“Catch the train before it passes you by,” is a tenet that has guided López Guedes in his professional life. “It was my father’s motto, and it means that if you seek an inkling of an opportunity, take it,” said López Guedes, who heads the local conglomerate of companies that for 40 years has provided facility-management services and products.
A first generation boric, his father came from Lugo, in Galicia, Spain, and his mother hails from Cuba. His father fled the tough economic climate of a post-civil war Spain in 1961, and his mother escaped the consequences of the communist revolution that took power in Cuba in 1960.
“All my parents had left was to look for opportunities and go forward,” López Guedes said. “Besides this drive, they taught us that money is a byproduct of work, not necessarily its only goal, and that it involves important things such as family and the responsibility you have toward the quality of life of your employees. If, for some reason, the money is gone, all you have left is the support of those around you,” he explained.
While he was born into an entrepreneurial family, López Guedes said that what attracted him to business is its creative aspects, or “the fact that one can create something with that combination of finance, businesses management and common sense.”
He added that he lives his greatest challenge every day by working hard to ensure the continuation of his father’s legacy, especially in a tough economic climate where competition grows from within and from outside the island.
“As my father prepared to pass away, during that process, he never said anything about how we should run the company,” López Guedes recalled. “He put his arms around us and said, ‘You are ready, you are all going to do well.’ We honor him by moving forward, keeping up with the times, but based on what makes us leaders; it’s all about service, it’s all about the clients,” he said.
When he takes time to relax, besides spending time with his family, he likes to dream of everything related to the sea, navigation and sailing.