Violetta Rios, DTM
Candidate's Office: International Director
Region Number: 3
Toastmasters member since: 2005
Education: Master in Human Capital Development
Employer and/or position: ElectroNeek, HRBP Manager
Served as District Director of District number: 34
Term of service: 2016 - 2017
In term as District Director, District achieved: Not Distinguished
Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international-, region-, and District-level):
- 2015-2016 Program Quality Director
- 2016-2017 District Director
- 2019-2021 Region Advisor Region 3
- 2021-2022 Public Relations Manager
Toastmasters honors and recognition (international- and District-level):
- 2015-2016 Excellence in Program Quality
- 2021-2021 Presidential Citation
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board Member:
I have 20 years of experience in training, human resources and customer service. This has given me the opportunity to identify training needs, create development paths for existing or future needs, implement new processes and adjust processes to current needs as well as creating tools to obtain end-user feedback. Having worked in tech support and with software developers has given me an ability to be “the advocate” speaking in favor of the technical with stakeholders and also explaining the reasons for policy, guidelines and changes to the developers.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
As Human Resources manager, I've been able to create plans for staffing, budgeting and performance based on the current reality and the desired future in the short and long term. Created growth plans within the company and individual contributors development, new positions were made available. Having worked for companies that have a global workforce, I've also been able to design contingency plans in order to be prepared for situations that affect a specific location and reduce operational impact.
As a Customer Service manager, I created reports based on customer needs and by analyzing the concerns and their frequency, we became able to predict when we would have an issue with a specific sector. This way, we were able to let other departments know ahead of time what would happen and if there was a way to prevent the situation altogether.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
Within the responsibilities of a Training Manager, I've had to create and execute budgets for training programs for all departments of the company. This included our support teams such as Recruitment, Finance, Administration and Human Resources who are frequently forgotten since most prioritize the Operations areas. Development opportunities were available to all staff from the junior positions to the C Suite.
As a Human Resources Manager, I've had to prepare for payroll budgeting, salary increases, performance, and benefit-related bonuses. I've also needed to do market research and benchmarks to ensure that expenses are close to the industry and market requirements.
What experience do you have in developing policies?
Working for startups has given me the possibility to build departments ground up. I've been able to create and implement awareness policies based on ISO 27001 to help employees remember the guidelines to keep company information safe. This resulted in employees being aware of what information security meant in day to day activities and helping the company be compliant.
I've also developed policies focused on performance management, training, human resources and budget approvals. Some of these policies were interconnected, such as how to request the purchase of trainings for an employee's performance plan. This helped keep purchases of training programs meaningful. An added bonus was that the implementation of these policies fostered employee satisfaction.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
My biggest learning lesson has been to listen to all involved before giving an opinion or making a decision. It is important to understand all backgrounds of all involved and the impact it has on the final decision. I've also learned to be more patient with others, not everyone learns at the same rate. Finally, I've learned that perfection is the enemy of progress. I've begun to appreciate the bits of progress towards the goal. Not everything is black or white, you have to appreciate the beautiful grays that are in between the start and end point.
What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?
My passion for the mission will keep me focused on our organization. My understanding of established and emerging markets can help our organization continue expanding. My organizational ability to understand different generations while honoring their uniqueness has allowed me to have a wider perspective. My bicultural background has helped me understand the different expectations from members. My strengths in Human Resources, Training, Customer Service and Marketing will also add value to the board.
Why do you want to serve as an International Officer/Director?
I want to contribute to our organization's growth and continue being an ambassador of what our organization can do for anyone with the desire to become a confident leader and communicator. I discovered my true calling in talent development as I was living the member experience. I want to be able to give back and inspire the new generation of leaders, just like I was inspired, mentored and coached by those that have served before. Thanks to our organization I have learned to speak up for those that don't know where to turn to for support.
What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?
I volunteered at MARCO (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey) for 5 years as a guide for school groups, coordinated summer camp, internship programs and art workshops. My love for art eventually took me to discover how to transmit the same message to guests with a variety of ages and backgrounds. During that time I also created learning programs for children and took my first steps into building groups of volunteers (interns) to achieve specific goals.
In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
The current strategic plan focuses on 4 pillars: Club Excellence,Member Achievement, Awareness and Engagement and Operational Effectiveness. In order to achieve success, it will be important to provide the districts with the right tools and simplify processes to reach the established goals. It is important to also focus efforts on full Pathways adoption. Our members can't fully embrace the experience if they are not enrolled. Finally, it is important to focus on marketing outside of Toastmasters. This needs to be a complete plan that begins with identifying the market opportunities for the clubs and ends with clubs hosting enjoyable, effective meetings.
Additional information about candidate:
I am proudly Mexican American and honor to the best of my ability both cultures. I've had the privilege to lead the translations team at the district level and help build the Spanish Reviewers team where I serve as Lead Reviewer since the program was established.
I've been passionate about advertising and marketing since I was a toddler, I would memorize commercials and identify logos on billboards. I love art history and creating art.
Toastmasters gave my professional career a 180 turn, from being an event planner and communication specialist to a Human Resources professional that firmly believes in the magic of watching someone become the individual that they are meant to be by reaching their potential.