Like many college kids, at 19 Iveth Reynolds found herself at a staffing agency looking for employment to help pay for school. What she didn’t know was that her first job would put her on the path to creating her own staffing and recruiting company, Tri-Mar Consulting, Inc.
I instantly enjoyed the staffing and recruitment business. When I was in college, my career aspirations were very different, but after that first job, it just felt like a natural progression. The diversity of the people you meet is what I enjoy the most. In this field, you get to learn about people from all different backgrounds and from all walks of life. My first job in the industry was where I worked all through college, and, at that particular time in my life, it was really amazing to get to hear about the different career paths people take.
After college I relocated to the Rochester, New York, and worked as a coordinator for temporary staffing. I later worked at a start-up. After taking time off to be home with my kids, I accepted a position where I learned about business analysis—and that’s when I really began to consider starting my own business with my husband and a partner. We had a great combination of experience and know-how, so we finally decided to start our own business in 1998; we formed Tri-Mar Consulting, Inc.
It’s definitely scary to go off on your own, especially with the situation we were in. It all started with one consulting gig that led to more business. If we hadn’t gotten that one gig at that specific time, there’s really no telling how far any of this would have gone. It’s a perfect example of preparedness coupled with opportunity—and luck.
I never thought I’d be a CEO; I thought I was going to go into the medical field. Being a CEO requires that you lead by example, and though I was doing my best, I wasn’t thinking about leadership in the long-term and I wasn’t very intentional about the way I was leading. I learned about the Latino Leadership Development Program from the United Way, and it opened my eyes to personal development.
Fortunately, I also heard about the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) about 10 years ago. I became very engaged and it took about five years, but I was finally able to officially start a chapter here in Rochester in 2011. We currently have 230 members.
When I first joined NSHMBA, I didn’t yet have my MBA and I always thought it would be too difficult to go back to school while managing a small business. But I was able to obtain my MBA last year, and it was well worth it. It was meaningful for me because my parents raised me to always put my best foot forward. No time ever seems like the right time to make a big commitment like going back to school or starting a business, but something my father says always rang in my ears: “Look forward. Always look forward to the possibilities of tomorrow and don’t let problems of today deter your future.”
I learned a lot through my work with NSHMBA and while obtaining my MBA—things I wish I would have known 10 years ago. This is a good industry for Latinos, but I don’t think we’re well represented in this industry. It’s important for there to be representation of all cultures in the community being served. If you don’t have diversity in your company, you can’t understand your clients/consumers and your chances of being successful decrease. Diversity is so important and it’s something we’re still striving for in this industry.