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Felipe Vicini: “It is our duty to shape the leaders of the future, along with their education”

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Santo Domingo, D.R. – Felipe Vicini Lluberes, entrepreneur and Chair of CRESO, pondered the importance of the private sector in developing Sports in the Dominican Republic. He also congratulated Multimedios del Caribe, CDN, and CDN Deportes for their efforts in organizing the Sports Summit.

“I’d dare say that Sports will be played, and develop without the engagement of the private sector, but, the private sector can indeed push it forward, from a national to an Olympic level. When Eduardo went all in for the Federation and the national Basketball team, through Ferquido’s sponsorship, that helped a lot.

We also contribute. It is important for the private sector to have its space, it is important that it support amateur, and professional sports”, Vicini said.

Vicini said that Creso foresaw, after the Beijing Olympic Games, that athletes required the backing to attend international events, as well as the future of those athletes, after their retirement from their discipline.

“In the past, many of these athletes, were left to their own devices, and in dire situations. In CRESO, we believe we can help these athletes overcome such a stage in their lives. It is our duty to shape tomorrow’s leaders, along with their education. Athletes are natural-born leaders, and this country needs leaders. Some of the athletes that have completed the program, are already self-made entrepreneurs”, Vicini added.

Vicini spoke openly amid an interview hosted by Yancen Pujols, Sports Editor of Periódico El Caribe.

About Felipe Vicini:
Felipe Vicini Lluberes is a Dominican entrepreneur, Managing Partner of INICIA, an asset management firm based in Santo Domingo and whose operations are focused on the NOLA region.

He graduated from Northwestern University, in Illinois. We worked in the film industry since the age of 16, where he became producer, and director, returning later to the Dominican Republic, to begin his entrepreneurial career.

Felipe Vicini heads the Strategy & Investment Committee at INICIA and is member of several of its management committees. Likewise, he chairs and is member of several Boards in some of the most renowned in-country corporations.

Likewise, Vicini is Chairman of CRESO, a not-for-profit entity, which invests in the education and athletic training of the high-performance athletes of the Dominican Republic, is also member of the BARNA Board of Regents, as well as other non-profit organizations.




Olympic Athletes will be checked for COVID-19 symptoms in CEDIMAT

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Luisiín Mejía (center) and Felipe Vicini (second clockwise) headed the event that initialled the agreement.

The Centro de Diagnóstico, Medicina Avanzada y Telemedicina (CEDIMAT) and the Dominican Olympic Committee (COD) signed an agreement establishing the free access to COVID-19 PCR Tests.

Thanks to the initiative headed by the private sector through the Private Enterprise Council (CONEP) and Sanar una Nación, where most of the CRESO partner companies are members: INICIA, Grupo Rica, Popular and Universal, more than 300 PCR test kits were donated to CEDIMAT aiming to aid counteract the side effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Olympic Athletes will be checked for COVID-19 symptoms in CEDIMAT - Felipe Vicini

As per the terms underwritten, the Dominican Olympic Committee will help identity the athletes that require PCR testing, and CRESO will coordinate alongside CEDIMAT for the athletes to access these test kits, abiding by all mandated healthcare protocols.

The agreement was underwritten by Milagros Ureña from CEDIMAT, Felipe Vicini from Creso, and Luisín Mejía from the COD, witnessed by Anyarlene Bergés from INICIA, Manuel Luna from CRESO, Elias Dinzey of Fundación Popular, and Wenceslao Soto from Grupo RICA, Christy Luciano from Universal and Leyla Alfonso of Grupo SID.

Ureña expressed that “it is CEDIMAT’s mission to enable its medical center at the service of the most important healthcare causes, that can aid with reactivating competitive spots the soonest. Meanwhile, Vicini and Mejía thanked Sanar una Nación for donating these PCR test kits to the Dominican sports environment, so that athletes can recommence their training and compete under greater and safer health conditions.

