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#SheIsSEMA Spotlight: Maggie Valdez, Owner at MV Industries Gaskets Inc.

By Ashley Reyes SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) named Maggie Valdez as this week’s #SheIsSEMA spotlight member. Valdez is the owner of MV Industries Gaskets Inc., which manufactures aftermarket gaskets and seals.  

Get to know Valdez in her interview with SEMA below.

SEMA: How many years have you been with your current company and what do you enjoy most about working there?

Maggie Valdez: It has been an amazing three years with my current company. I love learning about products, the industry and people that are involved in businesses because it makes me want to be better at what I do.

SEMA: What is the most challenging part of running your business or job?

MV: The most difficult part of running my business is being able to stay competitive while manufacturing in the USA.

SEMA: How many years have you been in the industry and what was your first industry job?

MV: I’ve been in this industry for much longer than I came to realize. When I was a child, my sister and I would help our dad at his bumper-repair shop. His business has been in the industry for many years. We made copies and answered phone calls as kids. I’ve been an official owner since 2018.

SEMA: What are three qualities that got you to where you are today?

MV: The personal qualities that have helped me in my business ventures are hard work and positivity. These two concepts alone will not get you everywhere, but when combined with a little bit of patience, they can turn into something amazing.

SEMA: Being a woman in the industry, what have been your biggest challenges and accomplishments?

MV: It’s hard to be a woman in the industry. There are so many challenges and accomplishments that come along with it. One of my biggest hurdles has been getting people to overlook my age, race or being woman-owned. The best moment was when I opened up shop by myself. Owning your own business can sometimes feel like winning at life because you get more control over what happens, even if things don’t always work out exactly as planned.

SEMA: Who are your role models or mentors in the industry?

MV: My role models are my dad and mentors. They have helped me along the way, especially with running a business alone, as it’s difficult to know what you're doing without people by your side who can help teach or correct any mistakes that might come up when starting out on this path of entrepreneurship.

SEMA: What is the best career advice you have received?

MV: One of my clients asked why I started a company and reminded me what got me started today: You can’t lose sight if there’s no purpose beyond passion, because without its own goals, it becomes unimportant.

SEMA: Have you always wanted to work in the automotive industry?

MV: I never planned to work in the automotive industry, but the challenge keeps me here.

SEMA: Who was the most influential person on your career/goals?

MV: My parents were the most influential people who shaped me into who I am today. They instilled a strong work ethic and values on what it means to be successful both at home and professionally, which had such positive effects.

Do you know, or are you, a woman with a career in the automotive industry? Fill out a #SheIsSEMA spotlight form to submit a self-nomination or nominate a colleague and highlight how you or she is contributing to the specialty-equipment industry. Selected candidates are automatically eligible to be considered for SBN's #SheIsSEMA Woman of the Year award, featured on SBN's social media, SEMA News and recognized on the website.