2021 BRAVO Business Awards

The 2021 BRAVO Business Awards.


COA Announces the Honorees of the 28th BRAVO Business Awards

Honorees include leaders from U.S. Southern Command, Empresas CMPC and Grupo Mariposa, and the Banco Central do Brasil’s Pix initiative.

Honorees will be recognized at an awards gala at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) on October 20.

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MIAMI, September 13, 2023Council of the Americas (COA) is pleased to announce the honorees of the 28th BRAVO Business Awards, which will be held on October 20 in Miami. The awards recognize excellence and leadership in business and policy in the Western Hemisphere.

The 2023 honorees will be:

  • General Laura J. Richardson, Commander, United States Southern Command, will be honored for her impressive career progression and leadership. As a true role model, she has attained one of the top positions in the U.S. Army, and through her commitment to strengthening U.S.-Latin American engagement, she has made a powerful impact promoting security, freedom, and prosperity in the Western Hemisphere.
  • The Banco Central do Brasil’s Pix ecosystem will be recognized for the initiative’s profound impact promoting financial inclusion, becoming a model not only for Latin America, but for the world. As the champion behind the groundbreaking initiative, Roberto Campos Neto, Governor, will accept the award on behalf of the Banco Central do Brasil.
  • Empresas CMPC CEO, Francisco Ruiz-Tagle, will be recognized for his dynamic leadership directing the company’s growth and industry-leading sustainability practices.
  • Grupo Mariposa Chairman, Luis Miguel Castillo, will be honored for his entrepreneurial spirit and strong commitment to driving business growth and social impact in Central America and beyond.

"This year's group of honorees represent leadership, dedication, and outstanding expertise in their field—all critical to ensuring a more prosperous future for the region," said Susan Segal, President & CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas. “They also showcase the importance of elevating the ties between the U.S. and Latin America to advance on our common goals for the sustainable development of the Western Hemisphere.”

The BRAVO Business Awards will be preceded by the Council of the Americas Symposium, Latin America’s premier engagement and dialogue platform. The pan-regional conference will convene an exclusive community of C-Level leaders shaping Latin America’s business landscape. Content tracks will feature the most relevant topics impacting the global business agenda with an eye on Latin America, including AI as a catalyst for business transformation, perspectives from the climate sector to lower carbon emissions, and the next wave for Latin America’s tech ecosystem and payments revolution, among others.

That same evening, COA will present the honors at an awards gala at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), where executive-level leaders of multinationals, government leaders, entrepreneurs, and global investors will join in celebrating excellence in leadership.

Profiles of the 2023 BRAVO Honorees:

General Laura J. Richardson, Commander, United States Southern Command, will receive the BRAVO Hemispheric Leader of the Year Award. As the second woman to achieve the rank of four-star general in the U.S. Army and first to lead the U.S. Southern Command, she has been a true champion of strengthening collaborative partnerships between the U.S. and Latin America. General Richardson has been a strong advocate for freedom, democracy, security, respect for human rights and the rule of law in the region, personally engaging top leaders in Latin America to discuss these important issues and advance on a common agenda. The U.S. Southern Command is a critical player to promote security and stability in the region, which are essential to attracting and maintaining investment for businesses in Latin America.

The Banco Central do Brasil’s Pix ecosystem, the innovative instant payments solution launched in November 2020, will be recognized with the BRAVO Beacon of Innovation Award. Governor Roberto Campos Neto, a change-maker and champion of the Pix initiative, who has promoted competition, transparency, and inclusion in Brazil’s financial system, will receive the award on behalf of the Banco Central do Brasil. Since its launch less than three years ago, Pix has had tremendous success, now in use by more than 700 financial institutions and by 80 percent of Brazilian adults, advancing financial inclusion in Brazil at an unprecedented rate. A pioneer in bancarization, Pix has transformed the financial services ecosystem in Brazil, leading all retail payments and reducing challenges associated with payments and money transfers. Pix has become a model for financial inclusion in the world, with central banks in the region and globally looking to create similar initiatives in their own markets.

Francisco Ruiz-Tagle, CEO of Empresas CMPC, will receive the BRAVO Sustainability CEO of the Year Award. Empresas CMPC, a Chilean multinational company, is engaged in the production and marketing of wood, pulp, packaging products, sanitary products, non-domestic products, and tissue paper. With more than 103 years of history, the company has been recognized for raising the bar for sustainable and environmentally friendly operations in Latin America and around the world. Under Ruiz-Tagle's leadership, CMPC has become one of the largest companies in the sector in Latin America, with more than 95 percent of its forestry assets certified under sustainable forest management protocols, and more than 90 percent of the energy consumed in the company's operations coming from renewable sources. Since 2017, the company has prioritized the issuance of green or sustainability-linked debt, with more than US$3.4 billion, representing 58 percent of CMPC's financing. In a recent milestone, the company publicly presented its "Nature, Conservation and Biodiversity Strategy", something unprecedented for a pulp, paper & wood company. In addition, under Ruiz-Tagle's leadership, CMPC has set itself ambitious sustainability goals, such as becoming a zero-waste company, reducing the use of industrial water, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing its forest conservation estate from 350,000 hectares to 450,000 hectares.

Luis Miguel Castillo, Chairman of Grupo Mariposa, will receive the BRAVO Visionary Business Leader of the Year Award. Grupo Mariposa is a food and beverage conglomerate of Guatemalan origin, and the oldest PepsiCo bottler outside the United States, with more than 130 years in the industry. During a period of unprecedented volatility, Castillo’s leadership and vision have led Grupo Mariposa to grow more than 50 percent in the past six years. Further consolidating its presence as an important food and beverage conglomerate in the region and beyond, Castillo has directed the creation of the company’s own beverage brand portfolio, Beliv, which has grown fivefold since its inception in 2009. In recent years, the group has expanded to the food and coffee industry, becoming the second largest coffee company in Latin America. Moreover, Castillo and Grupo Mariposa have been guided by a strong commitment to the sustainability and social impact agenda, creating a better future for Central America and the world.

Sponsors: Bank of America, JeffreyGroup, The AES Corporation, Grupo Mariposa, Pfizer, CHUBB Latin America, Diageo Plc, Fitch Ratings, Mastercard, Moody’s Investors Service, Salesforce, SAP, FedEx Express, and Grupo Promerica.

Media Partners: Americas Quarterly, Bloomberg Linea, CNN en Español, and Estrategia & Negocios.

Symposium in partnership with: Inter-American Development Bank.

For more information visit: www.as-coa.org/bravo

Press Contacts:

Yndira Marín | ymarin@as-coa.org | 1-646-386-6523

AS/COA Media Relations | mediarelations@as-coa.org | 1-212-277-8333

Camilo Giraldo Gallo | cgiraldo@jeffreygroup.com | 1-352-283-2961

About Council of the Americas:

Council of the Americas (COA) is the leading international trade organization whose members share a common commitment to economic and social development, open markets, the rule of law, and democracy throughout the Western Hemisphere. The Council’s membership consists of leading international companies representing a broad spectrum of sectors, including banking and finance, consulting services, consumer products, energy and mining, manufacturing, media, technology and transportation.