Father of the Year Honorees 2024 – Marcel Dabdoub 

Values in Action

By Valerie Vinyard

When talking about his four children, Marcel Dabdoub is quick to give all the credit to his wife, Maria Elena.

“She’s made the most sacrifices for us,” said Dabdoub, the CEO of CID Holdings, a real estate investment company in Tucson.

That seems exactly what a Father of the Year would say. Dabdoub was awarded the honor by Father’s Day Council Tucson, whose mission is twofold. First, the council identifies and honors men who are successful in their field and also serve as role models. The second is to raise funds for Type 1 diabetes research and endowment at Steele Children’s Research Center at the University of Arizona. Since 1994, the council has donated nearly $5 million.

The Father’s Day Council Tucson will hold its 28th annual gala to honor Dabdoub and four other fathers on  June 8 at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort.

Dabdoub was born in Nogales, Mexico, but he has lived in Tucson for decades. He attended Salpointe Catholic High School and then Boston University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a double concentration in finance and international management.

“I was trying to gain a different perspective,” said Dabdoub of traversing across the country for his undergraduate degree.

He returned to Tucson in 2000 to pursue law and MBA degrees from the University of Arizona. He worked as an attorney for several years in Tucson and Mexico City. It was in Mexico City where Dabdoub met his wife, also an attorney practicing international intellectual property law in the same firm. The couple started dating in 2003 and married in 2006. 

“I was really happy for him,” Maria Elena said of the award. “He loves being able to make a contribution to such a great cause, and I love that the Father’s Day Council acknowledges what I see as a very important role for men beyond their professional achievements.”

They are the parents of four children, Mara, 13, twin boys Nicolas and Lucas, 11, and Elena, 6.

“He sets a strong example for our kids,” Maria Elena said. “Everything he does is a reflection of his core values, and it’s easier to learn from someone whose actions are aligned with his intention. He is always fair, always willing to help others, always positive and always focused on the solution.”

“I think he deserves it, and he’s a great father,” said his oldest, Mara. “He’s always making sure we’re happy.”

Lucas, one of Marcel’s 11-year-old sons, echoed his sister’s thoughts. “He always takes time out of his day to take us places. On Sundays, he takes us to breakfast, and he takes us to tennis and soccer practices. He always makes us happy.”

He currently serves as CEO of CID Holdings and BioPhil Natural Fibers, a North Carolina-based manufacturing business that produces hurd and fiber as a sustainable alternative to non-renewable or non-biodegradable raw materials. He also was named 2017 Businessman of the Year by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Dabdoub, 46, is right in the middle of five siblings himself. As he was growing up in Mexico, he said he had a firm role model in his father, Luis Fernando Dabdoub. He also praised his wife as a wonderful role model for their children.

“My wife is very present with them,” he said. “We give them a lot of opportunity to experience the world.”

That includes a lot of travel. Dabdoub said the whole family goes on yearly cycling trips in Europe and frequent fishing trips in the Sea of Cortez.

Dabdoub stressed the importance of exposing his kids to many things in life.

“Finding those opportunities for them is so important,” he said. “All their information is not going to come just from you.”

Dabdoub also is committed to his community. He has served on a variety of boards, such as Casa Hogar Madre Conchita girls orphanage in Nogales; the Southern Arizona Community Foundation; and the Carondelet Health Network.

“There is no doubt that his top priority is his family,” said Luis Dabdoub, Marcel’s 50-year-old brother. “Whether he’s traveling the world for something having to do for his kids, or taking one of his kids for a run or ride in the mornings before work, he has no higher calling.”

Pictured above – Top row from left: Maria Elena Cornejo, Marcel and Mara. Bottom row from left: Lucas, Nicolas and Elena

28th Annual Father of the Year Awards Gala

Saturday, June 8, 2024 

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort


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