Hispanic Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Ray Hernando is the founder of RHO Logistics, Inc., he was born in El Paso, TX in 1957 in the Lower Valley; he was the fourth of seven children; both parents were first generation Mexican Americans with families originally from Chihuahua; graduated from Ysleta High; describes three years family lived in San Francisco due to father’s need for work, compares it to El Paso, describes the diversity and how it impacted his life and self-confidence. Mr. Hernando describes his parents work and them growing up during the Great Depression and living through World War II; recounts his early work experience in the food service industry and teaching; his efforts to get an education at UTEP and how he initially struggled with studies; describes how he helped influence his younger brothers to get an education, and covers their professions. Mr. Hernando discusses starting his business after getting fired from his job at 43 with $6,000 and a few office supplies; recalls early efforts to get customers and trucking support to build his company’s base; mentions making millions in sales and need to hire more employees due to him working 16 hours a day and handling all the invoicing personally. He outlines the structure of RHO Logistics Inc. and their role in logistics support to vendors; reveals that the company is projected to generate $15 million in annual sales; his role in developing and mentoring the trucking services that transport for his customers; explains his relationship with the truck lines, past issues of being cheated by some truck businesses; mentions his business in Dallas and Chihuahua; compares difference between U.S. and Mexican business relationships. Mr. Hernando explains how he motivates truckers to give better customer service, his efforts to improve their livelihood and business practices; explains why he has cut hours when business is slow instead of doing layoffs; reveals how constantly setting new goals have been a key to his success; describes his children; reveals his desire to mentor and educate others, as well as the pride he feels from official recognition in business publications; future goal to grow his company’s sales to $50 million annually; describes which years were the best and worst for business. He goes over his children’s education and his future plans to have them work for his company; mentions discrimination and challenges Hispanics face outside of El Paso; describes the treatment he receives from the business community in El Paso; talks about his decision to become a board member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the benefits to business of being part of it. Mr. Hernando concludes with his regret of not starting his own business earlier and his wish that education for Hispanics would promote entrepreneurship; notes his plan to provide scholarships to Latinos; gives practical advice for those wanting to start a business.
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Interview with Ray Hernando by Alejandra Díaz, 2009, "Interview no. 1510," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.
Transcript is a Draft copy