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VOL. 129 | NO. 160 | Monday, August 18, 2014

I Choose Memphis: Andrés Flores

Special to The Daily News

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“I Choose Memphis” spotlights Memphians who are passionate about calling this community home. New Memphis Institute provides the profiles.

Name: Andrés Flores

Job title and company: Research and Operations Manager, Healthcare Concepts Inc.

Length of time living in Memphis: Two years

Life history: Twenty-five years ago I was born in Talca, Chile, which is a little smaller than Memphis; my dad was a professor at the University of Talca and mom stayed home to raise three kids. One day, dad took us to San Sabastian, Spain, and while he studied his MBA we enjoyed Europe. After three years we moved back to Talca, where I planned to spend my life, but in 2003 we moved to the United States so my dad could complete his Ph.D. He went to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and “culture shock” can’t describe my experience. It all turned out OK – my brother Rodrigo graduated from the University of Alabama and works in New York City, I played soccer for the University of Alabama in Huntsville for four years and landed in Memphis, and my younger sister Camila is a senior at the University of Alabama. Thanks to my dad and mom, I’ve had a remarkable life.

What is your favorite local festival? Memphis in May. I live in Harbor Town and I like to ride my bike, and I like that the whole month of May there is something exciting to do every weekend. Music Fest, BBQ fest, the International Festival and Memphis Symphony Orchestra at Sunset Symphony bring so many different people to Memphis and I enjoy seeing a lot of people in the downtown area. The music and food are fantastic.

What is your favorite local restaurant? Coletta’s on South Parkway. It’s one of Memphis’ best-kept secrets. Walking into the original Coletta's Italian Restaurant on South Parkway is like walking back in time. The atmosphere is amazing. I love their pizza, the servers and the service. It just has a good feeling and they even know my name.

What connects you to the city? The people and the opportunities connect. I’ve met tons of interesting people through the New Memphis Institute, the National Hispanic Professional Organization and other organizations. I volunteer a lot and I have met so many people who love this city and their dedication motivates me and makes me want to do more for the city.

Who are your local role models or mentors? My boss, Laurel Reisman, is a great mentor. I have never gone anywhere that she hasn’t known someone! She is very special and she loves to help people. She is also a very good business woman, very smart. She’s such a good role model for “paying it forward.” I have learned a lot from her since I met her three years ago.

In your opinion, what can be done to move Memphis forward? I’m still sort of a newcomer, but in just two years I’ve already seen my city moving forward. If people my age support the city as volunteers they’ll learn about the awesome things happening here and will spread the word that Memphis is a great place. Memphis also has an incredible number of opportunities for young people. I read that St. Jude is the No. 1 place where recent college grads want to work. I think when business and government open their doors a bit wider for young people, they will come with fresh ideas, enthusiasm and a positive image about our city.

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