All Press Releases for January 13, 2014

Ana Jose Varela-González Named Professional of the Year in Not-for-Profit

Ms. Varela-Gonzalez strives to make meaningful contributions to society by fostering an economically sustainable social action model and building bridges between public and private institutions

Ana Jose Varela-González is a highly accomplished professional with over 18 years of expertise

    A CORUÑA, SPAIN, January 13, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Ana Jose Varela-González, Chief Investment Officer of Fundación Barrie and Member of the Board of Directors of Banco Popular, has been named a Worldwide Branding Professional of the Year in Not-for-Profit. While inclusion in Worldwide Branding is an honor, only a small selection of members in each discipline are chosen for this distinction. These special honorees are distinguished based on their professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, years of service, and the credentials they have provided in association with their Worldwide Branding membership.

Ana Jose Varela-González is a highly accomplished professional with over 18 years of expertise. She is one of the few women, and one of the youngest, to represent on the board of a Spanish top bank. She shows dedication, leadership, commitment and a good understanding of people. Over the years, she has established herself as an expert in business strategy, business planning, general management, investments, institutional relations and human resources. On a daily basis, she is in charge of identifying alternatives and making decisions concerning the endowment and investment portfolio of Fundación Barrie (one of the leading education foundations in Spain for the last 50 years). She also handles strategic planning and management control decisions and works to foster and manage institutional relations.

Ms. Varela-González started her professional career as a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group, where she worked from 1995 to 2001. Following this, she was offered the position of Human Resources Director for Banco Pastor, the seventh-largest Spanish bank. After four years, she was appointed Chief Risk Officer at Pastor Vida, the insurance company of the group, working with the CEO in the overall strategy of the company, with special focus on corporate development initiatives. In 2008, she was in charge of launching the Office of Strategy Management at Banco Pastor, of which she became director. From there, she joined Fundación Barrie as Chief Investment Officer, and, as such, was appointed a Member of the Board of Directors at Banco Popular, the fifth largest bank in Spain. From her position in Fundación Barrie, she works to promote the sustainable economic development of the country. Through the creation of the "Science Fund" she has been very active in promoting world-class research, and especially, in transferring science and technology research outcomes to society, and opening up public science and R&D programs to private funding by supporting the creation of investment opportunities. Recently, she has been appointed Chairwoman of Torus, a high-tech start-up specializing in HPC communications.

Ms. Varela González is a dynamic, results-driven executive with a proven ability to multitask and to adjust to changing business requirements. She can easily adapt to work in very different environments and people with heterogeneous backgrounds. She has been in charge of launching different initiatives and programs and has developed a great tolerance to ambiguity. Additionally, her fluency in Spanish, English, French, and Portuguese, enables her to conduct business on an international level without being restricted by language barriers. She has always been a great achiever. When she graduated from university in 1995, only three people were selected to join The Boston Consulting Group in Spain. She was one of them, and the only woman. She is also one of the few women serving on the boards of top Spanish listed companies, and one of the youngest. She has been a pioneer in the development of new models to foster entrepreneurship through cooperation between the public sector and private institutions. Her position as Chairwoman of a high-tech start-up is evidence of her tremendous curiosity and eagerness to take on new challenges that can make a significant contribution to society and, at the same time, expand her knowledge and skills.

" I try to foster an economically sustainable social action model" she said. "I believe foundations are the risk capital of social change". Joining the non-for-profit sector after more than 15 years of experience in strategic consulting and finance, Ms. Varela-González is able to approach situations and problems from a variety of perspectives.Additionally, Ana Jose is a very active member of civil society. Building on her experience in the business world, she has been helping small non-profit organizations to improve their management and fund-rising activities. She has also been engaged in several networking initiatives: she is a founder member of several alumni associations and an active one of Ryder Club and of Fundación Barrie Alumni Association where she served as General Secretary and Treasurer. Moreover, she has promoted several actions to improve the competitivity of the country in areas such as R&D or territorial organization. In 2012, she assumed the responsibility of leading an initiative aimed at improving the competitivity of forestry in her region, which produces 50% of the timber in Spain. It was an altruistic project commissioned by the President of the Regional Government in which she managed to get the collaboration of her former company, The Boston Consulting Group, through a pro-bono, and of 50 experts around the world. As a result, 10 action plans were identified which, if implemented, could double the forestry contribution to regional GDP. The report had much impact in the media and some of the measures have already been addressed.

Looking back, Ms. Varela-González attributes her success to a combination of hard work, discipline, tenacity, solid education, open mindedness, and natural curiosity. These qualities enable her to approach situations taking into account a wide range of perspectives. At the same time, she has the skills, technical knowledge and resources required to quickly gain a deep understanding of complicated problems. Her initial job as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, gaining experience in sectors such as financial services, consumer goods, retail, media and non-for-profit organizations, helped her to hone these traits, which proved most valuable in her experience in the different positions she took on. She joined Fundación Barrie following a long-standing passion for the non-for-profit sector and soon was appointed

Member of the Board at Banco Popular. It was a natural progression until she got promoted to this position in which she combines her interest in non-for-profit organizations with her knowledge and experience of the corporate world.

Ms. Varela-González earned her MBA from Columbia Business School at Columbia University (NYC) graduating with Honors in 1999 and being appointed a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. She also received a dual degree in Law and Business Administration from Universidad Pontificia Comillas (Madrid) graduating with Honors in 1995. In 2006 she completed a portfolio management program through Instituto de Empresa (Madrid). As mentioned before, she is very active in the development of talent networks in which she is a qualified contributor. Her affiliations include: Global Board Ready Women, the Fundacion Barrie Alumni Association, Columbia Club of Spain, Ryder Club Spain, and the ICADE Alumni Association. She is a frequent speaker at various national and international conferences, meetings, business forums, universities and non-for-profit organizations. She is a columnist for economic media and radio. In recognition of her talent and academic excellence, she was named to the Dean's List of Columbia Business School, and she received the Pedro Barrie de la Maza Scholarship. In years to come, she expects to grow in her career, to work for a non-profit organization, and, at the same time, help other companies and organizations to develop sustainable strategies. Along with this, she plans to continue developing her lecturing activity and her international exposure.

For more information about Ms. Varela-González, visit

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