Until recently, the Google search engine had the search option "I'm feeling lucky". This is how Fran Ruiz Antón felt in his job as Google's Director Public Policy and Governance Relations for Spain and Portugal . But the truth is that he always felt lucky to be able to dedicate himself to his professional vocation, which was very clear to him: communication and institutional relationships.
The reality of being the oldest of ten siblings did not discourage him to fulfill his desire to study at the Faculty of Communication at the University of Navarra . There he moved from his native Granada, working at night to pay for his studies. They were years of study, of dreams and of making many friends who would always accompany him.
He began his profession in the media of different Andalusian cities: Granada, Malaga, Córdoba. Although he was not a friend of labels or posters, he shared with his friends and colleagues his vocation as an Opus Dei numerary and his dedication to the Christian formation of people from all walks of life.
At the beginning of the two thousand he moved to Madrid, convinced by who always considered his teacher, Juan Pablo de Villanueva , to start a new project: La Gaceta de los Negocios . During those years he formed a team of young journalists with whom he has continued to maintain friendship until the end. They were "the best newsroom in Spain", because where Fran was always was the best place. Of course, he was the most demanding with everything and everyone. Especially with himself, also to ask for forgiveness when he was wrong, or his character from Granada prevailed.
After Villanueva's death, he closed his stage in the media to begin a brilliant career in communication and institutional relations . One of the most influential managers in Spain, Bárbara Navarro , was the first to discover it and signed him for the Policy department, which Google was training in Spain. They were two strong characters but, together, they placed Spain as an international reference in the company. And, as always happened with Fran, a lasting friendship emerged from his work, which continues when Navarro leaves to conquer Southeast Asia and Fran replaces her.
The American multinational had in Fran the best ambassador of its commitment to Spain. He worked tirelessly to bring new investments to Spain, new opportunities for a country punished by the economic crisis and unemployment. So one of the initiatives he was most proud of was " Get Active ", a program to train unemployed youth in new technologies . Over the years, tens of thousands will be trained in that program. It also promoted with Ayuda en Acción, the " Genios " program, to overcome the social and technological gap of disadvantaged children and youth.
Rural women, people with addictions, disabled associations and other neediest groups will receive the support of the American multinational from the hand of Fran. But she did not do it alone. He shared projects with the Royal House , governments of different political signs, regional and local administrations, employers and unions, the Museo Del Prado , the Royal Academy of History ...
Fran was open to everyone, with a true "diversity". His agenda is not closed to anyone and many of those contacts become friends forever. At his desk he had a quote from Saint Josemaría Escrivá as a program: "We have to conduct ourselves in such a way that others can see us when they see us: this is a Christian, because he does not hate, because he knows how to understand, because he is not a fanatic, because he is above instincts, because he is sacrificed, because he manifests feelings of peace, because he loves ".
Fran always faced the next challenge to overcome it, advancing time to time. Maybe that's why she has reached the goal so soon, at 53 years old. But she had already lived longer than most. And, above all, he has died as he wanted: surrounded by the affection of the affection of his parents and siblings, his human and spiritual family, the encouragement of hundreds of friends and the care of the professionals of the University of Navarra Clinic in Madrid, whom he always thanked for his professionalism and dedication far above duty.
Álvaro Matud is co-director of the Master in Corporate and Institutional Communication at the Carlos III University of Madrid, Editorial Unit and Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo.
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