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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.



INICIA publishes book: Ancestral Flavors

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The inception of a nation’s flavors forms part of that nation’s identity. Ours has been depicted in the recently published book on Dominican Gastronomy “Sabores Ancestrales” (Ancestral Flavors), published by the asset management company, INICIA.

The work contains the recipes of 18 collaborating chefs, all of them whom invested their talent and creativity to exalt Dominican creole cuisine, whose roots sprout from Taino, Spanish and African legacies, hence becoming a reference ideal to convey to present and future generations, as was expressed by Felipe Vicini, Managing Partner of INICIA.

The foreword was written by renowned historian Hugo Tolentino Dipp, whom considered the work as the first-ever encyclopedia on traditional Hispaniolan food.

Among the collaborating chefs were: Carlos J. Estévez, Alberto Martin, Noemí Díaz, Giancarlo Bonarelli, Ciro Casola, Mikey Faxas, Paulette Tejeda, Diana Munné, Severo Stassi, Solange Cid, Ana Marranzini, Leandro Díaz, Emil Vega, Inés Páez, Martin Omar, Dévaki Pratt, María Marte and mixologist Ramón Acevedo.

The book launch was a culinary masterpiece, hosted at the Embassy Garden of the Hotel El Embajador, where special recognition was made to the trajectory and contributions issued by the pioneers of Dominican gastronomy: Chef Mike Mercedes, Mercedes “Chea” Manzano de Ortíz, Ligia Vidal- Bornia, Adria Vidal- Mañón, Esperanza Peña-Lithgow, Silvia Henríquez- Pou, Socorro Castellanos, Eugenia Rojo, Juancho Ortíz, Jacqueline Henriquez, and Amanda María Ornes-Perelló.


INICIA is a private equity firm with thorough experience in the NOLA region, which developed an investment model that lures in distinctive talent, with the aim to create value through sustainable, specialized and diversified investment funds.




INICIA launches book on Dominican gastronomy “Ancestral Flavors”

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EL NUEVO DIARIO, SANTO DOMINGO.- The most emblematic of Dominican creole cuisine come together in the pages of “Ancestral Flavors: Evolution of Dominican Gastronomy”, the new luxury edition book published by the asset management firm INICIA, rendering homage to Dominican cuisine.

The book launch was hosted by Felipe Vicini, Managing Partner of INICIA, whom stressed the importance of this literary work, which seeks not only to preserve the national memory, but to serve as an educational reference to present and future generations on the Taino, Spanish and African heritage that originated this universe of essences and flavors, that we know as our creole cuisine.

The foreword was written by renowned historian Hugo Tolentino Dipp, whom pointed out how “Ancestral Flavors” compiles our most characteristic dishes, therefore, the book can be considered, the first-ever encyclopedia on traditional Dominican creole cuisine. From the first chapter, all the way until the last page, its content describes the most representative preparations, referring to the historical lineage, the products utilized in each dish, and the “procedures” for their elaboration.

The work presents the evolution of Dominican gastronomy, parting from the Taino legacy, the Spanish and African influence, and the resulting cultural melting pot by the Arab, Chinese, Italian, British Cocolo settlers, Haitian, African-American and French cultural influences.

INICIA launches book on Dominican gastronomy - Felipe Vicini

Ancestral Flavors compiles recipes by 18 renowned local chefs, all of them inspired by the typical dishes that grace the Dominican household table and presenting a new culinary interpretation of our ancestral flavors with great versatility and tastiness. The chefs: Carlos Estévez, Alberto Martin, Noemí Díaz, Giancarlo Bonarelli, Ciro Casola, Mikey Faxas, Paulette Tejada, Diana Munné, Saverio Stassi, mixology expert Ramon Acevedo, Solange Cid, Ana Marranzini, Leandro Díaz, Emil Vega, Inés Páez, Martin Omar, Devaki Pratt and María Marte.

During the book launch, special recognition was made to honor the trajectory, creativity and contributions made by the pioneers of Dominican cuisine Mike Mercedes, Mercedes –Chea-Manzano Ortiz, Ligia Vidal- Bornia, Adria Vidal- Mañón, Esperanza Peña- Lithgow, Silvia Henríquez-Pou, Socorro Castellanos, Eugenia Rojo, Juancho Ortiz, Jacqueline Henríquez and Amanda María Ornes -Perelló.

Among the names mentioned in heartfelt gratitude for their help in developing this literary work are Hugo Tolentino Dipp, Marcio Veloz Maggiolo, Bolívar Troncoso, Luis Ros, Dagoberto Tejeda, Dra. Berniza Calderón and chef María Marte. Likewise, Víctor Siladi, Leonardo García, Chef Carlos Estévez, Indira Mejía, Emilia Pereyra, Roxanna García, Marie Benzo, Giorgio Siladi, Anthony Camilo Grullón, Damián Siladi and Chef Paulette Tejeda. All of them valuable members of the team, that in their area of expertise, helped make this edition possible.

