When Mr. Mencia sought investors for his new company, he found that they wanted too much control. So using his savings, the equity in his house, and a few credit cards, he launched The Cube Corp. from his home in October 1994. Mr. Mencia named his venture after the boyhood nickname of his older brother, Manny, who was called “Cube” – short for “Cuban.”
“I struggled for a long time to find a name that described the business, but I failed miserably at coming up with a name that would roll off the tongue,” Mr. Mencia recently told a newspaper reporter. “So one night, lying in bed, I popped up and said ‘The Cube,’ because that’s what they called my brother in high school. I thought we could develop a Cube logo.”
The Cube Corp. opened its first commercial office in Vienna, Virginia, and before the end of the calendar year had landed $100,000 in consulting contracts. The company finished that year about $2,200 shy of breaking even.
Headquartered today in Sterling, Virginia, Cube has five main service lines: operations and maintenance, logistics and support services, job corps and operations, security services, and engineering and construction services.
Most of the company’s contracts are for maintenance of government facilities, including NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, two facilities for the Department of Agriculture, and a U.S. Border Patrol training facility in South Carolina. Cube also has contracts with the Army and Air Force as well as security-sensitive sites such as the Department of Energy’s operations in Albuquerque.
Mr. Mencia credits his company’s success to his business plan, with its exclusive focus on the business of servicing and maintaining facilities. For most of his competitors, facilities management is not the company’s primary business. “A lot of these companies, when their core business is not doing well, turn to government contracts in the service sector,” notes Mr. Mencia. Cube is different, he says, because “this is what we do. This is our core business.”
PHOTO BY JOE MAHONEY
Selection of the Entrepreneur of the Year
The Entrepreneur of the Year 2001 was selected from a pool of more than 200 candidates nominated by HISPANIC BUSINESS readers and Hispanic CEOs. An analysis of financial performance for 1999 and 2000 narrowed the pool to 10 finalists. A panel of judges then reviewed the finalists’ application data and scored their responses to questions regarding business performance, management, employee training and development, and involvement in fostering entrepreneurship.
The judging process for Entrepreneur of the Year requires the nominees to submit sensitive company financial data and is therefore strictly confidential. Judges and all those concerned with selection of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award are committed to upholding and maintaining that confidentiality.
This year’s judges were Jose Fourquet, vice-president, Fixed Income, Currency, and Commodities Division, Goldman Sachs & Co., New York; Robert Rivera, CEO of Spectrum Communications Cabling Services in Corona, California, and last year’s EOY winner; and Victoria Quintana, vice-president of TeamExcel in Denver, also a past EOY winner.
-- SPONSORS --
As sponsor of the 2001 HISPANIC BUSINESS magazine EOY Award ceremony, Goldman Sachs was a key participant in honoring this year’s winner at the event, held October 3 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.
Goldman Sachs is a leading global investment banking and securities firm, providing a full range of investing, advisory, and financing services worldwide to a substantial and diversified client base, which includes corporations, financial institutions, governments, and high-net-worth individuals.
Founded in 1869, Goldman Sachs is one of the nation’s oldest and largest investment banking firms. After more than a century as a private partnership, it became a public company in 1999. The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is headquartered in New York and has more than 20,000 employees throughout its 41 offices in 23 countries around the globe.
Also sponsoring this year’s EOY award ceremony were Ford Motor Co., Fox Sports World Español, US Airways, Philip Morris, and Hispanic Media.
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