7400 Sand St.
Rosa Navejar is the definition of self-made businesswoman.
Navejar took to heart her father’s advice, “Con ganas puedes hacer todo,” meaning “with enthusiasm, you can do anything” and set put to prove that she could.
Navejar grew up on Fort Worth’s North Side as the youngest of 10 children. After graduating from Diamond Hill High School in 1974, school was determined to become successful even though college was not within her grasp.
Her search for a downtown job led to an entry-level position in the proof transit area with First of Fort Worth, now Bank of America. That step led to a 25-year career in banking that spanned multiple banks. Along the way, she gained experience in corporate trust, retail, operations, lending and mortgage banking.
“Some people say I’ve worked for every bank in Fort Worth, twice,” Navejar told the Business Press. “I was being pulled every which way because I was bilingual.”
Navejar’s plans to retire were nixed when she was recruited for the position of president and CEO of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Her banking experience and a position of the chamber board made her a natural choice for the position. At first she balked but then reconsidered due to advice from two mentors.
In her 11 years as president of the Hispanic Chamber, Navejar was able to have an impact on the community in several ways, including the creation of a mentoring program to engage recent college graduates in civic and nonprofit leadership. Her innovative style helped the organization and its members increase their impact in the city and the business community.
By 2012, Navejar was ready to move on. At the time, she was helping a business owner find a buyer for a utilities division he was trying to sell. He asked her to buy the business and offered to finance the deal.
Again she balked but then relented on the advice of a trusted friend.
Since then, Navejar has been owner, president and CEO of The Rios Group Inc., a company which specializes in locating buried utility lines before construction of a major capital project such as a road or hospital addition. And she remains a familiar figure in the city’s business community.
Founded in 2004 as the utilities division of Gorrondona & Associates, The Rios Group had revenue of $5.6 million in 2014 and employed 27 people, including four engineers. The business also has offices in Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.
Navejar is now one of the Texas appointees to the 47-member National Freight Advisory Committee. She is also an executive board member of American Public Transportation Association; locally she serves as a board member of North Texas LEAD and the Safe City Commission.
– Marice Richter
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
From my father,”Con ganas puedes hacer todo. “ Basically, if you have the will, you can do anything. I truly believe these five words. If you want something bad enough you have to work hard to get it. Nothing is free in life, but when you work hard the benefits are priceless. Always remember you are not alone, you work as a team no matter where you are in the food chain. I am the last of 10 children, so I have been part of a team (family) all my life.
What advice would you give an entrepreneur?
Don’t be afraid to take risks. You will have successes and failures, but you have to learn from both! You can’t be afraid to ask yourself the tough questions and be honest with the answers. Remember, your company is only as good as your employees, from entry level to executive management.