The Pace Team welcomes Anna Reyes on board as Human Resources Manager! Anna joins us from Mercedes-Benz U.S. International where she began her professional career as an Organizational Development Specialist for over three years. In this capacity, she focused on initiatives such as diversity and inclusion; training and development; and managing CAReer, a global management development program. She spent the next three years as a Senior Compensation Analyst before concluding her career at Mercedes-Benz in Special Projects as Executive Assistant to the CFO – focusing on audit, workforce management, and compensation.
Anna graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Arts in German and a Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus on International Business and Marketing. She went on to earn a Master of Business Administration degree at Mississippi State in 2016. Needless to say, she is an avid bell-ringer!
Anna’s favorite quote is “Always do what you are afraid to do” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Keeping Pace’s interview with Anna was insightful and fun! We aspired to learn more about Anna as a person, why Pace was the right next move for her career, and what she hopes to contribute to – as well as gain from – our team.
Keeping Pace: Anna, after more than seven years at Mercedes-Benz, why did you choose Pace as the next right move for your career?
Anna: It was a combination of the role and the company. I knew I wanted to be in Human Resources, so that is why I was initially interested in the job. What really drew me in was the entrepreneurial spirit of the company that I learned about and experienced when meeting with the leaders during my interviews. When I visited the facility in the Bessemer location, everyone was very warm and welcoming, and at that point, I was really able to picture myself working at Pace.
Keeping Pace: How did you know you wanted to be in Human Resources?
Anna: I believe that everyone has unique characteristics that help them to fulfill their purpose in this world, and my skillset happens to align closely with HR. I like people, I am very creative, and I like improving processes. Fortunately, I was able to work in different areas in my previous organization, and it helped me to explore what I was good at and what motivated me. I also feel like working in HR gives me a purpose because it has such a big impact on all parts of the organization.
Keeping Pace: What is something you learned from your experiences prior to joining Pace that you’ll bring with you to the Pace Team?
Anna: One of my favorite things I have done in my career is teach a course called Leading at the Speed of Trust, which focused on how to extend, build, and sustain trust with yourself, a person, a team, and an organization. Not only did I teach this course, but I also gained a new perspective and learned a great deal about guiding principles and behaviors that demonstrate trust. I hope to use these principles and behaviors in my new role to support the organization in continuing to build trust with our team members, our customers, and with ourselves.
Up to this point, my whole career has been with a German automotive manufacturer where the business is built on creating standard processes, searching for efficiencies, and focusing on continuous improvement opportunities for all areas of the organization. I believe these factors are especially important for an ever-changing environment like Pace. Using this process-driven mindset, I would like to work with the team to see how we can make our HR tasks and topics even more efficient and transparent.
Keeping Pace: Tell us more about your experiences teaching “Leading at the Speed of Trust”.
Anna: I started in Organizational Development (OD) at Mercedes, and I was in the role for about three years. One of my responsibilities was to plan and facilitate the annual leadership workshops for all of our management. The theme for that year (I think in 2016) was the Leading at the Speed of Trust two-day training, which was chosen by our executive leadership team. I became a certified facilitator by Franklin Covey online and taught the courses for our Group Leaders (shop management), Managers, and Senior Managers. Because this group included 200+ people, I planned a series of workshops over the course of the year and taught them at our offsite location (The Tutwiler Hotel). I ordered the materials from Franklin Covey, and I led the training and facilitated the activities and discussions. It was tons of fun!
Keeping Pace: What are you looking forward to initiating during your first few months with our team?
Anna: First and foremost, I am looking forward to getting to know all team members at Pace. I have already met some really great people, and I am excited to get to know the rest, so I can figure out the pulse of this organization. As far as HR topics go, I am really excited to focus on Diversity & Inclusion initiatives including creating awareness, training, and implementing activities to get the entire organization more involved. Additionally, I am looking forward to diving into the processes to see where efficiencies can be created. I am a big proponent of continuous improvement, and I believe that things can always be better. Therefore, I am ready to come in as a fresh pair of eyes to question processes and play a part in making Pace stronger, faster, and better.
Keeping Pace: What core values at Pace do you align with most closely?
Anna: Growing up, my grandmother (Nana) had a really big impact on my character and values. She taught me the importance of being honest, working hard, treating others the way I wanted to be treated, and lending a helping hand whenever someone needed it. I feel that those values have made me who I am today, and I try to reflect them in my everyday life whether it be at work or home. In Pace terms, I feel that these translate directly into our values because I consider myself to be a servant leader who works hard, tries to do the right thing in every situation, and cares about others.
Keeping Pace: What are some unique things that people will soon learn about you?
Anna: I am a southern girl from Mississippi, but I have traveled the world (to China, Germany, Greece, Spain, England, and many more places)! I also speak German. I love learning about other cultures whether it is trying new foods, visiting different places, learning new languages, reading books, or watching documentaries. I am also obsessed with true crime and was probably an FBI agent in my past life. I like to spend time with my family, decorate my home, and do arts and crafts.
We thank Anna for her interview and look forward to her leadership at Pace. Please take a moment to welcome Anna on board and show her what being part of the Pace Family is all about!