The Leading Brands of Spain Forum, through a panel of judges made up of representatives from business, institutional and international fields, and chaired by Antonio Abril Abadín, Director and Secretary of the Board of Directors of Inditex and Deputy Chairman of the Forum, appointed the new Spain Brand Honorary Ambassadors (SBHAs) on the 30th of June at the Parador de El Saler (Valencia). The High Commissioner for the Spain Brand, Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, was also part of the panel of Judges. In this way, he supported the initiative and the effort put into the image of Spain that the Leading Brands of Spain Forum has been developing for years.
This year is the sixth edition of these awards, which are designed to publicly acknowledge individuals, companies and institutions that have contributed throughout their careers to strengthening Spain’s image abroad. This recognition is granted on a biennial basis with the approval of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. The new Honorary Ambassadors for the Spain Brand are: Pablo Álvarez de Tejera (Business Management), Edurne Pasabán Lizarribar (Sports), the Roca i Fontané brothers (Tourism and Gastronomy), Ainhoa Arteta Ibarrolaburu (Culture and Communication), the Camino de Santiago or “St. James’s Way” (Institutional Relations), Cáritas (Social Action), IVI (Science and Innovation) and Josep Piqué Camps (Extraordinary accreditation).
Pablo Isla Álvarez de Tejera
This appointment is made for being one of the most internationally recognised Spanish business leaders, and for being head of the leading Spanish multinational and one of the best distribution groups worldwide. Inditex is present in 88 countries and has 6,390 shops. Since he became Head of Inditex, the fashion company has expanded greatly and has achieved unstoppable international recognition.
The Camino de Santiago or “St. James’s Way”
This appointment is made for having become an internationally recognised icon of Spain. Every year it attracts thousands of tourists and pilgrims from all around the world who discover and connect with the Spanish culture and gastronomy while they travel along the route. In 2013 more than 215,000 pilgrims completed the Camino de Santiago, of which more than 50% came from outside of Spain.
Ainhoa Arteta Ibarrolaburu
Culture and Communication
This appointment is made for being a celebrated Spanish soprano and performing a great many concerts, both nationally and internationally. After having trained at the San Sebastian School of Music, she went on to study performance at the Actors Studio in New York. She made her début in the Palm Beach Opera, Florida (USA) and between concerts she gave a recital at the White House during Bill Clinton’s presidency. Her recital celebrated the official visit of the Columbian President to Washington D.C. She received the award for Contribution to the Arts from the Hispanic Society of America.
This appointment is made for its global efforts to fight poverty and social exclusion. Caritas Spain has developed numerous international cooperation programs and now works in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Middle East, and North Africa. Caritas Spain relies on a network of around 70,000 volunteers and 4,200 workers throughout Spain, as well as 160,447 associates and sponsors who collaborate economically to fund more than 6,000 parish and 70 diocesan Caritas branches. The organisation received the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord in the year 1999.
The Roca i Fontané brothers
Tourism and Gastronomy
Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca. This appointment is made for their iconic status within Spanish gastronomy and for projecting an image of its quality and excellency throughout the world. Their restaurant ‘El Celler de Can Roca’ is internationally esteemed and holds three Michelin stars. In 2013 ‘Restaurant Magazine’ named it the best restaurant worldwide and the second best in 2014. In 2011 Joan Roca was awarded the Grand Prix de l’Art de la Cuisine by the International Academy of Gastronomy.
Edurne Pasabán Lizarribar
This appointment is made for being an icon of Spanish sport, and an outstanding example of commitment, dedication, and sacrifice in order to achieve a dream. On the 17th of May 2010 she became the first woman to climb the 14 eight-thousand meter peaks. She achieved this in just 20 expeditions, requiring a very high degree of efficiency in the Himalayas.
IVI (Valencia Infertility Institute)
Science and Innovation
For being one of the most prestigious, influential, and internationally-recognised Assisted Human Reproduction centres. IVI is the leading centre in reproductive medicine. It was founded in 1990 and is now present in Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Mexico, Panama, Chile, Brazil, and India. In this way it does a great deal to spread the innovation and excellency of Spanish science throughout the world.
An extraordinary accreditation as Spanish Brand Honorary Ambassador is appointed to Josep Piqué Camps.
Exceptionally, in recognition of his great international career in both the public and the business sectors, the Jury decided to award an extraordinary accreditation as a Spain Brand Honorary Ambassador to Josep Piqué Camps.
This appointment is made for his great international career in both the public and the business sectors and for always having acted as a firm defender of Spain’s general interests. In the public sector he has been the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Industry, and the Minister of Science and Technology. He has also been the Chairman of Vueling and is currently the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of OHL. He is a firm believer that public-private partnerships favour the general interests of Spain and he supported the creation of the Leading Brands of Spain Forum in 1999 as a strategic alliance between leading Spanish brand companies and the government.