Class of 1995
Gino Pinargote (‘95, Ecuador) wants to give people a reason to get up in the morning. It’s the secret to his success as an entrepreneur: he strives to inspire agricultural professionals to feel “love” for their work and “pride in their excellent performance, wise decisions and ethical actions.”
His path hasn’t been easy. When Gino remembers his University days, he speaks with brio of “an environment of peace, love, and a lot of dynamism.” Nevertheless, while at EARTH, he faced an immense challenge. For his entrepreneurial project, Gino ran a banana plantlet nursery with several classmates. Despite the project’s initial promise, a flood in 1993 destroyed most farms’ crops in the Limón province that year, which resulted in the project’s closing with negative balances.
The experience of managing a real-life disaster would prove invaluable. As a quality control specialist with one of his country’s biggest mango-exporting companies, Durexporta, he had the “gratifying” chance as a graduate to reinvent the company’s image in El Niño’s devastating wake, earning him greater responsibility overseeing quality on all of the company’s mango, banana, palmetto, cocoa and cattle farms.
Gino moved on from Durexporta to pursue other projects, and in 2001, Dole recognized his leadership with the prize for Ecuador’s best banana producer. “It was like the Oscars!” he laughs, recalling the excitement he felt. The prestigious award highlights productivity, quality, social and environmental responsibility.
In 2005, he created his own business, Equilibratum, which today provides environmental consulting and management services, applied biotechnology to prevent and treat environmental contamination and landscaping services. The company now employs nearly 20 people.
For Gino, EARTH is “where you live a reason for being: contributing to society’s development and resource management with the future in mind – and that’s called sustainability.”