Written by: Rodrigo Vilar | Photos by: Márcio Lima
Married to Simone, who has a business degree and is the mother of their three children - Lucas, 18, Felipe, 16, and Amanda, 10 - engineer André Vital Pessoa de Melo is back from Luanda and living in Salvador, Bahia. He has returned from Angola with his family to take up the position of President and CEO for the Bahia and Sergipe markets of Odebrecht Infraestrutura. At 46, André displays all the energy of someone who is just getting started. “A career is built day by day, step by step, completing cycles. Each new challenge is a new beginning,” he says in a quiet tone that imparts a sense of confidence and humility.
The personal statements in the farewell video prepared by Odebrecht Angola members clearly reflect the relationship of friendship and respect he built up with his colleagues there, and they also mirror Vital’s personality. The educational leader has just marked 25 years of work at the Odebrecht Organization. “Angola will continue to be a part of my family’s daily life because we built great friendships during our eight years in that country,” he says.
Over the course of his career, one of the most important opportunities he has ever had was working alongside Norberto Odebrecht on the Odebrecht Social Contribution Program from 1993 to 1996, in Salvador. “It was a valuable period in my life. Once, I heard Mr. Norberto Odebrecht say we should always be original, relevant and impactful in our everything we do, and that stuck with me,” he recalls. Among other lessons learned, he underscores the importance of living the client’s dream: “That commitment leads us to realize that sometimes what the client wants is not what he really needs.” He also points out: “Our business is to transform people and communities. Our business areas are the means to achieving that end.”