Redwood Credit Union's Rene Meza wins 2019 Latino Business Leadership Awards
Professional background: Banking
Education: Marketing and Spanish, San Jose State University
Staff: 22 employees at Dutton branch, 660 employees at company
About me: My parents immigrated from Chamacuaro, Guanajuato, first to Texas but eventually settling in Healdsburg. There they started a family, consisting of me and my six siblings. Our upbringing included strenuous but rewarding work together in the fields during the summer months.
It was tough at times but today, I realize what it taught me: work hard, support one another, challenge each other, and have fun and relax. This is life.
Growing up in Healdsburg in the 1970s, the little old town was very charming and laid back, but when I moved on to the college life in San Jose.
Wow, what a dramatic difference!
In 1989, I headed back up north to be closer to family and friends. I met my wife within the first year and now, 28 years later, we’ve got five amazing kids, with the oldest ones now in their early 20s!
Working in the financial industry since 1992, I’ve learned from many amazing minds. I started at a large bank, then a community bank, and today, I’m loving the work I am privileged and honored to do here at Redwood Credit Union. Throughout my career, I’ve managed many teams and worked alongside a diverse group of Senior Managers and highly-regarded executives.
Now in my 13th year at RCU, I’m thankful to be able to passionately serve my community, one member at a time. RCU’s President and CEO, Brett Martinez, always reminds us we are here to help our members achieve their financial dreams. I feel and believe in that every single day.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?
Completing a major branch remodel while sustaining a high level of member service. RCU’s Dutton office is one of our busiest branches, and the remodel was extensive, but we found creative solutions that allowed us to keep the branch open for business through the entire project, and keep our members informed every step of the way.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?
Chairing the first Roseland Cinco de Mayo celebration in 2005. Amid some high emotions and challenging and thoughtful discussions, I had the honor to work with many city, county, and community leaders who together, managed to create a safe and secure annual event that today is considered the biggest Cinco de Mayo festival in Northern California.
What is your biggest challenge today?
Monitoring my “work/life” balance can be a challenge: Working hard to help our members and employees, and supporting my community every day, but also making the time to care of myself and my family a priority.
What are you most proud of regarding the achievements of the area Latino business community and what are the greatest challenges faced by that community?
I love the continued work and collaboration with Los Cien, the Hispanic Chamber, and the Roseland Cinco de Mayo Group. I also enjoy staying connected with our Latino youth community to better prepare their generation to be our future leaders. I think by fostering strong connections between these groups and keeping young people involved, we can overcome any challenges our community may face.