De La Cruz - Chief Financial Officer - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Maria Elena De La Cruz

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Services

Chief Financial Officer

Summary:

Responsible for managing the Finance , supervising and directing the Controller’s division, covering all financial accounting areas, from accounts payable, fixed assets, reporting and taxes. Responsible for the treasury and cash management functions of all the entities. Responsible for the Planning & Analysis function while leading the preparation and discussion of the annual budget and the related forecasts. All acquisitions and strategic project analysis was driven by this team. Also responsible for the Capital Planning and Management for the including Capital Budget, capital assets requests and approval and monitoring of capital projects execution. Responsible for the Compliance and Internal Audit function, related to the compliance with internal controls. Also, responsible for the License and Registration Division in charge of registration, permits and licenses of all vehicles sold. Responsible for the Information Technology Division focused on improving and monitoring operational systems and communications platform while delivering consistent performance and optimizing resources.

Work History

VP & CFO

Bella International Corp & Bella Group

October 2009 - October 2013

00919-0816

Responsibilities: Responsible for managing the Finance Department of the Bella International
Corp and its related companies under Bella Group. Responsible for the supervising and directing the Controller's division, covering all financial accounting areas, from accounts
payable, fixed assets, reporting and taxes. Responsible for the accounting of all Bella Group
related companies, namely Bella Retail Group, Bella Auto Group, Bella Auto Group del Sur,
Pompina Investments Corp, New Way Insurance Co., Commercial Financing Co..
Responsible for the treasury and cash management functions of all the entities. Responsible for the Planning & Analysis function while leading the preparation and discussion of the annual budget and the related forecasts. All acquisitions and strategic project analysis was
driven by this team. Also responsible for the Capital Planning and Management for the including Capital Budget, capital assets requests and approval and monitoring of capital
projects execution. Responsible for the Compliance and Internal Audit function, related to the compliance with internal controls. Also, responsible for the License and Registration
Division in charge of registration, permits and licenses of all vehicles used and all facilities
administered in the Group. Responsible for the Information Technology Division focused on improving and monitoring operational systems and communications platform while
delivering consistent performance and optimizing resources.

Accomplishments:
• Reorganized the Finance Department by creating new functions like Compliance & Internal Audit and
Treasury & Cash Management functions. Also, by reassigning incumbent personnel to new roles to improve
quality of work and focus on deliverables.
• Improved the morale of a frustrated finance team by creating a cherish work environment, empowering
personnel and increasing quality of work and image of the team.
• Developed and implemented a new Internal Audit & Compliance...

Finance Manager

Pepsi Cola Manufacturing International, Ltd

July 2007 - September 2009

00739-1558

Responsibilities: Responsible for managing the Finance Department of the Concentrate
Manufacturing operation for PepsiCo in Puerto Rico. Responsible for the supervising and directing the Controller's division, covering all financial accounting areas, from accounts
payable, payroll, fixed assets, cash management, reporting and taxes. Responsible for the
Planning & Analysis function while leading the preparation and discussion of the annual
budget and the related forecasts. All sourcing and strategic project analysis is driven by this
team. Also responsible for the Capital Planning and Management for the Cidra Plant,
including Capital Budget, capital assets requests and approval and monitoring of capital
projects execution. Responsible for the Compliance and Internal Audit function, related to the compliance with SOX requirements for Cidra and compliance with PepsiCo's Global
Control Standard model. Also, responsible for the Cost Accounting function in a direct
effort to enhance the internal control structure over inventory management, while ascertained accuracy of inventory valuation and costing.
Accomplishments:
• Reorganized the Finance Department in a period of less than 3 months, by creating new functions like
Capital Management, Cost Accounting and Compliance & Internal Audit, while reassigning incumbent
personnel to new roles. Achieved no attrition as part of the reorganization and improved the quality and image of the Finance team.
• Improved the morale of a frustrated finance team by creating a cherish work environment, empowering
personnel and increasing quality of work and image of the team.
• Created a governance body for the Plant to oversee compliance to company standards. On capital
management, created a CAPEX Committee responsible for the review and approval of the projects, while being a control element for the capital site operations.
• Proposed, lead and executed a $7.4 million Capital Project to terminate a non-profitable...

Treasurer

Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Inc

December 2002 - June 2007

P.O. Box 360998, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-0998

Responsibilities: Responsible for managing the Debt Portfolio of $800 million of the holding
company of Puerto Rico Telephone, Telecomunicaciones de Puerto Rico, Inc. (TELPRI);
responsible for the administration of the company's Corporate Insurance Division;
responsible for administration of the company's $1.0 billion Pension Plan Trust and the
ESOP Trust of $120 million in assets; responsible for managing the Accounts Payable and
Disbursement Divisions; responsible for the Payroll administration; responsible for the cash
management of TELPRI and subsidiaries; responsible for managing relations with third
parties including investors, rating agencies, external auditors, insurance service providers,
actuaries, etc.
Accomplishments:
• Managed the debt reduction of $600 million, while achieving an increase in public long term debt rating from BBB to BBB+ investment grade.
• Influential in developing and executing a funding plan strategy to cover a deficit pension plan position of over $500 million in a five year period, without increasing debt.
• Restructured the Treasury function by decreasing 30 headcount while automating and outsourcing non- strategic functions and achieving significant savings in the operation.
• Responsible for compliance with Sarbanes Oxley for all treasury related functions, namely payroll, accounts
payable and disbursements, cash receipts and disbursed, debt, benefit plans.

