds and fostering the innovation of new concepts. Through this annual event, the nonprofit organization can further continue to empower both individuals and organizations and create a true sustainable socioeconomic impact in Puerto Rico.

The ICON Institute expresses its gratitude to its sponsors and collaborators who have greatly supported the mission, including Popular, the Puerto Rico Innovation Fund, Parliament Capital Management, Las Brisas Property Management, and BMA Group Global.

For the benefit of those who could not attend ICON 2023, the Puerto Rico ICON Institute will subsequently be sharing videos of the complete panel discussions on its YouTube channel, allowing the valuable content to be readily available to anyone interested.

Apart from organizing ICON 2024, the ICON Institute is currently focusing on the second edition of Mentorship Day. This free event aims to provide support to emerging entrepreneurs and local businesses seeking to expand their operations. Additionally, the organization is gearing up to host an award ceremony that will recognize and celebrate the contributions of local individuals who are making a positive impact on the socioeconomic landscape of Puerto Rico. Both of these initiatives are integral components of the planned events for 2024.

For additional information about the Puerto Rico ICON Institute and its upcoming events in the near future, please visit the Institute’s webpage and stay connected on all social media platforms. To contact the organization directly, please reach out (

+1 7874833983
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