“If we join forces we can move on sooner and begin competing, to make our nation proud; that’s why it is key for the private sector to join in on initiatives of this nature, which help our sports federations to rekindle their activities under safer conditions”, so said Luisín Mejía, COD Chairman. The PCR Test Kits will be available immediately in CEDIMAT, and the federations that can identify potentially infected patients, will only need to contact the COD to begin the process of testing the atheltes.





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The donated kits contain some 20 necessity food products will be distributed.

CRESO & OLYMPIC COMMITTEE AID FAMILIES THROUGH ATHLETES AND FEDERATIONS - Felipe ViciniPhoto credits: Luisin Mejia, COD Chairman; Felipe Vicini, CRESO Chairman; Anyarlene Bergés from INICIA; Julio Brache of Grupo RICA, and Félix Sánchez (Credits: External Source).

The CRESO Program alongside the Dominican Olympic Committee (COD) joined forces to help over 2,000 families in need, by donating food rations in the communities where several high-performance athletes reside all throughout the national territory.

The Chairs for both organizations, Felipe Vicini and Luisín Mejía, headed the donation act which took place in the Olympic Hostel where they explained that the rations under distribution will be donated alongside the athletes and presidents of the member federations among families in need that were directly impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

 “This is the second outreach initiative headed by the COD, now in partnership with CRESO, and many more independent collaborators whom have helped selflessly, to try and reach out to as many families nationwide as possible with the aim of sending a message of hope in these communities where our athletes reside”, Mejía expressed. Meanwhile, Vicini thanked several of the CRESO partner companies for joining in on this outreach initiative.

“Grupo SID, Grupo RICA through Fundación RICA, INICIA and other companies joined in immediately to support the idea to aid our athletes, our sports heroes, who are also leaders in their communities. Through these initiatives we foster them to build their social legacy”, he expressed.

The kits contain around 20 necessity food products and will be distributed among disperse communities such as Cabarete, Barahona, San Pedro de Macorís, San Juan de la Maguana, Santiago, Santo Domingo, and others. Mejía and Vicini explained that the federations have also partaken in the delivery operations to coordinate the logistics for efficient distribution.




Creso and the COD prepare outreach program to help athletes’ families

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EL NUEVO DIARIO, SANTO DOMINGO. CRESO and the Dominican Olympic Committee (COD) are working together on developing an outreach program to aid athletes’ families as well as their neighbors”. So expressed Felipe Vicini, CRESO Chairman during the third Virtual Meeting, hosted on Sunday by the COD, through the BlueJeans Virtual Platform.

“This 100-meter race has become a marathon”, Vicini said, whom also stated that the outreach program aims to join hands with those most in need. During his dissertation in the virtual meeting, hosted by Luisín Mejía, COD Chairman, Vicini remarked the good health condition of all athletes, and how he has had the opportunity to follow up closely on their training to stay in good shape.

“Despite everything having been called off, they need to keep in mind that when everything resumes its natural course, the preliminaries to the Olympics will be underway. They must remain focused”, the businessman expressed, after defining the COVID19 pandemic as “a blockade” towards making it to Tokyo.

The meeting with the high-performance athletes, which took place on the BlueJeans Virtual Platform, was hosted by Luis Mejía Oviedo, where Vicini attended as Guest Speaker, and featuring the participation of former Judo champion María García, whom serves as liaison between the Sports Ministry and the Athletic cluster.

Some 27 athletes from different disciplines confirmed their good shape, by stating that they train from home due to the pandemic. García, a silver-medal winner of the 2014 Veracruz Pan-American Games, and currently the liaison between the MIDEREC and the athletic cluster, advised to all fellow athletes to continue training at home, and exhorted them to take all precautions to avoid being infected with the coronavirus.

“Follow the rules so this pandemic can end soon. Let’s be heroes one more time, but this time, by staying home, not just for ourselves, but for our families, and the whole athletic movement” the Judo champion stated. Dominican athletes in the U.S., Austria, Russia, Spain, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican Republic had the chance to report how their confinement is going in their current location. The report by ping-pong player Yasiris Ortiz and karate champ Sasha Rodriguez caused great shock when they informed that in New York, a great number of people step out without any PPE gear, including senior citizens.

