Hispanic Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Raymond Palacios relates his experiences in becoming a successful hispanic businessman and current owner of two thriving car dealerships. Born in Houston, Texas, in 1960, Palacios credits much of his strong work ethic to the influence of his stepfather. Although his family remained poor, through sheer hard work his stepfather managed to support them. Thinking that college was reserved for wealthy white people, Palacios dreamed instead of joining the Marines. It was not until his senior year of high school that he realized that he had as much capability as his anglo classmates, and when he applied to the University of Houston, he was accepted. Thus, Palacios opted to continue his schooling and join the Marine Reserves—a decision he claims instilled in him both confidence and discipline. After earning an accounting degree, Palacios worked for Houston-based Perry Homes as an assistant controller; within two and one-half years he had been promoted to company vice president. Palacios counts this experience as one of the best things that ever happened to him and considers Bob Perry to have been an outstanding mentor. Nevertheless, after several years Palacios grew restless and began looking into different opportunities. One of these was the General Motors training program. Although it was a risk, Palacios left his comfortable job and underwent training, eventually, in 2000 taking over a failing dealership in El Paso. Within three weeks of his stewardship, the dealership turned a profit for the first time in five years. In 2002, Palacios applied for and was awarded the area’s first Hummer franchise, and in 2004 he purchased his second Bravo Car dealership in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Palacios sums up his experiences by discussing the challenges and obstacles he has faced as a hispanic businessman, as well as El Paso’s business climate. Finally, he ends with his definition of success: being able to pull others up around him as his own star ascends.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Raymond Palacios by Steve Figueroa, 2009, "Interview no. 1529," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.