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Spotlight on: Polo Paredes '12

For Polo Paredes '12, trusting God's plan for his life has been his first priority and has brought great blessings to the young man and his family.

"God has been so good, so faithful, every step of the way," Polo says.

Polo ParedesPolo, who is entering the final year of the MBA program at Malone, was brought to the United States from Mexico City by General Motors just after he earned an undergraduate degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from Monterrey Technological Institute. GM considered him to be among the best and brightest, so they selected Polo for a prestigious year-long program in their design center in Michigan. To do so meant leaving behind his close-knit family, his home, his language.

However, Polo flourished in the United States. After his work in Michigan, he moved to Milwaukee, where he was asked to design and implement an engineering program at Bruce Guadalupe Middle School that exposed students to the many different areas of engineering. He taught at the school, which was made up of 90 percent Latino students, for several years. That is where he met his wife, Jennifer.

A few years after the couple got married, had two children, and the youth engineering program had developed a successful and solid foundation, Polo made the decision to pursue his engineering career and accepted a job with Allen-Bradley Rockwell Automation in 2007; so the family moved to Akron.

While still in Milwaukee, Polo was invited to participate in a Hispanic Resource Group (HRG).

"As I participated in the events and outreach projects, I was drawn to the importance of such a committee. The HRG was essential to bringing Latinos together throughout the company while providing networking opportunities with Latinos in other professional settings," Polo says.

"After my transfer to the Rockwell Automation office in Twinsburg, I quickly realized that there was no such committee in place. After sharing my ideas with management, I went in search of others who were interested in creating a group like the HRG in Milwaukee. After three years, we have a solid Hispanic Resource Group in Cleveland with more than 70 active members. Not all of them share a Hispanic background, but we all share an interest in learning about diversity."

Founding (and chairing) the HRG in Cleveland earned Polo national recognition - the 2010 HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achiever Award.

"As the Hispanic community continues to grow in both population and in economic buying power, corporate America is learning that those companies who possess cultural competence in residence and utilize in-house Hispanic decision-makers, are having greater success," Polo says. "The 2010 HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers Program, along with my educational experience at Malone, have helped make me a better and reinvigorated leader in Rockwell Automation and the Hispanic community."

Jack Harris, Ph.D., professor of business administration at Malone, has enjoyed having Polo in class.

"His faith and his experience with diversity in the United States help Polo to show others how we are all different and similar, yet valued by God - and can contribute to improving the world," Jack says.

Polo's position at Rockwell Automation is as a channel sales engineer. He hopes to continue in his professional growth and says that his professional goals include, "To explore the challenges of ethical decision making in organizational management, and to develop the ability to recognize moral dilemmas and resolve them. I want to help companies achieve their business goals, while empowering a team to deliver solutions that impact people's lives."

Polo became a citizen in 2008, which he describes as a great accomplishment in his life.

He continues, "I am a man who is motivated by goals and objectives. I put much prayer and thought into what I want in my life. When I make a decision and set my goals, I put 100 percent effort into achieving them. I am a hard worker and take my work seriously. As my wife and I raise our two children, we strive to lead by example. Going back to school for my master's degree is an awesome example of the importance of school, commitment, hard work, and passion for my children."

He also strives to be an example of physical fitness for his children, peers, and community - Polo competes as an Iron Man!