Besides Ortiz and Rodriguez, other athletes currently abroad who attended the meeting are Nikolay Arango, Karate; based in Florida, and diver Frandiel Gomez, who is currently in Kazan, Russia; as well as Jonathan Ruvacalba, based in Guanajuato, Mexico. Also present in the session, were Eva Brito, ping-pong, from Puerto Rico; Jean Montero, Basketballl; from Spain, and Jasmin Gibus, Handball; from Austria. Also present were Luguelín Santos, track-and-field; Alejandra Aybar, Paralympic swimming; Patricio López; swimming, and weightlifters Zacarías Bonat, Crismery Santana, Beatriz Pirón, Luis García and Verónica Saladín. Also, among the attendees were boxer Leonel De los Santos, karate champions Karina Díaz and Franchel Velázquez, Ana Rosa, judo; Nancy Peña; Handball, and Karina Fermín, modern pentathlon. Luisito Pie, Taekwondo; Geraldo Castro, Paralympic Taekwondo; and Adeuri Cornial, Sailing, were also present.

These virtual meetings headed by the COD Chairman are hosted every Sunday as a team-building initiative with all in-country athletes as well as those abroad, to learn of their current confinement conditions, caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Mejía Oviedo announced that next week, Sports Minister Danilo Díaz will join the forum. Mejía Oviedo, also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), showed signs of hope that soon a clearer scenario of the world and of sports in general.




INICIA presents collector’s edition book “Casa de los Vitrales”

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The book tells the many stories proper of the early 1900s; this research was headed by renowned architect José Battle.

Photos: Dania Acevedo

The “Casa de los Vitrales” (*in English: “The Manor of Colorful Windows”) is breathtaking and solid in structure, reasons which awaken curiosity to learn more about the property, a possibility turned reality thanks to the launch of the luxury publication which tells its story since its groundbreaking. The initiative is the work of the asset management firm INICIA, as tribute to the advances and evolution of colonial architecture.

“With the manor’s centennial close upon, the property was subjected to a full restoration process, returning it to its original state”, as explained by Felipe Vicini, Managing Partner of INICIA, stating that the book also narrates the subtleties of crucial times which struck the structure, such as the Saint Zenon Hurricane, its further renaissance, the rise  and of the fall of authoritarian rule, such as the Revolution of 1965, transcending from a family residence and hence becoming an important milestone of Dominican history”.

By ends of the launch ceremony, Felipe Vicini delivered a copy of “Casa de los Vitrales” to Beatriz del Cueto, a Conservationist Architect, whom wrote the book’s foreword and to the Ministers of Culture and Tourism, Eduardo Selman, and Francisco Javier García, as well as to the Mayor of the National District, David Collado.


INICIA presenta libro de colección sobre la “Casa de los Vitrales”

David Collado, Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, Felipe Vicini, Francisco Javier García and Eduardo Selman

INICIA presenta libro de colección sobre la “Casa de los Vitrales”

Andrea and Roberto Canepari

INICIA presenta libro de colección sobre la “Casa de los Vitrales”

José Rodríguez and Sandra Garip




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(ATR) Businessman Felipe Vicini, a key personality in the Dominican Sports World, was always spotted in the dogout of the Hispaniolan selection when at the Charros de Jalisco Stadium, or meeting with the players before or after each game of the A-Team II Premier 12.

ODECABE Dara un Giro 1 - Felipe Vicini

Felipe Vicini en Guadalajara. (ATR)

But before aiming to making it to the Olympics, ProBeisbol achieved its first “medal” by enabling partnerships among the participating entities linked to developing sports nationwide, and that per Vicini’s best judgment, “had not been in contact”.

