If you ever have the pleasure of meeting Sarasota immigrant Lourdes Gallagher you’ll know her by her welcoming personality and inspiring energy. She will be humble and kind but once you start asking her questions you will realize she has an unbelievable wealth of experiences. We recently sat down with Lourdes to record her story for SMILEforImmigrationReform.org.
Lourdes grew up in in Rio de Janeirol. Through constant application (working during the day and going to school at night) she became a Project Design Engineer. She worked designing oil and sugar refineries for 5 years. She always enjoyed design and after leaving industrial engineering started a furniture and closet manufacturing company with a partner. She ran that for a few years until she was invited by Aeroglobal to become a director of operations in North America purchasing small airplanes and developing new business. The company took her to Montreal and Philadelphia.
In Philadelphia she decided to contact an American friend she’d made in Brazil through her hobby, car racing. His name was Steve. Steve was in Detroit so Lourdes requested a transfer to Detroit, Aeroglobal agreed to establish the company in Detroit and obtained an H1-B visa for her. One and half years later Lourdes and Steve decided to get married and Steve was able to sponsor Lourdes for a Green Card. A few years later she was working for the same automotive company as her husband.
Lourdes lived in Detroit for the next 18 years. She bought airplanes, became a stock-broker, worked for the Airlines, worked as an Engineer, become a Professor and interpreter. She was working for AT&T when the company gave her the option of relocating to Phoenix or Sarasota. She chose Sarasota. When AT&T laid her off in 2009 she went back to school for IT project management.
Lourdes and her partners’ latest project entails installing solar panels that will provide electricity to residential homes. She is currently working on providing “green” energy for 14 thousand homes in Brazil. She also has another project that will bring clean water to rural villages in a remote region of Africa. We wish her all the best.
If you wish to contact Lourdes you may do so through her email: firstname.lastname@example.org