The Aspen Institute named BBVA Compass Director of Corporate Responsibility & Reputation Reymundo Ocañas one of its 2017 First Mover Fellows this week, recognizing him as a leading “intrapreneur” who is working within his company to help solve some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.

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Fellows were nominated either by leaders in their industry, peers or academic partners of the program. They were selected for having a proven track record in innovation, coupled with a compelling idea about an innovation project to undertake during the Fellowship. The First Movers Fellowship Program was developed by the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program, which has a broader mission to build the courage and conviction of business leaders to think long-term and act in the best interests of society.

“This is a huge honor, to say the very least, because the Aspen Institute is known for its rigorous analyses and its drive to make change,” Ocañas said. “I’m grateful for this opportunity to develop my project — which revolves around ways to bring the unbanked into the mainstream — with people who are equally passionate about finding ways to bring the age of opportunity to everyone.”

BBVA Compass Director of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation Reymundo Ocañas, center, is shown  at Victor Fields Elementary School in McAllen, Texas, during a WNBA Cares event in April to teach financial literacy to students. Ocañas made sure to tell the students he was a proud alumni of the school.  (Copyright 2017 NBAE. Photo by Nathan Lambrecht/NBAE via Getty Images)

As a 2017 First Mover Fellow, he joins executives at some of America’s leading corporations, including AT&T, Baxter, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, Pratt & Whitney and Toyota. The 2017 class of Fellows also represents a diverse set of functional responsibilities, such as business development, marketing, talent management and community affairs.

The initial Fellowship year includes three seminars built around the core themes of innovation, leadership, reflection and community. The Aspen Institute says First Movers is the leading global network of intrapreneurs and equips Fellows with the skills and confidence to drive innovations inside companies that add value to the business while positively impacting the lives of consumers, employees and communities around the world.

Rey is a cut above. We are enormously proud of what he’s done for us at BBVA, and see his work as a perfect embodiment of our commitment to use the full force of our resources and our creative energy to create opportunities

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Ocañas oversees the bank’s 32-member Corporate Responsibility & Reputation team, and is also its Community Reinvestment Act Officer. The centerpiece of his team’s efforts is its work carrying out the bank’s pledge to put $11 billion in lending, investments and services toward supporting low- and moderate-income individuals and neighborhoods. The bank made the pledge in late 2014, and marked the second full year of the commitment by exceeding its goals in nearly every category in 2016. His team is charged with channeling the bank’s resources in ways that make a lasting and vital impact on its communities, whether it’s through financial education or community development lending or through pinpoint grants through the BBVA Foundation, for which Ocañas is president.

“Rey is a cut above,” said BBVA Director of Responsible Business Antoni Ballabriga, a First Mover Fellow since 2010, who nominated Ocañas. “We are enormously proud of what he’s done for us at BBVA, and see his work as a perfect embodiment of our commitment to use the full force of our resources and our creative energy to create opportunities.”

Ocañas earned a bachelor’s degree from Rice University in Houston and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

For more information about the 2017 class of Fellows, please visit: www.aspeninstitute.org/firstmovers.

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