2008 Alumni Hall of Fame Triunfador
Ralph de la Vega
President & CEO, AT&T Mobility
Ralph de la Vega came to the United States from Cuba at age 10. Because of complications with their immigration papers, his parents and sister were forced to stay behind in their hometown of Artemisa, while Ralph lived with family friends. It would be four years until he was reunited with his family. Confronting adversity so young helped Ralph to forge the courage and self-reliance that define his character.
As an immigrant, Ralph struggled to adapt and learn a new language. An academic counselor persuaded him to stop attending high school and enroll in vocational school. Not until his grandmother arrived in America did Ralph changed his plans. A former teacher in Cuba, she inspired him to attend college.
With no money for college, Ralph financed his education by working as a janitor, mechanic and draftsman. Ralph earned a B.A. in Mechanical Engineering from Florida Atlantic University, a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Northern Illinois University, and also completed the Executive Program at the University of Virginia.
In 1974, Ralph began his career as a management assistant with BellSouth, then known as Southern Bell. While there, Ralph established himself as one to watch. His responsibilities included Network Planning, Consumer Services, Engineering and Operations.
As President of BellSouth Broadband Access Services, he supervised the deployment, marketing and operations of the company’s broadband services. In 2002 he became President of BellSouth Latin America.
Ralph became Chief Operating Officer for Cingular Wireless in January 2004. In October 2007, Ralph was named to his current position of President & CEO of AT&T Mobility. He has helped AT&T revolutionize the U.S. wireless industry with products like the revolutionary iPhone 3G.
Ralph is also active in developing leadership among young Latinos as member of the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement Worldwide, and volunteers for the Boy Scouts of America. He helps both organizations recruit Latino youth.