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Mario Carillas Retires From Fanimation

Mario Carillas has been with Fanimation since the company’s humble beginnings – a man who moved from Guatemala to pursue the quintessential American Dream.  Mario eventually found a home at Fanimation and has been involved in many facets of the business from shipping to assembling custom fans by hand.  Mario is currently the longest standing Fanimation employee – he has been with us for more than eighteen years and is finally retiring.

Mario was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, to a middle-class family.  He had a good upbringing and eventually graduated college with a degree in business administration.

Realizing that his dreams were stunted in Guatemala, he eventually moved from his native country with his wife to Chicago, Illinois in 1982.  Mario could not write or speak English when he moved here.  He found work as a dishwasher and began taking English courses at night – as Mario said, “I was willing to do anything.”

A few years later, Mario moved to Los Angeles, California, and began working for the K-Mart Corporation.  Around this time, Mario and his wife had their first son.  Mario moved up in the ranks at K-Mart and was promoted to a supervisory position.  He even lived in Hawaii for two years to help start new stores there.

In 1994, Mario moved to Iowa to begin new employment.  In 1997, Mario traveled from Iowa to Indianapolis for a week to visit an old friend from L.A.  His friend was the first Fanimation employee – who moved with Fanimation and the Frampton’s from Pasadena, CA, to their new headquarters in Indianapolis that same year. Mario’s friend asked him if he wanted to work at Fanimation during his weeklong visit and he agreed.  On Friday afternoon, Tom asked Mario if he wanted to move his family to Indianapolis and begin working at Fanimation full-time starting that Monday.  As they say, the rest is history.  Mario said that he is forever grateful for this opportunity – it changed the course of his life.

Mario has worked in almost every facet of the business, but he specializes in assembling custom fans such as the Americana, Palmetto, Punkah, and Bourbon Street.

He remembers assembling Islanders by hand, “the team would assemble roughly fifty fans a week – now look at what we do.”

Mario takes pride in the fact that Fanimation has a very low return rate on their custom fans and credits himself for this achievement.  He said, “My ultimate concern is the quality of my work.”

Eighteen years later and Mario is retiring.  He plans on traveling to Guatemala City where he owns a home and staying there for about six months.  He also plans on fixing up cars for himself and his neighbors.

Without hesitation, Mario remarked that the secret to Fanimation’s success is the management.  He stated, “The managers always know what is going on and have their pulse on the company – I can tell that they genuinely care about me as an individual.”  Above all else, Mario is proud of the growth the company has experienced and his involvement through the years.


  1. Jorge Ferragut

    I appreciate this article and applaud you for shining the spotlight on Mario and his story of handwork and loyalty. Kudos to your company and happy retirement for Mario.

    1. Alexander Ostrovsky

      Thank you, Jorge. We will pass on the kind words.

  2. Tina Staley

    Awesome story! I hope Mario enjoys his retirement.
    Way to go Fanimation!

    1. Alexander Ostrovsky

      Thank you – Tina. We will pass on your kind sentiment.

  3. Deirdre Cooper

    I just wanted to wish Mario all the best! And thanks for sharing his inspiring story!!!

    1. Alexander Ostrovsky

      Thank you for your comment – we will let Mario know!

  4. Deirdre Cooper

    I just wanted to wish Mario all the best!! Thanks for sharing his inspiring story!

  5. Kim Frank

    Congratulations Mario. It was nice to see you Tuesday. Thanks for putting up with me invading your work area over the years. Enjoy your retirement, you’ve earned it. Kim

  6. Alejandro Doren

    Glad to hear of Mario’s retirement good for him and glad to know that fanimation shares this with everybody good luck to you Mario I am that friend you went to see that week and my regards to Mr. Tom Ed and Nathan frampton

  7. Heidi Watson


    I was sorry that I missed you last Monday when I stopped by Fanimation. I retired also from Telamon on April 28th after working there five years as their Planner/Buyer.

    I remembered working with you and setting up the BOM for all the assembled fans you made and shared my garden produce with you.

    I am taking care of my 2.5 years old grand-son in Seoul for a month and will be traveling to Taiwan to visit my family later.

    Good luck and God’s blessings to you and your families.

    Heidi Watson

  8. Kay Walker

    Congratulations Mario!! Enjoy your retirement, you deserve it. I have many fond memories working with Engelverd and you.

  9. Rachel Frampton

    Happy Retirement Mario!
    Thank you for all the years of your hard work, loyalty and dedication to the company.
    I know they will miss you.
    I’m sure you will keep busy and happy with many new projects and opportunities.

    Rachel Frampton

  10. Ralph Smeets

    One does not hear stories like that often and I would like to comment the management for such a heartwarming article.
    As for Mario,enjoy your life,you truly deserved this!
    South Africa

  11. Colonel kuldeep singh chaudhry

    It is difficult to find people with dedication like Mario. I wish him best of luck in his future endeavours.

    Col KSC

  12. Tony Lin

    Great to hear that Fanimation looks after their employee and its people feel the same way. Good story! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Alexander Ostrovsky

    It is very touching that Mario received so many comments from all over the world. Thank you all!

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