Story of a Chairman
Part I
The Cheese That Started it All

Stories of Chairmen are always fascinating, and that of the Chairman of American Industries Group is no exception. They say that great stories start at the most unexpected times, and this story began when a visionary and disruptive mind was faced with a cheese shortage.

Prior to the 1930s, in northern Mexico cheese was produced by a small Mormon community, but in very limited amounts due to a lack of industrial production methods. When a businessman saw this, he set out to find a solution. In his search, he found a community of Mennonites from Canada who had settled in the city of Cuauhtemoc in the 1920s. The Mennonites had cattle that produced large amounts of milk, but they didn’t know how to make cheese.

Fortunately, as the saying goes, seek, and you shall find, and this businessman found Mennonites in Wisconsin, United States of America, who did know how to make cheese. And so, he traveled to Wisconsin, not speaking English, but—like a good businessman—with a clear idea of how to solve the problem of a cheese shortage in northern Mexico, and hired five Mennonite families willing to move to Cuauhtemoc to teach the community there how to make cheese.

This allowed the Mennonite community in Cuauhtemoc to exploit their land, grazing areas, cattle, and the milk they produced, and by around 1936, they began mass-producing cheese. Since then, they have continued to improve the quality of their dairy cows, milking processes and perfect the art of cheese-making, and today, Chihuahua’s cheese is known across Mexico for its excellent flavor and quality.

manufacturing in mexico

 But, what does all this have to do with the story of the Chairman of a company in the area of administrative services and industrial real estate? Well, there are two things. First, the businessman in question understood the importance of finding a connection between the cultures on both sides of the equation: the one arriving and the one already there, to help avoid conflicts and make progress quickly—one of the principles American Industries Group is founded on. Second, the businessman in question is Mr. Luis Lara Leos, the father of the Chairman of American Industries Group, Mr. Luis Lara Armendariz.

As Mr. Lara Armendariz himself says: “I learned about business from my father. Since I was five years old, he took me with him when he did business and instilled in me a sense of optimism, honesty, a love for work, and my country, Mexico, and taught me that we always need to think outside of the box and adopt the mentality that we can do anything, because it is true, anything is possible.”

start up in mexico

American Industries Group is a private Mexican company founded and presided over by Mr. Lara Armendariz that helps foreign companies to set up in Mexico. They do this by understanding their clients’ culture and connecting them with Mexico’s to grow their businesses. Without a doubt, seeking out our similarities and respecting what makes us different will ensure we create true partners for success and forge solid friendships.

This is a lesson Mr. Lara Armendariz learned at an early age from his father—we should always treat others like family, and the same applies to business. American Industries’ client testimonials always mention how this company makes them feel like family.

business success in mexico

To date, the company has helped over 200 international companies successfully start up and grow their manufacturing and distribution operations in Mexico through Shelter Administrative Services and Industrial Real Estate.

Mr. Lara Armendariz’s disruptive solutions to problems others thought impossible are what has made him and his company successful over the decades.

A veteran Director of the company tells an anecdote when, many years ago, in an informal lunch with some foreigners, Mr. Lara Armendariz saw an opportunity to present a business deal to some other diners. So, he took a napkin and wrote out some calculations he did in his head on the spot. “It was amazing to see how a deal for a considerable amount of money was closed right at the table,” she said.

Clearly, that napkin carried the spirit of the cheese from the 1930s that started it all.

But, how did Mr. Lara Armendariz come to establish American Industries Group?

Find out in the next part of the story! Story of a Chairman Part II

By Alma R. Ortega López | Institutional Relations | American Industries Group®

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