How Moctesuma Esparza built a business he could be proud of with Maya Cinemas North America Featured

8:00pm EDT June 30, 2013
Moctesuma Esparza, founder and CEO, Maya Cinemas North America, Inc. Moctesuma Esparza, founder and CEO, Maya Cinemas North America, Inc.

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If you saw a movie script that detailed the life of Moctesuma Esparza, you would never believe that it was historically accurate. Esparza was a leading activist and organizer in the Chicano movement of the 1960s, fighting for civil rights and equality for Mexican-Americans.

His involvement left him at one point indicted and facing life in prison for being an organizer of the revolution. But within two years of having the charges dropped, Esparza had not only turned things around, he was working in the West Wing of the White House with security clearance.

Having overcome those kinds of odds, Esparza might have been on easy street with the launch of a multiplex theater chain. But he has worked hard to ensure Maya Cinemas North America, Inc. is all about quality.

His passion is not in day-to-day management, but rather in bringing an idea to life. So he spends a great deal of time working on developing business strategies, identifying new locations to expand into and then getting that location off the ground.

Esparza has also been a leader in raising new market tax credits since part of his strategy is to target markets that other movie theater companies are reluctant to enter. In order to succeed, he hired a dedicated and highly involved president and COO, Frank Haffer, to manage long-term operations and hired strong local managers to run his multiplexes.

Esparza is admired by colleagues for his innate ability to persuade and inspire. He recognizes and rewards individuals who contribute to the company’s vision while giving managers the freedom to perform their jobs how they see fit.

Esparza hasn’t forgotten where he came from. He launched an innovative program that gives patrons the opportunity to round up their purchase to the next dollar and have the money donated to a local college scholarship fund that will be restricted to students within a designated area.

How to reach: Maya Cinemas North America, Inc., www.mayacinemas.com