Learn to start a successful business from those who have actually built them to the tune of over $100 million annual sales.
When Acton teachers step onto campus each day, they come from the real world. From the shop floor. From the sales room. From long nights juggling customer needs and operational complexities and wrestling with the same questions Acton students are asking themselves every day. These aren’t theory-driven academics. They’re real, successful entrepreneurs who’ve started small and, through trial and error and perseverance, have grown their businesses—up to $100 million in combined sales every year.
But talk doesn’t mean much. We’ll let their actions tell the story.
Are you as committed to your success as we are?
Our teachers care deeply about what they do. That’s no pleasant phrase; our teachers tell us that—outside of their families—the Acton students are their number-one priority. Every day, they bring their all to the classroom.
Do you take your success seriously?
Because they do. So much so, they’ve put their own success on the line for it.
Why do they teach?
Because they get as much back as they put in. They learn and relearn the fundamentals of business in the process. They know their success depended on teachers and mentors that invested in them. They know the power and fulfillment of seeing students turned entrepreneurs come back five, ten, fifteen years later, living successful and satisfied lives. Entrepreneurship is their passion; they wouldn’t be doing anything else.
Our entrepreneur-teachers are:
- Proven in the boardroom and gifted in the classroom
- Running successful businesses, leading venture capital firms, and coaching entrepreneurs
- Dedicated to seeing you succeed in class and in your career
UFM Acton MBA Team
Executive Director at UFM Acton MBA in Entrepreneurship
Alejandra Alquijay Aguilar
Director of Operations at UFM Acton MBA in Entrepreneurship
Admissions Coordinator / Assistant
José Antonio López
Albert Loan is a full time Professor at UFM where he teaches Political Philosophy and Economics. His work includes coaching UFM Faculty, as he teaches training seminars for professors on Socratic Practice. Mr. Loan did his undergraduate and graduate work in Economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He also holds a Masters of Education from Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Mr. Loan’s fields of expertise in Education are Integrated Montessori Curriculum applied to late adolescents (middle and high school students) and Socratic and Collaborative Learning. As a former teacher at School of the Woods -a Montessori high school in Houston, Texas- Mr. Loan is famous among the students for transforming their intellectual lives.
Alejandro Aguirre is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Grupo Tecnetrón, a private equity investment organization providing venture capital since 1993. Over the years, the group has forged global alliances while involved in commercial, industrial and service activities. It has founded, developed, acquired, merged and sold businesses primarily in the high technology industry: systems distribution, integration, software development, consulting, localization, web portals, Internet access, interactive television, options /futures trading and on-line education services.
Mr. Aguirre graduated summa cum laude with a Systems Engineering degree in 1985 from Francisco Marroquín University (Guatemala) and earned his MBA at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University (Houston, TX) in 1987 where he received numerous distinctions, including the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence and the Alumni’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. He is currently a Jones Scholar and a member of the U.S. National Dean’s List. Mr. Aguirre achieved in 2005 the level of Elite/VIP options trader from Optionetics, a level awarded to less than 0.1% of the program graduates. In 2004, one of his systems, "XEO Explosive Butterflies ", won first place at the International Trading Systems Competition - Elite level, in New Orleans, LA. In 2006, Mr. Aguirre became a Mastery University Graduate from the Anthony Robbins Companies.
Mr. Aguirre´s current area of research involves finding new paradigms to cope with information overload through on-line education platforms.
He is married to María Consuelo since 1985. Together they are raising two daughters: María José (21) and María Inés (17).
Alex is a serial entrepreneur and an active investor with a passion for new ideas and effective implementation. His business ventures include a central American retail chain founded in 2001 and sold in 2010 (Bazar International SA, founder and CEO), a commercial real estate company (AI Realty, founder and director), an investment fund in shipping (USH, partner) and a multinational telecom services company with operations throughout Latin America and Africa (Televida Group, co-founder).
Alex currently acts as chairman and CEO of Televida Group, a company that focuses on the continuous innovation and improvement of products and services available to mobile phone users.
