Hispanic Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Arnold B. Peinado, owner of Wildwood Developers, LLC and Franklin Self Storage, LLC, describes his upbringing in El Paso as well as his various projects throughout the city. His parents, who were both Mexican immigrants came to El Paso under various circumstances to flee the violence that ensued during the Mexican Revolution. Peinado, a valedictorian of El Paso High School, received his Bachelors Degree of Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and later attained his Masters degree in the same field at MIT. His brothers also attained civil engineering degrees at Levigh University as well as Cal Tech. After Peinado graduated with his Master’s degree, he returned to El Paso and was drafted into the military to fight in the Korean War. After returning, he went on to establish his engineering company, Peinado & Peinado, in 1975. He initiated various contracts throughout El Paso to construct structures such as El Paso Civic Center, Basset Tower, and various high schools. His business was unique because it was the only engineering company in the area that was Hispanic-owned. Peinado discusses some shortfalls, such as the failed construction of a $2 million structure that forced his company to declare bankruptcy. He also became involved in the El Paso Chamber of Commerce as well as other local organizations. Peinado also discusses the values he learned from his father and mother that contributed to his success. His three children, two boys and one girl, each went to college and attained successful careers. Throughout his time living in El Paso, Peinado notes that he believes the city’s economic base is expanding and that it has been increasingly simpler to work with banks. He concludes the interview by encouraging future entrepreneurs to not be fearful of their endeavors and to be trustful, yet professional.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Arnold B. Peinado by Homero Galicia, 2009, "Interview no. 1521," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.