We had the good fortune of connecting with Alvaro Vaselli and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career?
I’ve always had a growth mindset and a bias towards risk. Not only does it make things more exciting but it increases our chances for success. And even when we fail, there is learning associated with it and in my opinion, equally or even more important. I’ve always been thoughtful about the risk-return equation and have embraced many risks in my career and personally. Most have propelled me forward; others have strengthened me.
A few examples are: leaving my first job at Dow (very stable and secure) after 6 years to join a startup effort with ARCO in South America was a measurable risk at the time. Another one was moving to the US with my wife (she left her business) and my son who was 8 months at the time. Moving from Lyondell, a very large and stable company, to Foamex/FXI, a smaller company, relatively speaking, with a weaker financial position was another risk, but it resulted in amazing business leadership learnings and career growth for me. Starting my own company was another significant risk followed by incredible learnings that I’ve been able to apply to my current role as President and CEO of SKYDEX Technologies. The last one was a few months ago when I decided to hike my second fourteener by myself. I’m fairly new to the fourteener scene in Colorado and when I pondered the risk-reward, I smiled and just went for it with vigor. I’m ready for a few more this summer.
If you are a parent, what do you think is the most important thing you’ve done as a parent in terms of the impact on your children?
In addition to always highlighting the importance of family as we go through life, I’ve been intentional about giving my kids an international perspective and cultural awareness. I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel with them around the world, from a young age, and expose them to different cultures, viewpoints, social-economic contrasts. I firmly believe these experiences can provide adaptability, cultural awareness, higher levels of empathy and emotional intelligence. It can also provide higher levels of humanity and humility no matter what path they choose for their lives.
I asked my three sons the same question and their answers were somewhat different. Here’s what they had to say…
- “You set a good example by always making time for family and personal relationships, whether it’s time with us or mom on dates. Some people have trouble finding balance and you set a good healthy standard for me to follow, which is important.” – (Gustavo, 24 years old)
- “The most important impact you’ve made is distilling how important it is to put family above everything else and the importance of balance in life. Not just in terms of work/life but in all aspects of life. This has helped me find the right partner, a new job, or even planning out my days.” – (Lucca, 25 years old)
- “You are always in the back of my mind when making decisions. You have set the bar really high for me, just like a role model.” – (Enzo, 21 years old)
What should our readers know about your business?
SKYDEX is in the business of protecting people and things that matter. We service markets such as military, law enforcement, marine, sports, electronics, office furniture, etc. with a wide range of products and proprietary impact mitigation solutions that provide unrivaled safety, protection and comfort. As with any business, there has been several challenges along the way. Lucky for us we have a great ecosystem and team around us that has been a major key in pushing through adversity and moving us forward. Knowing that our technology is relied on by so many people to keep them safe, ultimately challenges us to excel and continue to evolve, it gives us a higher calling and purpose. When you play a significant role in protecting the lives and wellbeing of others, there is a necessary standard of excellence that naturally drives progression and innovation for myself and our team. Protecting People and Things That Matter® is what truly moves us every day at SKYDEX.
What is your ideal day in Denver/surrounding areas?
I’m always in awe when I’m near the mountains in Colorado. I can’t get tired of looking at them. My ideal day would include, waking up early, enjoying a strong cup of coffee, and heading straight to a nearby mountain town like Breckenridge or Winter Park with my wife and sons if they are in Denver. We typically like to find a nice long hike that starts before sunrise, take a pause for meditation in the sun and enjoy the amazing views from the surrounding mountains. Afterwards, we grab pizza to-go from Cucina Colore in Cherry Creek and head home for a movie or a glass of wine by the fireplace. I feel so grateful to be surrounded by our city’s incredible landscape and mountains, as it gives me an opportunity to decompress and spend quality time by myself or with my family in nature.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to use my shoutout to recognize my family. I feel incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful support system that pushes me to be a better father, husband, and leader everyday.