Hispanic Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Susan Guerra, born in El Paso on August 1970, describes her upbringing and management of her husband’s practice, Total Orthotic and Prosthetic Solutions, Incorporated. Her father worked for Channel 9 El Paso and then later worked as an apartment manager; Her mother was a secretary who passed away when Susan was only five years old. She attended El Paso High and graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a nursing degree in 1993. She helped to start her husband’s practice, which provides prosthetic, artificial limbs as well as orthotic braces for their patients. Their office opened in 2004 yet she worked on attaining its contracts as early as 2003. Her dream to start their own practice emerged as a result of a doctor and amputee who owned his own business, Michael Martinez, and conversed with her husband who once worked at Baskin Robins. Guerra describes the process of attaining funding and organizing their business plans. She notes that attaining contracts, permits, and licensing were some of the largest obstacles they had to face. Nevertheless, she believes her office’s contributing factors towards success has been their honesty, refusal to steal patients from other practices, as well as their continual growth. The El Paso Chamber of Commerce has recognized their business as a successful up-and-coming small business. Guerra finds that some of the advantages of being a local, Hispanic-owned business are that they have been able to attract Hispanic clients as well as locals. Their office is in the process of attaining government and private contracts.
Date of Interview
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Interview with Susan Guerra by Manuel Sanmiguel, 2009, "Interview no. 1518," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.