Every year, from September 15 to October 15, our country observes Hispanic Heritage Month. This is a time to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans who hail from more than 30 countries and territories across the globe. In this month-long celebration, we’ve had the opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the diversity of America's story.
At Academy Bank, we’ve dedicated this month to spotlighting prominent Hispanic Americans who have left their mark on our world today. We’ve also shared recommendations, including podcasts such as Latino USA and books like Why I am Like Tequila by Texas Poet Laureate, Lupe Mendez.
But what’s even more special to us is the chance to introduce you to some of our own associates in the LatinX community. These individuals play a significant role in our organization’s success, and we would like you to meet them!
Michelle Camacho, our Banking Center Manager II at our Greeley, CO branch, has been a dedicated member of the Academy Bank team for 7 months.
She oversees bank operations while promoting our financial products. Michelle’s leadership style is marked by positivity and encouragement, which has a positive impact on her team.
Beyond her professional role, Michelle is known for her outgoing and sociable nature. She is also a sports enthusiast who loves rooting for the Denver Broncos. During Hispanic Heritage Month, she values the opportunity to give gratitude to her family and continue long, priceless traditions. Michelle uses this time to connect with her cousins, aunts, and uncles who live out of state.
Her favorite Hispanic tradition is the Luminarias she experienced growing up in New Mexico. Luminarias are a cultural hallmark in this region, and they are paper lanterns placed in rows along walls, roofs, and walkways to form a glowing display, especially on Christmas Eve. “They are so beautiful. It is a simple brown paper bag with dirt and a candle. People would line them up so beautifully.”
Benito has worked with our organization for more than 27 years. Before stepping into his current role in Human Resources, he held a variety of roles in all aspects of retail banking.
As a Training Specialist today, Benito’s primary focus is new retail associates, including both managers and front-line associates. He plays a key role in the onboarding process, overseeing a 2-week retail banking training program designed to familiarize new members with the in-branch experience.
Benito is an easy-going person who loves a good joke or funny story. He loves sports, specifically NFL football, and he enjoys good movies and music. He shares his life with his wife and daughter, and they enjoy doing activities together as a family.
Hispanic Heritage Month holds a special significance for Benito. “Every section of society has its own story and place in this world, and I’m proud to know that our story is not only being highlighted but also allows for a better understanding of our culture, customs, and the overall impact we have in our society.”
Benito doesn’t limit his celebration of his heritage to this one month. He embraces it in his daily life, his heritage from the food he enjoys to the music he listens to, and the traditions he observes during the holiday season.
Sefarina has been a committed member of our team for 11 years. She has held various roles during that time, making significant contributions along the way. From her start as a Personal Banker to her roles as Assistant Manager and Multi-Site Manager, Sefarina’s journey exemplifies her dedication to Academy Bank. Today, she excels as a Banking Center Manager II at our Westminster branch in Colorado.
Beyond her role within the company, Sefarina is an active member of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce, where her knack for building relationships has greatly benefited our organization.
She also volunteers with Financial Literacy for Students and the Special Olympics.
Beyond her professional commitments, she loves hosting family gatherings, being outdoors, gardening, fishing, and reading. She is happily married with five children and shares her home with four beloved pets.
For Sefarina, Hispanic Heritage Month embodies values like Faith, Hope, Family, and Perseverance. It's a time to honor her ancestors' sacrifices. During this month, she enjoys Hispanic culture by watching movies that are produced by Hispanics, reading biographies, and connecting with her family history through pictures and traditional family meals.
As we conclude celebrations of Hispanic Heritage Month, we want to express our appreciation for individuals like Michelle, Benito, and Sefarina, who represent the amazing contributions of the LatinX community. We're grateful for the opportunity to introduce some of the incredible associates who make our organization successful and to showcase their commitment to their roles and heritage.
While Hispanic Heritage month may come to an end, our commitment to diversity, cultural appreciation, and recognizing the impact of the LatinX community remains unwavering. We encourage others to do the same. Thank you for joining us in this celebration heritage and culture!