Featured Member: Zely Santos – Leading by Example

Meet IAW members in Featured Members, a weekly column where members highlight their careers and businesses. Today, the spotlight is on VIP Member Zely Santos. In both her personal and professional life, Santos has achieved great success. Read on for an important lesson she learned early on in her career — advice she continues to share with her new hires today.

VIP, Elite and Preferred Members: to be featured in Member Spotlight, contact us at featuredwomen@napw.com

IAW: What is your greatest achievement in life so far?

Santos: My children; they are turning out to be wonderful young ladies. In my career, it is the fact that I have left all doors open. My current position was offered to me by a previous boss who I had worked with over nine years ago. To me that says a lot of what type of employee I am and I am forever grateful to him as this is the second time he has called to offer me a job.

IAW: What are your long-term motivations for your company?

Santos: To create a structured environment where every team member will have the opportunity to be educated and to grow within the company. 

IAW: If you were stranded on a deserted island and could chose three items to have, what three things would you chose and why?

Santos: My rosary, a journal, water. 

IAW: How would you occupy your time if you did not have to work for a paycheck?

Santos: Travelling. My goal is to buy a motorhome and travel the U.S. when I retire—or before, if I can. 

IAW: What is the best business advice you ever received from another woman?

Santos: My very first job in an office setting was at an accountant’s office. One day my office was a bit messy. She told me, “Your desk is a reflection of who you are.” I have never forgotten that and I always remember to give new employees that same advice when I am training them. 

IAW: What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Santos: Believer, committed, loyal.

IAW: What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Santos: Enjoy life while you are young. 

IAW: If you were to be President of the United States for a day, what’s the first thing you would do?

Santos: Take care of homeless children. 

IAW: In your professional career, of what are achievement are you most proud?

Santos: Getting my Bachelor’s Degree at 40 years old. 

IAW: How do you relax when not working?

Santos: Pajama day. Nothing better than staying home in my pajamas with a nice cool house (I live in Florida) and watch TV all day.

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