“Faith, Family and the Pursuit of Prosperity”
By Maria Alejandra Pulgar.
Born to a family of hard working Italian immigrants, Luigi Boria learned early in life that triumph does not always come easy; that you have to work hard to achieve your dreams and that with faith, values and desire all obstacles can be defeated.
Graduated in Accounting at one of the most prestigious universities in Caracas, Venezuela, he has been a successful business owner and resident of Doral for 23 years. He is also an Ordained Pastor within the Alpha and Omega Christian Church and decided to pursue public service to extend to the community his crusade for helping others succeed, and to help keeping the city he loves a thriving, safe and happy place to live. He currently serves as Councilman for the City of Doral and is running for Mayor on the upcoming November elections.
The conversation with Luigi Boria is dynamic, deep and very interesting. It flows quickly toward his profound knowledge of his faith and its influence in human behavior. He believes in inclusion, in avoiding controversy and fostering strong values of honesty and integrity. He also believes on doing all that it takes to preserve what has been achieved and thinks that continuing improvement through teamwork, leadership and accountability are the keys to the welfare of Doral and its residents.
“True wealth is of the heart, not of the purse”.
Og Mandino in ‘The Greatest Salesman in the World’
The most important aspect in the life of Luigi Boria is his family. “I am a family man and love spending quality time with them. If you are not able to admire and appreciate it, you have no satisfaction in life”. After tragically losing his father at 15 years old, struggling financially to support his mother and younger siblings and working very hard to obtain his college education, Boria built his own family with his college sweetheart Graciela, on strong foundations of love, respect, faith and mutual collaboration, focused in common goals. His eyes light up when he sees her, and a broad smile appears when she is close by. There is no doubt she is his rock and support. As are his grown children, who now run the successful family business “The Wise Computer”, the evolution of that small business “The Magic Computer” that him and Graciela had founded in Caracas early in their marriage.
The other important part of his personality is his faith that he defines as “spending quality time with God, trying to learn every day what He wants from you”. An intense spiritual experience at the tender age of 4, ignited in him the flame of the strong faith Boria has today, and the devotion that he credits to have guided him through the many difficult situations he confronted while growing up, after he had to take over a humble family business as a teenager and found himself with the responsibility of becoming the family provider.
Being the child of immigrants and being an immigrant himself, Boria feels sympathetic and can easily identify with the needs, experiences and struggles of Doral families, who come to a new country to create a new life, looking for “the land flowing with milk and honey, like Moses in the Bible”. To Boria “homeland is not where you were born, or where your parents brought you from by blood. Homeland is the place where you find the purpose God has decided for you”. For his parents, who came from Italy, Venezuela was homeland. For him, it is the United States of America. “This country has been very generous with all of us that come with good intentions. Here I have found the golden dream that my parents came looking for from Europe many years ago”.
Growing up, Luigi Boria had to learn how to live in two languages and two cultures: Italian, the official language at home and Spanish outside. It was not easy at the beginning, as it happens to all bilingual children, and the languages got mixed up in his mind sometimes. But far from discouraging Luigi, that prompted him to focus on being proficient, to love learning new languages and always work on improving. After moving to the USA he learned to speak English to understand and assimilate in the American culture, as he believes that “education is a constant process that should never end. You should never stop learning, studying and improving”.
“My goals are impossible unless they are followed by action”. Og Mandino, op.cit.
Luigi Boria always dreamed of being a leader, “being able to help people, a good mentor. To me it was fundamental learning how to do that, to inspire people to work with you, committed with your ideas and goals. When the time was right in my business I jumped at the opportunity to give others the chance to work with us, to share our vision and it has been very successful. I care about those that work with me; it is my responsibility to watch over them and to guide them. I am living my dream, because I have more than 15 years helping people follow theirs as well.”
Once he decided to get involved in Public Service he has done it wholeheartedly, devoting a lot of time to the interests of Doral and its residents. “These 2 years in the City Council has been of constant training. I am interested in knowledge and through experience and training I have learned many aspects that I did not know on how issues are worked out and solved in Public Service. It has been worth the time and dedication that it requires to do it well. I have been very interested in learning and also in approaching people to let them know that I am there to serve and to be their voice. Unfortunately not many people take advantage of me being approachable to attend to their needs. It is a cultural matter. Many do not know they can do it. I want to change that. I want people to know what they can do to voice their needs through approaching their elected officials and participating actively in the community”.
Reaching out to the other candidates once he is elected Mayor is definitely on Luigi Boria’s utmost interest: “Of course that I want to have them involved in the City; to give advice, to become part of the many committees that we have. We need to unite the city. A united city is strong, and separations destroy. If people see us in the Council as a close knit team, working together, we can continue bringing quality of life, organization, planning; giving added value to the administration of the City we all love. To me is very important to include everybody that wants to participate in the decisions that will guide the future of our city”.
“There are two kinds of discontented in this world, the one that works and the one that wrings its hands. The first gets what it wants and the second loses what it has” Og Mandino, op. cit.
Luigi Boria wants to foster community participation and knowledge of the many aspects involved on the operation of the city, where the opinion of the residents is valuable and appreciated.
“With true leadership, example and inspiration we can make Doral residents get involved and actively participate in the decisions that affect the city. We have to educate the people on the many ways they can volunteer, give their time and talents to the benefit of the whole community. Doral residents need to understand that regardless of their legal status or their possibility to vote, they live in this community and they are responsible for following the rules, taking care of what we have and helping authorities make decisions that are beneficial for the whole community”.
Boria is enthusiastic in seeing an evolution and growth in Doral in the near future, and that is where the election of the right people for the decision making positions become crucial for keeping the vision of Doral as the city where everybody wants to live.
“Participation in the elections is very important. The same way we have duties, we also have rights and one of the main rights is the right to vote. If we don’t use it, we lose it and decisions end up being made by the minority that took action and showed up to vote. I want to encourage all people to exercise their right. Voting is a right that changes societies. If you do not like something, exercise your right to vote.
The reward of a good vote is a good team at City Hall: People with ethics and honesty; genuine people with values, high standards, professional; Full of energy. That is the people we need in Doral for the upcoming years”.