September 15 through October 15 is Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month. To celebrate, we will be spotlighting some of our incredible and dedicated employees, their work and their stories every Thursday throughout the month in a special Q&A. First up is our very own Community Relations Advisor, Connie Cepeda! Stay tuned to learn more about our proud Hispanic and Latinx employees every week on our NewsCenter and social media channels.
What do you love most about HHM?
What I love most about my Hispanic Heritage is our high regard for family and elders. Family is an important aspect of my life. Spending time with my loved ones is something I cherish dearly. My Abuelita turned 101 years old on September 5th, 2022 [pictured below]. I am so blessed to still have her in my life and to celebrate this amazing milestone with her and my family. Our matriarch has instilled in us the importance of family, respect for others, and an overflowing faith I have seen her live out. She has 11 children, 34 grandchildren, 40 great- grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren.
My family all still gather for special events and fiestas. It is always a fun time with my vivacious primas. It was instilled in us at a young age that we greet with a hug and kiss. Saludamos a todos! And when you leave, once again you say goodbye con un beso y abrazo. This is something that we are taught at a very young age. Another trait taught to us at a young age, is that the girls must help in the kitchen in some way. I could still hear my Abuelita telling us, “Andale muchachas, accommidate!” Which means c’mon girls, make yourselves useful and see how you can help. Also, environmental stewardship was taught growing up, to either reuse, repurpose or recycle. Money was scarce, and if there was an opportunity to do any of those three things, we did it.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
My Hispanic Heritage has shaped into the person I am today in that it has instilled in me to have a servant’s heart and respect for others. If someone is in need, I quickly look for ways to see how I can help- either my donation of goods, food or of my time. I have also instilled these traits in my four children – Mireya 19 years old, Damion Jr. 17 years old, Cristiano 8 years old, and Geronimo 6 years old. I bring them to volunteer events for them to see firsthand the need out in the community and in Mexico and to also plant the seed of having a servant’s heart. Allowing children to experience helping those in need or help out for a good cause - is a great way for them to appreciate what they have.
My love for music and dancing comes from the cumbias and rancheras played when I was a kid. Growing up, it was a guaranteed dance party at every family function.
I would be awakened by my mom, early Saturday mornings, to clean the house with Mexican music blaring throughout the house. I continue to keep this tradition alive with my own daughter.
What are your passions outside of work?
My passions outside of work are volunteering as team mom for my kid’s sports activities, philanthropy, and spending time with my family. These past couple of years more than ever, has taught me that tomorrow is not promised. Making the time to travel, making a difference in the world, my faith, and spending time with loved ones are an intentional part of my life and I credit my culture and my Abuelita for showing me the importance of each one.
Take a look at a few of Connie's personal photos with her loved ones below.
Thank you, Connie, for all that you do for our company!