The Basilio Paraíso Medal publicly distinguishes a personal, social or institutional trajectory of extraordinary merit and relevance.
The award is granted by the Basilio Paraíso Foundation and has been awarded to great companies and personalities since its foundation twenty years ago.
The Basilio Paraíso Foundation will present its medals in honor of the figure of Basilio Paraíso on November 9 at the Palacio de Congresos de Zaragoza, in a traditional gala that will begin at 19.00 hours. The famous awards, which have been given for two decades, will recognize in this year’s edition the career and contribution to society of Juan Manuel Cendoya, Vice President of Banco Santander Spain, for his professional career; Juan Calvo, President of Ágreda Automóvil, for his business career; and Cristina Nerín, Professor and researcher of Analytical Chemistry, for her career in scientific and technical research.
The Basilio Paraíso Medal, which is awarded every two years, publicly distinguishes a personal, social or institutional career of extraordinary merit and relevance in the economic field or in the exercise of business activity. These awards have recognized major companies and personalities since their creation in 2003, such as Opel España, which was the first to receive the award; César Alierta, president of Telefónica; Roque Gistau, for the success of the 2008 International Exposition; and Motorland Aragón, for its international projection. In the last edition of these medals, the winners were the businessman Miguel Carreras, for his career in the business world; the executive José Longás for his achievements in the executive world; the economist and professor Vicente Salas, for his contribution to research in the field of economics; and Francisco Nácher, for his innovative initiative.
Basilio Paraíso and the foundation that honors him
These medals pay tribute to Basilio Paraíso, a figure who played a major role in the economic, political and social life of Aragon and Spain. Paraíso served for more than a quarter of a century (1893-1919) as president of the Zaragoza Chamber of Commerce and was also the first president of the Superior Council of Chambers. In 1898, he presided over a large Assembly of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Navigation throughout Spain. An active promoter of the role of the Chambers, of foreign trade and a successful businessman who founded the La Veneciana mirror factory, he was also the main organizer of the 1908 Spanish-French Exhibition in Zaragoza.
In tribute to this distinguished professional career, the Basilio Paraíso Foundation of the Zaragoza Chamber of Commerce was founded, which aims to support Aragonese companies through a positioning based on social values, promoting Corporate Social Responsibility and alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations for the 2030 Agenda. In this way, according to the institution, this foundation works as a lever for the dynamization of a new business culture based on sustainability and social commitment, fostering alliances with other organizations that pursue the same goals.
This is a foundation of the Zaragoza Chamber of Commerce, founded on September 16, 1886 with the aim of working for the modernization and progress of the economic structure.
The Value of the Entrepreneur
During the awards ceremony there will be the presentation of the new communication campaign of Zaragoza Chamber called “The Value of the Entrepreneur”, because “it takes courage… courage to undertake, courage to carry out a business project and, also, to turn that experience into a legacy for others”, according to the organization.
The award winners
Juan Manuel Cendoya is the head of Communication of Banco Santander at a global level. A State Attorney, in 1999 he was appointed director of Bankinter’s Legal and Tax Department and later became secretary of the board of directors of Gesbankinter. He has held the position of general manager of Communication, Corporate Marketing and Studies at Banco Santander since 2001, and in 2016 he was also appointed vice chairman of the board of Santander Spain.
Juan Calvo is the president of Ágreda Automóvil, a family company that was born to manage two regular lines in Aragón and that was expanding its spectrum, also incorporating the commercialization of automobiles and spare parts, being representatives of Mercedes-Benz since 1938. Calvo has been with the company since he was 20 years old and has worked in almost all business areas.
Cristina Nerín was the first female professor of engineering at the University of Zaragoza, specializing in Analytical Chemistry, and directs the University Group of Analytical Research (GUIA). She is the inventor of several patents in food packaging materials, a field in which she was a pioneer at European level, and is one of the leading specialists in the Environment and in the battle against lindane.