It Takes a Village

President, MFI International Manufacturing, USMC Strategic Alliance
El Paso, TX

By Cecilia Levine

Establishing a successful company in a community creates the opportunity to give back and demonstrate true leadership. In giving back, more success follows.

MFI International Manufacturing has been known for its modern manufacturing processes and proven 35-year track record of excellence, providing a competitive advantage for the company and its global partners. Leading with your core values as a company is paramount to everything else. We showcase our values by emphasizing hands-on attention to processes and continuous improvements at our operations in El Paso, Texas, and Cuidad Juárez, Mexico, which enables us to deliver on our promise to provide premium value to our customers. In addition, a comprehensive strategy to better the lives of our employees—our internal clients and most valuable asset at the core of our company—has resulted in high rates of retention for a workforce that is continuously improving and loyal. This focus has resulted in many years of success for our family business.

To me, it has been more important for MFI International to be known for its commitment to the El Paso and Cuidad Juárez communities—our family. We have always felt that our company’s core values must reflect the core values of our family. As a result, our community involvement has been extensive, with a focus on family, education and health.

Creating a culture where employees view the organization as a family is important. It builds trust among the company and employees—a contagious spirit that makes both sides want to give the other their best. The loyalty and perseverance of employees can go a long way in getting through difficult situations. A company doesn’t have to just be a place you go to work at, it can be much more than that.

Education is the backbone of a community, and companies should help employees and their families develop in this area. Companies should invest in learning opportunities, whether it is contributing to the elementary, middle and high school education of workers, providing educational resources for families, or helping employees overcome potential language barriers.

A healthy life is a happy life. Understanding the importance of community health to economic development is crucial for companies, especially those working in Latin America. Companies should identify health-related concerns in their communities that negatively impact economic success. One of the leading causes of blindness in Mexico and other developing countries is cataracts. Opening prospects for community members to seek out medical attention allows for more people to be able to work, increasing economic opportunities.

Building a socially-responsible company with strategic partnerships and common goals can create positive change for the economy as well as the community. Our journey to economic, social and community success has been a challenging and rewarding one. It would not be possible to bring these opportunities to our community if it was not for the generosity of our collaborators and supporters. Everyone who participates helps to create a social ecosystem that can help the communities in which we work, live and play.

Good business practices start with values, and values help form true leaders. At the end of it all, true leadership is finding a worthy cause, partnering with others who also find that cause worthy and working together to do the hard work necessary to accomplish your goals.

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