Title/Employer: Executive Director, The SOURCE
Degree Earned/Emphasis Area: B.B.A in Marketing and Management
1. What has been your journey since graduation?
When I graduated, I worked at Cascade Engineering as an intern. That turned into full-time employment in the HR function. I stayed there until 2011, then moved to Herman Miller for another HR role until 2014. I then decided to move into healthcare. While still in HR, I worked at Spectrum Health in a variety of HR roles until my latest position came up. This new position was a great mix of HR, community relations, and workforce development, and I decided to take the opportunity.
I also met my husband, Rafael, at Grand Valley in 2001. We married in 2009 and live in Grand Rapids, in the Creston neighborhood. He is a legal specialist at Spectrum Health. I have also given my time and energy to a number of organizations, a value that was further developed while at GV.
2. How has Grand Valley had a role in your journey?
Grand Valley has been there each step of my personal and professional journey. My degree prepared me in so many ways for HR leadership in great companies.
My sister and husband both graduated and found success in their fields. My dad came to GVSU in the late 70’s, and he went on to get his Ph.D. and is now an employee of GVSU. GVSU has been a part of every fabric of my life: friends, giving, family, fun, and opportunity!
3. What is your favorite Grand Valley memory?
Leading the Latino Student Union, presenting at NCORE (National Conference on Race and Ethnicity) with other leaders of the cultural board, living in the Ravines with my sister, Reina, and best friend, Val, meeting my husband… and too many to name.
4. What three words describe your experience at Grand Valley?
Opportunity / Life-changing / Well-rounded
5. How have you stayed involved with Grand Valley since graduation?
I served on the Alumni Board of Directors and speak for Admissions. I have worked on projects for students with the Women’s Center and Multicultural Affairs. I have been a guest speaker for classes, helped with Freshmen Move-In, volunteered for Alumni Relations and Career Services for the Student to Professional Career Conference, and I’ve been involved with Laker Familia.
6. Why are you proud to be a Laker for a Lifetime?
Grand Valley started out small and has become a force for economic development, education, and cultural life in our community. We have a great story and are committed to others being able to secure the opportunity for education!
7. What do you like to do for fun?
I like to spend time with my family and friends. I have begun to travel very much for work, and I enjoy exploring the different places I go. I am also obsessed with Hamilton, the musical, and I am going to see it in 2016!
8. What is your favorite quote/motto to live by?
“I do know one thing about me: I don’t measure myself by others’ expectations or let others define my worth” – Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
9. What motivates you?
My motivation is my family and the younger members. I know they watch what we do, how we talk to each other, and how we give back. I would like to own a small business someday and I’m motivated to be able to impact the lives of others via employment.
10. What book or movie have you recently enjoyed?
Just read Forked: A New Standard for American Dining by Saru Jayaraman. An amazing read; I read it on a return trip from D.C. I am trying to finish 50 books in 2016, and so far have read 22!