Luz Lopez una latina empresaria en Tulsa

 

Por Guillermo Rojas  

 

Tulsa, OK- Luz Lopez nació en México, cerquita de Guadalajara, y emigró sin quererlo ni saberlo a Estados Unidos junto a sus padres cuando tenía 10 años. Hoy, después de un camino difícil, es la gran referente femenina del sueño americano aquí en Tulsa, dueña de dos restaurantes McDonald’s, planea la inauguración de un tercertienda para mediados de Octubre.   

“Cuando llegué aquí me sentí abrumada  que se asusta por ver todo grande”, recuerda Luz sobre sus primeros días en California. Su padre trabajaba en la industria de la construcción persiguiendo trabajos itinerantes que dejaron una dura impronta en la niñez de López.  “Me cambiaban de escuelas constantemente y yo lo odiaba porque siempre era la única hispana, y se burlaban de mi porque no hablaba inglés, era mi gran frustración”.   

Cuando sus padres se divorciaron,  a los 14 años, ella tuvo que salir a trabajar en un carro de tacos, mientras todos dormían en una banca en un parque, salvando a la familia de la catástrofe y soñando con un futuro distinto que al fin supo llegar.   

Desde muy temprana edad, Lopez tuvo el sentido de la eficiencia  

“Mi primer trabajo oficial fue en McDonals, porque me daban un horario flexible”, contó Luz. “Empecé a trabajar en la cocina, yo ya hablaba inglés pero prefería la cocina porque ahí trabajaban todos los que hablaban mi idioma. De repente, a los tres meses yo miraba como trabajaban y como me gusta la rapidez, veía que a veces los pedidos no salían y yo empecé a ayudar”, recordó Luz. Esa proactividad le valió un merecido ascenso, y se convirtió en gerente de McDonalds. Luego se involucró en el negocio de bienes y raíces donde obtuvo un capital y echo a volar sus sueños para adquirir su primera franquicia de McDonald’s. 

Mientras tanto Luz criaba sóla a un recién nacido. “La vida me pasó a muy temprana edad”, dijo Luz consciente de que esos días no fueron cosa fácil pero, “Acepté y llegué a donde estoy ahora”.  

Hoy luz es ejecutiva, tiene a su cargo casi 200 empleados pero confiesa que nunca se le olvidan sus orígenes. “Nunca se me olvida de donde yo vine, por eso yo no miro al empleado, me preocupo por las personas”.   

Ella representa la reivindicación de la mujer latina, capaz de tomar las riendas de su vida, y de mostrarle a una américa multicultural que los inmigrantes, hombres y mujeres están aquí para triunfar. “Es bien importante que la mujer sobresalga en esta área de negocios, porque la mayoría son hombres, aquí en Oklahoma soy la única mujer hispana que hace esto, lo que me da orgullo pero a la vez tristeza porque siento que nadie se parece a mi”, confesó Luz, urgiéndole a más mujeres aventurarse a emprender. Según Luz la mujer latina es presa del miedo, y por eso debe salir a buscar un modelo de motivación para canalizar la energía y convertir esos sueños en realidad. “A Mi me hizo la vida, después vino mi hijo, y me di cuenta que no quería hacer lo mismo que los demás, por eso hay que educarse, saber actuar en distintos medios y estar abiertas a aprender y emprender”.   

A todas las mujeres latinas ella les dice “Sueñen grande, no te cuesta nada y es ahí donde empieza la jornada. Nunca estés conforme con lo que tienes, siempre busca algo mejor. Desgraciadamente nuestra cultura nos hace muy conformistas, nos gusta depender de nuestros maridos y evitamos soñar”.  

