On March 4, Armando Orellana, director of the Idaho Mexico Trade Office passed away in Guadalajara, Mexico. Most Idahoans never knew this man, but his impact touched nearly every citizen in our state.
For 23 years, Armando served five governors and the Idaho Department of Commerce by breaking down export barriers for Idaho farmers, high-tech and small businesses. He helped increase exports, elevating Mexico to Idaho’s second largest export market.
In May 2014, Peter Guerrero and I had the very good fortune to begin a working relationship with Armando that blossomed into an all-too-short lifelong friendship. From his infectious smile to his uncompromising standards for quality, honesty and professionalism, Armando made us all better people, and brought to the negotiation table equally qualified and honest buyers.
Armando taught us to dream bigger and aim higher. He provided us the tools for success and reveled in our accomplishments as much as we did. With every step Armando was a mentor and friend.
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There are countless people in Idaho who worked with Armando and who are grieving his loss. His joyous presence, irreplaceable companionship and partnership will be deeply missed by all in the State of Idaho.
Julie Stauts, Boise