We had the good fortune of connecting with Alfredo Arvide and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alfredo, what role has risk played in your life or career?
“It’s not whether you fail, but how you recover when you do” is what my ex-boss, longtime mentor, and friend Leo Vukmanovich would always say. He taught me that when you are involved in high-risk situations, and there is a lot of pressure, it is very likely that something will go wrong. When it does, if you spent the time on risk mitigation and had a recovery plan at the ready, then that’s all that mattered. So, for the last 10+ years I have not been afraid to fail, nor step outside my comfort zone. I always have a couple plans in my back pocket in case I fall, and now I live my life and enjoy my career worry free, because I always remember it’s all about how you recover.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Being in the services industry, I realized early on that supporting the people that work with you and work for you is the most important activity you need to invest in. Don’t get me wrong; delivering on client commitments is very important but if your team is not happy, you won’t be able to accomplish anything. Leading by example, actively listening, reaching out, and keeping the workforce engaged is crucial to being successful in my line of work – and I love it. I think that’s what sets me apart from others. I love to mentor. I truly enjoy working with the next generation, helping them avoid the same pitfalls I ran into and putting them on the right track towards success. If I could choose what the world should know about me, I’d simply want everyone to know I am here to help and my door is always open.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Living in the fourth largest and most diverse city in America makes it really hard to narrow down what to do in a week. I moved to Houston over 10 years ago and I constantly find my new favorite places to frequent. I am originally from Mexico so the closest I can get to ‘home food’ is Teotihuacan Mexican Café in the Heights – highly recommended. For dessert, there’s a fantastic churro and ice cream place called Red Circle in Chinatown that I can’t get enough of. With over 2 million visitors every year, the Houston Zoo is second most visited zoo in the US, making it a no-brainer destination. Furthermore, next to New York City, Houston has the most theater seats, so I always tell visitors to squeeze in a Broadway show, symphony, ballet, opera, improv, or musical in downtown before they leave. Lastly, a Houston visit is just not complete without visiting the Galleria. Malls have recently lost their popularity, but walking around the enormous campus simply embodies ‘everything is bigger in Texas’.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few key people mentor me throughout my professional career. They are Leo Vukmanovich, Mike Bechtel, Martin Frech, Mihir Patel, and Jose Alfredo Arvide (my father). These individuals taught me the ropes from early on when I was an inexperienced consultant, to a budding manager trying to become a good leader. And most importantly they have kept me honest all these years ensuring that all the lessons learned really stick. I trust them, I can count on them, and I am tremendously and professionally indebted to them. I also want to thank Aileen Tapia for always believing in me and nominating me for this shoutout.