Who was Roger Rodas?
Many people have been asking this question surrounding the fatal car accident that took the life of both Roger Rodas and famous actor Paul Walker, on Nov. 30, in Santa Clarita.
Rodas was labeled as the driver of the vehicle that took the life of himself and famous “Fast and Furious” actor Walker.
Yet many questions about Rodas’ life remain unanswered.
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Roger Rodas Personal Life
Roger Rodas was an El Salvador native who just celebrated his 38th birthday, born on Oct. 31, 1975, and resided in Valencia, California according to his World Challenge profile, click here.
He is also a highly respected wealth adviser who worked for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch for more than 20 years, and his latest position was managing director, according to his LinkedIn, click here to view.
He also listed his recognition by Barron’s “America’s Top 1,000 Advisors” list in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
When Rodas was not working in the office, he was racing or spending time with his family.
Rodas was a family man with a wife and two kids, according to CNN.
CNN reported that his young son was one of the first at the scene, according to car enthusiast Jim Thorp.
“I knew his son was heading toward the accident. And he got past me because he knew there was a fire and he wanted to see it. But he didn’t know it was his dad until he saw the car,” Thorp said.
Roger Rodas and Paul Walker’s Relationship
Rodas had similar interests as Walker, which is what sparked their friendship and business ventures.
The famous actor was attending an auto race in California when he noticed Rodas driving a Porsche GT3 that he had previously owned, according to a Merrill Lynch article.
After a conversation between the both of them, Rodas became Walker’s financial adviser and the two became friends, race partners, business partners and supported charities together.
Rodas had an enormous passion for racing, which is why he was the CEO of Always Evolving, a high-end car shop owned by Walker, located in Santa Clarita, according to CNN reports.
Rodas and Walker both raced for the Always Evolving (AE) team among others listed on their official website.
They raced alongside each other during the 25 Hours of Thunderhill and the Pirelli World Challenge Series, reported by USA Today.
Rodas participated in the Pirelli World Challenge Series GTS series earlier this year and placed second in the Pirelli Porsche Drivers Series Championship race in 2012, according to his World Challenge profile.
Overall, he has raced in many amateur races he has two first place wins, six podium finishes and was the runner up in the Driver’s Point Championship.
Since the pair bonded over racing and developed a friendship, Walker turned to Rodas for financial advice in 2007, according to Merrill Lynch.
Merrill Lynch stated that Rodas helped Walker create Always Evolving, the incorporated race shop that is bonded and insured, and that brings in income by also doing work for other drivers.
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“Paul said that what he saved in expenses covered all of his racing costs last year,” Rodas mentioned.
Rodas’ contributions for financial support and mutual enthusiasm for cars weren’t the only things that contributed to their strong friendship.
Rodas had a giving heart and was a philanthropist who supported several charities.
Rodas had his own charity in support of widows and orphans in El Salvador, according to CNN.
He also supported the Asomugha Foundation, a charity established in 2010 to help disadvantaged American youth and underprivileged children and widows in Africa, stated on his World Challenge profile.
He assisted Walker with the financial structure to help him establish the Reach Out WorldWide (ROWW) nonprofit organization.
“Becoming a foundation means it can accept donations, which in turn allows Paul to scale up his philanthropy,” Rodas wrote in a Merrill Lynch article.
Rodas and Walker were finishing up a toy drive for ROWW before their fatal accident.
Always Evolving supports ROWW and the Asomugha Foundation.
Rodas was also the owner of Cielo Recycling, a Central American recycling plant.
Source: Santa Clarita News