Frederico Melville – President, Cementos Progreso

It was with great vision and a clear idea of founding one of the first cement factories in Latin America, that in 1899, Carlos Federico Novella, grandfather of Frederico Melville, started the company. At that time cement was not the material used in Guatemala for construction.

In 1901 they began selling cement produced at La Finca La Pedrera, located in Zone 6 of Guatemala City. The earthquake of 1917 was followed by major demand of the product since all the buildings made of cement withstood the ravages of this natural phenomenon. The growing demand in the market created the need for increased production. Cementos Progreso currently produces a variety of products suitable for various construction needs.

With more than 7,000 employees in the Central American Region, President Melville stated in his presentation to the recent 2013 World Indigenous Business Forum participants that: All activities are conducted in accordance with the values from the beginning which were promoted by our fund and have been adhered to over four generations.

These values were determined by a Code of Values, Ethics and Conduct (COVEC), which guides each of our employees toward meeting: Ethical Behaviour, genuine Leadership, Solidarity and Commitment to a Sustainable Company.

While President Melville was very clear that making a profit is essential, he was just as clear that Economic Sustainability must be respectful to our natural and social environment and that the first priority is to be for the ‘Common Good’.

Frederico said, “ My grandfather may not have written it down on paper but he knew what a company should strive for – work is a means to an end. That end is the ‘common good’. What is meant by common good? A company that prides itself on its focus on family. Our company creates a community. A community is a bond between members of community and a relationship among others. Cementos Progreso has always been a family business. It speaks about their essence of spirit: family. The heart and core, as a family. There is an important aspect of a human person – the world the human person lives in. Humans don`t just live in a world, they inhabit it and make it their own; it’s the difference between a house and a home.”