Hard work part of family heritage for Sonoma County Latino business leader
Teresa Castillo-Medina of Star Staffing is a winner of North Bay Business Journal's 2018 Latino Business Leadership Awards.
Professional background: Staffing and recruiting
Education: Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University
Staff: Three full time, as well as training responsibilities
Tell us your story and that of your organization: I've been with Star Staffing for over 10 years, and in that time, I have seen the company evolve from three branches to the nine locations we have currently. As we celebrate 20 years in business this year, I have reflected on my own growth within the company. I started as a recruiter in 2007 and have assumed multiple positions, including my current role as branch manager.
I have been given many opportunities to grow and am grateful for the leadership opportunities the company has allowed. I will soon be transitioning to a training role for the company and look forward to the next chapter.
My relationship with Star Staffing has been so successful because of our shared values and drive for success. I feel fortunate that as the company has grown, I've also been able to grow and build my skills as an industry leader.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?
The goal for each branch is to hit a weekly gross profit minimum, which my team and I consistently hit year over year thanks to our determination and constant drive for success.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?
The achievement I am most proud of is reaching the Presidents Club Award in 2017. It is the highest award given at Star Staffing and has been a goal of mine for some time. The award acknowledges that I have reached the highest gross profit for the company and I'm the only person in the company to receive this award.
What is your biggest challenge today?
My biggest challenge is finding a balance between work and family life. I have two daughters, a husband and four dogs. I'm very goal oriented and strive for excellence at work and at home. I do my best to balance it all and take time for myself too.
As a successful professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?
One obstacle I faced early in my career was a lack of confidence. I was afraid to take chances and would often play it safe. I would then think back on a decision and regret not taking more of a risk to get the results I was after. To overcome this, I surrounded with positive, strong, motivating people that encouraged me to believe in myself and my expertise.
I soon started to believe in myself and realize that I was good at my job and my confidence grew. Thinking outside the box and taking chances is important, even if things don't work out as planned, I want to know that I tried my best and can learn from what didn't work. This has helped me not only be a better leader, but a better person. I strongly believe you will never know unless you go for it and believe in yourself.
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?
While recruiting will always be needed, the advancement of technology will continue to affect our industry for the better. The impact of automation on recruiting and the rise of digital staffing platforms will change the way we currently operate and do business. It will make it easier to connect with candidates and job seekers, stay engaged with employees, and operate more efficiently.
Who was your most important mentor?
I have two important mentors, Lisa Lichty and Nicole Smartt-Serres. Both have guided me throughout my career, given me advice, helped me develop and grow in my positions.
Lisa and Nicole helped me believe in myself when in times I might have doubted. They have helped me find my passion, assisted me in seeing things from a different perspective and challenge me to take chances.
Tell us about your community involvement: I assist my community with resume writing, job searching and job placements. I also help them prepare for interviews and help them explore new talents that they never knew they had. I also sit on the board of the Sonoma County Lowrider Council whose purpose is to unite local car clubs and work cohesively to serve our community. Most recently we donated over 80 backpacks and sponsored three elementary schools in the Roseland District, which is the school district that I am a product of.
What advice would you give to a young person today?
Continue raising your personal bar and never just settle. Believe in yourself and have a strong support system around you.
Most admired businessperson outside your organization: Vanessa Robledo, being president of her family's winery at the young age of 24 and grew the business significantly. I love her family story, how she came from a traditional Mexican family, worked in the fields picking grapes to now becoming a successful business woman. She is very involved in the community, has a strong presence in Sonoma/Napa County and I have looked up to her for a long time.
Words that best describe you: I would describe myself as passionate, driven, consistent, disciplined, funny, goal orientated, team player, and family orientated
Current reading: “The Power of Habit, Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business” Charles Duhigg
Most want to meet: Right now, Richard Montanez
Stress relievers: Working out, it's a great stress reliever
Favorite hobbies: Restoring classic American cars with my husband. We restore pre-1965 Chevy's. Right now, we are building at 1958 Chevy Impala, which is the first year Impala ever made. I also enjoy attending my daughters' sports events and cheering on the Raiders.
Is there something we didn't ask that you would like to add?
I have come this far in life and my career because I was taught a young age to work hard for what I want. My parents made us work for everything we wanted and though growing up I didn't realize they were teaching us life-long lessons. They came to U.S. with nothing but each other and made a successful life here by working hard. My father, a retired successful business owner and my mother a retired Kaiser employee of over twenty years. I am who I am today because of them.