It was a busy summer for Patricio Plazolles, Program Officer at Ohio Wesleyan’s Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship, as he traveled to various conferences throughout Peru speaking on Global Leadership Development and Emotional, Social, and Cultural Intelligence as a Model for Professional Success.
“Most of the places I gave conferences,” Plazolles says, “were affiliated with the Universidad National de San Augustín de Arequipa, where I also taught. The University is 183 years old and has 27,000 students.”
It’s important for the citizens of Peru to learn the lessons of global leadership because some parts of the country, and Arequipa in particular, are enjoying unprecedented economic growth.
“Arequipa,” Plazolles says, “is leading economic development in Peru and Bolivia, with about six to seven percent growth annually, and its influence will grow with the construction of the Trans-Oceanic Highway from Brazil.”
Because of his participation in helping to prepare students for the new Peru, Plazolles is becoming a well-known figure among college students and business people, both in the universities and in the social services sector.
For example, he was invited for the past three years by AMIGOS, an NGO that works with the elderly who have lived in extreme poverty, to assist with the group with its leadership development efforts.
“The program is run by social workers,” Plazolles says, “and they want to improve the organization. I was happy to involve students from the university in helping the group become more effective in the work they do that is so necessary.”
Because of his contributions to Peru and its citizens, Plazolles was showered with honors throughout his travels, although with his customary courtesy, he prefers to turn the spotlight on others who are working every day to bring about change.
The highest honor Plazolles received was, indeed, a big one: an Honorary Professor from the Universidad National de San Augustín de Arequipa. “That was a humbling experience,” Plazolles says, “to receive such an honor from these officials. It also occurred on my mother’s birthday, July 5, and I know she would have been proud. It was very affecting that the Cathedral bells were also ringing at the very moment that the ceremony ended.”
The City of Arequipa itself, not to be outdone by the university, presented Plazolles with the Diploma and Medal of Culture for his professional accomplishments and service to Peru.
On the same day, the Association of Business Administration Professionals made him an honorary member and presented the medal and award of outstanding professional accomplishments.
In addition, the Third Military Region of Peru, the Department of Defense, and the Army of Peru gave him the rank of 2nd Sergeant SMV in recognition of prior military service, and he was given the honor of hoisting the Peruvian flag at a military and civic event in Arequipa.
Ever modest, Plazolles says, “We are all here to serve and it is in that service that we grow. All of these honors make me happy, but also humble.”