Progreso Financiero Names Raul Vazquez CEO, Board Member
Seasoned Walmart executive plans growth, expansion of services
MENLO PARK, CA – (April 9, 2012) – Progreso Financiero announced today that Raul Vazquez, 40, has been appointed CEO and a member of the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Vazquez served as a senior executive at Walmart, most recently as Executive Vice President of Global eCommerce for Walmart's developed markets, where he was responsible for defining multi-channel strategies and delivering financial results for Walmart's e-commerce businesses in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
"We are excited to recruit Raul to join the strong team at Progreso," said Carl Pascarella, Lead Director for the Board of Progreso. "He is the right person to lead the company through its next stages of growth and continue our national expansion. Raul has established his leadership skills at one of America's great companies, having led rapid growth at Walmart.com and also managed very large retail operations in Walmart's western region. He has a deep understanding of retail environments, which are at the heart of Progreso's community-based lending model, and a strong competence in information technology and systems, which are critical to Progreso's ongoing ability to provide outstanding service to our customers. Most importantly, Raul has established himself as a leader with demonstrated commitment and integrity, which are core to the mission and culture of Progreso."
Aida Alvarez, a member of Progreso's Board of Directors, said, "As a member of the Board of Directors of Walmart Stores I've worked closely with Raul and evaluated his abilities. He is a dynamic leader with extensive business experience and has a personal understanding of Progreso's Hispanic customers. Raul is uniquely qualified to lead Progreso."
"I am thrilled to be a part of Progreso at this stage of its growth," said Vazquez. "I was attracted to the strong mission of the company and impressed by the level of success it already has achieved. As I have come to know more about the team and its 600 highly dedicated and capable employees, I feel honored to have the opportunity to join and lead the Progreso team."
"In seven years, Progreso has provided unsecured loans and first-time credit to more than 150,000 Hispanic families, enabling them to be more integrated into the American economy," said Vazquez. "The ability to scale this business and attract the necessary capital is the result of hard work and dedication from a highly capable executive team under Dave Tomlinson, Progreso's President and COO. Dave and I have had early discussions about growth plans for Progreso, including expansion to other states and further development of our product line to provide a broader set of financial services to our customers, all consistent with the vision of becoming the leading provider of responsible financial products to Hispanic families in the United States."
Vazquez comes to Progreso after almost nine years at Walmart in various senior leadership roles, including EVP and President of Walmart West, President and CEO of Walmart.com, and EVP of Global eCommerce for developed markets. Vazquez previously worked in start-up companies in e-commerce and as an industrial engineer for Baxter Healthcare. He is a graduate of Stanford University with BS and MS degrees in industrial engineering and earned an MBA at the University of Pennsylvania. Dave Tomlinson, who has been serving as acting CEO of Progreso, will continue in his role as President and Chief Operating Officer, as well as a member of the Board of Directors, and will work closely with Raul to lead the company.
About Progreso Financiero
Progreso Financiero aims to be the partner of choice to the 23 million Hispanics in the United States who need access to empowering financial products and services. Unlike mainstream institutions, Progreso provides loans without collateral to clients who lack credit history by using its sophisticated risk-scoring system that emphasizes a client's true capacity to afford a loan. Progreso Financiero engages with customers in their neighborhoods, in their language, and with familiar faces from the community to build relationships of trust that lead to a lifetime of growth and prosperity.
Progreso Financiero is a for-profit institution that believes in the moral collateral of its clients and is committed to providing opportunities to help its clients achieve their dreams. Since its founding in 2005, the company has made more than 200,000 loans, extending $240 million in capital to underserved Hispanic families through more than 77 locations across California and Texas and helping improve credit scores for more than 87 percent of its loan customers. For more information, please visit: www.progressfin.com.
For Progreso Financiero