I have always looked up to Gary Bengochea. He is one of the quiet good guys. He always seems to have everything under control. He is the President of the Nevada First Corporation, a former construction worker, and former owner of a local grocery store.
Gary is one of the few people native to Winnemucca. His father was born in Winnemucca, and his mother in Oregon Canyon, Oregon. Both sets of his grandparents immigrated to the United States from Spain, and they both settled in Humboldt County, Nevada. They were sheepherders, ranchers and miners. Interestingly, his grandfather Thomas Alcorta discovered Cordero Mine in McDermitt Nevada. Gary is currently the president of the quick silver mine.
After Gary graduated from high school, Gary attended Boise College (currently Boise State University) and graduated in 1967. While attending Boise College he met his wife Chris Stoker. After college graduation he decided to join the military as an officer, but was turned down due to health reasons. At that point Gary decided to enroll in the University of Utah MBA program. Upon graduating from the University of Utah he and his family moved back to Winnemucca, Nevada. Upon his return to he was employed as the assistant grocery manager for a local grocery store. After a few years he purchased the “Uptown Market”, a local grocery store. He and his wife ran the market for almost ten years, at which time he sold the grocery store, and began working for the Helms Construction Company. Gary advanced quickly with Helms construction, and was planning on moving to the Reno area, when the construction company went through financial and operational issues and was shut down.
Gary was fortunate to obtain an accounting position with the Nevada First Corporation. Nevada First Corporation was the largest landowner in Nevada aside from the rail road for many years, and operated as a working ranch. Gary was promoted to the President of Nevada First Corporation when the company was split up among the heirs of the owner. Gary has been in this role ever since I have known him. I have always wished I had his same ability to manage financial affairs and people.
Since Gary had not been involved in agriculture up to the point he was hired by Nevada First, it took him a little while to learn the business side of ranching. He put into practice things he had learned in the grocery and construction business, and became very successful. Gary also credits his success to good people working for him such as good farm and ranch managers. He has had the opportunity to meet a lot of many excellent farming and ranching families. Many of these families have been involved in agriculture for generations.
Gary has the knack of combining business and agriculture. He is a natural businessman, and is a great example to many people in Northern Nevada.
Advice, tips and observations
1-People are like ice cream, you like them all but some flavors you like more than others
2-The nice thing about ranching was he was able to get out and see a lot of beautiful country, there are a lot of cool places in Nevada and he has been able to see a lot of them.
3-Whatever you do for work in your life, you better enjoy it. Life needs to be fun
3-If you have a dream you have to work at it. Dreams will not come easy, but can be attained
4-Always be honest
5-People need to keep family traditions
6-Spend time with your family, they grow up way too fast
WORK HARD, BE PATIENT, NEVER GIVE UP, BE GRATEFUL, BE PRAYERFUL AND HAVE FUN!