The Molina Family in Molina Healthcare: John Molina
John Molina is Chief Financial Officer of a Fortune 500 corporation based in Long Beach, Molina Healthcare, a company his father, C. David Molina founded more than 30 years ago. We’re sure he’s a very busy executive, but you have to stop and listen as he speaks admiringly about his parents, David and Maria Rose Molina.
“Neither my father or my mother would give us pearls of wisdom,” he begins, “They led by example, not by talking about things.”
As his biography states, the lessons learned from his parents have served his siblings and him well.
As CFO, John oversees all financial and corporate development functions including accounting and finance, treasury, investor relations, marketing, human resources and market expansion.
During Molina’s tenure as CFO, the company has gone public and more than doubled the number of Medicaid lives it covers, as well as tripled revenues. The company footprint has expanded from operations in four states to 17 states since the company’s IPO in July 2003.
“They had incredible work ethic, both of them. And I think that’s one of the things they left us with was ‘We can never just rest on our laurels. We have to work and work hard every day for everything that we have.’”
Lessons from Father to Children
“Dad had a saying, ‘You can make your living with your brain or your back. You’re better off making it with your brain (be)cause it will last longer.’”
John Molina describes his parents as always available to help them with their homework or school projects. “Mom was very involved in the PTA and while they never expressed disappointment if we didn’t do well; they also didn’t applaud us for doing well.”
According to John Molina, it was expected that the children would work hard and that they would achieve the highest of their potential.
Success comes from Family
Molina Healthcare began as a family business and still is, to a large extent. Three of the Molina children still run the company. Dr. Mario Molina, is President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Martha Molina Bernadett is Executive Vice President of Research and Development and President and Founder of the Molina Foundation.
“Growing up, even before the family business, it was always an unspoken rule that we support each other.” That meant going to their sister’s drama performances and their brother’s basketball games. “That sense of ‘You are my family and I’m going to support you, do whatever you need me to do’ always came through.”
The spirit of helping and supporting each other helped the family business grow. “And we were all expected to help out. Because when the business got started, it needed a lot of labor.”
For the Molina children, that meant going down to the clinics and pulling charts or sweeping the parking lot. “Just like we did at home. We made up our beds, took out the trash and helped with the laundry.”
Molina summed up the secret to the company’s early success. “At that time, there was very little distinction between what was family life and what was work life.”
John Molina to Young People
The young Molina children learned much from their parents about hard work, education and strength of family. John Molina offers one other lesson for today’s youth.
“The best thing to do is believe in yourself even when others may not.”
According to John Molina, there were physicians at the hospital, people in the community, who told his father that he could not be successful taking care of the poor. “And my Dad knew he could be a success because he defined success as filling a need.”
Molina added that the business grew because his father believed he could, despite people telling him that he couldn’t do it.
The Molina Family Legacy
John Molina’s vision of that legacy, for himself, is simple. “I think, for myself it, it would be that I always tried to do what was best keeping others in mind.”
Molina says that’s what his parents taught his children. “it was always about serving ourselves but serving others at the same time.”
For the family’s legacy, Molina says. “It is that we left Long Beach in a better place, more progressive, than when my parents came here in the ‘50s.
For more on Molina Healthcare, visit HERE.