Asociación Sudamericana de Tiendas Libres’ (ASUTIL) long-serving Secretary General José Luis Donagaray has decided to retire, the association’s Board of Directors has announced.
In a statement, ASUTIL payed tribute to Donagaray’s ‘unwavering service’ to the organisation over more than two decades.
“José Luis has played a fundamental role in the success and sustained growth of ASUTIL during his tenure,” it read. “His visionary leadership, tireless dedication, and unwavering commitment to the organisation’s mission have been exemplary and have left a legacy that will guide us in future challenges and opportunities.”
In a twin announcement, Carlos Loaiza Keel has been named as Donagaray’s replacement as ASUTIL Secretary General. Keel will begin his new position in October.
The experienced industry executive has played an important role in developing Uruguay’s border duty free association (CEFSU) since its inception in 2010, helping to grow its influence and links with authorities in Uruguay and Brazil as well as other stakeholders.
“We sincerely thank Mr Donagaray for his exemplary leadership and wish him a well-deserved retirement,” added ASUTIL. “His legacy will endure in ASUTIL and continue to inspire us in our commitment to being the association that achieves the highest degree of excellence, influence, and international representation for all companies and institutions within the travel retail market.”
Having had the pleasure of knowing José Luis for 10 years or so, I’ll be sad to see him step down as the operational face of the association after more than two decades’ service.
Clearly, his retirement is well deserved given his resolute commitment and dedication to representing and advancing the interests of ASUTIL and South America’s duty free and travel retail industry over that time.
In my many conversations with José Luis, both on and off the record, over the years, I’ve always appreciated his candour and willingness to make time to speak to me – often at short notice – to appraise TRBusiness of developments across South America’s airport retail and border shops market and allowing us to concisely interpret the often shifting and complicated regulatory market changes that follow it.
One’s immediate reaction, naturally, is to assume his successor will have big boots to fill. That is true, given his lengthy tenure. However, Carlos Loaiza Keel, CEFSU General Secretary and someone I always enjoy conversing with and respect, is well qualified to take on the ASUTIL mantle.
He possesses a notable academic and legal background combined with an incisive knowledge of taxation frameworks, corporate law, compliance, M&As and a track record of securing important concessions for the trade through his well-established connections with regulatory authorities across Uruguay and and Brazil. I wish him all the very best in his new role and wish José Luis equal happiness in his retirement.