TIJUANA, BAJA CALIFORNIA, Mexico — Rodrigo Valle Hernandez isn't one of those businessmen who won't consider what others say.
Quite the contrary.
While he has an independent streak — as evidenced by his hiring women and opening his shop during lunch hours in the early 1980s, unlike other shops — he always has surrounded himself with successful business colleagues, absorbing their knowledge and putting it into practice.
- This article appears in the Nov. 9 print edition of Tire Business.
Even today, he reflects upon lessons learned during a seminar he attended as a young man in San Diego, given by Ray Kroc, the one-time owner of McDonald's Corp. who turned a hamburger into a billion-dollar empire. Mr. Kroc died in 1984.
Mr. Valle adopted Mr. Kroc's philosophy with his philanthropy.
He remembers one businessman in Tijuana explaining to him the merits of charitable giving.
"He told me one day, 'Whatever you give to a charity, if it doesn't hurt, you haven't done enough,'" Mr. Valle said.
That applies to anything in life.
"When it hurts, it means you're in your peak of whatever you're doing, in work or giving money away to charities, If it hurts and you're finding a way to pay, it means you're doing as much as you can, and then you can be satisfied."
He remembers the day in 2011 when he felt pain. It was Jan. 28 and, with his family in attendance, he was asked to address a board meeting, held at a restaurant in nearby Ensenada, for CETYS University, his alma mater.
He still was in pain, physically, after undergoing emergency surgery for bone cancer months earlier.
Most people in the room had no idea what he was going to say. Many thought he would announce his resignation from the board due to his health.
Instead, Mr. Valle announced he was donating $1 million to the school, as a kick-start for its ambitious CETYS 2020 project. As part of the initiative, Mr. Valle's money would fund a gymnasium-auditorium, important to him since it hearkens back to his roots as an athlete at the institution.