As part of the event hosted in the Embassy Garden of Hotel El Embajador, guests sampled all the culinary delicacies from the book, prepared by the Hotel Chef, Israel Gata, alongside Chef Paulette Tejada. More information available at: and App available for download on Google Play and the App Store.


INICIA is a private equity firm with thorough experience in the NOLA region, which developed an investment model that lures in distinctive talent, with the aim to create value through sustainable, specialized and diversified investment funds.




“I’m very happy with those medals. This is good, because it sets the bar higher.”

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SANTO DOMINGO.- There is one word that not even athletes, trainers, technicians, federation members or sports authorities would dare leave out in the equation that helped the Dominican Republic increase its medal-harvest by 39% in the XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games of Barranquilla with respects to Veracruz 2014; that word is CRESO.

10 years after emerging with the aim to “produce model youth leaders, and what better way than through sports?” the program Creando Sueños Olimpicos (CRESO) sponsored the entire preparation process for all sports disciplines that rendered 93 out of 107 medals won by the country on Colombian soil (87%) and 23 of the 25 gold medals came from program athletes.

It was 2008, and the Dominican Republic made 47th place among 204 competing countries at the Peking Olympic Games, thanks to the gold won by boxer Félix Díaz and the silver by Taekwondo champion Gabriel Mercedes, when impresario Felipe Vicini read an article on The London Times, which placed Quisqueya as the grand winner, an analysis measured in correlation to the GDP numbers of that year.

Vicini met with Luisin Mejía, chairman of the Dominican Olympic Committee (COD), and they began targeting key areas, defining profiles, target goals, and making financial contributions to better aid in the athletes’ training, it took some years to make this public. Today, a cluster of 10 companies form this stakeholder portfolio, featuring a total contribution of USD$11,850,000.

“The idea was for them (the athletes) to become known in these international settings, so that when Olympic Game season took place, they would be ready. For the sports federation to not worry”, Vicini said during his meeting with Diario Libre. “We also worry about what (will) happen with those athletes after their athletic lifespan comes to an end. The aim is for them to transition into the labor market, by way of a good education, to a post-athletic professional life”.

“You cannot sit at a table with a businessman and say “Oh, I like so and so”; you need to say why and show them numbers, because in sports, it’s the numbers that resemble those financial figures; in sports, 2+2 does not equal 6, as is the case within their companies”, but this is more shocking because Felipe Vicini is very low-profile when it comes to publicity. CRESO became public after its fourth year. I could not believe what I was seeing”, Mejía said.

“A company that is investing in us and tells us that what they need is for the athletes to study. The sole requirement is getting an education. Scholarships in schools and universities. Students obtaining scholarships abroad. This is a contribution which surpasses every medal. It is a driving force, an incentive, and the idea and formula have replicated, and money is given based on results”, so said the COD chairman and the only Dominican member of the International Olympic Committee. “We always said we are not here to replace the State, but to complement and support”, so said Manuel Luna, CRESO Executive Director.

There are 92 athletes among the 15 disciplines that are part of CRESO, where they choose to study is essential to the cause, and there are no “sacred cows”, as showed by the disciplines that have been expelled from the program. Matter of fact, of the RD$69M we have allocated for budget purposes, this year there are RD$50M which are for sports, and RD$15M for educational expenses. This list features Victor Estrella, Luguelin Santos, Audrys Nin, Yamilet Peña, Luisito Pie and Ivonne Losos.

“If I could go out and jump, I would jump 7ft high. That is how thrilled I feel. I am very happy with all these medals, for the efforts made also by those that did not champion. We had several occasions where we came close but didn’t win”, Vicini said with regards to the Barranquilla results.

“This is good because it sets the bar higher” We need to aspire to higher standards, because this will lead to greater investments. Now in August-September, we are kicking-off with a technical review analysis of all upcoming goals. We only support Olympic disciplines’, the businessman said.

Already, training for the Lima Pan-American 2019 Games has begun; these games are the milestone prior to Tokyo 2020.




INICIA Uses Photo Exhibit to Raise Awareness on Endemic Birds

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INICIA the asset management firm inaugurated the photo exhibit “Alas & Colores: endemic birds of Hispaniola” at the Parque Independencia in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo.

This year, the expo is dedicated to the importance of raising awareness of the native birds of the Dominican Republic and their current perilous situation. It consisted of a 30-image compendium, developed by six (6) renowned photographers: Eladio Fernández; Mario Dávalos; Dax Román; Guillermo Armenteros; Rafael Arvelo, and Miguel Landestoy. In addition was a set of 30 illustrations created by artist Alex Warnick.

Felipe Vicini, INICIA Managing Partner, stressed that this exhibit seeks to raise awareness among the Dominican population, on the importance of preserving these bird species.

