In the midst of the pandemic, Ruth Rodríguez took over as executive director of the Mexican Association of Surface Finishing Industrialists (AMAS). Since then, he has weathered endless challenges from his inner strength and discovery of new horizons for the industry.
By Federico Duarte Garcés
On one of the central walls of Ruth Rodríguez's house, in Querétaro (Mexico), remains the image of the silhouette of two firm elephants on their way through the savannah. Although he has not traveled to Africa, he collects elephants that have been given to him during his multiple trips abroad, ranging from Chicago to Japan, passing through the Netherlands; his three favorite destinations that he has been able to know along with his professional career.
However, the place that most reconnects her on a spiritual level is the sea, which has made her travel her native country from south to north by road, in search of the most hidden beaches. Ruth considers herself a water animal, because being Taurus, an earth sign, she finds in this a balance, as well as peace and creativity.
One of his convictions is that we are energy, and therefore he tries to combine his work and personal life in the most balanced way. The elephants collected are considered a source of abundance, but at the same time they represent a social being, of determination and persistence like her, who has taken giant steps for 14 years in the administrative management of various industries: from pharmaceuticals to metalworking, making her way in the last three and a half years in the finishes and surface coatings.
From the capital to the citizen of the world
On May 12, Ruth turned 38 years old, most of which were spent in her native Mexico City. There he spent his childhood, adolescence and early youth in the midst of engineers and administrators: his father, Mateo, mechanical electrical engineer; two of his four brothers, twins, Elihu and Jonathan, business administrator and industrial engineer respectively, while his sister, Lizbeth, a financier by profession, and his mother, Maria de Lourdes, administrator of the home.
At age 25, Ruth moved to Querétaro, where she finished her marketing studies. There he found a "boom" of different industries such as aeronautics and metalworking, in which he began to work hand in hand with transnational companies precisely as a marketing manager.
In one of the trainings of these organizations, where he stood out as a leader of brand repositioning projects and market strategies, the opportunity to travel to Germany was presented. From there she took the opportunity to visit one of her lifelong friends who lived in the Netherlands (Holland by tradition) and let herself be captivated by the mills, canals, mass bicycle transport and tulips.
Later, in the exchange of one job to another, he went around the globe and arrived in Japan. His visit to the 'country of the rising sun' took place in the summer of 2017, this time in the company of his mother, with whom he contemplated the iron culture of respect for the other; Not only of silence in temples, but also in common spaces such as a museum or a bank, even in restaurants with suggestions on the menu to place the cell phone in mute.
In addition to technological development, especially in transport, it would be admired for the value of discipline and safety evident in every place traveled. However, the greatest experiences would be lived at the gastronomic level on account of the dishes based on fish and vegetables, as well as the thermal baths of volcanic origin that, in his opinion, lead to the elderly population in the country being preserved in very good health.
Back in the world of metalworking, especially the commercial area related to fastening systems for CNC machining, the opportunity would arise to attend the most important event of this industry in the United States: The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), held every two years in Chicago.
This city has become a destination to which he tries to return every year, both for its architecture and business dynamics. The 2018 edition of the IMTS brought him an additional attraction, as it was there that he met his current partner; An engineer like her father, a lover of travel like her, with whom since then she would initially maintain a professional and friendship contact, which would be consummated in a sentimental relationship just over a year ago, after a pandemic that would change all her plans.
Starting over indoors
In February 2020, Ruth Rodríguez would welcome in form the proposal made months ago to be the director of the Mexican Association of Surface Finishes Industrialists (AMAS). She had warned them that she was completely unaware of this industry, however her experience at the helm of strategic alliances and public relations would give her a vote of confidence, strengthened by her curious nature of navigating new waters.
This would be one of his main strengths at the time of taking office, just as a giant wave landed on top. Looking a few weeks after Surface Finishing Mexico (SFM), the most important exhibition of finishes and surface coatings, the news of the first case of Covid-19 in the country put an end to everything: the event was canceled, a series of projects were paused and staff were sent home.
Ruth was alone, miles away from her parents and siblings in Mexico City, and with more limited room for maneuver given the cut in her team. All this became his greatest professional challenge.
"To my good fortune, I think I focused all the creativity and all this energy of the lockdown on new strategies for the Association," recalls Ruth, who decidedly began to study this industry in depth, "and I said: whatever has to happen; I'm going to do my best until something else happens."
And things happened. During 2021, even in the midst of the pandemic, it achieved an unusual growth in memberships of new players of the Association. In addition, with the support of his team he was able to float an unprecedented virtual edition of the SFM, and in July of last year it returned in person in Monterrey, which in his opinion has been the best exhibition in his 17 years of organizing events, congresses and conventions.
Now he has his sights set on Guadalajara, where from October 18 to 19 the sixth edition of the SMF will be held, which seeks to further strengthen the ties of the nearly 130 associates.
"We are now very strong with a project to develop suppliers and buyers precisely for the industry we represent, and I can tell you that unlike 2020, when we received one project a week, today there are on average three a day," says Ruth, with a smiling countenance and the decision to face any onslaught of fate with the same inner strength of the elephants that perch next to her.