Valle del Cauca businessman Diego Mejía Castro died this Saturday.
Mejía Castro dedicated a good part of his life to developing activities in favor of education, science, innovation, agriculture and non-conventional renewable energies.
In a few words, he was “a true leader and visionary man from Valle del Cauca,” expressed Emma Berón and Javier Medina, friends and colleagues who accompanied him in various projects in the region.
He studied Business Administration at the Icesi University and specialized in Senior Management and International Business Management.
He also studied Mechanical Engineering at the Universidad Autónoma de Occidente, UAO.
Mr. Mejía Castro had just celebrated his 59th birthday. He was linked to the family business for many years, the MAC Organization. There he was a mechanic assistant and climbed positions until he reached the Commercial Vice Presidency, where he managed to expand the international market for MAC. It achieved outstanding recognition for the quality of the batteries that the company produced, with one hundred percent ecological systems.
Son of Ernesto Mejía Amaya, founder of the company Baterías Mac and brother of the former Minister of Mines and Energy Luis Ernesto Mejía
Married to Claudia Botero, with two children from his first marriage, Sergio and Ernesto, and Carolina Botero, as an adoptive daughter in his second marriage.
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With his friends Javier Medina, professor at the Universidad del Valle, and the also leader of the Valley, Francisco Mejía, he participated in the creation of the Center for Technological Development of the Colombian Automotive Industry in 2013.
Likewise, it contributed to the restructuring and internationalization of the MAC organization. In the 90’s he visited factories in Japan, Germany, Brazil, the United States and Korea, and later he obtained the technology license of Johnson Controls and the QSP, Q101, QS900, ISO9002, QOS Excellent, MS9000 and Q1 certifications for Ford models, GM Colmotores and Renault with exports to more than 30 countries.
Medina adds that at the end of this decade he contributed to the construction of the new MAC plant, a pioneer in the manufacture of batteries, with 75% recycled material.
His company MAC, was several times awarded as the best original equipment supplier of the GM Colmotores and Renault Sofasa assemblers, in addition to placing it for several years, as the largest exporter of auto parts in the country.
Diego Mejía Castro belonged to the Board of Directors of the Colombian Association of Auto Parts Manufacturers (Acolfa) for more than ten years, during which time he was characterized by being very creative and optimistic about the situation in the automotive industry.
He was also the promoter and President of the Board of Directors of the Center for Technological Development of the Colombian Automotive Industry, which was established in Cali for several years.
This project was promoted with the technical support of the Institute for Prospective, Innovation and Knowledge Management of the Universidad del Valle for several years. The design was financed by Colciencias and the Mincomercio Productive Transformation Program, together with Acolfa, the National Association of Industrialists (Andi). It also promoted two projects financed by the General System of Royalties, Science and Technology Fund. The first was called the Strategic Unit for Standardization, Homologation and Testing of the Colombian Automotive Industry. It was presented by the Universidad del Valle, the regional Sena Valle and TECNNA (2015-2017). The second, about to start, is known as “Experimental Development of an Electric Vehicle Prototype, in the automotive sector of Valle del Cauca”, with the Government of Valle del Cauca, Creatti Labs, the Universidad del Valle and Octopus Force.
Mejía CCastro was a pioneer in sustainable mobility in the country, from the company Creatti Labs led the first electric bus for the operation of the Integrated Mass Transportation System of the West (MIO), with full satisfaction for the users who have used it. It was the standard vehicle MC 22162 linked to the operator Blanco y Negro Masivo, which rolls through the streets of Cali, with the capacity to mobilize 80 passengers.
The bus, with a large software and mechanical engineering component, does not require liquid fuel, moves with loads of electrical energy and has the special characteristic that it does not produce noise, which makes it friendly to the environment. The battery is constructed of recyclable and reusable materials. It has a range of 120 kilometers per charge. This project brought together the political leadership of the city and businessmen from the country.
Currently he stood out as a member of the Board of Directors of Ema Holdings, an organization oriented to the national agribusiness. He directed the University-Company-State Committee of Valle del Cauca from 2014 to date. It promoted notable science and technology and innovation projects for the development of the region.
He also presided over the Board of Directors of the National Productivity Center, was a member of the Administrative Region of Pacific Planning (RAP Pacífico) and of the Departmental Committee of Science, Technology and Innovation of Valle del Cauca (CODECTI).
Diego was not only an exemplary leader and singular visionary, but also an excellent person and a tireless coordinator of initiatives for the benefit of Valle del Cauca and Colombia.
Other Cali executives, such as Esteban Piedrahita, president of the Cali Chamber of Commerce, remember him as a very enthusiastic person who was always thinking of new projects.