Brenda Navarro, nick name Bren, is a native San Diegan and has been with Pro Back Office (PBO) as an Accounting Manager for the past two years. She is currently earning her bachelor’s degree in accounting, while raising two boys, and staying on top of all her other projects and plans. With 2016 quickly coming to an end, Brenda shared with us the most valuable things she has learned this year, her life outside of PBO, and her family’s meaningful holiday traditions.
Growing up, Brenda's desire was to be a child psychologist. She has always had a deeply rooted passion for knowledge and learning, and for helping others get to where they need to be. During her studies in high school and college, her favorite classes included subjects on history, literature, and psychology. She was also extremely active as a soccer player, letterette, and a member of the band brigade. Her instrument of choice? The base drums, which Brenda rocked! She even marched in the Rose Parade, one of her highlight memories of high school. That, along with the meeting of her high school sweetheart and now husband of 24 years, are among some of her fondest memories of that time in her life.
Brenda's keenness for knowledge has not faded, if anything it has increased exceedingly. When asked what she would prefer to do if not working for Pro Back Office, besides travelling the world, she enthusiastically replied enriching her expertise in areas that spark her fascinations. Every one of us is unique, and Brenda's unique love and desire to learn is insatiable. Her eldest son is fluent in Japanese and her husband is fluent in Spanish. It is Brenda's aspiration to learn and become fluent in both languages. She also intends to take more classes in photography, world religions and philosophy.
One of the things Brenda takes the most pride in is helping others excel and succeed in the work place. Before PBO, Bren worked actively in the marine industry for 15 years dealing with accounting, payroll, and human resources. She has 17 years of experience in accounting which she 'fell into' and hasn't looked back at since. She prefers not to be on the front lines, but instead behind the scenes handling all of the 'grunt work.' Brenda has an incredible work ethic; she enjoys research and preforming analytics for complex cases. She is precise and consistent with her work, always producing impressive results. Brenda's favorite thing about PBO is the overall awesome set up and design of the culture co-founders Jenn and Mike have laid out for the company. There is always a variety of assignments and Brenda is never left bored. She loves the positive environment and remains excited to work. Another one of her favorite things about PBO is the amazing support system she has access to. There is always a second set of eyes willing to help and it is a comforting feeling to have, especially when work begins to get hectic. Brenda states, "Jenn, Mike and Scott are the best people in the world to be working for."
In addition to loving her job at PBO, Brenda is a mother of two boys, one ten years of age and the other is eighteen, having just started his first year of college. It is in times of family emergencies and all that comes with being a mother that Brenda appreciates the flexibility of PBO's scheduling the most. She is always looking for new ways to get her family active, involved and connected. Her youngest son enjoys karate and the entire family will train together. During weekends they go on adventures by taking day trips to Balboa Park, Liberty Station, and other fun areas of San Diego. In this age of technology, it is much too easy to keep your head down infatuated with cell phones and forget what truly matters. Brenda values family time and connection and urges her boys to connect with the people and world around them by disconnecting from their cell phones.
As 2016 comes to an end, we asked Brenda about two things: her family's holiday traditions and the most important lessons she learned this year. Each Christmas, Brenda and her family does something to give back to the community, such as volunteering and feeding the homeless. This upcoming Christmas plans, along with that tradition include relaxing with the family in festive holiday pajamas, eating delicious homemade food and opening a few presents. When asked what is the most valuable thing she learned in 2016, Brenda shared the following two.
1) Things will be there tomorrow; this relates more to work. Work can get chaotic as we all know, and sometimes the pressure is overwhelming. At times we beat ourselves up by putting ourselves through unnecessary stress and creating problems that aren't always there. This is when it is imperative to remind ourselves that we do not need to flip the world upside down to get something done. Work will still be there tomorrow.
2) We are not always promised tomorrow. She makes the point that some things are not worth getting upset about. Stress and anxiety are a reoccurring theme in life, sometimes we just need take a step back, breathe and be thankful for all we have already. We need to remember what truly matters by looking at the bigger picture.