It’s like I went to sleep and woke up 8 years later. Time flies, especially in a place that is experiencing as much growth and opportunity as Rochester.
I still catch myself staring at our little downtown skyline and feeling a surge of happiness and pride as I gaze upon the iconic Kahler Hotel Sign. I have called Rochester home since 2005, but regardless of days, weeks, or years, in my heart, Rochester has always felt like home.
Before I moved here, I lived in big and small cities in Texas, California, Virginia, South Carolina and New Mexico. While I enjoyed living in those states, it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Growing up as an impoverished first-generation Mexican-American, I always dreamed of working downtown, owning my own business and being actively part of the community. These things didn’t seem like a possibility for a long time until I moved to Rochester.
What makes Rochester so special for me is its culture. A culture that is unique and somewhat difficult to define due to its vacillating characteristics between small town and big city. In my opinion, this city consists of mostly highly educated and family-oriented people of diverse backgrounds who are extremely generous, caring and accessible. As I write this, I think of the hospitality and friendship so many members of this community have extended to me, a complete stranger at one point. One particular experience stands out where Mayo’s CEO treated me as an honored guest and gave me a tour of his house after responding to a service call because his stereo system wasn’t working. Another stand-out experience was the enthusiasm my SCORE business advisor showed me the first time we met about launching my own business. Undeniably, this city is made up of great people and it has proven itself to be a perfect environment for me.
During my time here, I have accomplished a lot. I own a downtown home technology business, Smart Home Innovations & Engineering, Inc. (SHINE), volunteer weekly performing hand massages for chemo patients at Mayo, and have an active role marketing Rochester’s Downtown. Fortunately, these accomplishments are about as good as I imagined them 25 years ago, but it would not have been possible without this city and the people here.
So how does all of this tie into DMC? Well, eight years ago, I knew in my gut that Rochester was the place to achieve my childhood dreams. Today, at the beginning of the DMC initiative, I have the same feeling and believe Rochester will be the catalyst to fulfill my adult life goals well into my golden years. My primary goal now is to grow the business by sharing my passion for home technology. Currently at SHINE, we offer home technology systems centered on entertainment and convenience such as home theaters, automation and whole house audio systems. However, since the introduction of the DMC, I have started thinking about home technology a little differently. I believe that home technology has a real future in healthcare at a large scale here in Rochester because of the DMC. Healthcare home technology has been around for sometime, but has had little impact to date. I believe DMC can change that. It’s difficult to know exactly what this will look like at this time, but I envision a DMC patient visiting with me requesting that we design, install or wire his home for latest personal health care devices/applications due to their treatment at Mayo.
Dan Aguilar is a Rochester business owner and an active community volunteer.
What are your hopes for the future of Rochester? What entrepreneurial opportunities do you see as DMC moves forward? Share your comments below.