Ivelices Linares, Executive Director of Employee and Labor Relations, tells us what led her to this great achievement.
Congratulations on being named one of “South Florida’s 40 under 40 Black Leaders of Today and Tomorrow for 2015” by Legacy Magazine. How does that make you feel?
I feel very honored to have been selected and recognized for the work I’ve done over the years to grow in my career and sow back into my community. It’s also exciting to see how proud my family, friends and colleagues are and how they are celebrating this accomplishment with me.
What inspired you to choose your career path and go into employee and labor relations?
I began my legal career as a litigator handling both civil and labor matters. As an attorney, when you are litigating a case, you are stuck with the facts of the case and decisions made by the parties involved and are charged with presenting the best defense that you can, which can sometimes be frustrating. As I handled more and more of these cases, I began to wonder, “if they’d only done or said this or that,” or “if they only had a better written policy or more clearly written contract,” so much litigation could be avoided. That thinking led me to want to be more involved in the forefront of organizations and help them create better policies that protect both the organization and its employees, negotiate clearer contracts and better prepare its managers so that they wouldn’t end up with a lawsuit to defend.
How did you come to work for GardaWorld?
When GardaWorld relocated its US Headquarters to Boca Raton, Florida, it began building its executive team and searching for subject-matter experts for its various priorities. I was introduced to Lori Brown, then Chief Legal Officer, because of my expertise in labor law. We immediately realized that we shared the same passion and drive for positive employee and labor relations organizational cultures and were presented with the unique opportunity to begin building that culture for GardaWorld. I joined in 2012 as the Director of Labor Relations and in less than a year was promoted to Executive Director to oversee both labor and employee relations for the organization.
As the current Executive Director of Employee and Labor Relations at GardaWorld, what vision do you have for your role?
My vision is to promote a work culture at GardaWorld that aligns with the company’s mission and core values by: supporting operations in achieving its business goals; reducing potential liability to the organization; facilitating successful relationships between management and employees; and ultimately making GardaWorld, a preferred employer and a great place to work.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in their career and aspires to one day be in a leadership role?
First, seek a career or position that you are passionate about and pour that passion into what you do. When you are truly passionate about what you are doing it will help fuel your drive to give it your best, irrespective of any challenges or setbacks you may face. Secondly, don’t be afraid to self-promote your accomplishments and express your desire to grow within your career. Many times people are hesitant to discuss their accomplishments with their peers or their managers out of fear of being perceived as pushy, but there’s nothing wrong with being your own advocate and letting others know that you have made contributions that have added value and have goals beyond where you are now. In fact, you’ll be respected for it.