By Virginia Mungovan
As Dow Chemical’s manager of innovation and new business development of Latin America, Charly Eid ’05 is getting noticed. In March 2012, news site CNN Expansion recognized this Thunderbird School of Global Management graduate as one Mexico’s “30 Promising Business Leaders in their 30s,” saying his alternative energy initiatives will generate $100 million by 2014.
Eid said people looking at his background might question how he fits into his current position. “I’m an IT guy by background. Not chemical. Not an engineer. But I am here to innovate,” Eid said. “For innovation, you only have to connect with the right people. We always think that it comes from a great idea, but if you don’t connect with someone, it doesn’t happen. My job is managing the collaboration.”
Eid is currently managing a project to build the first solar thermal plant in Latin America. As a Mexico native, Eid believes in what his company is doing for the region. “We are taking care of the community through our efforts in sustainability,” Eid said.
He speaks passionately about the potential for good that he can do within Dow. “Many people in Mexico don’t have clean water,” he said, “but our technologies are being implemented in order to bring clean water to our country.”
Passion is what drives Eid. “I have passion for my life,” he said. “When I was at Thunderbird, I had passion for that. I am passionate about my work. I am passionate about everything that I do.”
That includes his role on the board of Dow’s Disability Employee Network. “It’s not a charity thing,” he said. “It’s trying to give skilled and talented people with disabilities the same opportunities as everyone else.”
The topic of disability hits close to home for Eid. One of his best friends had an accident that caused her to lose motor skills. “She lives in Lebanon,” Eid said. “But for me it’s a way to show her I care about making a better world for her.”
Eid met his wife, Ingrid Gonzalez ’05, when they were classmates in the Global MBA for Latin American Managers program, a dual-degree program with Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. Eid had intended to leave Mexico for his MBA, but after receiving a promotion at his former job, he also wanted to keep working. The distance-learning program, which uses live satellite technology, allowed him to do both and gave him the international education he was looking for.
“That program opens you up to the rest of the world,” he said. “It puts countries together to talk about problems. It gives you a global mindset.”