During this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, PeopleFund is proud to feature our very own Martha Victoria Valdez, Senior Economic Development Officer of South Texas. Martha was born and raised in Laredo. Growing up, she spent a lot of time with her grandmother, Julia, originally from Juarez, Chihuahua, who taught Martha how to make many traditional Mexican dishes such as tamales and romeritos. Martha not only dedicated a lot of her time to school, but she also found time to do things she enjoyed like playing sports, dancing, and being active within her church.
For college, Martha attended Texas A&M International University, majoring in Business Administration and History with a concentration in Colonial America. In 2019, Martha got married to her longtime sweetheart and a year later they welcomed a beautiful baby girl into their family.
Still very active in her local community, Martha currently holds the position of Vice President in her local county young political group and is the upcoming commissioner for the Laredo Commission for Women. Both of her grandmothers played vital roles in shaping the woman that Martha became, inspired by their desire to help their community and other entrepreneurs.
Martha’s road to PeopleFund was a long one. Originally, her dream was to become a history professor. However, she left that dream after working as a Customer Service Representative at a non-profit whose mission aligned with her values. After several promotions and five years later, Martha left that non-profit and started working with PeopleFund as a Loan Officer in her hometown of Laredo, Texas. Being that she was ambitious, Martha felt like PeopleFund gave her endless opportunities to grow. Since her arrival at PeopleFund in 2017, Martha has worked from Loan Officer to Spanish Programs Manager to eventually her most current role, Senior Economic Development Officer for South Texas.
Martha likes many things about her job, but the one that sticks out the most in her mind is getting to help people start their journey to entrepreneurship. She has met many individuals, all from different walks of life, and has gotten the opportunity to help them in their professional careers. Although she has worked on many different workshops and events, Martha’s favorite one has been PeopleFund’s International Women’s Day event. With the role of key organizer, she got to witness the first-ever proclamation for city and county. This event brought in city and county officials, about 95 women, and even the Mexican Consulate. To help women feel celebrated in their communities, Martha and Amber Avis, from Ambitious Management, worked to make International Women’s Day a tradition, hopefully inspiring the local women in her community.
As a Hispanic woman, Martha says that Hispanic Heritage month means the world to her. Her heritage is at the core of her values and ultimately what defines her. Martha’s favorite thing about being Hispanic is how family-oriented the culture is. Her family finds any excuse to spend time together, whether it’s for a birthday or just a Wednesday dinner.
Martha says, “We honor our heritage every day but especially this month by sharing with others the beauty of our culture, through the history, arts, delicious food, and advancements in social justice causes.”