Luis Alvarez '83
Luis Alvarez is currently vice chair of the Berklee Valencia Advisory Board. He was also a member of the Berklee board of trustees from 1999 to 2008. During his previous tenure, he was a member of Berklee board of trustees' Institutional Advancement Committee, Executive Committee, and the Presidential Search Committee. Alvarez established two Berklee scholarships to be awarded annually to outstanding Puerto Rican student musicians, presented for the first time in 1999.
Alvarez, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is an accomplished business leader. He attended the University of Notre Dame (1981), where he received a B.B.A., and Berklee College of Music (1983), where he received a B.M. and graduated cum laude. Alvarez has served since 1985 as vice president of Mendez & Company, Inc., a major family-owned Puerto Rican food and beverage company. Under his leadership, Mendez & Company established the celebrated Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest. Alvarez has served as the festival's executive producer since its inception in 1990. In addition to his work with Mendez & Company, Alvarez is an FFA-certified airline transport pilot and fixed wing and commercial pilot, helicopters; chairman of the board of Cervezas del Sur; and chairman of the board of the Historical Society of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico.
As a Berklee alumnus and bass player, Alvarez has been a vital link between the college and the Spanish and Latin American communities. He was instrumental in creating the annual Berklee in Puerto Rico educational program, a weeklong event that brings Berklee faculty to San Juan to provide training for young students and to award scholarships for Puerto Rican musicians to study at Berklee, including Miguel Zenon, a recent MacArthur Fellowship recipient.