Meet Chantal Martinez
She works behind the scenes helping to keep RDF steady in solid business management by making sure vendors get paid, among many tasks. Raza Development Fund’s staff accountant, Chantal Martinez joined the RDF Familia in January 2021 while we were fully remote.
Now she enjoys the opportunity to greet her co-workers in the morning as she works at our new headquarters in South Phoenix in her now decorated workspace.
Join us as we learn more about Chantal in this Q&A.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Juarez, Chihuahua, a small city in Mexico across the border from El Paso, Texas. In 8th grade, I would walk an hour every day to El Paso to go to school until eventually I moved there when I was 14. In high school, I was in a technical program where I was able to graduate early and meet with college recruiters from technical schools like DeVry University in Phoenix. I really like the weather in Phoenix and the DeVry program.
Why did you choose to study accounting?
At first, I majored in computer information. However, I received a job offer while at school to work for an accounting firm. I realized I could apply my technical skills into accounting easily. In one day, I switched majors. It was a no brainer. I received my bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2020.
How did you come to work for RDF?
Prior to RDF, I was working as a billing clerk for Waste Management in the City of Phoenix for four years. At the time, I wanted something more. I got a call from a recruiting company to help with my search, but I was about to get married, so I put them on hold. Luckily, they called again and sent me to RDF. I had my phone interview with Juan Madrid, RDF’s Controller & Director of Compliance. We really got along so well. The job was what I was looking for, something to help the community.
Why did serving the community intrigue you?
Service is a part of who I am. My grandma always was that person that offers everything to anybody, and I grew up seeing that. That’s the way it should be. When I was young, I helped collect a few cans for school, but I kept thinking what we had wasn’t enough, so I went house to house collecting more boxes for donation. When Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, I did the same thing and went door to door organizing a clothing and food drive. Now I get to serve the community on a bigger level working for RDF.
What else about working for RDF do you enjoy?
The people I work with. We joke around and get along. We feel like we’ve known each other forever. We’re a family. My husband and I had originally planned to get married in September of 2020, but due to the pandemic we had to postpone it three times. We ended up getting married in civil court in December 2020 and then had a small backyard ceremony in May 2021. I was only five months into my job, but they took the time to celebrate my wedding. They held a Zoom staff meeting that I thought was just a regular meeting, but everyone had these special congratulations backgrounds on. They even mailed us gifts.
I loved it and I almost cried. I was not expecting it at all. I hadn’t even met anyone in person yet, since we were all remote. It was just so nice.
How has it been working in the office now?
I’m really getting the chance to get to know everyone now and connect. We say, ‘good morning.’ You get that relationship. Plus, I get the opportunity to learn by watching Juan (RDF’s Controller & Director of Compliance) and Rocio (RDF’s Senior Accountant) and seeing the things they work on.
Those two and Rodrigo, RDF’s Chief Financial Officer, are my mentors, my aspiration to grow within the department.
The only downside is missing my four dogs, including a puppy. They are a handful and take up a lot of my spare time.
What are your goals?
In the next few months, I plan to go back to school to get my CPA, Certified Public Accountant certificate. There’s so much knowledge to gain from it. I really want to know I can do it. It’s very important to my career path.
We are grateful to have Chantal in the RDF Familia!