People of Plano: Gabriel Leal

Entrepreneur Gabriel Leal comes from a family of printers. His father still owns the printing business in Monterrey, Mexico that his grandfather started. After a fast-paced white collar executive career, he felt compelled to join the family vocation here in Plano. He and his wife Maggie just celebrated three years of ownership of the 3115 W. Parker Road location of Minuteman Press.

Gabriel, where did you grow up?

I grew up in the city of Monterrey, in northern Mexico. It’s an industrial city of four million people, surrounded by the Sierra Madre mountains. The southern part of the city is similar to Plano in a way, with nice residential areas and many large corporations that house their headquarters there. People come from all over the world to live and work and study in Monterrey as there are three well known universities there.  

Why did you move to the U.S.?

Maggie and I moved to Washington D.C. in 2009 so I could pursue a master’s degree in international relations at Georgetown University. The program is ranked as one of the best in the world and is one that I couldn’t find offered back home in Mexico.

The Leal family // courtesy Minuteman Press

How has living in the U.S. changed your life?

We have seen firsthand how meritocracy brings out the best in people. Education lends people the necessary skills and advantages to succeed in making changes for the better. People have motivation because they know what they can achieve if they work hard. 

What differences do you see in your kids’ education compared to Mexico?

We have two daughters, Victoria, age seven, and Natalia, age four. Back home, people need to have their kids in private schools to guarantee they are getting a quality education in a bilingual Spanish/English setting. Here, public schools are excellent examples of a quality education. While typical elementary schools don’t offer foreign languages, secondary students do have that opportunity.

What do you enjoy about owning and operating Minuteman Press in Plano?

I like that I am in the family business, as my father and my grandfather before him. I like being able to make many decisions in a given day that contribute to growing our business and creating our own path forward.

What do you love most about living in Plano?

We love the options for our family – parks and recreation, the neighboring sports venues and various entertainment options. Our family really loves the dining and shopping at The Shops at Legacy and the new Legacy West. We have such a great life here!

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