Vicini descends from a renowned Italian family of great influence in the Dominican Republic, which began upon their involvement in overthrowing the dictatorship of Generalissimo Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, then by helping the economical consolidation and democratization of the nation.

The active involvement as well as wealth of the Vicini family was essential to found private banking, universities, associations and non-profit organizarions, as well as businesses, all of them promoting the country’s developments and new businesses that paved the nation’s way into progress.

The Creando Sueños Olímpicos (CRESO) Program

Felipe Vicini’s credentials can easily lead to thinking that he is one of those people that without a member seat in the International Olympic Committee, would be beneficial to the Olympic Movement by just having him participate in the many Commissions.

ODECABE Dara un Giro 3 - Felipe Vicini

Luisin Mejia. (ATR)

And yet, without forming part thereof, he is a stronghold in his country’s Olympic spectrum. His initiative, “CRESO” backed since its inception by members of the asset management firm INICIA, of which he is Managing Partner, and which exerts an essential role in the goals of the Dominican Olympic Committee (COD).

CRESO is a non-profit entity, which invests in the development of high-performance Dominican athletes in several Olympic disciplines, complemented by a university education. The CRESO Founder Companies are: CENTRAL ROMANA CORPORATION, CLARO, FERQUIDO, BANCO POPULAR, GRUPO RICA, GRUPO SID, TOTAL, INICIA, and The Dominican Olympic Committee as technical entity.

Vicini, as CRESO Chairman, explained to ATR that the program fosters the athletic, educational and social development of the athletes, so that future model citizens and leaders with a commitment to their country’s progress can emerge.

This is a tripartite effort; the private sector by way of CRESO, the COD and the Sports Ministry”, Vicini stated to ATR.

But this idea – whose sole predecessor seems to be the ADO Program in Spain, which began during the Barcelona ’92 Olympic Games- received quite the boost when Vicini read an analysis done on the number of Olympic medals versus the per Capita population per country, by a British journal after the Beijing 2008 Games.

The article gave the Dominican Republic a good world ranking position. This also stirred up a rush of initiatives in Vicini’s mind, which the very next day he shared with Luisín Mejía, chairman of the COD, when both suddenly ran into one another on a flight to New York.

After the Guadalajara 2011 Pan-American Games, the CRESO partners considered that this exploratory phase had come to an end. It was time to get things going.

“Today, we are investing USD$1.6M in the program, encompassing some 16 Olympic disciplines” Vicini said exactly 8 years later, while back in Guadalajara, and making it the topic of discussion during an interview held in a local hotel, while mentioning several CRESO supporters in this Olympic cycle, the most recent participants – winners and contenders- of the recent Lima Pan-American Games, where the Dominican Republic made 10th place, and championing with a total 40 medals: 10 gold, 13 silver and 17 bronze.

“Of the total 40, 31 were won by CRESO-endorsed disciplines” Vicini said, now with his sights set on Tokyo 2020.

“The upcoming plans will help the organization aim higher and gain a relevant position.

“There’s a value proposition, which I assume will be made public later on. We will try to help as much as possible from the private sector”, Vicini assured.

Vicini also foresaw a significant progress in the Central American and Caribbean Games, as per the ideas shared by Luisín Mejía. In the end, there will be a solid ODECABE, fairer, and more inclusive”, Vicini reflected, after having returned from a trip to Doha, Qatar, and attending the 1st ANOC World Beach Games.

“This project comes at a very opportune moment for the Caribbean nations”, Vicini said, as if another idea were spinning around in his mind.




Felipe Vicini: “Investing in Sports and Education promotes national development and drives positive impact”

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EL NUEVO DIARIO, MADRID.- Felipe Vicini, CRESO Chairman, elaborated on the CRESO model to the Ibero-American business sector, which he invited to invests in sports as one of the pipelines that will help promote social development and the future leader generations.

Vicini disserted during the “Business and Sports” panel, where he was interviewed by Juan Antonio Samaranch, VP of the International Olympic Committee, and whom co-moderated the panel with Xavier Tebas, Chairman of the Spanish League.

