Arthur Zayas Miller, president and CEO of Chicago-based MZI Group Inc., has a message for all Latinos with entrepreneurial aspirations: “Don’t be afraid of failing.”
In 1999, Miller realized his dream when he launched his company, which specializes in electrical and mechanical construction, energy infrastructure, and utility projects.
“When I was younger I worked in construction, but since I was a teenager my real aspiration was to start my own business and be an entrepreneur,” Miller tells Negocios Now.
MZI diversified over the years, and it became a leader in its industry thanks to large projects in the Midwest and elsewhere within the United States. MZI has worked on projects for numerous high-profile clients, including FedEx, Trump International Chicago, Nordstrom, Metra, the University of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, and the Chicago Board of Trade.
“MZI is one of the main Latino contractors in the city of Chicago,” Miller says. “We are continuously working to improve and update the current electric infrastructure by working on substations, skyscrapers’ transformers, and the integration of intelligent measuring tools.”
MZI also offers services to help companies and property owners reduce their electric consumption, advising them on how to get the best deals on electricity and recommending improvements such as insulation, efficient lighting, and continuous control systems for electricity and sensors.
The company’s 2014 profit exceeded $20 million. Miller says MZI has reinvested much of that revenue each year “to grow locally as well as globally.”
Expanding its capabilities was essential to its continued growth. Such foresight helped MZI win business from ComEd, which in recent years has invested heavily in upgrading its infrastructure.
“MZI has been part of those upgrades since 2007, so we have worked on many of the transformers in the skyscrapers throughout the city of Chicago,” Miller says, adding that his company also has worked for ComEd on its sewer infrastructure and electrical substations.
Presently, MZI is upgrading ComEd’s measuring tools to smart measuring systems. “These projects have led us to hire unionized personnel and purchase equipment worth $500,000,” Miller says.
Success for Miller was by no means guaranteed, but he enjoys his business, and he worked hard to build it.
His advice for those who’ve already taken the entrepreneurial plunge? “Make sure you love what you do,” Miller says, “and be sure that your employees know what the mission is so that they can accomplish it.” By Victor Perez