Mario Somoza is the President & CEO of Pan Pepín, Inc. in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Pan Pepín is dedicated to baking and selling fresh bread, buns, and tortillas for the retail and food service markets, primarily under its own brand, as well as supplying the largest supermarket chains on the island with their private label products. Pan Pepín also has licensing agreements with other bakeries to bake and distribute products under their brands in Puerto Rico; such as Nature’s Own, Healthy Choice, and Milton’s All Natural. The company is part of the B. Fernández Holding group of companies, a food and beverage conglomerate in Puerto Rico with combined sales of over $400 million.
Mario joined Pan Pepín in 2006 after spending three years as Marketing VP of B. Fernández, where he helped lead marketing efforts for brands such as Budweiser, Kellogg’s, Heinz and Hormel. Prior to that, Mario spent a few years as the General Manager of the New York office of Dieste, a Hispanic advertising agency that is part of the Omnicom group. In this position he was responsible for the management of the Pepsi, Pfizer, GE, and HBO accounts. He also gained valuable experience in the consumer goods business through his previous stints in advertising and beverage distribution at some of the largest companies in Puerto Rico.
Pan Pepín has been recognized as one of the 20 Best Employers in Puerto Rico on three occasions, and it was the first bread and bakery in the Caribbean to achieve SQF Level 3 certification.
Mario holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Fairfield University in Connecticut, and an MBA from Bentley University in Massachusetts. He is a former Chairman of the Board of the American Society of Baking (ASB), current board member of the American Bakers Association (ABA), and part of the Baking Industry Forum of the Bakery Equipment Manufacturers Association (BEMA), as well as participating on the board of various non-profit organizations in Puerto Rico. He lives in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico with his wife Blanqui and their two daughters, Blancamari and Marielena.
Monday, February 26, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 9:45 am; Opening General Session
Keynote Address - Riding the Storm Out: The Survival and Rebuilding of Pan Pepin and Puerto Rico in the Wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria