Rudy Garza – CPS Energy
Interim Chief Customer Engagement Officer
What is your favorite book?
One of the most applicable books that has stuck with me over the years is Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Al Switzler, and Ron McMillan. It’s a book I actually hand to all those I mentor to read. Being in the relationship business most of my career, learning to not shy away from difficult conversations is a powerful tool to being successful in both your personal life and professionally. It offers up strategies for turning difficult conversations into positive experiences. Love it.
Who was your favorite teacher?
Ms. Sidney Whitefield, Roy Miller High School in Corpus Christi, Texas. I had a number of great teachers that put me on the right path and challenged me to stretch myself in so many ways. Ms. Whitefield taught me Government and Economics in High School and was someone that will always be a big part of who I am today. She passed on many years ago, but would have been proud to know that I found my way into Governmental Affairs as a profession. She was tough…but hilarious!
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I was a product of teen parents. We had a difficult upbringing like a lot of our youth today. Finding a way to succeed by trying to do the right things, get an education, and be blessed to have the career I’ve had is my proudest accomplishment along with my two teenage boys, who are my life. A lot of people mentored me and showed me there was a bigger world out there beyond the Westside of Corpus Christi. I just never used the fact that I was poor growing up as an excuse.
What is your favorite thing about your career?
My career path that has led me to CPS Energy makes sense. One experience built upon another. Sometimes I had to take steps sideways or backwards to grow and add skillsets that led me to the place I find myself today. Being given the opportunity to serve CPS Energy as Interim Chief Customer Engagement Officer by our CEO Paula Gold-Williams is an honor of a lifetime. I didn’t have dreams this big growing up as a kid. When you appreciate the opportunities you are given, good things happen in your career.
Why is education in SAISD important to you?
We have 3,100+ members of the CPS Energy family and we need each and every one of them to do the job that our community expects us to do in keeping the lights on and the gas flowing. We cannot be successful if we don’t have a great pool of talent to go to when we have opportunities to invite new employees into our family. SAISD, along with all the other educational institutions in our community provide the human capital necessary to run our business and all those other businesses in our community that make our economy go. Our students are important…our teachers are important…our parents are important…because all those elements go into building productive citizens that we hope will take an interest in a career at CPS Energy and find their way into our family some day!
This is part of a series where we will introduce to you, members of our Board of Directors, an established collective of individuals who care about the SAISD Foundation mission and will help guide our organization as we continue to grow and prosper.
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