In addition to his business activities Alex founded with his brother Ilias, the "Fundación Poulias | La Sonrisa del Niño" in Guatemala. The Poulias foundation and its program “La sonrisa del niño” aim to accelerate the development and maximize the potential of Guatemalan children living at or below the poverty line, through education, coaching and cultural activities.
Alex is also an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).
Alex graduated from Princeton University with an honors degree in Comparative Literature, a concentration in Economics and diplomas in European cultural studies, romance languages, and hellenic studies. After working as an investment banker with Salomon Brothers in London for several years, Alex received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 2001.
Born and raised in Athens Greece, Alex is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Greek. He loves sports and believes in the balance of a healthy mind in a healthy body. Since 2001 Alex has been based in beautiful Guatemala, a country towards which he is deeply grateful.
Federico Bauer is the Chairman of the Board of Electro Diesel de Guatemala. Electro Diesel is the sole agent for Robert Bosch in Guatemala and also carries other brands for the auto spare parts market. He is also the former Executive Chairman of the Board of Grupo Financiero Cuscatlán Guatemala and Honduras. During his tenure, he increased the assets of the company from US$150 million to US$ 1.1 billion. In May 2007, Grupo Financiero Cuscatlán was acquired by Citigroup for $1.5 billion dollars. Its book value was US$650 million. He was one of the only four members in the Committee that negotiated the deal.
In 1991, Mr. Bauer was a Co-founder of Banco Uno S.A., a bank that was established to acquire the assets and liabilities of Bank of America in Guatemala. He was a director there until 1997 and Chairman of the Board from 1995 to 1997. Mr. Bauer is also a Co-founder and first Chairman of Bolsa de Valores Global S.A., a local stock exchange firm which later became Corporación Bursatil. Besides his experience in the banking industry.
Mr. Bauer has also been a Real State developer in both commercial and residencial projects. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Universidad Francisco Marroquín since 1991 and Chairman of the Board from 1995 to 2002 and from 2008 to 2010. He has been a columnist for Siglo XXI, and he is currently a columnist for El Periódico. His hobbies include aviation, he is a private pilot with +4,000 hours of flight and he has participated in the round the World Air Race.
Fernando López is an Entrepreneur in the plastic industry, particularly in the flexible and rigid packaging, raw materials and recycling sectors; having founded and being director of companies that today constitute one of the largest plastic groups in Central America (Grupo Polytec).
A Chemical and Industrial Engineer by training, he has taught classes in Engineering Economics, Finance Administration and Chemical Engineering Projects, and is a former director of that career at Universidad Rafael Landívar. Mr. López has served as President of Guatemala’s Plastic Industry Association for the last two periods and is a current member of the Board of Directors of Guatemala’s Chamber of Industries (Cámara de Industria de Guatemala). He is also an External Director at Grupo PK, a family entrepreneurial group with operations in the construction, plastic, real estate and hotel furniture sectors. Mr. López is a member of the Board of Trustees at Universidad Francisco Marroquín.
Mr. López is an avid history reader and enjoys traveling (as well as life), with his wife Elizabeth and three children, Andrés (24), Paulina (22) and María Fernanda (19).
Mr. Safie was born in Guatemala in 1957, he graduated as Industrial Mechanical Engineer at Universidad Rafael Landivar. Mr.Safie has started a wide variety of businesses since his early years at school. While in college, he and his brother co-directed a candy distribution company which still operates in the local market.
Mr. Safie's businesses range from a coffee-brokerage company, called RECASA, founded in 1983 and still operating; up to his current operation as franchiser for Burger King Guatemala. As franchisee for Burger King, he operates over 43 restaurants. Overall, Mr. Safie has been founder or co-founder of over 10 companies where over 1,500 people work.
His most important venture is his family, he married his wife Hilda and together they have 4 children: Cristina 24, Lourdes 23, María 20 and Mateo 16, with whom they love spending their spare time.
Gabriel Delgado is an entrepreneur in the technology services and development sector. His goal is to develop a strong presence in the American Market (US, Canada and Latin America) for telecommunications and Information Technology Security Value Added Services.
