Chilean bank leader Grisel Vega takes presidency to help Florida International Bankers Association gear for future
If international bankers ever needed a spokesperson in Miami, Grisel Vega would fit the bill well — and that's exactly what she does. As president of the Florida International Bankers Association and general manager of Chile-based BCI's corporate and investment banking office in Miami, Ms. Vega rubs elbows in lofty business circles.
Yet she hasn't lost her mom-next-door appeal. "I love my children," she says about her two children, 25 and 21. "They say, "Mom, don't introduce me as your kid.' And I say, "You know, you'll always be my kids.'" She met her husband early in her career, when they were working together at a local accounting firm. Today, he's chief financial officer for a company in Doral.
Ms. Vega came from humble beginnings. She and her parents left Cuba when she was a little girl. She recalls how Fidel Castro's regime took state control of private property and businesses, including her father's store, as the government formed along communist lines. She said it created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.
Her family came to the US without much. They lived in an efficiency apartment in Miami, worked hard and lived on a tight budget, so she considered going to a fast-food restaurant a big treat. She studied hard and got a scholarship to the University of Miami. In the following years, her career and her life began taking shape.
In an interview at her Brickell Avenue office with Miami Today reporter Scott Blake, Ms. Vega discussed her life, international banking, and some of the issues it faces.
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