Teo A. Babun
|Teo A. Babun|
|Born||Teofilo I Babun
|Nationality||Cuban and American|
|Alma mater||Michigan Technological University|
|Occupation||Consultant, writer, and investor|
|Known for||Founding the Babun Group Consulting|
|Awards||Honorary Doctorate in Letters from Miami International Seminary|
|Babun Group Consulting|
Teo A. Babun is a Cuban-American businessman and evangelical philanthropist. He is the founder of Babun Group Consulting and Cuba-Caribbean Development Co. Babun is also the head of the Evangelical Christian Humanitarian Outreach for Cuba (ECHO-Cuba) and AmericasRelief, as well as the author of several books.
Babun's grandparents were born in Bethlehem. His father became a major financial supporter of the Cuban Revolution. Though born in Cuba, Babun has spent most of his childhood and life as a Cuban exile in the United States. Babun's father was tried in a 1960 Communist show trial, intended to confiscate all of his property and belongings. Before the verdict was read in his trial, he escaped to Miami with his wife and the Cuban government expelled the rest of the family to the United States when Babun was 11 years old. They were deported on June 1, 1960 via the Ignacio Agramonte International Airport. Their family home became a residence for Raul Castro, future dictator of Cuba after the retirement of Fidel Castro. Babun's family also lost a cement plant, mining properties and other interests after their escape.
Babun lived in Florida until he attended university at Michigan Technological University (MTU), graduating in 1972 with bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and business engineering administration. In 1981 he received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the university, and in 2002 he received an Honorary Doctorate in Letters from Miami International Seminary. He also later received a PhD from non-accredited Vision International University. In 2007 was inducted into the Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering Academy at MTU.
2000 return visit to Cuba
Babun would not return to visit Cuba until October 2000, when he was as an "official observant" to open-air Evangelical Celebrations instituted after the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1999. Following this visit Babun was asked by government officials not to return to Cuba, due to the reaction of the public to his evangelical work while there.
Babun began his professional career manufacturing electrical components in Wisconsin and Connecticut. He founded General Electro-Components in 1980, serving as president and CEO. While there he invented the TO-5 transistor package, then the world's smallest solenoid. In 1987 he moved back to South Florida in order to work for his father's company, Bahamas Line shipping company. In 1990 Babun founded the Cuba Investment Fund, in order to accumulate investment funds and strategies for when the United States lifts the economic embargo they have levied on the island.
Babun is the founder and head of Babun Group Consulting, located in Miami. He is also the founder and managing partner of the Miami consulting firm Cuba-Caribbean Development Co, a division of his Babun Group Consulting that advises companies on the potential of a future free market in Cuba. In his role with the for-profit company he has advocated for a change in Cuban-US economic relations. Babun's clients have included Baskin Robbins and Royal Caribbean Cruises.
In 1992 he founded the Babun Shipping Corporation in Miami under his holding company T. Babun Co. He was also the founder of Cuba Claims Registry Assistance LLP, a property registry for Cuban exiles to establish claims upon land that was confiscated from them by Fidel Castro.
In 2001 Babun was appointed vice-president of the United Way of Miami-Dade. He is also a director of the charity Evangelical Christian Humanitarian Outreach for Cuba (ECHO-Cuba), which sends aid from the US to Cuban evangelical churches and organizations. It also provides business development products to encourage small business creation on the island. As a spokesperson for the organization, he has commented on Cuban restrictions against religious freedom and the life of Christians in Cuban society. Babun has stated that Christian business ownership is one of the keys to creating the conditions necessary for increasing religious freedom on the island.
Babun is also the Executive Director of AmericasRelief, an initiative of Outreach Aid to the Americas, Inc, and founder of the Port Resiliency Program. He is also Deacon and Chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee of University Baptist Church in Coral Gables, Florida and founder of the charity of Young Life of Greater Miami.
Babun is the author of The Business Guide to Cuba, which covers the concept of economic opportunities in a post-Communist Cuba. The Sun-Sentinel stated that for "foreign companies - and to U.S. entrepreneurs who want the lay of the land ahead of Castro's death - Babun's book provides precious detail for strategic planning".
He also co-authored the book The Cuban Revolution: The Years of Promise with Victor Andres Triay in 2005. He discussed the book in detail on the television program World History on Book TV on April 3, 2006, including a review of the photographs of the Cuban Revolution owned by Babun's father used as the primary focus of the book. José Manuel García reviewed the book in the Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, calling the book "an exceptionally significant contribution to Cuban history through the power of photography". Babun has also self-published the book Dealing with Your Personal Crisis, which presents Christian coping methods for those enduring personal traumas.
- "Cuba Expert Series - Interview with Dr. Teo Babun". Havana Journal. December 20, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- David Beard (October 28, 1996). "Book: Be Ready To Pounce Pon Post-castro Cuba". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Oskar Garcia (May 10, 2007). "Scholars weigh claims over Cuban assets". USA Today. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Teo A. Babun, Class of 1972". Michigan Technological University. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "2007 ECE Academy". Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- United Technical Publications (1985). EEM: Electronic Engineers Master Catalog, Volume 1. p. 725. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- "Potential investors see opportunity for island in free-market economy". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. December 5, 1993. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Cuba rejects U.S. storm assessment team offer". Miami Herald. September 11, 2008. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Charles Herman (August 3, 2006). "Cuba: Open for Business?". ABC News. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Doreen Hemlock (September 6, 1998). "EMBARGO GETTING A BIT WEAKER; FIRST MAJOR U.S.-CUBA MEETING THIS WEEK SEEKS TO BOOST TRADE". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Kevin Gale (June 23, 2003). "Cuba's economic breakdown". South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Richard Lacayo (July 17, 1995). "Long-Distance Calling". Time Magazine. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "MIAMI SHIPPING FIRM FILES CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY". Miami Herald. November 23, 1994. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Steve Harrigan (August 29, 1999). "Cuban-Americans register properties seized after revolution". CNN. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Business Updates". Miami Herald. November 1, 2001. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Senators draw up dissident aid plan: Bill sets $100 million over four years". Washington Times. May 17, 2001. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Jeff Sellers (July 10, 2002). "Freedom's Wedge". Christianity Today. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Cubans Learning the Value of Free Market Economy". Christian Broadcasting Network. 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Teo A. Babun and James F. Smith". Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- José Manuel García (2006). "The Cuban Revolution: Years of Promise (review)". Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies. p. 297. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Episode Detail: Teo Babun: The Cuban Revolution: Years of Promise - History on Book TV". TV Guide. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "The Cuban Revolution: Years of Promise - Teo Babun". Book TV. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Teo A. Babun Jr. (2004). Dealing with Your Personal Crisis. Babun Publishing Group. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Teo A. Babun Jr. (August 9, 1993). "Legalized Dollar May Not Be Saviour Of Cuban Economy". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Teo Babun (March 26, 2012). "How Pope Benedict could shape religious freedom in Cuba". Washington Post. Retrieved July 8, 2013.