If you had asked Rey Almodóvar 30 years ago where he saw himself ending up, running an award-winning aerospace engineering and analysis firm may not have been his answer, but certainly his hope.
"It is truly a dream come true. I’m just part of the group, I'm part of the company. What it means to me is that every day, I have the opportunity to talk and support and plan other people's success for the future," Almodóvar said.
Almodóvar is the co-founder and CEO of Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation, founded in 1999. Just 15 years earlier, Almodóvar left his home in San Juan, Puerto Rico to come to the United States.
His family in Puerto Rico comes from humble beginnings, with his grandparents never receiving any education beyond the second grade and his dad being only the second in the family to get a college degree at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. Almodóvar says his dad in particular instilled in him the value of discipline, hard work and contribution to society early on in his childhood.
"In essence, the entertainment that existed when I was a boy, when I was raised, was pure work. That culture of work, of service, of trying to do something productive, that you learn something that will serve you in life, that came from my family," Almodóvar said.
In 1984, Almodóvar graduated from his father’s alma mater with a degree in engineering and moved to the United States to work as a federal employee in Texas, where he met Intuitive co-founder Harold Brewer.
Throughout his career, Almodóvar has strived to give back to the community, following his father’s emphasis on public service for the betterment of others. Most recently, Almodóvar and his wife, Cynthia, were awarded the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville Family Philanthropy Award.
"My father was a servant; he was dedicated to service. I work in many voluntary activities, including being a board member for several organizations, civic clubs, technology clubs. [My dad] encouraged public service in my family. For me, it is natural to work and help and volunteer in all these activities that are not salaried and not compensated," Almodóvar said.
In the next three or four years, Almodóvar plans to work less as he approaches retirement and spends more time with family. He hopes to pass down the values from his parents in his family for generations to come.