Ben Gutierrez Jr.
Ben Gutierrez was the sixth child of 13 children born into a migrant family during the Great Depression. Ben learned quickly that he had to contribute to the well being of his family and began his first job at the age of 5 as a shoeshine boy. Throughout his childhood and teen years he worked multiple jobs simultaneously while attending school in order to contribute to the well being of his family.
Prior to entering the business world, he served in World War II in the U.S. Army Air Corps, 33rd Squadron, 22nd Bomb Group, Fifth Air Force, and received an honorable discharge, becoming a service-disabled veteran as a result of his service time.
He worked his way up from the Ford Motor Co. production lines to multiple engineering/purchasing management positions over 29 years while pursuing an engineering degree at the University of Michigan. During this time he began supporting and sponsoring minority small businesses by helping to source business to them.
He later began a very successful manufactures' representative organization as the CEO of Global Trading Group, where he represented many minority small businesses and helped them to grow. He also created multiple small businesses over the next 30 years and consistently hired minorities to mentor them.
At the same time Mr. Gutierrez worked closely with the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Foreign Relations under the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations assisting Mexican and Hispanic American companies in their business endeavors.
Mr. Gutierrez was founder and president of the Michigan Tri-County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which later became the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He was also a founding member of the U. S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Six years ago, his company, Gutierrez-McMullen Industries, became the fi rst Hispanic company to sponsor a major meal event at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce National Conference by contributing $150,000 and setting an example for all other Hispanic companies in the future.
Ben is now 90 years young and is still helping to mentor minority businesses. He currently serves as senior advisor to David Segura, CEO of VisionIT, one of the largest and fastest growing Hispanic businesses in the nation. He has helped VisionIT establish multiple business offices in Mexico City, and also establish a world-class technical office in Puebla, Mexico.
Known as "Tio Ben" (Uncle Ben) by the many friends and family he has mentored, Mr. Gutierrez will tell you he looks forward to continuing to contribute during the next 10 years by mentoring minority businesses.
Ben currently lives in Au Gres, Mich., with his wife Frances.