Luz sigue soñando despierta, consciente de que su mayor desafío es competir en un mercado en el que los hispanos no sobresalen y donde desea convertirse en un ejemplo de liderazgo que inspire la vida de otros. Los logros no vinieron solos,  años de esfuerzo convirtieron a Luz en un modelo a seguir para miles de mujeres que no le teman a los desafíos. La Semana felicita a Luz por la apertura de su cuarto McDonalds, el próximo 15 de octubre. (La Semana)

 

Luz Lopez: a life of dreams and hard work  

By Guillermo Rojas  

 

Tulsa, OK- Luz Lopez was born near Guadalajara in Mexico, and immigrated to the United States following her parents, at the young age of 10. Today, after tough choices and the ups and downs of life, she has become the true embodiment of the American Dream and a role model for all those Hispanic women trying to provide for their families. Lopez is the successful owner of two McDonald’s restaurants and is planning to open a third store this October.   

What people don’t know about Lopez is that each one of her goals is deeply rooted in her past and her identity, something that La Semana tried to reveal in a recent interview.  

“When I arrived in the US I felt a little overwhelmed that was freaking out all the time because I found everything so big,” Lopez recalled about her early days in California. Lopez’s father worked in the construction industry and moved the family to wherever he could find a job, forcing the girl to build a strong temper while forging her identity.   

“They changed me from school to school and I hated it, because back then I used to be the only Hispanic in the class and all the kids would mock me,” Lopez recalled. “The process was always the same, and marked a huge frustration.”  

When she turn 14 her parents divorced, and Lopez was forced to work on a Taco truck to support her family while they were sleeping in a public park. This made her resilient, and forced her to dream of a future that eventually arrived.  

“My first official job was at McDonald’s, where I had a flexible schedule,” Lopez said. “I started working in the kitchen, because even though I spoke English I didn’t want to speak the language out of shame, and knew that the ones that spoke Spanish were in the kitchen.”  

From an early age, Lopez had a sense of efficiency.  

“Suddenly I began to realize that my coworkers were not moving very quickly, orders took a long time and I decided to help completely out of the blue,” she recalled.    

Being proactive got Lopez promoted, and soon she became manager at one McDonald’s store.  

After spending some time in the real estate business, Lopez decided it was time to put her dreams into action, and became a McDonald’s franchasse. 

While all this happened Lopez was raising little baby on her own. “Life happened at such a young age,” she reflected, being aware of the difficulties she faced in those years and the challenges she had to overcome. “I said yes to the job, and now I’m here.”   

Lopez is a prominent businesswoman in Tulsa, where she manages almost 200 employees but confesses never to lose sight of her humble origins.   

“I will never forget where I come from, which is why I don’t treat my employees just as that, I always see them for the people they are.”  

Lopez represents the vindication of the Latin woman, one able to control her life and show America that immigrants, men, and women alike, are here to succeed. “It’s essential for woman to stand out in this industry, because we are all surrounded by men,” Lopez insisted. “Here in Oklahoma I’m the only woman that does this, which obviously makes me proud, but also a bit sad, because I don’t have anyone with whom to share how I feel.”  

Lopez urges all Latin women to venture into entrepreneurship. According to Lopez, Latin women tend to be afraid of achieving things on their own, which is why they need to seek new role models to activate their energy and let those dreams come true.   

“My life basically made me, then came my son and soon I realized I didn’t want to be like everyone else,” Lopez said. “That is why it is so important to get an education, to learn how to swim in different environments and be always open to learn and undertake new things.”  

“Latin women: Dream big!, its for free,” Lopez urged.   

“Don’t get too confortable with your things, try to seek something more, something better,” she advised, noting that sometimes Latin culture makes women too conformist, dependent on their husbands and forgetful of their dreams.  

Lopez is still dreaming. She knows she has to compete in a market full of men in which Latin entrepreneurs are not the most famous, but she wants to give it a go and become a leadership example for others like her. After achieving more than she has dreamed of, she wants to share her experience with all those women who are not afraid to take a chance. La Semana congratulates Lopez for her indomitable spirit and on the opening of her fourth McDonald’s on October 15th.  (La Semana)

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