Paso del Norte Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Carlos Guzman was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1975. His father Carlos Guzman Sr. is a cardiologist and his mother, Maria Yvette Jimenez is a school teacher and Carlos’ parents still live in Puerto Rico. He attended grade school in Puerto Rico and Carlos received his Bachelor degree in biology and chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico. He also has an M.A. in computer resource management. Carlos was an officer in the United States Army and served a tour of duty in Iraq until from 2004 until 2005. Carlos has four children and is the co-founder of the company Global Alternative Fuels, along with Larry Walter.
Summary of Interview
Carlos Guzman was born and raised in Puerto Rico and lived in there until he joined the United States Army. Prior to joining the military, Carlos obtained his Bachelor degree from the University of Puerto Rico in biology and chemistry. While in the military, Carlos served as an officer and served in Iraq from 2004 until 2005. Upon returning from Iraq, Carlos began to pursue his M.A. in computer resource management. It was during this time that Carlos met Larry Walter and the two became interested in biofuel technology after a discussion on biofuel. Carlos began investigating what it would take to create biofuel. Larry and Carlos struggled to find investors for their business, but eventually they received a lot of help from local investors. Their company turns vegetable oil, animal fat and grease in to biofuel. Carlos and Larry first built a plant that produced five million gallons of biofuel per year, but have since expanded that plant to produce fifteen million gallons of biofuel per year. In addition, they also produce glycerin and the plant doesn’t produce any waste. Their main client is Western Refining, an independent oil refiner with a branch in El Paso, Texas. Other than his formal education, Carlos did not have any idea what biofuel did or how it was made. Through hard work and persistence, Carlos and Larry have been successful in the biofuel market. Carlos is a member of the El Paso Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and he started an organization called Upper Rio Grande Renewable Energy and Efficiency Network (UR GREEN). UR GREEN works to bring green collar jobs and environmentally-conscious companies to El Paso. Carlos believes that El Paso can become a greener city. His advice to entrepreneurs is to find what you are passionate about, be persistent, to have a developed business plan, to research what you want to produce and sell and to not give up.
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Interview with Carlos Guzman by Javier Navar, 2010, "Interview no. 1482," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.