The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Success Stories


Elite Oilfield Construction

Elite Oilfield ConstructionU.S. Army Sergeant Leonel Garza was finishing up his third tour of duty in Iraq at the end of May 2008. When he arrived back home in the United States, he attended a seminar on services available to personnel leaving the service at Fort Stewarts, Ga. Garza had made up his mind that he wanted to work for himself while on active duty. “While I was in the military, I had so many bosses. I thought it would be nice to be my own boss and make my own hours,” Garza related. “I had my own ideas and had done some research. I had worked up a business plan, before I went to see the people at the veteran’s center,” he recalled. But his visit to the VBOC was a real eye opener for Garza, “What Mr. Alonzo Gracia did was take it to a whole new level. He gave me so much information outside of what I was doing about what other companies and competitors were doing,” he said. VBOC also helped Garza find financing, even though he came to the table with his own capital.

He eventually wants Elite Oilfield Construction, his company, to branch out to servicing construction sites and outdoor events. In the long run he hopes to have a fleet of 30 units, which would be an investment of $40,000.