Community Development Officer
Favorite book? Movie?
Movie: "Good Will Hunting"
Book: "A Series of Unfortunate Events," by Lemony Snicket
Favorite sports team, if any.
Mostly soccer...Portland Timbers, Chivas, FC Barcelona to name a few.
Favorite Tri-City restaurant?
Poutine, Eh? (If you haven't given it a shot, you are missing out.)
Kettle Brand crinkle cut Himalayan salt potato chips
Current city of residence: Kennewick
How long have you worked there?
3 years and 6 months
Briefly describe your company:
STCU is a credit union founded by educators from Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane in 1934. Since then, STCU has grown to more than 850 employees serving more than 249,000 members at 34 locations.
Education: Please list your degrees and professional certifications.
Bachelor of Science, business administration with a specialization in marketing management and minor in philosophy, College of Business, Central Washington University.
Briefly describe your job and how you got into it:
My job focuses on engaging within the communities STCU serves by bringing financial education to students and adults and actively representing STCU at community events.
I got into this role when I first grew a passion for the credit union world in my first job outside of college.
I wanted to learn how to hone my personal finance skills and what better way to do so than a job that provides you an opportunity to learn current personal finance trends and have an opportunity to connect with Spanish-speaking communities that may find it uncomfortable to speak up about their finances.
I am a first generation individual and grew up in a Mexican household with parents working out in the fields around our region. They dreamed of my siblings and me having an opportunity to grow and serve others. This drove my passion even more to serve others through personal finances.
How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities?
I was born and raised in Kennewick. I left for college and a few years while I worked in Portland. I've been living back in Tri-Cities for three and a half years.
How did you earn your first dollar?
I earned my first dollar mowing my family's neighbor's lawn. It taught me the purpose of saving for a goal. My goal: Buy an Xbox 360 without my parents' help.
What professional lessons, if any, have you learned during the pandemic?
A couple lessons I learned from the pandemic were patience and working with ambiguity.
My comfort zone pre-pandemic was to spend time with friends in local restaurants. This came to a test during the pandemic when we couldn't dine in, so I began to have patience, hoping I could enjoy that comfort again.
Ambiguity is something we all deal with from time to time and the pandemic taught me that things can change just as quickly as you get comfortable.
What was your dream job as a child?
My dream job as a child was to be a cartoonist.
I went through several sketchpads and notepads drawing. It was my hobby as soon as I got done with homework. Whether it was drawing with markers or pencils, I love drawing, just please don't ask me to do something with watercolors. It's still a struggle of mine.
Tell us about your community involvement/community service:
Outside of the office, I serve as a board member for the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and volunteer with the Hispanic Academic Achievers Program (HAAP) overseeing the scholarship committee.
Supporting my community is a strong passion and supporting the Hispanic chamber and volunteering with its local community events is so much fun. With HAAP, I get the wonderful opportunity to read scholarship applications with my team and decide which students will receive scholarship for their higher education.
This program has been going on for 33 years and continues to recognize some incredible Hispanic students in our community. I'm grateful that I have volunteered with the program for over seven years and am in a position to help schedule meetings for the committee, lay out our schedule and coordinate the scholarship selection process.
How do you achieve work-life balance?
Coordination of a work-life balance feels very tough at times, but I give myself time every morning at 5 a.m. to go to the gym or run with my pups and feel prepared to take on the day.
Scheduling is one thing I've come to learn, and it has been so helpful. Whether it's my Outlook calendar or personal calendar on my phone, it gives me structure and that's how I try to have a balance with it all.
List any awards/honors you have received:
Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber, 2022 Volunteer of the Year.
North Clackamas, Oregon, Chamber of Commerce, Business Person of the Year 2016-17.
Do you have family? Pets?
My lovely girlfriend, Natasha, plus our two pets - Rio, an 8-year-old black lab who understands bilingual commands, and Maya, an 8-year-old pug who is trying to learn Spanish commands but is very stubborn.
What brought you to the Tri-Cities? Did you grow up here?
I was born and raised in Kennewick. I attended four different elementary schools Amistad, Eastgate, Washington and Edison, and graduated from Kamiakin High School.
My family migrated from the beautiful state of Puebla, Mexico, and felt that Tri-Cities was the best place to start a family over 35 years ago. I like to think that they were right.
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