“Today, in our country, we have athletes that became leaders and got their college degree, and are becoming active members of the Dominican labor market, which on the long-term will drive valuable impact nationwide”, Vicini expressed, whom set the examples of athletes Félix Sánchez, Yamilet Peña, Gabriel Mercedes, among others, as role models. VIcini stressed that one of the differentiating components asides CRESO, has been the mentorship offered to the athletes.

“This has been a powerful impact to the athletes, whom we sponsor not only with resources, but also with our guidance; we attend their competitions, and that gives them a sense of belonging and of important self-worth” the businessman expressed.

The panel in which Vicini -Managing Partner of the firm INICIA in Dominican Republic-  spoke, took place within the framework of the Consejo Empresarial de Alianza por Iberoamerica (*in English: Corporate Partnerships for Ibero-America Council) -CEAPI-, which is THE most important business forum of the Spanish-speaking world.





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The DR Baseball Preselection Team received an assignment to carry out during their participation in the Baseball Championship of the Lima 2019 Pan-American Games (July26th-August 11).

“We’re going to show those countries that we are a baseball nation”, so said Felipe Vicini, CRESO Chairman, during his pep talk while with the team.

Vicini was joined by the Chairman of the Dominican Olympic Committee, Luisín Mejía; the General Manager of the team, José Gómez; the Technical Director of the DR Sports Ministry, led by Minister Danilo Díaz, Tony Mesa, and the Chairman of the Dominican Baseball Federation, Juan Núñez, in a ceremony hosted at the Quisqueya Stadium. “I know you’ll win and bring that medal home”, Vicini said. “Never before have we set our sights on baseball”, Mejía stated. Gómez said the selection will be made official on July 20th, and the team will travel to Lima on the 26th. The issue concerning the safety of the Dominican delegation was also put on agenda, and responsibility was assigned to Colonel Julio César Hernández Olivero (ERD).

Among the players present at the training under Pedro López were Diego Goris, Audry Pérez, Miguel Gómez, Rafael Ynoa, Raúl Valdés, Ulises Joaquín, Angel Castro, Yhan Maríñez, Máximo Nelson, Rhyer Cruz, Edgar García and Ronny Paulino.

In that tenor, Gómez informed that Carlos Pimentel, Deibinson Romero and Willy García will be joining the team soon.

About CRESO:

CRESO is a non-profit organization that consists of the Dominican business community that invests in the development of a high-performance olympic athletic platform, accompanied by academic training of the athletes. VICINI, together with the Dominican Olympic Committee, is responsible for creating CRESO and achieving the involvement of 9 other leading companies that also invest in this program.



Felipe Vicini: The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is both ambitious and challenging

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This Wednesday, the 2nd edition of the Business Sustainability Forum for Sustainable Development took effect. The event, jointly hosted by INICIA and Cisneros, was organized as a follow-up session to comply with the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) embraced by the business sector.

Felipe Vicini, Managing Partner at INICIA, headed the event and stated that “in order to integrate these initiatives as part of each company’s business strategy, beyond the Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, its financing has an even more important relevance”.

Vicini said that the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is one that is both ambitious and challenging, therefore assuring that its proper rollout requires allocating local and international funds, as well as the adequation of financial norms and standards, and the constant search for innovative tools as well as government investment mechanisms.

On his end, Pedro Brache, Chairman of the National Business Council (CONEP), when asked about these topics said “that this forum is very important, because it addresses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have supported them since the very beginning, and we will continue to support them together with other organizations, because when the SDGs are met, the conditions of the country and its citizens will improve”. Brache said that the CONEP is working alongside the government authorities, headed by the Minister of Economy, Planning and Development, Mr. Isidoro Santana.

When it comes to equality, Brache said that the CONEP just concluded an assessment study which states that the bigger the companies are, better conditions exist for women and more equality is present. “This stresses that we must try for small companies to aim higher and become greater so that they too can offer the same conditions”. The more formal the working environment, more formality shall be required to improve their conditions, to close the income inequality gap”.

