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Last Update: Monday October 23, 2017

Key Idea: Hire Family

Irene and Lupe Fraga's three children have worked their way up in the organization.  Today Alisa Fraga does human resources.  More...

Key Question:

A: 

Not all of us could work with our spouse and our children, but for Lupe, this has been very successful.

Family has always been very important to him and he obviously revels in being surrounded by his family at Tejas Office Products.

Q:
How can family members work together successfully?

A: 
At Tejas Office Products, roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. This is important in any size organization, whether employees are related or not. They may be equals in the family, as Lupe's children certainly are, but within Tejas Office Products, each has a defined position. What they have in common is their sense of caring, for their customers, their business, and each other. Working together as a family isn't possible for all families, but when it is, and it works, as we saw with the Fraga family, something magical happens.

Think about it

Do you have a fabulous employee who might have a family member you could hire?

Clip from: Tejas Office Supply is all Texan.

Houston: Texans are resilient and resourceful, and people of deep faith.  When Hurricane Ike struck, they began turning to each other to  pull through thiat  storm together.  Pictured above is Lupe Fraga.  He came with his family to Houston as a young boy and grew up as a Texan.

He captures the spirit of this part of the world.

In 1962 Lupe Fraga left his bookkeeping job to buy an office supply business but steady profits did not come quickly. Today, over 150 employees turn $40 million a year making Tejas Office one of the largest minority - owned businesses in the greater Houston area.
 
He borrowed some of the start-up capital from Irene, his girl friend; and, the owner financed the purchase. He married Irene -- "the best thing I ever did in my life" -- and then he learned  profits do not come easily.

This is a family business. Michelle is their first born; and the day we met her, she was busy teaching a new manager and leading a customer service training session. Alisa, the middle child, handles human resources and says that caring can be measured on the bottomline.  Stephen, the youngest Fraga says that they all wear many hats. Stephen followed in his father's footsteps and graduated from Texas A & M. Rather than coming to work at Tejas Office right from school, Lupe encouraged him to work for a large company which he did for two years before joining Tejas in 1998.

Named by Governor Rick Perry to the Texas A&M Board of Regents and currently Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank Dallas-Houston, Lupe also volunteers for the Greater Houston Partnership and The United Way.

Tejas Office

Lupe Fraga, Owner

1225 W. 20th Street
Houston, TX 77080
7138646004

Visit our web site: http://www.tejasoffice.com

Office: 7138646004

Business Classification:
Office Supplies

Year Founded: 1961

Hire Family

HATTIE (Voiceover): Irene and Lupe have been busy building a business. But at the same time, they have raised three children who are now all leaders in the company. Michelle is the firstborn, and the day we met her, she was busy teaching a new manager and leading a customer service training session.

MICHELLE FRAGA: If everybody brings to the table all the details, all their ideas, this will help everyone on the whole. It will help Tejas as a team.

STEPHEN FRAGA: Here's West Park, here's Bissonette...

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Stephen, the youngest, says they all wear many hats, but he is now focusing on improving systems in the warehouse.

STEPHEN: From being at the bank and the training I got there--has enabled me to bring that here, and allowed us to know, as a small company, what we need to be showing a bank.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Alisa, the middle child, deals with human resources.

ALISA FRAGA: I have the nickname--`Bulldog' is what I am called. It's true. I want you to give it your all.

HATTIE: Do you think caring brings--the act of caring will bring dollars to the bottom line?

ALISA: Yes, I do.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Irene and Lupe never used business as an excuse not to rear their children right. How did you have time to lavish love on your kids when--you know--in the '80s, they were little. You must have been consumed by your business.

LUPE: I tell you what. To me--that's, again, what I learned from my parents, how important family is. And Hispanics, really--the family is the thing. You know, Sunday dinners, and, you know, fiestas, and conchinettas and all of that. And that's what it was. I think the Hispanic family is a close-knit family.

HATTIE: Your parents came here...

LUPE: From Mexico.

HATTIE: What stories did they tell you about why they left Mexico?

LUPE: They came to Houston because they wanted to give a better life to their children. And so I saw my parents work, work, work, work so that we could have an education, so that we could, you know, make a difference. Lots of love, lots of love.

HATTIE. I mean, my parents would do anything for their children. We are at a place that really means very much to me.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) As a child, Lupe played in the shadow of this church building, Our Lady of Guadelupe. The lessons learned and habits formed back then serve as a steady guide today.

LUPE: We lived upstairs, and there was a grocery store downstairs. Six kids and my mom and dad. I never thought of myself as being poor. To me, love in a family is what really matters, and that's what we had a lot of. So I never knew anything else but a family's love. You're never poor when the house is full of love.

HATTIE: What do you think Lupe has that makes him so good at running this business?

IRENE: He has everything.

HATTIE: But what is it?

IRENE: He's so honest, he's so sincere, he's people-oriented. He gives back. He gives back a lot.

LUPE: I've been so blessed. God really--I mean, I've gotten so much out of this life that sometimes I'm embarrassed. The most satisfaction that I can get is not getting a big order, not getting a big profit margin...

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Who wouldn't want to work for Lupe, or be his friend or his child? I kept trying to find his clay feet. Lupe is proof that love is the most powerful motivator for good in the universe. Want to know how to grow your company? Put a little love in your heart.
 
 

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