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Meet The Dallas 500: Tony Aquila

The founder, chairman, and CEO of Solera Holdings Inc. on McDonald's french fries and a bucket list wish to go to Mars with Elon Musk.
By D CEO |
Solera Holdings Inc.

Education: “None. I dropped out of high school.”

Why Tech: “Working out, traveling, watching movies, and even falling in love­—everything we do has been genetically modified by transformational science and innovation.”

Toughest Challenge: “Both work and life are full of challenges, and they’re all tough. The key is figuring out which ones are worth solving and when, recruiting the right 80s and 20s, securing multiple plans of attack, and making sure that you and your teams are qualified to execute. This is why I always remind my people to be prepared to be unprepared.”

Lesson Learned: “I’ve learned a lot throughout my career, not only in business, but also in the Army, my uncle’s garage, and my hometown hood of Richmond, California, aka the ‘Silicon Ghetto.’ What’s more important to me is using what I’ve learned to help others, especially people who haven’t come across the right opportunities, or simply need a second chance.”

Looking Ahead: “Let’s talk about NEXT Mission, a non-profit organization I recently founded. Rooted in my personal experience with the 82nd Airborne Division, as well as Solera’s global Life Is Full of Transformation initiative, NEXT Mission helps soldiers identify and prepare for meaningful and rewarding civilian careers after military service. It’s a do-it-different approach to revitalizing our country’s commitment to caring for veterans.”

Keeps Me Up At Night: “Everything keeps me at night. I believe you should never be comfortable, because there are always opportunities to raise the bar, whether it’s for yourself, your company, or the world.”

Fun Fact: “I don’t have a middle name.”

Favorite Food: “I do love McDonald’s french fries. There’s something magical and nostalgic about those things.”

Favorite Beverage: “I enjoy drinking whiskey but love making moonshine.”

First Car: “1974 Oldsmobile Omega Hatchback (two door), yellow with green interior and a busted engine. I bought it for $50 and rebuilt the engine.”

Bucket List: “Joining Elon Musk to visit Mars.”

This Q&A is extended content from the Dallas 500, a special edition produced by D CEO that profiles the region’s most influential business leaders. Visit for details.

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