Hispanic Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Mr. Guerra was born and raised in McAllen, TX. He speaks about how his family was one of the founding families in McAllen and started as a land clearing business. Mr. Guerra said both sides of his family came from different socioeconomic classes but each side was hardworking. He worked at a small convienience store his family owned during the summer when he was about eight to ten years old. When he was in the eighth grade, his family moved to El Paso at the urging of doctors who said his bother would die if he did not move to a dryer climate. The family spent time between El Paso and Alburquerque to find a pulmonary specialist for him. He started working at the age of 16 at a gas station. His mother had a great influence on education for him and his siblings. Out of six children, five have degrees and he attributes his mother pushing them to attain their degrees. Mr. Guerra has a degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Geology. A professor at UTEP suggested a pharmaceutical representative job. After a few years and the birth of triplets with his wife, he was hired by Merck. He worked for E.F. Huton then worked for Paine Webber. He managed his own branch of Paine Webber before opening his own investment firm. He has spend 24 years in the business and said he mainly learned from observation and making mistakes. His company now is called the Ruben E. Guerra Company, LLC. He explains how his company provides investment services to foundations, endowments, corporations and high net investors. His wife Susan and son Michael also work for his company. He speaks about how he was nervous to open his own firm and the obstacles he faced during his first years. He describes his charm and maturity as contributing factors for his success. He advises young entrepreneurs to always look for mentors. He also attributes being a member of the El Paso Chamber of Commerce as a contributing factor for his success.
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Interview with Ruben E. Guerra by Kristine Navarro, 2010, "Interview no. 1488," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.