With Medellín Mayor Daniel Quintero presiding, EPM (Empresas Públicas de Medellín) today announced the first meeting of its new board of directors taking place via web conference (above photo), after the entire previous board resigned abruptly almost two weeks ago over disagreements with governance & what they saw as political meddling by the mayor.
The new board members of the multibillion-dollar utility joining Quintero, as by charter the Medellín mayor, representing the city of Medellín as shareholder are:
- Olmer Orlando Palacio Garzon — Preschool teacher and community representative for residential utility services for the Communa 3 district of Medellín, known as Manrique, on the city’s north side.
- Gildardo Antonio Correa Salazar — Community representative for residential utility services for the Communa 1 district of Medellín; Santo Domingo neighborhood on the city’s north side, and community activist. He also serves on two neighborhood committees.
- Guillermo León Diosa Pérez — Mechanical Engineer and at-large community representative for residential utility services for Medellín. He has served as Medellín’s secretary for the environment, taught at the Pascual Bravo Institute of Technology, held management positions in Modal Ltda., Panzenú, and Pontus Group. He has served on the boards of Medellín’s botanical gardens and Arvi Park, a nature preserve on the city’s north side.
- Pablo Felipe Robledo Del Castillo — Attorney and current master’s degree student in contractual responsibility at the Externado University of Colombia. He has served as Colombia’s Superintendent of Industry & Commerce, and several positions in the justice organs of the government, including the now-disbanded Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS), Guaviare Department ministry of justice, National Agency of Judicial Defense, and has been a partner of law firms Robledo Abogados, and Rojas Pérez y Robledo.
- Omar Flórez Vélez — Former mayor of Medellín for two years in the early 1990s, and at that time chair of EPM’s board of directors. He also served as manager of state-owned liquor distillery Fábrica de Licores de Antioquia, and other positions in Antioquia departmental (state/provincial) government.
- Jórge Iván Palacio — Former president of Colombia’s constitutional court between 2013 and 205. Palacio also served as a magistrate on Colombia’s supreme court. He also has served as a law professor at University of The Andes and done private work independently.
- Jorge Andrés Carillo Cardoso — Civil and environmental engineer who has managed projects for The Nature Conservancy, worked for construction company Normandia S.A., and has served on several nonprofit and environmental boards such as the Intersectorial Commission on Climate Change, the National Water Council, the Colombian Geologic Service, and Regulatory Commission for Water and Basic Sanitation.
- Bernardita Pérez Restrepo — Attorney specializing in the philosophy of law, and current masters student in political philosophy at the University of Antioquia, she has taught at several Colombian universities including University of Antioquia, Pontificia Bolivariana University, University of Medellín, National University, and Free University. Public sector experience includes adjunct judge for the superior court of Medellín, the administrative procedural court, and the constitutional court. She served as advisor to the senate presidency and served as the Defender of the Television Watcher in state-owned television broadcaster Teleantioquia.
The resignation of the previous board and resulting turmoil prompted a credit downgrade of the utility by Fitch Ratings, which specifically cited governance concerns and political meddling. This new board the mayor was able to assemble is notable for not including anyone with deep corporate governance experience or a background running multibillion-dollar international enterprises like EPM. Several nominations with corporate experience by the mayor publicly rejected the appointments after they had already been announced by him.
The qualifications for each member are according to EPM itself.