One-on-One with theSkimm is a chance to introduce some of the incredible women in our community making an impact in the world. We'll be showcasing Skimm'rs from a variety of careers, religions, cultures, and political beliefs. This month for Hispanic Heritage Month, we're highlighting women making a difference in the Hispanic-Latino community and beyond.
I’m a happy newly-wed and proud first-generation American living in our nation’s capital. Currently, I work at CLS Strategies, a public affairs and crisis communications firm, where I have the opportunity to consult and support clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies, nonprofits to leading trade associations. Many of our clients face major public policy opportunities or challenges.
Prior to CLS, my experience was largely in political communications working on Capitol Hill for a Texas and Florida member of Congress. From there, I moved on to become the sole bilingual spokeswoman and Director of Hispanic Media for the Republican National Committee during the 2014 midterm elections and the majority of the 2016 presidential election. Later, I joined and eventually led communications for the Congressional Leadership Fund and American Action Network, a super PAC and issue advocacy organization respectively, endorsed by House Republican leadership and focused on re-electing Republicans to the House of Representatives.
To truly know my story, I should share a bit about my familia and my roots. I grew up about 15 minutes from the US-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas. I am the youngest of four girls, who, along with my parents, have been extremely loving and supportive throughout my career. They’ve also always had a good way of reminding me what the most important things in life are – faith and family. After graduating from high school, I moved to Fort Worth to attend Texas Christian University, which was the BEST college experience. Without knowing much about Greek life, I decided to give the whole "rush" thing a shot and became a Chi Omega, which led me to working in politics. During a chapter meeting my sophomore year, an advisor was looking for volunteers for a campaign event in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A friend and I decided to volunteer and turned out to be an event for then-presidential candidate John McCain. This immediately sparked my interest in politics and led me to intern on Capitol Hill that same summer. The internship opened my eyes to the world of politics and policy. From that point, I knew that after graduation I somehow needed to get back to DC.
While cliché perhaps, I always knew I wanted to serve, fight for issues I believed in and make a positive impact in people’s lives – working on Capitol Hill afforded me that opportunity. After my college graduation, I somehow convinced my parents to let me move to DC without a job and if I didn’t find one in six months, I’d move back home. During my first week in DC, I remember going to every single Republican office in the Texas delegation to ask if they were hiring and left a copy of my resume behind. In between, I would have coffees and informational meetings with whoever would take me up on it. After two weeks, I landed a job. A reminder that the old-fashioned way (still) works!
Treat everyone with respect no matter who they are and ALWAYS be willing and ready to roll up your sleeves to get the work done.
“Not Today” by Hillsong UNITED or anything that reminds me of God’s grace and goodness.
In the literal sense - with the help of Natural calm – which promotes magnesium levels and helps me feel less stressed – and a prayer, I can usually sleep pretty well so no issues here.
On the other hand, I worry about those who may be going to sleep hungry, especially kids; the divisiveness in our country; violence in our country and around the world; the loneliness many feel; and those who are putting their lives on the line each and every day to protect our freedoms.
A dear friend and mentor Bettina Inclán – she is out of this world good at what she does and is also a great friend, mom and wife!
Unplugging from work to be present in life.
Problem-solver. At work, we often have to react quickly and work to solve problems, and in life, friends often seek and rely on my advice when life throws us curve balls.
Being grateful and joyful in spite of our circumstances.
I was pretty curious as a kid, I likely asked too many questions. I remember I wasn't allowed to speak English at home, my parents were adamant that my sisters and I learn to speak fluent Spanish - which wasn't something I loved as a kid (you don’t want to be different!). But now I couldn't be more grateful to be fully bilingual and bicultural. I also loved being outside – playing tennis, driving our go-kart around the neighborhood, and spending my summers at Vista Camps on the Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country.
I’m much more subtle and like for people to enjoy themselves at a dinner party. So I’d likely be listening carefully to the discussion while helping pour the wine. Certainly not afraid to voice my opinion but I don’t think heated conversations are getting us very far these days.
I think we all need to be reminded that being humble doesn’t make you weak.
An opportunity to celebrate and honor the contributions and culture of our community throughout our country's history both past and present. At the same time, it’s a time to share how diverse our community is - I grew up in a Mexican-American household in South Texas and my husband grew up in a Cuban-American household in South Florida – both Hispanics, yet we share stories from our childhood that while similar in some ways our traditions, culture, and even language can be so different.
Freedom, economy, debt, and our national security.
Work hard. Never stop learning. Be confident.
My faith and my relationship with God is a priority in my life. I hope that my legacy surpasses anything that can be put on a resume but instead that I make an impact on people's lives by bolding sharing God’s love, mercy and grace.
PS: Have someone in mind you think we should feature? Let us know here.
Note: This interview has been edited for length. All opinions expressed by the interviewee are their own.
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