“Many of these birds are in extreme peril, and it is up to us to preserve them, from authorities and civil society alike. Hence, we need to promote initiatives aimed to protecting their natural habitat,” Vicini stated.

The expo inauguration was also headed by Mayor David Collado, representatives from public office, businesspersons and the artists responsible for the show.

Mayor Collado thanked the initiative sponsored by INICIA, because it is activities of this nature that give life to the city, while they educate and cultivate the capitol’s population and its visitors.

“For us, it is an honor that INICIA, for the second year-in-a-row hosts these cultural exhibits for the enjoyment of every citizen, thus allowing them the opportunity to enrich themselves with knowledge, and also the privilege of performing sound activities that the entire family can enjoy”, said the Mayor.

The photo imagery exhibit will show until June 15th; viewers can locate the natural habitat of each species in the graphic charts therein displayed, their perilous situation, as well as their scientific information. Also, the book “Alas & Colores” is available for digital download on


INICIA is an asset management firm from the Dominican Republic, with operations in the NOLA (North Latin America) region.




CRESO announces new partner, RIZEK CACAO, a Grupo Rizek company, joins the organization to support high-performance athletes

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CRESO announced the joining of RIZEK CACAO, a Grupo Rizek company, as new investment partner, hence expanding its action radius, as the key vehicle promoting high-performance sports in the private sector.

This company, now a CRESO member, totals 10 private partner entities which support the program, that since 2010, invests in the athletic and academic development of over 90 high-performance athletes.

“To CRESO, it is an honor to announce the joining of another leading company”, so said Felipe Vicini, CRESO Chairman, whom assured that it is proof of how the private sector is more driven each day towards supporting the development of national leaders through sports and education, so they can become the perfect addition the State needs in all sports-related investments.

Meanwhile, Samir Rizek assured that RIZEK CACAO has always admired the sports initiatives that drive our country forward, therefore confirming how proud they feel to join CRESO. “We are convinced that through sports, we can aim towards creating a better nation, and our athletes are the right people to positively influence society, thus they are our best ambassadors abroad, and that is why we invited other leading companies to join in on initiatives like CRESO, so that we can all contribute towards this land we love”, Rizek said.

Luisín Mejía, Chairman of the Dominican Olympic Committee, pointed out that by including RIZEK CACAO in CRESO, this a great sign of support for the upcoming Olympic cycle, whose main challenge this year, are the Central American Games in Barranquilla.

“If other companies join CRESO, we will have a better outcome in Barranquilla, then in Lima 2019, and Tokyo 2020”, Mejia stated, speaking as a member of the International Olympic Committee.

Now, with RIZEK CACAO as part of CRESO, there are 10 investor companies: CENTRAL ROMANA CORPORATION, CLARO, FERQUIDO, INICIA, BANCO POPULAR DOMINICANO, GRUPO RICA, SOCIEDAD INDUSTRIAL DOMINICANA, TOTAL DOMINICANA and UNIVERSAL, alongside the Dominican Olympic Committee, as the technical sports organization.




INICIA launches new Institutional Book: Alas & Colores

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INICIA launched its new institutional/promotional book Alas & Colores: Aves endémicas de La Española (*Wings & Colors: Native Birds of Hispaniola), which was developed by photographer Mario Dávalos, featuring illustrative artwork from the American artist, Alex Warnick.INICIA launches new Institutional Book: Alas & Colores - Felipe

The book presentation was hosted by Felipe Vicini, Managing Partner at INICIA, whom also showcased the 2018 corporate agenda, which also features the same topic, and instead of illustrations, displays a colorful image bank by six artists of the lens, whom contributed their talent and time to this work, now going on its 11th consecutive edition. “We tried to design a book, that asides featuring some of the most beautiful illustrations ever seen of these species, also features text, that far from scientific, features content that is useful and edifying about each of the species, and complement the artwork”, Vicini explained.INICIA launches new Institutional Book: Alas & Colores - Felipe

On his behalf, Dávalos thanked INICIA for the trust bestowed in him and the agency, CAPITAL DBG, which he owns and founded 11 years ago, for the opportunity to produce this corporate book and agenda for INICIA. “I can’t explain what this important experience has meant to me and the team. More than a book, this is a comprehensive project, where we developed a platform that gives purpose to its very baseline reason: to immortalize the relevance and beauty of the native birds of our island”, he expressed.INICIA launches new Institutional Book: Alas & Colores - Felipe

The book features text by Yolanda León, Andrea Thomén, Simón Guerrero and James Goetz; the agenda features photos by Eladio Fernández, Guillermo Armenteros, Rafael Arvelo, Dax Román, Miguel Landestoy and Dávalos himself. The edition, a non-profit and limited distribution publication, is also available on .pdf format in the book website:, and raises awareness on the importance of preserving wildlife and the environment.


INICIA is a private equity firm with vast experience in the NOLA (North Latin America) Region, known for developing an alluring talent and investment model, aiming to generate value through sustainable, specialized and diversified investment funds.