Dario O. Marquez, Jr., Class of 2009
Dario O. Marquez, Jr.
Co-Founder and EVP, Wize Solutions LLC
What is new and exciting with you now or since your time with Lead Virginia?
Since my time with Lead Virginia, I sold the two previous companies that I owned, MVM Inc. and The Silver Eagle Group, and with my wife, Wendy, founded our new venture, Wize Solutions. Additionally, in 2012, I became Virginia Senator Tim Kaine’s Finance Chairman. I continued in that role in 2016 while he ran as the Democratic nominee for Vice President.
How did Lead Virginia shape you as a leader?
Lead Virginia exposed me to the totality of issues facing the Commonwealth, not just the issues I was focused on in Northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C. region.
Since Lead Virginia, how have you put your social capital to work?
Exposure to the economic challenges that our fellow citizens face motivated my wife Wendy and I to form Wize Solutions, a company whose mission is the economic development of our rural communities through the creation of 21st century jobs. In 2017, we launched our company in Abingdon and today we have 8 employees providing information technology services to our customers. Our goal is to grow the company to 150 IT jobs over the next 3-4 years. We believe that Wize Solutions can be an economic bridge between Virginia’s urban crescent and our rural communities.
What were your expectations of Lead Virginia prior to beginning the program? Did the program exceed or meet your expectations?
My expectations were to expand my network of business associates and acquaintances beyond the limits of Northern Virginia and the Washington region and also to gain an understanding of the strengths and challenges facing the entire Commonwealth. The program met both of those expectations!
What was your biggest takeaway or lesson learned from Lead Virginia that continues to stick with you today?
My biggest takeaway was that Virginia is blessed with abundant natural resources and great people. Also, by working together, any challenge we face is well within our abilities to resolve.