Michael Olguin Sr. co-owns an insurance company with his son.
Greg Byrd | El Defensor Chieftain

 

Michael Olguin Sr. co-owns the Michael Olguin Insurance LLC. company with his son Michael Olguin Jr., providing services to people in the community.

What is your role here at this point in your career?

I wear two hats business-wise. I’ve been a New York Life registered representative for over 32 years. I also co-own Olguin insurance with my son here in Socorro. We are an independently owned insurance company that provides services for both home and commercial clients.

How did you and your son create this business?

I already had a basic foundation for years as a part of New York Life. My son decided to join forces and now he runs that side of the business. It’s been eight or nine years we’ve been working together here. I don’t know, time goes by.

What did your son bring to the table that had you decide to go into business with him?

Well first off he’s great with people which is obviously a big thing in this business. But the biggest thing is I trust him because I trust my son. I have extreme confidence eventually this is going to be his sole ownership.

What is it like seeing your son coming up underneath you?

That’s something I think all parents hope for. To be able to watch your kids grow and thrive in whatever they choose to do. Michael is going to keep this thing going no doubt.

Are you born and raised in Socorro?

I was born in San Antonio. My parents Manuel and Coral Olguin ran Buckhorn before I went to Socorro high school. From there I went to New Mexico State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s in science and mathematics as well as having a minor in journalism. I was in broadcasting for a number of years. From there I went into politics.

How did that experience come about?

I worked for Harold Reynolds, a well-respected newsman in Washington D.C. From there I came back to Socorro to operate a radio station for Socorro after getting married. At that point, I decided to go into politics and become a state representative, which I did for 14 years.

Why did you decide to do that?

It was always a passion and something I was curious about. When you’re exposed to politics at the levels I was, there is always a unique curiosity. Being involved at that level made me want to give back to this community.

What was the experience of going into politics like?

It was an adventure of curiosity. I just wanted to know about the political process at the time and what was going on behind the curtain. One of the biggest things I learned in Washington was compromise. We’ve lost give and take as we argue recently.

What has been the best and worst experience here in Socorro?

I’ve been fortunate enough to see my family grow up. Kids and grandkids. Yet, as a kid who grew up here and seeing what Socorro has become today is very unfortunate. There is a lack of opportunity. We don’t have any retail business. Why would somebody want to set up shop here unless they loved this community like myself? I wanted to be gone from here many years ago. But I love Socorro. That is the problem.

Outside of work, what is your favorite thing to do?

Spending time with family. Not everybody has the option to watch their grandkids grow up. I find every opportunity to see them a blessing.

If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do?

I would set up properties and trusts for my kids and grandkids. Also, seek out the multiple areas in our state that could use financial help. I can’t take 500 million with me so just give back.

What is your favorite book?

Anything by John Grisham. I love his writing and read as much of his stuff as I can. There’s an element of solving problems from a legal standpoint that I find very intriguing.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I have a good friend that lives in Marco Island, Florida. That is just a beautiful place to be. It’s right there on the gulf and such a beautiful community. I find it very peaceful.

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?

Seek opportunity. Don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do something. You can if you set your mind to it.

Seek opportunity and never let somebody close a door in your face.

If you could change one thing in Socorro County, what would that be?

Economic opportunity. We lack a lot of that right now. The opportunity for young people to be involved in meaningful jobs that pay well. Wanting to see people being able to come up without having to seek other communities.

 

Greg Byrd | El Defensor Chieftain