At the harbour I head straight for the ferry terminal and buy a ticket for the boat to Cataño on the other side of the bay. I board and take a seat next to the window. The ferry starts filling up. Locals on their way to work, and tourists – probably on their way to a tour of the Bacardi distillery.
Not me. I’m meeting Joaquin Bacardi III, the great-great-grandson of Don Facundo who founded Bacardi in 1862 in Santiago de Cuba. The Bacardi family left Cuba in 1960 when the Castro administration confiscated the Cuban company’s assets. Five years later Joaquin was born in Puerto Rico.
I take out my iPad and read the notes I made in preparation for the meeting. “Joaquin E. Bacardi III is president and chief executive officer of Bacardi Corporation,” I say out loud. He is responsible for managing operations and marketing for the Caribbean region. He also serves on the company’s North American Global Executive Committee.
The ferry lands at the Cataña terminal and I disembark with the other passengers. I exit the terminal building and hail a taxi. “To the Bacardi distillery, por favor,” I say to the driver. “Not to the visitors centre, but to the offices. I’m meeting Mr Joaquin Bacardi himself,” I add with a sense of pride, but the driver doesn’t seem to care.
Read more: “Meeting Joaquin Bacardi part 2″
Read more on the Author: Maarten Schäfer
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