The event was hosted by businesspersons Felipe Vicini, Managing Partner at INICIA; Adriana Cisneros, CEO of Cisneros; Isidoro Santana, Minister of Economy, Planning and Development and Inka Mattila, UNDP Resident Country Head. Adriana Cisneros stated that “to advance in the structuring and funding of more sustainable projects, requires a joint effort on behalf of the private sector and the government, as well as investors and the business community. This translates to a significant chance and a true evolution in the way we conceive financing, especially on behalf of government investors, but also in the way we materialize the most profitable business models, with greater returns, at the same time that they are inclusive and responsible towards civil society”.

Inka Mattila, Resident Country Head of the UNDP in the Dominican Republic, offered a general presentation on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and the UNDP’s role in driving it forward. When covering the subject, she presented a series of guidelines applicable to measure the contributions and impact of the private sector in meeting all SDGs.  During the session on “Impact Investment and the SDGs” headed by George Gray Molina, Financial Advisor to the UNDP, they covered the conceptual framework of all impact-driving investments, their close relationship and relevance to the 2030 Agenda, as well as the metrics of social and environmental impacts in all private sector transactions.

On her end, Sofia Perazzo, Sustainability VP for Cisneros Real Estate, presented the “Tropicalia case”, and commented on it by expressing that “developing a corporate business strategy always starts with convictions, a personal vision, which comprises an entire team, starting with its CEO all the way to all collaborating staff from all company levels. In 2008, Tropicalia was conceived as a luxury tourism development, but still lacked in sustainability. All that followed the next year, in 2009, a year after the creation of Fundación Tropicalia, which is the social partner of the investment. The curious part of this story is, that it was actually the social investment which shaped our business model and viceversa”.



Creso launches new job program for athletes

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Santo Domingo

The CRESO program has launched a new job market insertion program for all member athletes, thus seeking to help them develop a successful career life, after their athletic career comes to an end.

Since its inception, one of CRESO’s main goals has been for athletes to attain a college education that will allow them to penetrate the job market once their athletic careers end.

The job insertion program is aimed at all member athletes that are within their final studies phase or close to graduating and whom are available for internships, or within the final stages of their athletic career, so that they can begin their insertion in a full-time job position.

“This is the third core pillar of CRESO: We have covered everything regarding their athletic development through the support we offer them to compete, we have also covered the educational aspect, by way of the scholarships we grant them, and now, we will cover their post-athletic career, using this job insertion program as a tool”, so explained Felipe Vicini, CRESO chairman.

The businessman added “what we aim is for their athletic leadership, to transform into professional leadership, and so we will continue to drive positive impact towards our nation’s development, and we will see how a sports glory can possibly become a business leader or head of an NGO”.

As was explained, the program features an aptitude test, which is performed with each athlete, to then develop a professional profile, presented alongside their CV, and the results of the above-mentioned assessment to the CRESO member companies, as well as to other potential companies where said profile can represent an asset”.

The program kicked off with a pilot comprising 17 athletes of which, two have already completed their assessments, and are in process of insertion in the job market.

INICIA’s Human Resources Department, as a CRESO member company, organized the program under which all CRESO member companies: Central Romana Corporation, Claro, Banco Popular, Ferquido, Grupo Universal, Grupo SID, Grupo Rica, Total, and Rizek have joined to support the program. The athletic evaluations are being carried out with the support of Multiplicity.

CRESO currently sponsors 100 active athletes, and 96 former athletes, whom are being contacted, so they can form part of the job market insertion program.


About CRESO:

CRESO is a non-profit organization that consists of the Dominican business community that invests in the development of a high-performance olympic athletic platform, accompanied by academic training of the athletes. VICINI, together with the Dominican Olympic Committee, is responsible for creating CRESO and achieving the involvement of 9 other leading companies that also invest in this program.