Assistant Treasurer

Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Inc

May 2002 - December 2002

Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Inc.
P.O. Box 360998, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-0998

Responsibilities: Responsible for managing the Debt Portfolio of $1.1 billion of the holding
company of Puerto Rico Telephone, Telecomunicaciones de Puerto Rico, Inc.; responsible for the administration of the company's Corporate Insurance Division; responsible for
administration of the company's $800 million Pension Plan Trust and the ESOP Trust of
$100 million in assets; responsible for managing relations with third parties including
investors, rating agencies, external auditors, insurance service providers, actuaries, etc.
Accomplishments:
• Restructured the accounting and operational process of the ESOP since inception.
• Influential in hedging a long term debt position and achieving an $11.2 million gain.
• Outsourced the administration of the Corporate Insurance Program.

Regional Cost Finance Manager (PSF&A)

LA North Region

June 2000 - May 2002

The Clorox Company of Puerto Rico
P.O. Box 2133, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00922-2133

Responsibilities: Review of monthly PSF&A reporting package for the North region of Clorox
Latin America; coordination and review of regional forecasts for Cost of Sales (COS);
responsible for managing COS of $130 MM; responsible for training and development of
Cost Analysts, Cost Accounting Managers and assistants through the northern region of
Latin America (fifteen direct reports in a virtual environment); responsible to develop
financial understanding of core COS concepts within the Product Supply managers in LA
.


North; responsible for identifying and recommending strategic sourcing opportunities;
influential in plant consolidation analysis; influential in cost saving opportunities with reduction target of five percentage points (approximately $11 MM) to achieve a 40%
margin.
Accomplishments:
• Influential in delivering $6.0 MM in cost savings for the fiscal year 2000.
• Influential in the development of standard costing system in startup operation in Colombia.
• Managed audit of COS at fiscal year for Puerto Rico resulting in $0.5MM in adjustments.
• Restructured PSF&A organization for the northern region of Latin America.

Regional Forecast Manager

LA North Region

October 1996 - May 2000

Planning & Analysis, LA North Region
Responsibilities: Coordination, review and consolidation of monthly reporting package for the
North region of Clorox Latin America; coordination, review and consolidation of regional
monthly and quarterly forecasts; coordination, review and consolidation of regional annual
budget; responsible for training and development of financial analysts for the North region of Clorox Latin America; responsible for the monitoring, development and implementation of internal controls for Clorox PR's pricing structure; training and support to the PR
Controllership department's staff. Also, executed as Interim Controller for Clorox PR, while managing regional forecast & planning function.
Accomplishments:
• Project Manager in charge of Clorox PR re-organization.
• Influential in the development of accounting procedures and controls in a newly reorganized structure where
manufacturing operations were segregated from Sales & Distribution operations. Influential in the design of the reporting structure for accurate and reliable consolidated financial statements for management reporting
purposes.
• Project Manager in charge of Clorox PR insurance claim related to Hurricane Georges.
• Development and implementation of Latin America Forecast Model in EssBase (database application model in Hyperion).
• Development and implementation of training curriculum for financial analysts in the north region, Clorox
Latin America.
• Influential in the development of accounting policies & procedures in a startup company.

AVP & Controller

First Federal Finance Corp

March 1996 - July 1996

D/B/A Money Express
(A wholly owned subsidiary of FirstBank Puerto Rico)

Responsibilities: preparation of monthly financial statements; preparation of reporting data to parent company; analysis of fluctuations vs. budget; supervise, evaluate and train accounting
personnel; supervise and coordinate end of month closings; coordinate internal/external
auditors work; supervise and coordinate daily accounting for twenty four branches; engaged in the development of cash management procedures for branches.
Accomplishments:
• In a period of six months, promoted to initiate the design and implementation of financial and accounting
internal controls and procedures of the leading bank subsidiary.
• Influential in the issuance of unqualified financial statements by external auditors.
• Report to the Board of Directors the monthly results of operations.
• Start up in the automation of financial and accounting systems.

Operations Manager

Treasury & Investments

September 1995 - March 1996

FirstBank Puerto Rico
.


1519 Ponce de León Ave., Santurce, Puerto Rico 00908-0146

Responsibilities: preparation of monthly reporting data; analysis of fluctuations vs. budget;
supervise, evaluate and train accounting personnel; supervise and coordinate end of month
closings; coordinate internal/external auditors work; coordinate accounting and reporting for an international banking entity.
Accomplishments:
• Start up in the automation of accounting and financial system for a portfolio of $750 millions.
• Instrumental in the process of a capital debt issuance of $100 millions.
• Improved existing internal controls and procedures for the Treasury Division.

Senior Auditor

Auditing Department

October 1993 - August 1995

00918

Responsibilities: responsible for the preparation of annual audited financial statements, internal
control memorandum and related regulatory reporting required for clients; preparation of planning audit phase; coordinate and supervise audit engagements. Principal clients: banks,
consumer product distributors.
Accomplishments:
• Instrumental and active in the training school for new staffs.
• Coordinated and instructed internal auditors of principal client in technical accounting and audit matters.
• Recognized among peers as leading banking support and expertise.
• Developed FDICIA audit programs and techniques.

Senior Auditor

Auditing Department

September 1990 - October 1993

00936

Responsibilities: responsible for the preparation of annual audited financial statements, internal
control memorandum and related regulatory reporting required for clients; coordinate and supervise audit engagements. Principal clients: banks, consumer product distributors, and
hotels.
Accomplishments:
• Recognized among peers as leading banking support and expertis e.

Qualifications & Certifications

Finance, Magna

University of Puerto Rico

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