a coach for an hour and 15 minutes. Then I go
home at 8 p.m. to be with my family.
LC: What’s your favorite part of your job?
RG: Arriving at the of;ce with a lot of energy
and passing it on to the whole team, reviewing
business transactions and team requirements,
updating myself about activities from the previous day, being attentive to my suppliers, and making
sure that the great Gomez Velasquez team and their
families are happy.
LC: What are you doing to hire good workers?
RG: I am fortunate to have reliable and quali;ed staff. Many
of them have been with the company for many years. Besides
that, we have well-de;ned job roles and documented procedures that allow for proper hiring according to company
needs and ISO 9001 parameters. We attract quality people
who meet broader pro;les than requested, so when they
get promoted, they have the skills and experience to move
LC: What’s the best advice you ever got from your parents?
RG: That what I do in life, I do it with love, and above all,
respect the people who work with me — value them. To
believe in my ideas. To persevere because every day you can
avoid stagnation, and hopefully, never forget that achievements come with effort and sacri;ce. I’ve always honored
their words as if I signed a contract.
LC: Are your children involved with the business?
RG: I was able to pay for their college, so they prepared themselves to be part of the team. The youngest son, Ramiro Jr., is
part of the business. His knowledge is directing the company to
constantly evolve under the parameters of our three certi;cations: ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001.
LC: Your company covers the entire country
from a small city in Colombia. Why do you
RG: That question has been asked by several
people. We are located in a small city called
Cartago with a population of 150,000 in Valle
del Cauca. The geographical location is near
the port of Buenaventura, which facilitates
the logistics of our international purchases. Also,
moving everywhere is easy. Being in a small city, I
saw my children grow up and accompanied them during their
lives, which is a privilege. Cartago has no stress, no traf;c jams,
and with the proximity of the airport, the city never was an
impediment to serve large companies because their of;ces are
centralized. Their purchases are for all of Colombia, and the
communication channels available make everything easier.
LC: How did you become involved in PEI, and how do you
remain active in the association?
RG: When there was only fax, and in my constant desire to
know about markets and manufacturers, I found out about PEI
through a U.S. provider. I was able to travel and realized the
importance of the PEI Convention. If I remember right, that
event was in Cincinnati more than 20 years ago. From then on,
I continued attending the convention to strengthen the friendships and business relationships I have with many people and to
learn about new technologies and companies.
In the ;rst years, almost nobody knew about this event. I took
charge of making it known by inviting companies and competing friends, sponsoring some of them, and as recognition for this
initiative, PEI made me a PEI Ambassador for Colombia.
LC: Anything else you’d like to share with us?
RG: To know what’s in the business world, you have to invest
by going to shows and belonging to associations. As an entrepreneur, for me that was joining PEI many years ago.