Saturday, March 12, 2011

Patrick Hughes: The Matrix

Ask Patrick what he dreams about and you will immediately get an idea of his incredible drive and intellect. While many of us dream whimsical visions, he dreams of chess matches--long, intricate math problems, and other intense problem solving situations. Soon after getting to know Patrick, it is not impossible to imagine a giant Matrix in his head in which data flows endlessly, is placed in algorithms, and is solved for the benefit of all.

A graduate of the University of Michigan engineering school, the very same school that Larry Page first dreamed of the concept for Google, Patrick’s logical and arithmetic abilities are hard to match in any circle. Through his example, the entire Unión MicroFinanza (UMF) organization has gained a deep appreciation for how numbers are the foundation of any successful and sustainable endeavor, no matter how great the level of passion.

The UMF team is also comprised of a very unique group of individuals and because of this the organization has a very vibrant, but at times, perplexing culture. Each one of us has a special niche in which lay our particular passions and skills. Patrick progressively works to capitalize on these unique talents and bring them together for the benefit of the organization.

Before I create an image that Patrick is a rigid mathematician, let me talk about his relational side. Patrick is selfless with his intellect. He was drawn to the villages of La Unión, Honduras, giving up a prominent future in engineering, because he sensed the deep and perplexing problem of poverty. He wanted to do something that made a direct difference in people’s lives and these people became the people of La Unión.

In addition to Patrick’s mathematical abilities is his capacity for language. He came to La Unión with no prior knowledge of the Spanish language. Immediately he surpassed many individuals who had studied the language for years and became fluent within three months. Now, as the Director of UMF, he spends a great deal of time with the farmers and people of the villages of La Unión. With the knowledge he gains from these conversations and relationships, he is able to recognize and apply his intellect to solve the problems of poverty that plague La Unión and guide UMF towards success.

And that is Patrick, the Matrix, the Problem Solver, the Selfless.

By Andrew Boyd


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