Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ricardo Martinelli

Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal (born 11 March 1952) is a Panamanian politician and businessman who was elected the 49th President of Panama in 2009. He is a Panamanian of Italian descent from his father's side.

Early Life
Born in Panama City, Martinelli is the son of Ricardo Martinelli Pardini and Gloria Berrocal Fabrega. He completed his secondary education at Staunton Military Academy in Staunton, Virginia in the United States. In 1973, he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Arkansas. He later earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the INCAE Business School. Martinelli is married to Marta Linares and has three children: Ricardo Martinelli Linares, Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares and Carolina Martinelli Linares.

Business career
Martinelli is currently the chairman of the board of Panama's Super 99 supermarket chain. He is chairman of two other companies and sits on the boards of at least eight other companies.

On February 20, 2010, the University of Arkansas established the Ricardo A. Martinelli Berrocal Scholarship to provide financial aid to prospective University of Arkansas students from Panama. He was also presented with the Citation of Distinguished Alumnus award, and made an official ambassador of the State of Arkansas by Governor Mike Beebe.

On October 30, 2010, Martinelli was in attendance for the University of Arkansas's homecoming festivities and crowned the 2010 Homecoming King. The Razorback beat the Vanderbilt Commodores 49-14.

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