Alicia Castillo Holley

 

My life had been amazing, with fascinating ups and downs!…. then depression hit my family. I could not sit still and watch my kid suffer and die. We are the fortunate that can tell the story, with a happy ending after all.

I wrote “Falling in love with your life” as a family guide to help one of my children overcome depression, I did not want to call it anything else. It quickly expanded onto her extended family, friends and clients… Life is too precious to not live fully.

I reflected upon what had happened and I think that being a very happy person, I had taken happiness for granted… Before depression hit our family, I wasn’t worried about happiness, I was having a lot of fun!

My professional career started as a scientist in plant physiology. At the tender age of 16, I was the youngest presenter of at National Conference for Agronomists. Four years later, I was also the youngest researcher presenting an authored paper at the First Latin American Congress of Electron Microscopy, in Bogotá, Colombia. By the time I graduated as Valedictorian as Agronomy Engineering, I had already published 8 graded research papers, and started two informal ventures. I love science and continued my studies pursuing a Masters of Science, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and lecturing at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. I worked on the exploration of gene expression on sunflowers and taught principles of agriculture and weed management and researched tissue culture as a way to massively propagate plants.

The business world call came by the hands of Plantagro, a Bayer-Shell joint venture to manage the New Product Development Department. I had a superb boss and team and still keep in touch with them. I also learned German (so ist das Leben). By then I knew I wanted to live overseas and started saving.

In 1994, having lost all of my savings, I moved to the US with my two children -and four boxes- to pursue an MBA at Babson College as the first Armando Travieso Fellowship recipient. To us, used to the tropics, living near Boston and feeling the snow and ice storms was amazing.

In 1996, I decided to return to Latin America to promote entrepreneurship. Within 4 months, I launched Chile’s First Center for Entrepreneurship at the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez and within 3 years Chile’s First Seed Capital Fund. During my time in Chile, I was also a lead researcher for two large programs, which involved extensive participation from the public and private sector. One was funded by the International Development Research Center – Canada, and the other one by Intec- Corfo – Universidad de Tarapaca. I also taught entrepreneurship in my very personal way: as wealth creation. My programs included undergrad, MBA, scientists and academics. I have continued to do so all over the world.

I lived in Houston, Texas from 2002 to 2005, then moved to Perth, Western Australia, to retire and write, and to work on philanthropic activities. I felt so blessed in my life that I wanted to give back.

In 2006, concerned about the challenges of innovation-based companies, I created The Wealthing(R) group to promote the understanding of the process of wealth creation. I have been a guest speaker and lecturer in many countries, including Australia, Bahrain, Chile, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, USA and others. I also participate in several committees on innovation, am an international panelist on business plan competitions, and am finishing a doctoral degree on the role of academic scientists in wealth created from research.

I spend my time writing, speaking, mentoring, traveling, and on philanthropic work. I am also an avid reader and learner. I’m also a lousy cook, and nope, I can’t surf, but I do dance, including Tango…

Above it all my biggest accomplishment is to understand how to adore my large and eclectic family, which, given my strong character has been a complete challenge!

So this is a bit about me, yet I also know that the magic comes after, when YOU who are lucky enough to have eyes that can see and a brain that can read English and access to this information, feel a connection that transcends the moment I’m writing this. That is the balance I was referring to. Throughout this page, I have given you a piece of myself, a glimpse to my life, but what happens after is no longer within my control. It is then about you. That is the miracle.

First we dream, then we make things happen.

Dreams come first! but dreaming alone doesn’t create anything.

Alicia Castillo Holley

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