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November 29, 2011: Mr. Juan Portillo

Juan PortilloFounder & President, Tramex Travel

In 1984, after a 14-year career with a West Coast regional airline, Juan Portillo and his wife, Margo, relocated to Texas and opened Tramex Travel. As the owner of this new agency, with one employee and no business, Juan set Tramex Travel’s goal to become the dominant Austin-based travel agency.

By providing outstanding customer service and taking a leadership role in implementing technology and innovative processes, Tramex became one of the top five agencies by 1988. By the mid-1990s Tramex became the number one locally owned and operated travel company in the Austin area.
Mr. Portillo has been recognized as an entrepreneurial and community leader in Austin and Central Texas. Among the many awards he has received over the years are Entrepreneur of the Year, Austin Chamber of Commerce; Businessman of the Year, Hispanic Chambers of Commerce; Entrepreneur of the Year, Inc. Magazine/Ernst and Young; Local Outstanding Businessman, Austin Metropolitan Resource Center; and Businessperson of the Year, Small Business Administration Region VII. Tramex has continuously ranked in Hispanic Business Magazine’s “Top 500” Hispanic owned businesses.
Among the many community organizations Mr. Portillo has served are The United Way Capital Area Board of Directors (chairman), Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board (chairman), The Children’s Hospital Foundation Board, The Austin Community College Board, The University of Texas College of Education Foundation Board and The Texas Independent College Foundation Board.
Mr. Portillo was born in Mexico and grew up in the Bay Area of Northern California. After serving in the United States Army Special Forces during the Vietnam Era, he graduated from San Francisco State University with a business degree.
He is married to Texas native, Margo Cook and they have three sons, Matthew, a sophomore at Princeton University, Christopher, a high school junior and Michael, an eighth grader.