The Washington Economics Group

About Us

Founded in 1993 in the City of Coral Gables, The Washington Economics Group (WEG), is a boutique economic consulting firm specializing in comprehensive economic solutions for businesses. WEG engages a limited number of clients each year in order to ensure the best client experience within premier areas of specialization, and possesses expertise in the economies of Florida, the U.S., Latin America as well as the global economy and emerging markets.

Executive Team

Dr. J. Antonio Villamil
Dr. J. Antonio Villamil

Founder and Senior Advisor

Tony Villamil is a nationally recognized economist, with over thirty-five years of a successful career as a business economist, university educator, corporate Board Director and high-level policymaker for both federal and state governments. Tony was selected in 2008 as the founding Dean of the School of Business of St. Thomas University, serving successfully until the end of 2013 at which time he resigned to return as senior advisor to the growing economic consulting practice that he founded, The Washington Economics Group (WEG), a Florida-based firm established in 1993 upon returning to the state from his public service in Washington, D.C.

Tony is the immediate past Chairman of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors of Florida, and during 1999-2000, he was selected by Governor Jeb Bush as his first Director for Tourism, Trade and Economic Development. Previously, he was appointed by President George H. W. Bush as U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs, receiving unanimous U.S. Senate confirmation. Presently he is active on Corporate Board of Directors, including Pan American Life Insurance Group (PALIG) and Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS). At PALIG he serves as Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee of the Board. Tony is currently Chair of the Board Compensation Committee at SBS. He also served in multiple bank boards for over 20 years.

Among civic and professional leadership positions, he is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the official economic development organization of the County. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. He serves as Senior Fellow of the James Madison Institute (JMI) of Tallahassee, Florida.

He earned Bachelor and Master Degrees in Economics from Louisiana State University (LSU), where he also completed coursework for the Ph.D. Degree. In 1991, Florida International University (FIU) awarded Tony a Doctoral Degree in Economics (hc), for “distinguished contributions to the Nation in the field of economics.” He frequently speaks to business, government and university audiences on the Florida economy, U.S. trade policy and economic development issues.

Marielena A. Villamil
Marielena A. Villamil

President & Chief Executive Officer

Marielena Villamil has an outstanding record of accomplishments in business consulting, higher education and civic leadership. Ms. Villamil is cofounder and serves as Chief Executive Officer of an established economic and governmental advisor firm, The Washington Economics Group (WEG). She founded the firm in 1993 with nationally recognized economist, Dr. Tony Villamil, former US Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs.  Ms. Villamil has extensive and high-level contacts in the corporate, public sector and educational communities of Florida, Washington, D.C. and Latin America. In addition to significant experience in governmental relations, Ms. Villamil has engaged in the management of economic consulting services and in the education and training of multicultural and multilingual workforces.

Ms. Villamil has a significant record of accomplishments in community relations, serving in leadership positions. Ms. Villamil was appointed to the Board of Directors of the United Way of Miami-Dade County where she served for 2 years in their Executive Committee and as Chair of the Public Policy Committee. Ms. Villamil is the recent past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross of Greater Miami and the Keys, where she has been a director since June of 2003. Most recently, Ms. Villamil served on the South Florida Board of Advisors of BBVA Compass Bank until their acquisition by PNC Bank.

In January 2023, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida appointed Ms. Villamil to the Florida Small Business Development Center Network Advisory Board whose mission is to aid and educate small businesses throughout the State. Ms. Villamil has served as past Chair, and still serves on the South Florida Board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), a nationally recognized organization whose mission centers on awarding scholarships based on merit to Hispanic students. From 2007 to 2016 she served on the Board of Directors of the Coral Gables Community Foundation whose mission is to promote programs and initiatives that enhance the quality of life for people living and working in the Coral Gables Community.  She has also served as the Chair of the South Florida Board of the Sistema Universitario Ana G. Mendez (SUAGM), South Florida Campus, an accredited institution of higher learning specializing in programs and degrees through dual-language learning.  Ms. Villamil served until March of 2014 on the District Board of Trustees of Miami-Dade College, appointed by two Governors of Florida, and confirmed each time by the Senate of the State of Florida.

Ms. Villamil has received numerous community recognitions.  In August 2015 she received the Latina Pioneer Award as the Latina Woman of Distinction representing Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. In June 2016, Ms. Villamil was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year by the United Way of Miami-Dade County.  She received the first Dr. Mario Villarroel International Leadership Award in 2005 for her work with the Latin American communities, the Southeast Service Area International Humanitarian Service Award in 2007 “for exceptional humanitarian actions” and the 2008 Cynthia Wedel Award for “superior and outstanding leadership services to the community.”  Most recently, Ms. Villamil received the Good Scout Award by the Boy Scouts of America, as well as the American Red Cross Spectrum Award for her service to the organization.  Marielena was inducted into The Inner Circle of 12 of the American Cancer Society in the Fall of 2014 and was recognized by The Big Boys Big Girls Club as a Miracle Makers Honoree for 2015 because of her community and charitable commitments.

