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A non-partisan, non-profit organization 501(c)(3) based in Washington, DC that invests in the orange economy by supporting the arts, education, and entrepreneurship  to catalyze economic development and stimulate a sustainable economic development.

Who we are

about

Friends of Puerto Rico is the bridge between educational and cultural communities in Puerto Rico and its diaspora.

our mission and vision


Mission

Catalyze investment opportunities through innovative financial tools to create an economic hub in Puerto Rico.

Vision
To create prosperity for Puerto Rico’s investors and its next generation workforce.

our team

Board of Directors
Mrs. Angelique Sina
Co-Founder & President

Angelique Sina has been driving economic development in communities through international financing since 2012 at World Bank Group.  In 2016, she was appointed by the Mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser, as the Commissioner for the Latino Community. She was chosen as a “Changemaker” at the White House United State of Women Summit and was a nominee for Forbes "30 Under 30”. Since 2015, she has served as Co-Founder and President for Friends of Puerto Rico and has been leading philanthropic efforts in Puerto Rico to support and foster economic development. In 2017, she received the Brava Award from SmartCEO magazine for her fundraising efforts of raising 2.5 million dollars in five weeks for Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts. She was born and raised in Aguadilla and is an alumn from Stanford Business University Latino Entrepreneurship program. She has served on the boards of the Art Museum of the Americas and the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Deborah Garcia-Gratacos
Member, Board of Directors - Washington, DC

Ms. Deborah Garcia-Gratacos is the President and founder of DEVAL. Before founding Deval, Deborah has served agencies such as the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"), the United States Department of Veterans Affairs ("VA"), the United States Department of Interior ("DOI"), the United States Department of State ("DOS"), the United States General Services Administration ("GSA"), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC") and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). ​​A native of Puerto Rico, Deborah has a MBA specializing in Real Estate from the University Of Florida Warrington College Of Business; a JD from the University Of Florida Levin College of Law; a Dual BA in Public Administration and Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida. She is also a Certified Residential Underwriter with the Mortgage Bankers Association and sits on the BB&T Springfield Local Advisory Board.

Pili Montilla
Member, Board of Directors - Los Angeles, California

EMMY award winning TV host, producer, content creator, and tastemaker, Pili Montilla, has made a name for herself as the "go to" host in the bilingual entertainment world. Always immersed in the world of music, fashion, arts and travel Pili has built a solid reputation as an entertainer. Pili created, produces and hosts the EMMY winning music show “Té Para Tres con Pili Montilla” where she spends a day in the life of Latin musicians as they share their stories and music in an intimate and real manner, giving her audience an inside look at the lives of these talented musicians. Simultaneously, Pili works as a TV host for several networks in both the Hispanic and general markets, as a live host for different events and brands, and as an influencer and content creator for an array of clients. Prior to starring in her own show, Pili was making a name for herself as a TV host and entertainment reporter across the US Hispanic and Puerto Rican markets.

Jack Hirsbrunner, Ph.D
Member, Board of Directors - Arlington, Virginia

Jack Hirsbrunner, Ph.D., is the Chairman of the Board and Founder of Synectics for Management Decisions, Inc. He is chiefly involved in the development of Synectics' business policy and strategy. Dr. Hirsbrunner has more than 30 years of experience in management consulting in the fields of economic analysis, business economics, finance, manpower programs, and human resources management. He earned both a Ph.D. in Business Administration and an M.A. in Business Economics from Columbia University in New York City; earlier in life, he earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Economics from the University of Buenos Aires. Dr. Hirsbrunner is an artist and patron of the arts, and a member of Puerto Rico is the Answer (PRANS).

Pravesh Saraff
Member, Board of Directors - Washington, DC

Pravesh Saraff is a business owner and philanthropist in the Washington, DC metro area. He is the Managing Director of a Liquor Enterprise and under his umbrella he has: Angel's Share, Barmy Liquors and P Street Wines. These two stores specialize in offering white glove service to Washington's elite. The Saraff family is very active with different causes within the community including the Boys and Girls Club. Some of his philanthropic efforts include: Angels of the Fallenborn. Prav was raised in Nepal but his family originates from India. He currently resides in Fairfax, Virginia.

what we do

The Orange Economy: Arts, Education & Entrepreneurship

Friends of Puerto Rico sees a synergy in the three pillars of arts, education, and entrepreneurship, which are all essential for long-term economic and cultural development of Puerto Rico and the greater Caribbean. We measure  the impact of our success by using metrics and indicators related to job creation and community impact.

Education

From San Juan to Humacao to Vieques, a variety of foundations and charities directly support educational and training endeavors that advance their communities. Friends of Puerto Rico seeks to improve education by financially supporting educators and organizations that create job opportunities and stimulate economic development.

The Arts

From the Museo de Arte de Ponce to the Casal Festivals and many world renowned artists, Puerto Rico has long been recognized as a cultural leader and cultural incubator in the Caribbean. Friends of Puerto Rico seeks to enhance this tradition by financially supporting artists and cultural organizations that create job opportunities and further catalyze economic development on the island.

Entrepreneurship

From San Juan to Rincón, Puerto Rico is partnering with bright and ambitious entrepreneurs who require additional support at the proof of concept stage to scale their enterprises. Friends of Puerto Rico seeks to support entrepreneurship by funding individual entrepreneurs and organizations that strengthen the communities.

How We Do It

FPR provides direct financial support to nonprofits that have proven to be efficient and effective, which facilitates  high-impact donations in the region. Our network of donors are business leaders from the Puerto Rican community, as well as the many friends of Puerto Rico in the Washington Metropolitan Area and beyond.

Organizations and donors involved in the Friends of Puerto Rico events become part of our network, creating opportunities for partnership and collaboration across non-profits and donors looking to maximize the impact of their work.

Our annual fundraising event, “Building the Future of Puerto Rico,” brings together our donors and the non-profit organizations that we have chosen to support that year. More information about our second annual event, held in June 2016, can be found here.

Who We have supported

Since 2015, FPR has supported organizations in Puerto Rico that carry the mission of the orange economy.

Kinesis Foundation (2016)

The foundation helps Puerto Rican youth to overcome social boundaries, fulfilling their potential to achieve excellence at the highest academic levels. Kinesis fuels Puerto Rico’s social and economic transformation through providing college scholarships, bright start college access counseling, and high school counselor college access education.

Alcanzando el Exito (2016)

Reach for Success provides Viequense youth and their families with needed resources and opportunities to achieve educational, vocational, and economic success through after-school programs focusing on career and vocational guidance, parental support, drug and alcohol health awareness, academic counseling, mentoring, and cultural awareness. The June 2016 Event also honored artist Antonio Martorell, known for his artwork at the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museo del Barrio in New York, and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

Learn More

Museo de Arte de Ponce (2015)

Home to Sir Frederic Leighton’s iconic painting “Flaming June.” Friends of Puerto Rico hosted a fundraising reception for the Ponce Museum of Art to commemorate the reunion of the three paintings of the Three Magi by the Flemish master, Peter Paul Rubens. The famous artwork of King Gaspar travelled from the Museum of Art in Ponce to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC for a special exhibition that took place from March 17–July 5, 2015. Until this time, the three paintings had not been exhibited together for over a century. To celebrate this historic event, a reception was hosted at Washington, DC’s Burberry store to give national recognition to the Museo de Arte de Ponce.  The reception raised $20,000 for the museum renovations and provided access to low-income children from “el “barrio”, La Cantera in Ponce.