RJ MartinoRJ Martino's life story sounds like a made-for-TV movie.
A military brat born to an American father and a Filipina mother, Martino was raised "all over" before finishing high school at Bryant, where his East Lab experience allowed him to get a job as a network administrator for an advertising agency while studying computer science and finance at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. As a college junior in 2001, he started a Web-design business, iProv LLC, with his sister, Roxane.
Nine years later, iProv has branched into custom software and managed computer services, and Martino has branched out to invest in more than 80 residential units with another of this week's honorees, Sam Carrasquillo. He will finish his law degree at UALR's Bowen School of Law next month.
Martino has experienced more economic highs and lows than most businessmen twice his age. Martino's iProv had to downsize a couple of years ago but is back to its high-water mark of 10 employees, and the real estate partnership employs three and several outside contractors.
"We were buying at the time when everything was hot, but ... we did everything right," Martino says. "We didn't buy anything that wasn't cash-flowing. We didn't buy to turn around and flip; we bought for the long-term cash flow."
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