José María Figueres Olsen and Howard M. Glicken
have been unanimously voted onto the boards of SunVesta Holding AG and SunVesta Inc.
The appointment of these two new board members represents a significant strengthening of the management of SunVesta and is connected to the continuing successful development of SunVesta’s flagship real estate development, the Paradisus Papagayo Bay Resort & Luxury Villas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, a luxury hotel and villa complex managed by Paradisus, a luxury brand of Melía Hotels International; with an investment volume of nearly USD 200 million, the project is currently the largest private investment in Costa Rica. The appointment of Mr. Figueres and Mr. Glicken is further linked to the group’s focus on sustainable real estate development and its expansion strategy in Costa Rica and Latin America.
Curricula vitae of the new board members
José María Figueres Olsen
Member of the Board of Directors of SunVesta Holding AG
José María Figueres Olsen (born in San José, Costa Rica, December 24, 1954), is a Costa Rican businessman, and politician. After he left the presidency of Costa Rica in 1998, Mr. Figueres has also been involved in global issues such as climate change, sustainable development, and technology. He started his career as an engineer working in agribusiness. After a decade, he entered public service as Minister of Foreign Trade and then Minister of Agriculture. In 1994, he was elected President of Costa Rica, as the nation's youngest elected president of the 20th century. In 2000, he joined the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, and later he worked with Concordia 21 in Madrid. Since 2010, he has been Chairman of the Carbon War Room, an independent non-profit organization focused on the global transition to a low carbon economy. On March 27, 2012, Sir Richard Branson announced that he was appointed as the new President of the Carbon War Room.
Upon returning to Costa Rica after concluding his studies at West Point, he joined and later led the restructuring process of the deeply indebted family business, Sociedad Agroindustrial San Cristobal (SAISC) . Mr. Figueres helped return the business to profitability by disposing of non-productive assets, reducing leverage, improving the efficiency of many industrial processes, and focusing on expanding exports.
Years later, in 1990, Mr. Figueres co-founded Energía Global Inc. a renewable energy company with operations in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Chile. The business was later sold and today it continues to operate as a subsidiary of ENEL, Italy's largest power company.
In 1986 Nobel Peace Prize Laurate and President Óscar Arias (1986–1990), appointed Mr. Figueres to overhaul the ailing National Railway System, INCOFER. He was then appointed Minister in the Arias government, first of Foreign Trade and later of Agriculture. Upon the completion of the governmental period Mr. Figueres continued his academic studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, graduating in 1991 with a Master's Degree in Public Administration.
Following his graduate studies at Harvard, Mr. Figueres returned to Costa Rica and declared his intention to seek the nomination of the political party he belonged to, Partido Liberación Nacional. After a heated and much-disputed primary election process involving five candidates, Mr. Figueres won the party's nomination in 1993 and went on to the national election that he won in February 1994. José María Figueres Olsen was elected President of Costa Rica for four years at the age of 39, the nation's youngest president in the 20th century.
In 1999, Mr. Figueres joined the Board of Directors of Terremark Worldwide Inc., on which he served for five years. He then continued to be closely associated with the company in its international expansion projects. Terremark is involved in transforming and securing enterprise-class IT on a global scale, providing industry managed services, cloud computing, colocation and web hosting solutions for enterprise IT infrastructures from their data centers. In 2011, Terremark was acquired by Verizon. In 2005, Mr. Figueres undertook a one year assignment as Managing Director of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization, responsible for refocusing global consulting within the group. This group is the largest Arab group of professional services firms, headquartered in Amman, Jordan, with over 73 offices in 23 countries. From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Figueres served on the International Advisory Board of Abraaj Capital, the largest Middle East Private Equity firm with over $6 billion of assets under management. In 2009, he joined the Advisory Board of Grupo Arcano, an independent financial services firm based in Madrid, Spain. The group is a leading boutique in investment banking and asset management services.
In 2010, Mr. Figueres joined IJ Partners in Geneva, Switzerland, as a Managing Partner. IJ Partners was founded in 2009 during the global economic crisis, to provide financial services to private individuals and family offices investing exclusively in tangible assets.
Member of the Board of Directors of SunVesta Holding AG
Howard M. Glicken Howard M. Glicken is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of The Americas Group, a consulting/merchant-banking firm focused solely on Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean. He has over 35 years of business and political experience in Latin America. During this time, Mr. Glicken was a co-founder and Vice-Chairman of Spectrum Telecommunications Corporation, a telephone service provider in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru, which was sold in August 2000 to Terremark Worldwide, Inc., a publicly traded company. Mr. Glicken was Chairman of The Commonwealth Group from 1992-1996, a Washington, D.C. based public policy and consulting firm with extensive business and political activities in Latin America. Among its activities the firm assisted U.S. Companies develop and execute their Latin American market entry strategies. This part of the practice evolved into The Americas Group.
Mr. Glicken was Chairman and CEO of Jillian’s Entertainment Corporation from 1983-1992, a diversified NASDAQ listed public company which began as a nonferrous metals trading company, started by Mr. Glicken. It was one of the largest United States purchasers of gold ore from Latin America. From 1981-1983 he was a shareholder, Vice President and Director of Precious Metals of a large independent Miami Bank.