Ms. Villamil earned a Bachelor’s Degree from St. Mary’s Dominican College in New Orleans, LA, a Master’s Degree from Middlebury College in Vermont, and completed PhD coursework at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL.  She currently resides in Coral Gables, Florida with her husband, Tony Villamil.

Haydee M. Carrion-Chang
Haydee M. Carrion-Chang

Senior Research Assistant

Haydee M. Carrion has been Executive Assistant to Dr. Villamil since the firm’s founding in 1993.  She has senior level expertise in multi-media presentations and in the preparation and design of complex reports and documents for clients, utilizing the latest technologies 

In 2012, WEG promoted her to Senior and Project Research Assistant to the firm, given outstanding performance in web-based research and in assistance to the firm’s Principal in the preparation of audio-visual presentations for clients and in desktop publishing. Ms. Carrion is fluent in Spanish, with experience in the preparation of economics and business documents in the language.

Ms. Carrion has been with WEG for 25 years. Ms. Carrion holds AA degree Business Administration and AS degree in Office System Technologies from Miami-Dade College

Team of Economic Experts

chuck yaros
Charles K. Yaros

Associate Consultant for Economics

Chuck Yaros is an Associate Consultant for Economics at The Washington Economics Group, Inc. (WEG). He serves as economic consultant in the areas of financial economics and economic impact studies. Prior to joining WEG he was a Vice President and Portfolio Strategist at Shay Financial Services in Miami where he specialized in developing, implementing and managing interest rate risk and capital optimization strategies for financial institutions.

Mr. Yaros has over 20 years of experience as a business and financial economist, having worked in a number of positions of progressive responsibility in the South Florida business community. Additionally, he has spoken and taught courses on financial risk management.

Chuck received his undergraduate degree in Economics with Honors from Trinity College and his Master’s degree in Economics from Duke University, where he also completed course work for the Ph.D. degree.

Chuck and his family are residents of Coral Gables, Florida.

Ivan Noltenius
Ivan Noltenius

Associate Consultant for Economic Analysis

Ivan Noltenius is an Associate Consultant for Economic Analysis at The Washington Economic Group (WEG). Ivan conducts data acquisition, economic analysis and forecasting for the multifaceted projects of WEG on behalf of corporate and public clients. He has experience with real estate market analysis and the widely-used IMPLAN economic multiplier model.

Ivan has over 3 years of prior experience in financial data analysis as well as accounting and also worked in operations and managed company financial records at tech startup company 71 Pounds.

Ivan received his Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Memphis.

Representative Client List 1993- Present Date

Multinational Corporations

  • Ameritech International
  • Bureau Veritas (BIVAC)
  • Carrier
  • Carnival Corporation
  • Esso Inter-America
  • FedEx Latin America
  • Genting Group
  • Hyatt
  • IBM
  • Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc. (Vivendi) 
  • KPMG
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Lucent Technologies
  • MasterCard International
  • MediaOne/AT&T
  • Medtronic
  • Merck Latin America
  • Microsoft Latin America
  • Motorola
  • Phelps Dodge
  • SBC Communications
  • Telefonica Data Systems
  • Visa International

Construction and Real Estate Development Firms

  • Areas USA, Inc.
  • Barron Collier Companies
  • Berkowitz Development Group
  • Boca Developers
  • CDS International
  • Century Homebuilders
  • Chateau Group
  • Codina Realty
  • 600 Hallandale Partners, LLC
  • Empire World Towers, LLC
  • ESJ Capital Partners
  • Ferro Investment Group, LLC
  • Flagler Development
  • Florida East Coast Realty Inc.
  • Florida Realtors
  • Inland Port Systems, LLC
  • Landstar Development
  • LXR Luxury Resorts
  • Miami Asset Management Company, Inc.
  • Miapolis, LLC
  • Odebrecht Construction, Inc.
  • Palazzo Las Olas Group, LLC
  • Tate Capital
  • The Allen Morris Company
  • The Related Group, Inc.
  • The Rouse Company
  • The St. Joe Company
  • Trammel Crow Company
  • WCI Development Companies

Engineering Planning and Design Firms

  • AECOM (DMJM Harris)
  • Atkins (PBSJ)
  • Business Flare
  • CDM Smith (Wilbur Smith Associates)
  • Golder Associates
  • HNTB
  • Kimley-Horn and Associates
  • Parsons Brincherhoff
  • Redevelopment Management Associates (RMA)

Law Firms

  • Becker & Poliakoff
  • Bilzin Sumberg
  • Carlton Fields
  • Colson Hicks Eidson
  • DLA Piper
  • Dunbar & Dunbar
  • Gloria Roa Bodin, Esq.
  • Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Holland & Knight, LLP
  • Steel Hector & Davis
  • Tew Cardenas, LLP

