Prestigious Women Awards Honorees: Michelle Martinez Reyes

Michelle Martinez Reyes has over 20 years of experience as a trusted business advisor in the field of marketing and public relations. She has earned a proven national reputation as a publicist, brand builder, and catalyst to growth. Martinez Reyes serves as the Chief Relations Officer for Kelley Kronenberg.

Favorite quote: Growth and comfort do not coexist.” — IBM CEO Ginni Rometty.

Fun fact: I studied classical piano for over 10 years.

How do you unwind after a long day of work? I love to unwind after work by first taking my shoes off, changing my clothes, and enjoying time with my family and new twin puppies. Some days, it’s cooking dinner, other times it’s watching a movie or grabbing dinner, but my favorite thing to do is to be by the water, boating, swimming, fishing – it’s my happy place.

What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them? There have been times in my career that I have had to take a few steps back, sometimes steps that are lateral in motion, and others times have had the opportunity to ascend. The road to success is a daily effort, and usually it is road that is not linear. Being a minority, female and Latin always creates dynamics that are unique. Accept that if you truly want a career, it truly is a journey.

What has been the most monumental moment of your career thus far? The most monumental moment of my career was when I first entered the C-Suite. It was an opportunity to work at the highest level, and really shape a team and firm for the first time. It was my dream job and I will never forget that moment and that chapter of my life. It was very special, and luckily successful.

Who are your role models? Role models are people who have helped shape me in business and in life. In business it has primarily been men, and in my personal life, it has primarily been women. It is important to always have others to look up to and guide you, regardless of age or station in life.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? The best advice I have been given has been, that all extremes are bad, somewhere in the middle is the sweet spot – find the right combination.

What advice would you give a young woman at the start of her career? Young women should find good sponsors and mentors to help them along their career path. Sometimes you will have to blend and assimilate, and other times you should take the risk and have your voice heard. In the end, know your worth, strive to be best in class which usually trumps the competition, regardless of sex.

How has being a woman impacted your career? I think being a woman has not necessarily helped my career. There are more opportunities for men in business, and higher pay for men, particularly in the legal industry. However, as I have grown in my rank, and the world has become more aware of diversity, it is now proving to be an asset and competitive advantage in some areas.

SFBW Staff
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