By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
As originally published by Texas Border Business newsprint Edition September 2012
A lot has been said and written about Alberto Kreimerman. Some of it has been about his tremendous success in the business of selling musical instruments and equipment. But few have stopped to learn more about his formula for success. His belief is that there is something greater than money and power and you can sum it up in three words.
I met Alberto about 31 years ago, back then he was a performer solo guitarist and the opening act for big-ticket artists. His stage name was Bingo Reyna. I saw him perform for the first time at the old McAllen Civic Center in 1981.
As a member of the media that I have always been, I had front row seats for the Nelson Ned show and the opening act was Alberto Kreimerman (Bingo Reyna). I saw him running from one corner of the stage of the civic center playing his electric guitar and before reaching the opposite side he landed on his knees and arching his back to the stage floor still playing his guitar robustly. He got the attention of everyone from there on.
Alberto has been a gifted guitarist since he learned when he was six years of age. He loves music and through the years he has transformed into a humanitarian giving so much of himself and inspiring others to do the same.
Alberto was born in Argentina to Jose Kreimerman from Romania and Sara from Turkey. He is married to Carmen, originally from Tampico, Mexico. They have two sons, Luis Alberto 24, and Jordan Alexis, 20. Alberto came to the United States for the first time to buy musical instruments and equipment for his own use.
He had bought amplifiers that turned bad when he was 2000 kilometers away from the Valley. When he called to claim the warranty he was informed that he had to bring the equipment back to McAllen; the local store was to return the equipment to the manufacturer, and he must wait about a week and return to McAllen to pick up the equipment.
For Alberto this was a horrifying story, if the amplifiers were not fixed immediately he was not able to perform. The same scenario was the routine for many musicians from Mexico.
“I came to a place of business called Omega Music. I had heard that this business had problems, later they closed. I rented the place and opened Hermes Music in 1982 and started the business with only one employee,” he said. As soon as he was able, he opened a small service center in Mexico City.
He went on to say, “If my customer bought instruments from me in the United States and then had a problem with the equipment; then the warranties and service would be taken care of in México and this was the success of the business.”
He pointed out that customers in México began to find out that he cared for them, consequently the word started to spread and suddenly a sea of musicians became customers of Hermes Music.
With that philosophy of service and respect Hermes Music started to taste success. After opening shop in McAllen; Brownsville, San Antonio and Laredo followed.
“I also opened a distribution center in Mexico City and in this very large city I became the exclusive distributor for the most important brands of the industry,” he said.
Alberto’s goal was always to serve music makers with quality products and service and in the background he set aside some of his profit to serve underprivileged children in both the US and Mexico.
The extent of his devotion to these children was not made clear until Alberto established the Hermes Music Foundation in 2006 and outlined the many projects he and the foundation were involved with over the years. In addition to the foundation, Alberto continues to manage Hermes Music, which today is the largest musical instrument wholesaler in the country of Mexico.
Alberto’s education in Argentina was mostly music especially acoustic classical guitar. He said that in order to make it in the music business you had to be one of the best ten players in the world. “At one point, I was one of them,” he said.
He went on to say that at the age of fourteen he began to play Rock & Roll with “Jackie and los Ciclones”. “We became the number one band in Argentina,” he stated.
Soon after he formed his own group and that’s when he became Bingo Reyna, his stage name that brought him to the United States. He recorded many records in Argentina and toured his country many times over.
Being a musician does not represent a challenge for him, like he says, “I love music”. According to him, the reason as to why he has been very successful is because he is always happy.
Imagine learning to play at 6 years of age, by the age of 12 a consummated guitarist. One day his guitar teacher Arfilofio De La Fuente told him, “Alberto, it’s time for you to put fire in your guitar, if you cannot put fire in your guitar then its time for you to throw your guitar to the fire”.
“He gave me no option but to do it,” Alberto said. One day he received the last guitar lesson from Maestro De La Fuente and the next day the professor passed away. “He gave me more than guitar lessons, he taught me that love is important,” Alberto recalled.
Since then Alberto continues to apply love to everything he does, in his personal life as well as in business, love is the main ingredient that makes everything a success. “You can go to Harvard or to other business schools but if you do not apply love to what you do, then you will not be successful,” he said.
His humanitarian work started in Argentina, but when he opened Hermes Music 25 years ago he started by giving 500 toys to children in Reynosa, Tamaulipas Mexico. Through the years Hermes Music became successful and the number of toys became thousands. Now things are different to a point that he and the group of philanthropists that also help buy up to 100,000 toys to give away and make children smile.
As his business continued to grow and under the belief that music is medicine he began to give musical instruments to kids. “I opened two music schools in Mexico and through them we give grants to kids,” he said.
Alberto is also producing TV programs that air in Latin America. He does it because the programs awaken people’s conscience. “For example we produce “Porque Amamos la Musica”,” he said.
This program features famous musicians, singers and composers; the interviews and content of this program are breathtaking. “The most important part of this program is that we try to show not only their talent but the spiritual side of the artists,” he said.
The TV program is also being aired in the Valley; in Telemundo, Fox and on the Mexican side Televisa. Alberto also made contact with the Telmex Foundation and now the program airs in all Latin American countries through Claro TV.
“All the problems of the world are created by human beings,” Alberto Kreimerman told Texas Border Business. He clearly points out that the problems of the world are because of lack of love, lack of conscience and lack of understanding that love is to help the human beings. “If we continued to live our lives with no love, no conscience and no compassion we will always have problems,” he said. There are your three words of success, to have compassion, conscience and above all to love everyone.
How would you like to be remembered? “I really don’t care, to me the man is not important but his legacy should be continued. When its time for me to leave I will just smile and say bye, bye” he concluded. TBB
Written by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez the 2009 SBA Journalist of the Year Award Winner & The 2009 and 2012 Paul Harris Award recipient.