Financial Institutions

  • ABN-AMRO Bank
  • AMERANT (former Mercantil Bank N.A.)
  • Advantage Capital
  • Allen & Company
  • BNP Paribas
  • BAC Florida
  • Bank Atlantic Corp.
  • BankUnited, FSB
  • Barclays Bank
  • Century Bank
  • ESJ Capital Partners
  • Espirito Santo Bank
  • FBA
  • FIBA
  • Fiduciary Trust International
  • First Union National Bank (Wells Fargo)
  • Hemisphere National Bank
  • HSBC/Marine Midland
  • International Bank of Miami (First United Bank)
  • Lazard Freres & Co.
  • Pan American Life Insurance Group
  • PointeBank, N.A.
  • Seitlin Insurance
  • Sun Trust Corporation
  • The Equitable/AXA Advisors
  • TD Bank, N.A.
  • Union Planters Bank of Florida (Regions)

Florida-Based Companies

  • AmericanAirlines Arena
  • Atantic Sapphire
  • BMI Companies
  • Brightline (former All Aboard Florida)
  • Communikatz
  • CoreMessages
  • Daytona International Speedway
  • Dosal Tobacco
  • Drivers Club Miami
  • Farm Stores
  • Fishkind & Associates
  • Florida Hospital
  • Florida Marlins
  • Florida Power & Light (FPL)
  • Flo-Sun Sugar Corp.
  • Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Greater Ft. Lauderdale Alliance
  • Homestead Miami Speedway
  • Iberia Tiles
  • International Speedway Corporation (ISC)
  • Jungle Island
  • Lake Nona
  • Marcy Hospital
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Nopetro LLC
  • Palm Beach Premier
  • Resorts World Miami (RWM)
  • Rolling Loud
  • Ron Sachs Communications
  • Sprint of Florida
  • eMerge Americas
  • The Biltmore Hotel
  • The Heat Group
  • Ultimate Software
  • Ultra Musica Festival

Non-Florida Based Companies

  • Darlington Raceway
  • Georgia Retail Federation
  • Illinois Retail Merchant Association
  • Indiana Retail Council
  • Kansas Speedway
  • Martinsville Speedway
  • New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP)
  • Progress Energy
  • Richmond International Raceway
  • Road America
  • Talladega Superspeedway
  • The Seed Foundation
  • United States Tennis Association (USTA)
  • VIRginia International Raceway (VIR)
  • Washington Retail Association
  • Watkins Glen International

Latin America-Based Institutions

  • Allied-Domecq, Mexico
  • Association of Peruvian Banks
  • Estudios Tecnicos
  • Federation of Inter-American Financial Institutions (FIBAFIN)
  • Fonalledas Enterprises, Puerto Rico
  • Mercantil Servicios Financieros, Venezuela
  • Peruvian Management Institute (IPAE)
  • The Brunetta Group of Argentina

Public Institutions and Non-Profit Organizations

  • Baptist Health South Florida
  • BayCare Health System
  • Broward County Public Schools
  • Career Source North Central Florida
  • Chapman Partnership 
  • Citizens of Clean Energy
  • City of Boca Raton
  • City of Coral Gables
  • City of Doral
  • City of Plantation
  • City of West Palm Beach
  • Conservatives of Clean Energy
  • Economic Development Commission of Collier County
  • Economic Development Commission of Lee County
  • Economic Development Commission of Mid-Florida
  • Enterprise Florida, Inc.
  • Farm Share, Inc.
  • Flagler Development
  • Florida Bankers Association
  • Florida Citrus Mutual
  • Florida International Bankers Association
  • Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research
  • Florida League of Cities
  • Florida Nursing Homes Alliance
  • Florida Outdoor Advertising Association
  • Florida Ports Council
  • Florida Retail Association
  • Florida Sports Foundation
  • Florida Venture Forum
  • Friends of Miami Marine Stadium
  • Tampa Bay Chamber (former Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce)
  • Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce
  • Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF)
  • Indian River County Chamber of Commercde
  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • Jackson Health Systems
  • Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce
  • Jewish Community Services
  • Lakeland Regional Health 
  • Louisiana Committee for Economic Development    
  • Miami Marine Stadium
  • Miami Museum of Science
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools
  • Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX)
  • Miami Downtown Development Authority
  • Nicklaus Children’s Health System
  • Orlando County
  • Palm Beach International Agricultural Summit
  • Port of Miami
  • SEIU Florida
  • South Florida Progress Foundation
  • Space Florida
  • St. Mary’s Medical Center
  • State of Florida
  • SW Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority
  • Tampa General
  • The Beacon Council
  • The Florida Bar
  • The Florida Chamber Foundation
  • The Florida Coalition for Capital
  • United Nations Economic Development Program
  • United Teachers of Dade
  • Visit Florida
  • Zoological Society of Florida
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