Rios is currently the Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer at Valvoline Inc. and is responsible for all IT initiatives as well as e-Commerce, digital marketing, mobile technologies, and the digital ecosystem.
LL--What brought you to your current position at Valvoline?
VR--I was interested in exploring new opportunities, something I've done every 4 to 5 years during my career. An executive recruiter I've known for a few years approached me about the Valvoline opportunity. At first I was reluctant; I had never visited Kentucky and was unsure if I was willing to move there. However, the recruiter convinced me that it was an amazing opportunity and that Valvoline's culture aligned with my values and priorities. His final point was, "Fly out there and meet the Valvoline Leadership Team. If you don't like it, what's one day?" Turned out that one day turned into several return trips, and ultimately one of the best professional decisions I ever made.
LL--What key advice or mentorship opportunities did you receive that prepared you for your current role?
VR--I've been very fortunate to have had several great mentors during my career, starting with my parents. They are the ones who nurtured and instilled my values and work ethic. As I entered college, I had an administrator who always gave me good advice and helped challenge my thinking about what I wanted to do post-graduation. Over the years, I've had many people who always gave good counsel and were willing to take the time to get to know me, encouraging me to take calculated risks. Probably, the best advice I received was to always push myself further than I thought I could go, and to own everything I do--whether a success or a mistake--learning from it and continuing to move forward.
LL--What has been the biggest challenge you've encountered over your career and how did you overcome it?
VR--I've encountered many challenges, but one in particular was a time a digital marketing campaign went very wrong and received intense government scrutiny. The project was initially assigned to my team, but because the timelines were too short, we declined the project. What we didn't know was that another group in the company, looking to get experience in this area, agreed to it and it had a very bad outcome. People in the company just assumed my team did it and were quick to look for people to blame. I got my team involved to help fix the issues--and it took several weeks to get it right--but...