In 1996 co-founded and became the local partner of a Chilean group which had started Bysupport, an IT Security Company which was the Manufacturer's Representative for Dr Solomon's Software (UK) and later McAfee for Chile and Central America. The company achieved a record 55% market share in the region and positioned McAfee as the leader in security products for its territories. McAfee bought our operation in 2002.
In 1997 co-founded Localiza, an early pioneer in AVL services (LBS) in Central America. They now have a presence in the northern quadrant of C.A. and are one of the leading companies in this sector in the region.
In 2003 joined a group of Venezuelan entrepreneurs to found Wau, a Value Added Services provider to operators throughout Latin America. Today, they are connected to 54 operators in 19 countries and are the leading aggregator in the Latin America region with offices in all major markets of Latin America. In 2006 co-founded Interactua Movil, a company dedicated to developing applications at the melting point of pc, web and mobile technologies. Currently they have 4 applications that are in production or in final testing for launch.
John Glasgow (BA, M.Ed.) is the owner and general manager of Open Gate Digital Solutions.
Originally from Canada, John has lived in Guatemala since 2000, working first as teacher at an International School before moving into the Latin American business world in 2005. Since starting his first business here, John has worked with both national and international clients from various sectors in Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Panama, the United States of America, India and the Philippines in the areas of corporate training, educational consulting, and software and online platform design and development.
In addition to running Open Gate, John is currently the second Secretary of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce, where he also served as the president of the Education and Training Committee from 2009 to 2012 and the technical advisor for the Business Future of the Americas event in 2013. He has spoken frequently on the topics of education, Corporate Social Responsibility and technology at universities, teacher training events, TED X, and U.S. State Department Tech Camps. In 2012, John was commissioned by the Canadian Embassy in Guatemala to produce a report on the current state of the international education market in Guatemala.
Juan Ignacio de la Rosa
Born in Guatemala in 1976. Founder and co-founder for a group of small thriving companies serving clients in Guatemala, El Salvador, México, and Panama. His ventures include technology, real estate, advertising and electronic markets.
Mr. de la Rosa is an Electronics Engineer, MEE and MBA from Universidad Francisco Marroquin, he became excited in taking part of the Acton program in Guatemala after experiencing a personal transformation during the “MyEj course from Acton”.
“Trying to find balance between personal life, working for somebody else and following a true calling in the entrepreneurial world has been no easy task. Becoming your own boss, learning to accept failure and recovering quickly all are great challenges. The Acton MyEj program delivered me a set of tools to help me move forward as an entrepreneur and as an individual. As a teacher in the Acton program my objective is to make these experiences available to others”..
Juan Mauricio Bonifasi
Juanma Bonifasi co-founded several entrepreneurial ventures which are now growing together interdependently as Grupo Entero.
The companies serve in diverse industries: Real Estate, Financial Services, Wellness, and Dental Services; and are located in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Perú. Mr. Bonifasi loves to learn and create value. He is married and a blessed father of three. With his wife Ana, he recently founded The Acton Academy Guatemala. Juanma is striving to live a life of meaning, integrated to principles and enabling growth while staying true to his essence.
Ramón Parellada was born in Dallas, Texas in 1961. His parents moved to Guatemala two months later where they have resided ever since. He married María Mercedes and together they are raising four children: Jaime (22), Lourdes María (20), María Mercedes (18) and Javier (16). He is a Businessman and Director of companies in flexible packaging manufacturing, blow molding containers, thermal cups, raw materials and plastics recycling.
Mr. Parellada is a Chemical and Industrial Engineer by training with a Master in Business Administration from Universidad Francisco Marroquin – Guatemala. He has also finished a Master in Economics at UFM and is currently working in his thesis. He is currently a teacher of different courses for graduate and undergraduate students in free-market economics, money and banking and managerial economics.
Treasurer and Trustee of Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Member and former treasurer of “Asociación Módulos de Esperanza” and “FUNDAYUDA” (charity organizations). Director of CEES (Centro de Estudios Económico-Sociales). Member of “Philadelphia Society”. Member of the Guatemalan Chamber of Journalism. Columnist in the daily newspaper Siglo XXI .