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Victor C. Balestra

Recently retired as chairman of Espirito Santo Bank, Victor C. Balestra is one of South Florida's most engaged and dynamic business and civic leaders. Balestra spent approximately half of his 42-year banking career in the international banking field. He began his career in New Orleans and Minneapolis, arriving in Miami in the early 1980s to open an international banking subsidiary for Riggs National Bank of Washington, D.C. In 1990, he joined Espirito Santo Bank as president and CEO. He became chairman of the Florida-chartered bank in 2006, remaining in that position until his retirement. Balestra is deeply committed to South Florida. He is a past director and chairman of the former Mercy Hospital Foundation. He is also a member of the ASHOKA Support Network for social entrepreneurs. He is a former board member of Habitat for Humanity of Miami and past president of the Florida International Bankers Association. A staunch advocate of FIU, Balestra is president of the university's President's Council, of which he has been a member since 1995. Additionally, he is a member of FIU's College of Arts & Sciences Dean's Board of Advisors. Balestra has a law degree from Uruguay's Universidad de la Republica and an MBA from the University of New Orleans.