Dec. 10–Rosa Santana’s Oveana opens East Side call center to take Toyota auto loan calls
El Paso entrepreneur Rosa Santana opened an El Paso call center Dec. 4 to take customer calls for Toyota Financial Services, which provides vehicle loans. Her Santana Group of five companies is largely tied to Toyota, including at Toyota’s truck factory in San Antonio. Santana’s Oveana business process outsourcing company opened the call center at 10950 Pellicano Drive in East El Paso. Its bilingual workforce mostly takes calls from Toyota Financial’s Spanish-speaking customers, Santana said. It currently employs about 40 people, and Santana hopes the center can expand in the future.
“There’s a lot of opportunity for us with Toyota and other clients,” Santana said. “If the center demonstrates capacity, we will get more work.”
In 2015, Santana’s Forma Automotive began assembling truck beds at Toyota’sSan Antonio truck factory. The group’s other companies are staffing agencies: Integrated Human Capital and Diversa are based in El Paso, and Workforce Management is based in Mexico. The agencies do staffing for Toyota and other clients. The Santana Group is now based in San Antonio, but Santana said she keeps homes in El Paso and San Antonio and commutes frequently between the cities.
Friends partner to open Undisputed Craft House
Chris Madrid. former owner of the now-closed And Still Craft House on Joe Battle in East El Paso, has opened a new craft beer bar and restaurant, Undisputed Craft House, with three partners — Sergio Lopez, Darrell Daughtry and Jerome Issac. Madrid, Lopez and Daughtry have been friends since being on the Montwood High School football team together years ago. Issac was a good customer at Madrid’s former bar. They opened the new business in late October at 1881 Saul Kleinfeld Drive, also in East El Paso, and had the grand opening Nov. 16, reported the El Paso Small Business Development Center, which provided startup guidance for the new bar.
Architecture student wins Sundt Construction’sEl Paso design contest
Guadalupe Chao Zambrano won Sundt Construction’sEl Paso building design competition with her hanging art piece depicting the Franklin Mountains and Scenic Drive. Zambrano, a student at Texas Tech University’s architecture program in El Paso, won a $5,000 scholarship to help with her spring tuition.
Zambrano’s piece, titled “Cultural Symbiosis,” uses volcanic rocks hanging from wires. It will be mounted to a steel beam in Sundt’s El Paso office at 909 Texas Ave., in Downtown El Paso. The four other finalists were: Marysol Chavira, a Texas Tech architecture student, who won $3,000 for her “Integration” piece; recent Texas Tech architecture graduate Cynthia Escalante won $2,000 for her “Nuestra Frontera” piece; and Jesus Martinez and Armando Garcia, from El Paso Community College’s architecture program, each won $1,000 for their work. Sundt is a large general contractor based in Tucson.
Kemp Smith law firm names two new partners
El Paso law firm Kemp Smith has named Rachel Moreno and Gregory Martin as its newest partners. Both lawyers have worked at the firm for six years.
Moreno is in the Trial Department. She handles commercial litigation and personal injury and wrongful death cases. Martin is in the Business Department. He handles estate planning, nonprofits, probate and tax cases in Texas and New Mexico.
Texas Tech El Paso hires fundraising director, promotes media manager
Craig Holden has been hired as managing director of development at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. He will oversee fundraising, alumni and donor relations, special events and the new department of Corporate and Foundation Relations. Holden previously was director of corporate and foundation relations at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
Veronique Masterson has been promoted to Texas Tech El Paso’s managing director for marketing and communications. She’ll manage the Office of Institutional Advancement’s marketing and creative services and communications teams. Masterson has been with Texas Tech for more than three years. She managed the school’s external communications team, which focuses on media relations, social media engagement, alumni relations and maintaining the school’s website.
Street names honor businessmen at Texas Tech campus
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and the city of El Paso held a ceremony Dec. 7 to mark the earlier naming of two streets on the Central El Paso campus for El Paso businessmen Rick Francis and Robert Brown. Both have been chairman of the Texas Tech University System board of regents, and both were instrumental in the development of the El Paso medical school and Texas Tech campus. Francis is chairman and CEO of WestStar Bank in El Paso. And Brown is an investor who operates Brownco Capital LLC.
SBNG auditor is Texas CPA ‘rising star’
Tello Cabrera, audit manager for El Paso accounting firm SBNG, recently was selected as one of 15 Texas Society of Certified Public Accountant’s 2018 Rising Stars. Cabrera has worked at SBNG for seven years, including the past three years as audit manager.
SBNG also recently added two accountants to its audit department: Anna Baumgardner, who worked three years as an auditor for an accounting firm in Weatherford, Texas; and Roy Padilla, who worked three years as an auditor at another El Paso accounting firm.
Fort Davis entrepreneur added to Workforce Solutions Borderplex board
Randall Kinzie has been added to the Workforce Solutions Borderplex board of directors. It oversees El Paso’s public employment agency. Kinzie is managing partner for Mayor Clay Productions, a video production and content development firm in Fort Davis, Texas. He also owns and operates Stone Village Tourist Camp and Stone Village Market in Fort Davis. The board also announced its new officers for 2019: Grace Muñoz, senior vice president of talent management at First Light Federal Union, will be chairman; Mica Short, vice president of development for the Paso del Norte Foundation, will be vice chairman.
Vic Kolenc may be reached at 546-6421; firstname.lastname@example.org; @vickolenc on Twitter.
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