During the years 1972-1981, while Latin America was “industrializing”, Mr. Glicken was President, then Chairman and CEO of MGI Industries, which controlled the pioneer firm in the design and manufacture of extrusion tools and dies for the aluminum and copper industries. The firm also specialized in turnkey solutions for aluminum extrusion, smelting and fabrication facilities throughout Latin America, and its clients included virtually every aluminum extrusion plant in Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Throughout his career, Mr. Glicken has played a significant private sector role as a good will ambassador to Latin America. He has lectured and written extensively on issues affecting the region. In recent years he has served as a private sector advisor to the Clinton Administration on Latin American affairs and as a member of the private sector advisory group to the Inter-American Development Bank. He is also an advisor to several Latin American governments. He was a member of the Steering Committee and Co-chair of the Finance Committee of the 1994 historic Summit of the Americas in Miami. Mr. Glicken was President Clinton’s official private sector delegate to the Inaugurations of Presidents Menem (Argentina), Fujimori (Peru), Sanguinetti (Uruguay), and Bucaram (Ecuador). He helped prepare and was a member of a Presidential Trade Mission to Latin America with Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown. Mr. Glicken has testified before Congress in 1993 on the Free Trade Area of the Americas and has been a participant in numerous trade conferences and delegations relating to Latin American trade. More recently he was an official guest to the Inauguration of President Fernandez (Dominican Republic). Mr. Glicken advised the Clinton Foundation on Latin American participation in the Clinton Global Initiative and accompanied President Clinton in 2005 on a visit to Sao Paulo, Brazil. He continues to be a Latin American advisor to the Clinton Foundation. He is a member of the U.S./Brazil Business Development Council, Inter-American Dialogue and Council of the Americas. He is recognized as one of the most knowledgeable business and political advisors in Latin America and has been an early promoter in bringing U.S. business and investments to the region.
Mr. Glicken is very active with the Democratic National Party and has served in many capacities over the years. In 1997, he was required to pay a fine due in connection with an election law violation. Mr. Glicken has been National Vice Chairman of Finance of the Democratic Party, a member of the National Finance Board of Directors and a Managing Trustee of the Party. He was also Chairman of the Board of the College Democrats of America, a post he held for ten years, a member of the Chairman’s Council of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a Trustee of the Florida Democratic Party, State Finance Chair for Al Gore for President 1988, State Finance Chair for Senator Bob Kerrey for President in 1992, State Co-Finance Chair for President Clinton and a Trustee of the Vice President’s Residence Foundation.
He is on the Executive Board of The Miami Coalition for a Drug Free Community, a Board member of the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Chairman Elect of the Coral Gables Community Foundation. He is also a member of numerous other corporate, charity and civic organizations and boards. He attended the University of Florida, the American Banking Institute, and the Harvard University Advanced Institute on Negotiation. He is fluent in Spanish and has a working knowledge of Portuguese.
Link to Press Release;
College Democrats of America
Howard M Glicken Chairman of the Board
(Washington D.C. July 9, 2012) The College Democrats of America (CDA) are thrilled to announce reconstituting the CDA Board of Directors. The Board will consist of elected officials and party leaders who will actively advocate and support the work of College Democrats across the country. We are especially excited that former Democratic National Committee Vice Chair of Finance and longtime party activist and leader, Howard M Glicken, has agreed to serve as Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Glicken served as Chairman of the CDA Board for ten years during the 1990s, where he was instrumental in helping the College Democrats develop chapters across the country and build its presence and participation within the Democratic Party nationally.
“We are overjoyed that Howard will be leading our efforts to build a new CDA Board of Directors,” CDA President Alejandra Salinas said. “The Board of Directors will help the CDA team advocate for the youth in our country at the highest levels of the Democratic Party and put resources directly in the hands of our state and chapter leaders.”
Howard Glicken said, “I am thrilled to rejoin the College Democrats family. For ten years, I vehemently expressed to Democratic Party leaders throughout the country that, the future of this country and our party are the youth. We need to provide them with an opportunity to become involved and participate in the system. They will be our future leaders. I am looking forward to helping Alejandra and CDA continue to spread that message. That message is more important than ever today given the climate in Washington. I will do everything I can to make sure we are heard and can participate in helping make our country a better place for all.”
Mr. Glicken also served as a member of the National Finance Board of Directors and a Managing Trustee of the Democratic Party. He was a member of the Chairman’s Council of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a Trustee of the Florida Democratic Party, State Finance Chair for Al Gore for President 1988, State Finance Chair for Sen. Bob Kerrey for President in 1992, State Co-Finance Chair for President Clinton and a Trustee of the Vice President’s Residence Foundation.
“Howard brings incredible experiences and relationships to the Board of Directors,” CDA Vice President Jeremy Feigenbaum noted, “and most importantly, he brings an understanding of what it takes to run a youth organization, and he is dedicated to supporting our work. We will enter 2012 more prepared than ever before.”
College Democrats of America (CDA)
The College Democrats of America is a National Democratic Organization consisting of over 1100 Colleges and Universities with more than 100,000 student members. The mission is to actively participate, support and influence the Democratic Party on a local, state and national level. Many of the CDA members over the years have gone on to successful government and public service careers.