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Editorial: State’s first billionaire is a credit to hard work

Ron Corio isn’t a poor mountaineer who barely kept his family fed. Nor has he loaded up the truck to move to Beverly. Hills that is. But he could if he wanted to. Instead, the 59-year-old Albuquerque resident who built Array Technologies into a manufacturing giant is the state’s first billionaire, according to Forbes’ magazine’s annual list of the world’s richest people.

Corio told the Journal the secret to his success was finding something he believed in and persevering. “That’s what it comes down to, to get this kind of success – believe in what you do and stick with it,” he told the Journal. Solid advice for any youngster in New Mexico.

It all started in 1979 when the New Jersey native moved to New Mexico. In 1989, at 28, Corio launched Array Technologies with $16,000 in personal funds. The company that employs about 350 and makes tracking systems for solar arrays now controls 30% of the U.S. solar-tracker market. It’s been a good green deal for Corio.

The company went public in October on Nasdaq after Corio stepped down as CEO. He sold several hundred million dollars’ worth of stock in the initial and secondary offerings, giving him a $1.1 billion net worth in April.

With that kind of money, Corio could buy an MLB team, his pick of Boeing commercial planes, or a private island in the Bahamas with an air strip and Modigilianis on every directional wall.

Yet, Corio remains as humble as the fictional Jed Clampett. “I always lived under the radar. I kept my head down and worked hard. I had some serendipity in my life and it happened, but it took a lifetime to get there.”

Corio is a true New Mexican success story. Here’s to many N.M. youngsters exemplifying his work ethic and also achieving great success.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.