September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month and is a time to celebrate the rich cultures, backgrounds, and achievements of Hispanic and Latino Americans. The month-long observation also commemorates the independence of Costa Rica and other Latin American countries on September 15, as well as Mexico’s independence on September 16 and Chile’s on September 18. At FormAssembly, we celebrate with the Hispanic Americans within our company and all those who have made contributions and inspired others to success. Hear about what Hispanic Heritage means to Katrina Garza, our VP of Customer Success and Support Services.
Tell us about your Hispanic heritage–what’s one thing that’s really important to you?
I’m a 5th generation Texan and many people don’t realize that Texas has a rich and complex history. My grandfather likes to say that no one from our family crossed any borders. My family has lived in the same area for over six generations, and history happened all around us. 55% of Texas used to be a part of Mexico, and six flags flew over Texas at one point in time. While I am Hispanic, I, like many from the same area, have similar ancestry where we share Spanish and Indigenous bloodlines, so when you hear stories about the demographics of Texas, it’s always good to remember this part of its history.
There are many things I would love to share about my heritage aside from being a Texan. I really love big family gatherings where everyone makes and eats delicious food from recipes passed down from my grandmother or grandfather. The best example is making tamales with my grandma and aunts (“tias”) before Christmas. Or BBQ Sundays where my uncles (“tios”) compete to make the best brisket.
I also love how we celebrate loved ones who have passed with particular days of remembrance where we pay tribute with gifts and trinkets (a day called Dia de Los Muertos). Another amazing thing I would like to share is that growing up, I saw my whole family have a strong work ethic to ensure that their children would have opportunities in life that they did not. A strong work ethic is a learned behavior that has stuck with me throughout my life and career.
What does celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month look like for you and your family?
For my family, Hispanic Heritage Month is mostly a time of reflection on our ancestral history and how not all Hispanic families are from one country. We are from many different countries, and we all have extraordinary traditions to be celebrated.
What was your journey to FormAssembly?
Before starting my path to FormAssembly, I worked at a couple of start-up companies where I helped build world-class, customer-facing teams from the ground up. At my first start-up, before leading teams, I worked in many different customer-facing roles, from tech support to customer success, implementation, and knowledge & training management. When you are hired as the ninth person at a Saas start-up, you aren’t just working these roles. You are developing the job descriptions and structure for how these roles operate and succeed in a company.
My prior experience in creating and working within these roles over the years has been invaluable to my career trajectory. I love the path I took to get where I’m at today. All of the skills, familiarity, and expertise I gained throughout my career of eighteen years align here at FormAssembly, where I have the opportunity to put all that insight to good use. I have been with FormAssembly for five fantastic years. And I have the pleasure currently of heading up all of FormAssembly’s customer-facing teams as the VP of Customer Success and Support Services.
What is your biggest challenge or career accomplishment?
I wouldn’t say there has just been one big challenge or accomplishment throughout my career. There have been many challenges and achievements. Right now, though, I have to say I am most proud of leading the largest team at FormAssembly. Every day my team brings leadership, teamwork, hard work, heart, intelligence, and dedication to their day-to-day, and to their respective and cross-teams. Shout-out to all of the Customer Success and Support teams at FormAssembly because they make my job worthwhile, and without them, we would not be as successful as we are today.
What advice do you have for other Hispanic Americans looking to make an impact in the tech space?
My best advice is to work hard and do not be afraid to start from the ground up. If you enjoy what you are doing and are good at it, you will move up quickly. An excellent place to begin in tech is in Support or Customer Success because you gain a solid foundation of the products, services, or platform your company supports.
Do you see challenges remaining for Hispanic Americans today, and how can understanding history help us overcome them?
The sky’s the limit for Hispanic Americans as long as we put in the work, strive for growth paths, stay curious, speak up, and stay informed!
Learn more about FormAssembly’s culture
We are proud to have teammates from all over the world who live out our core values, and we embrace a company culture that thrives on diversity and inclusion. We encourage you to read more on our Team Culture page!