Randy Velarde spent 13 years in commercial management and market development at Shell Chemical and Texaco Chemical before transitioning from corporate manager to entrepreneur. When Texaco’s chemical assets were sold to Huntsman Corp. in 1994, that was the impetus for Velarde and his three partners to form The Plaza Group.
He quickly learned to manage the details of a business that previously had been sustained by support systems of a large corporation. Velarde also learned that the co-founders had different visions for the company, and after three years, he bought out his partners.
The company set a course to land multiyear marketing agreements with leading suppliers, and 2010 revenue was up nearly 100 percent over 2009.
Velarde daily seeks to overcome the obstacle of helping partners understand the value of using an outsourced marketing organization to market orphan products by redefining the meaning of the term “partner” as a critical extension of his clients’ businesses.
Velarde, as president of The Plaza Group, uses a system for company growth that aims to empower employees to be leaders in the business. The company recruits those who are interested in leading product lines in a specific area of expertise but who do not have the resources or cannot assume the risk to start their own business.
Industry veterans who join The Plaza Group are free to develop their innovative approaches to supplier and customer development and receive incentives and rewards related to success. This adds value to the company by infusing it with new specialties and adds new clients and end users with relationships to employees.
Velarde believes in mentorship and community responsibility, and is a member of boards including the Business Development Board of Sterling Bank. He was also appointed by former Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson to serve on the National Petroleum Council.
How to reach: The Plaza Group, (713) 266-0707 or www.theplazagrp.com