Business: Abilene Christian University
Job title: Director of Public Relations
Why are you working in this industry? Public relations is about championing a brand through storytelling and the potential value of that narrative. Those stories can be a broadcast, an editorial in the newspaper, or a Tweet. When you share stories, you make meaningful connections, build loyalty and create a positive impact.
What are three daily habits that have helped you to become successful?
1. Calling Mom. She offers advice when I ask (or don’t).
2. Reading the headlines. It’s important to know the trends and remain informed.
3. Pressing pause. Practicing mindfulness helps me focus on the priorities.
Who is the person who most influenced you in business? While enrolled at ACU, I was a member of a servant-leadership group led by Dr. Gary McCaleb called Lynay. Dr. McCaleb modeled how you can maintain your faith in your profession and invited speakers who did the same. Kindness, respect, gratitude and so much more.
What is the best advice you have ever received? Early in life my Dad shared with me a quote, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” The phrase has remained with me. From planning events to moments of crisis, planning can help eliminate the chance for problems down the road.
What was your first summer job? Not only did my Dad work more than 40 years at Pepsi, he also spent time on weekends as an official for soccer games. My first summer job involved delivering coolers that the teams had ordered through Pepsi. The coolers had sports drinks and bottled waters. The job was greeting people, delivering a product, and doing it all over again the next weekend. I loved it.
Describe yourself in one word. Joyful.
If you were to give one piece of advice to someone starting out in your field what would it be? In a business, you have to know definitively what makes you different. Be confident in what makes “you” you!
Abilene Chamber of Commerce (Leadership Abilene Class of 2013)
Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau - Board Member (2016-Present)
Abilene Young Professionals - Member
Friends of the Abilene Public Library - Board Member (2015-Present)
Hendrick Medical Center Foundation - Board Member (2017-Present)
Hendrick Women’s Health Advisory Council - Member (2014-Present)
Hispanic Business Council - Member
Junior League of Abilene - Member (2013-Present)
Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health - Board Member (2016-Present)
Leadership Texas - Graduate (2018)
Your family: My husband, Jason, is a conductor with BNSF Railway. My parents are Juana and Luis Cardenas, who have been married for 46 years. My siblings are Luis, Jr. (45), Michael (42), Marlon (42), Jesse (38) and Geraldine (32).