Skip to main content

Nine years is an odd period of time. Depending on the situation, nine years can either be an eternity or the blink of an eye. At the current breakneck pace of progress, nine years of longevity in the workplace is like finding a unicorn. In a company like CFI, where we regularly celebrate the decades of service achieved by many of our team, achieving the most prestigious award we have to give in just nine years is truly staggering. For Willy Paredes, it’s just Tuesday. 

“Prior to joining CFI, I spent seventeen years at USC. Interestingly, I also consulted for CFI about their computer needs during that time. As CFI grew, so did the technology needs. When Brian West approached me with this position, I saw it as both a challenge and a fantastic opportunity for growth,” Willy explains.

For Willy, a typical day involves tackling urgent tech issues that arise, collaborating with the KN Tech Teams on ongoing projects or issues, and working with system programmers on CFI Fresh app issues or new features, on top of handling day-to-day system admin duties like account creation and email maintenance.

“As I’ve been involved with CFI in various capacities for over twenty-five years, it’s become like family to me. The company has not only provided me with opportunities for personal and professional growth but has also extended the same to my family members.” There is typically no higher praise than a job you want to share with the people closest to you. Telling a company you trust them with your nearest and dearest speaks volumes about the culture and camaraderie. 

“The best part for me is the interactions with my colleagues. While IT work can sometimes feel robotic, connecting with my colleagues, not only in Los Angeles but across all our CFI locations, adds a human touch to my day,” Willy continues. “But I wish people knew I’m not just the guy who fixes their computer. I work diligently to develop tools and solutions that make our staff’s jobs more efficient and streamlined.” 

Unlike some jobs, Willy is lucky to experience all facets of CFI throughout his day. It’s the foundation of Alfred Kuehlewind’s vision. The APK award recognizes the five traits CFI’s founder, Alfred P. Kuehlewind, instilled into his people—courage, respect, influence, empathy, and gratitude. 

“Alfred was truly a kind and caring person. He always took an interest in my family and even in USC football! One memorable moment I had with him was at his home in Kona. I went over to fix some computer issues, and we ended up watching a Dodgers game together. It was a simple yet cherished memory. Winning the APK award is a huge honor for me. I have immense respect for Alfred and the Kuehlewind family, so to receive this recognition is genuinely unexpected and humbling. It validates that even though much of my work is behind the scenes, my colleagues value and respect what I do.”

It’s with great honor that CFI recognizes Willy Paredes with the second annual APK award. 

“Willy has exemplified what the APK award is about by being hard-working, reliable, and a team player who is always solving everybody else’s problems. Willy’s contributions to CFI are not only in IT, he has been a major part of building the culture we have here at CFI.”  

~ Wes Kuehlewind, Vice President, Export (LAX RA-PV)

Leave a Reply