To: Members of the Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce
On behalf of the Board of Directors and our employees, it is with deep sadness that I report that our Chairman Emeritus, Mario C. Diaz-Cruz III, passed away on Monday afternoon after a short illness. Mario was 69.
Mario served the Chamber with singular devotion for nearly 20 years. He joined the Chamber in 1997 and quickly became an active member of the Board of Directors. He was elected President of the Chamber in 2001, and served twice as its Chairman (from 2003 until 2007, and then again in 2008 until 2009). He was named Chairman Emeritus in 2010.
Under Mario's leadership and thanks to his tireless efforts and remarkable work, the Chamber became one of the leading transatlantic business organizations fostering economic ties between Spain and the United States. Mario contributed significantly to turning the Chamber into a primary point of reference for Spanish companies doing business in the United States and an instrument for fostering increased business and commercial relations between Spain and the United States. The Chamber not only played an essential role in the internationalization of Spanish companies, but also continued promoting and assisting in the expansion of bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.
In recognition of his service to Spain, on September 6, 2012, King Juan Carlos I bestowed upon Mario the “Encomienda de la Orden del Mérito Civíl.” This honor is vested by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is granted only to individuals who have rendered outstanding service to Spain or have worked on affairs that have benefitted the entire nation.
The son of Cuban immigrants, Mario graduated from Harvard Law School and rose to prominence in the New York Bar as a partner in a major national law firm. In addition to his service to the Chamber, Mario was a member of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. He was a devoted husband to Margaret (Sissy) and loving father of Elizabeth. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Mario was a great friend, not only to the Chamber but also to me and so many others. We will miss his kindness, his gentle manner, his insight and his leadership. May he rest in peace.