Fernando’s involvement with Pet Paradise began in 2004 when he led an investment group to invest in the company. He subsequently joined the Board of Directors in 2005 and helped refine the company’s growth strategy by focusing on new development and acquisitions. In 2007, he joined the team as Chief Operating Officer. Since joining the company in 2005, Fernando has played a key role in accelerating the growth of Pet Paradise from three pet resorts with 45 employees in northeast Florida to more than 700 employees across seven states and 26 resorts.
Prior to joining Pet Paradise, Fernando spent seven years in Private Equity working with FondElec Group and L&L Capital Partners, two CT based Private Equity firms. Prior to his work in private equity, he worked for BellSouth International in Atlanta where he focused on BellSouth’s operations in Central and South America. Prior to BellSouth, Fernando ran several family-owned businesses in Costa Rica.
Fernando serves on several Boards including Community Hospice of Northeast Florida (Florida’s largest Hospice organization) of which he serves as chairman. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Bolles School, a private college preparatory school in Jacksonville, Florida. Fernando serves on the Board of Advisors at Jacksonville University’s Public Policy Institute and is the President of The Acosta-Rua Family Foundation, a family foundation serving the sick and poor primarily in developing countries.
Fernando received his Bachelor of Science from University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, and his Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University.