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Hello

My name is Marta Elena.

Born and raised in South Texas with traditional family values and a progressive mindset, equity, inclusion, and justice are at the heart of my human resources work. While I am proud to consider myself an expert in the fields of talent acquisition, leadership development, and conflict management, my path to discovering that HR was my true calling was not a direct one. I received my bachelor’s in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, which I utilized to begin my career in media sales in the growing Austin market. It was fast and dynamic work that involved understanding the needs of my clients and becoming an excellent listener with creative ideas. I found a specialty niche working for companies such as the Austin American Statesman and ESPN Radio who were launching their first Spanish language media products into the market.

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My story continued...

    It was fast and dynamic work that involved understanding the needs of my clients and becoming an excellent listener with creative ideas. I found a specialty niche working for companies such as the Austin American Statesman and ESPN Radio who were launching their first Spanish language media products into the market.

     While I thrived in this industry, I soon realized what I enjoyed the most wasn’t necessarily closing deals, but it was telling individual stories that helped businesses to thrive. With this in mind, I shifted into marketing and public relations, where I honed my writing skills and developed a keen eye for editing. I soon moved back to South Texas to be closer to my family and pursue a public relations career in higher education spaces that helped me develop more connections and grounded me in my South Texas roots. It was at this point that I found myself at a proverbial crossroads. I was very happy in my PR role, writing, editing, and leading my team, but something was missing. I felt too comfortable, as if I was not learning or growing in my role. It was at this point that I started to volunteer with the Sierra Club, which eventually lead me to having a leadership role in our South Texas chapter, an elected seat on the Texas state board, and I also became the state representative to Sierra Club national. It was like having another full-time job, but I loved my volunteer work, learning about conflict management, and advocating for disenfranchised communities in South Texas. I was feeling great about my learning, and then out of the blue, I received a call for a job opportunity in operations from a charter school. They wanted someone who was good with people and could manage by influence. Little did I know that I would soon meet my mentor who guided me to be more confident in my own leadership and helped me to realize that it was the people operations work that made me the most fulfilled.

 

It all came together – my work in communications, sales, public relations, marketing, and operations. I finally knew what I wanted to do and began the Master of Science in Human Resource Analytics and Management program at American University. While still taking classes at AU, fate seemed to jump in again, and I was contacted by a land acquisition and home building company, Rhodes Enterprises, in South Texas to see if I would be interested in their people operations manager role. Their company core values and approach to people operations were aligned with my personal philosophy to professional evaluation – I believe everyone has the potential to be a leader, regardless of their role, and I pride myself in helping teams make that journey while creating processes that are sustainable and conducive to happy work environments.

 

     It was a long road to my first professional HR role, but I would not change one of my experiences or learnings as they all lead me to where I needed to be; in South Texas, close to family, and working for a company that believes in developing local talent to become leaders at work and in their own communities. Thank you for taking the time to read a little bit about me, and I look forward to working with you in the future. Con mucho amor y animo!

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