Oil and gas extraction is a male-dominated industry, not only in Mexico, but all over the world. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 17.9% of those employed in the industry are female, and 12.8% are of Hispanic or Latino origins. In this way, Angelica Garcia-Dunn, President and Founder of AIM Global Logistics, is breaking the mold in her ascent to the forefront of the arena. Garcia-Dunn’s success, however, is due to hard work and dedication, and adherence to advice from her grandfather. “He used to always teach me to believe that ‘I put on my pants in the same way as you’,” she points out. “I do not want to sell my business based on the fact that I am a woman and a minority, I base my achievements on the fact that I know the industry, I know exactly what I am doing and, often, I can outperform any of my peers, whether they are male or female.”
Garcia-Dunn has certainly proved her expertise, given that last year she was featured in Forbes magazine due to her ability to move 18 rigs in the last three years for PEMEX and its contractors, which involved solid industry knowledge. A 3,000 HP rig equates to 70 truckloads, and seven of these had to be moved at once from various points in the US, the delivery had to be consolidated, and permits had to be ordered according to weight and dimensions. Subsequently, AIM Global had to coordinate the logistics of loading the trucks using the correct equipment, which involved chartering three ships to Dos Bocas, negotiating customs, unloading the shipment onto trucks in Mexico, transporting the components, and constructing the rig itself. The contract was fulfilled in record time, which is especially significant due to the underrepresentation of women within the industry. “I can attend events and sometimes I am the only woman, but being able to carry out this operation in less than 30 days certainly earned me the respect of the males within the industry,” Garcia-Dunn reveals.
Her story becomes even more extraordinary when she reveals the background of the company. Having worked in the oil and gas industry for many years, Garcia-Dunn’s knowledge was second to none, when she was approached by Exxon representatives who suggested she should establish her own company. “I faced substantial challenges, in that I was a single mother of two young children, with a lack of access to credit,” she admits. “Eventually, with special thanks to a loyal customer base, I set up AIM Global Logistics.” The company certainly has family at the center of its operations, as the company name is an acronym for Garcia-Dunn’s name, that of her daughter and of her son. Moreover, a significant part of her drive to establish the company was based on the fact that she has roots in Monterrey, and wanted the opportunity to be able to work within the country.
However, the fact that AIM Global has family values at its heart does not detract from its influence within the industry. In 2012, the company was named ‘Emerging Business of the Year’ by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. After an initial US$250,000 in sales, the business grew to US$2 million, whereas now, the company is registering around US$25 million. “Our status as a certified minority female-owned company has enabled us to sign contracts to work with BP, Exxon, indirectly with PEMEX, PPI, Siemens, and GE,” reveals Garcia-Dunn. In the US, especially, there is a significant push toward supplier diversity, to the extent that the company is working with the US government, but Garcia-Dunn also sees considerable business opportunities in Mexico. Some of the most significant customers of AIM Global Logistics are freight forwarders like Panalpina, Agility, Geodis, and DHL, and they use the company for most of their imports and exports, whether that is trucking, shipping, air freight, rail, or warehousing.
Most of the success of the company can be attributed to perseverance, and Garcia-Dunn dedicates long hours to her company. Not only this, but the company is responsible for a great deal of philanthropic projects around the world. Garcia-Dunn leads annual mission trips to serve ministries such as Casa de Hogar and Instituto Berea de Monterrey, and the company is also involved with Huellas in Ecuador, which addresses human and child trafficking. In addition, AIM Global Logistics contributes 10% of all net company profits worldwide to impact various ministries on a local, national and global level. This includes involvement with orphanages, and providing medical help and supplies to impoverished communities, and employees are given a week of vacation time allocated to helping these communities, demonstrating that Garcia-Dunn is striving to develop a truly socially conscious enterprise. “Revenues are nice, and creating jobs is nice, but ultimately the most important thing is giving back,” she asserts. “I have been extremely fortunate, and now it is important for me to help the community.”