This week the Women in Leadership spotlight shines on Zuleika Gonzales, Director of Client Services in Valencia, CA. Zuleika has been with AMS since 2002, since the company began. She started in the warehouse, working in the Shipping Department. In 2004 she was recruited by Betty-Lou Wiseman for the Client Services team, to be an Account Manager. It was there that she got her feet wet in business management.
In 2014 Zuleika was promoted to Senior Account Manager, where she took on more responsibility for client accounts. In 2020 she was promoted to her current position of Client Services Director. It was in the middle of the pandemic and Zuleika adjusted to not only her new position, but also to working remotely. She works directly as the main funnel of communication with AMS clients, and every department at AMS. One of her main goals is to comply with client requests and make sure AMS and the clients enjoy success.
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Thank you for being in the AMS Women in Leadership spotlight Zuleika. You have been working for AMS for 20 years, which means you were with the company at the beginning! Do you feel like the AMS culture has changed a lot over the years with the current focus on B Corp values, or has the company always been upholding diversity, hiring the underserved and supporting the employees and community?
Being a B Corp was the cherry on top! AMS is an extended family to me, and the changes that I’ve seen being a B-Corp are positive and exciting, but AMS has always been very caring about their employees, clients, and the environment.
In your position as a Client Services Director you are able to mentor others who would like to climb the corporate ladder and help their families as well as ‘be the change’. How are you able to make a difference in the lives of the employees you mentor?
All I can do is share my personal experiences here at AMS, some enjoyable and some challenging for me. I give them my best advice on how I would approach different situations (especially the challenging ones) but also I ask them to give me their ideas, thoughts, input, and opinions. A lot of what we do in Client Services I apply in my personal life and a lot of my team members find themselves doing the same, like being organized, detailed, on time, and so on.
The reason we celebrate women in leadership is because women have historically been denied leadership roles. Your work experience has been at AMS for many years. Did you face challenges at AMS, and if so, who helped you to overcome them?
I was never denied a leadership role due to being a woman. AMS has always been equitable and at the end of the day, hard work is what always pays off! In the early stages I remember being so nervous just getting on a phone call with a client, other times when I needed to lead meetings, just learning curves that have been there along the way. Betty Lou has helped me so much along the way as my mentor, strong woman, and executive who always gave me a chance and never gave up on me. Other execs like Jay and Ken have also been part of my mentoring, and I will be always thankful for the three of them.
As a Client Services Director, how are you best able to support the clients while also working for the betterment of employee lives, the community and the environment?
There is a balance to it all. Our clients are very important. We seriously go above and beyond for them, and always do our best as a team. We are strong team in Client Services. We go through our busy days, but do not forget that fun, team building, and caring for each other is important, and I think that is what makes us a really strong team.