Cindy Chavarria & J.R. Guzmán - The Dynamic Duo

Leah Levine

To close out LatinX Heritage Month, here at Wish, we wanted to do something that’s never been done Employee Spotlight Collaboration!

This LatinX Duo works together, laughs together, and truly makes all of our lives at Wish better through their work in HR. The professional relationship between Cindy and J.R. has transcended over many years as they continue to work together on a daily basis.

Take a look at what started this miraculous HR leadership duo, and discover how they celebrate and honor LatinX Heritage Month.

How it All Began

Cindy: After having worked in an HR capacity at a previous tech company for over five years, I joined Wish in May 2018 as the Director of Human Resources Operations. I saw this position as a growth opportunity for my professional career because two years ago there wasn’t really a formal HR “team” at Wish. I had an opportunity to bring all of my prior experiences to help create HR processes for a company that was in a large stage of growth.

J.R.: I remember how happy you were when you got this job!

Cindy: Yes, and I knew just what I needed to bring with me to Wish in order to start this incredible journey!

J.R.: Duh!... Me!

Cindy: Wow.

J.R.: What? It’s true!

Cindy: I was going to say “my uptempo Spanish music playlist”.

J.R.: Oh my god… you would! What Cindy failed to mention is that she and I first met at our previous company in 2016, and for two years we had so much fun collaborating together on HR and recruiting policies there. I just remember you and I instantly clicking over our shared Mexican heritage, and our mutual passion for HR. We both loved to engage with employees, and to create new ways to improve the overall employee experience.

Cindy: J.R. is one of the most organized people I know, and he is so motivated to achieve and to learn more about HR. I swear, I can’t keep up with how many new HR certifications he gets!

J.R.: Actually, I am studying for the next one this fall!

Cindy: See what I mean? So when I had an opening on my Wish HR team after joining in 2018, I knew there was only one person who I could rely on to be the eager, hardworking, organized, and fun HR professional that Wish needed to take our HR team to the next level!

J.R.: How could I say “No”? It has definitely been a great ride ever since joining that summer with you, Cindy!

Cindy: It certainly has!

How Cindy and J.R. Shine at Wish

Learn more about Cindy and J.R. as they interview each other for their one-of-a-kind employee spotlight collab.

J.R.: So Cindy, what are you in charge of as our Director of Human Resources Operations at Wish?

Cindy: For the last two years at Wish, I have led a team of HR professionals who oversee global HR administration, including the creation of our global benefits packages, HRIS migration, employee onboarding and New Hire orientation, immigration and mobility policies, leave of absence administration, and global compliance initiatives.


Cindy: How has your LatinX heritage influenced or shaped your career/life?

J.R.: I have always been taught the value of hard work, and to always promote my Mexican American heritage in everything I do. Everyone who knows me knows that I am an “Achiever”, and I continue to look for opportunities to grow both personally and professionally. And 100% of that drive comes from my Mexican culture. There is so much collective pride in our rich history, and it is that drive that fuels my passion to always aprovechar, or take advantage of every day that I am alive in order to live life to the fullest!

Cindy: I couldn’t agree more. Knowing that my parents came as immigrants to the U.S. as such staunch go-getters, they were the ones who inspired me to go get an education and to put in the effort to realize my life’s goals. I always use their inspiring teachings to shape my vision for what I want for myself and my family.

J.R.: What is one of your fondest memories of working at Wish?

Cindy: Honestly, I think building out our HR team has been the most rewarding experience. We now have nine team members, which is more than double since when I first started in 2018. Bringing in such a diverse group of people to drive our HR presence at Wish has meant a lot to me. And we always have so much fun in our meetings! What about you?

J.R.: I will never forget our LatinX Heritage Month Happy Hour we held at Wish in September 2019! Our LatinX Employee Resources Group decorated the 41st Floor Bar Area with every single flag from the Americas all over the walls and the tables. We had a customized drink menu, a presentation on loop with LatinX historical facts, a blaring Latin music playlist that I curated, and even tapas downstairs for guests to enjoy! With over 300 attendees, the event broke a record for the most-attended Happy Hour at Wish EVER!


Cindy: What does LatinX Heritage Month mean to you?

J.R.: In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed into law what is now our present-day LatinX Heritage Month celebration. Over 30 years later, this month-long celebration is a time to promote awareness about the impact and influence the LatinX community has had throughout all of the Americas. For me, I have made it my life’s mission to promote cultural awareness and social justice initiatives that educate and celebrate the diversity of the LatinX community. By highlighting the achievements of Latinos throughout history, we can foster a more inclusive and understanding world for subsequent generations.


Cindy: On that note, it has been very exciting to see how the LatinX@Wish employee resource group has taken advantage of social media strategies and online events to bring this “virtual” heritage month celebration to life this year! Seeing you all Samba dance via video last week was such a treat! Even though we are all remote, this month’s internal festivities at Wish have been so impactful, and I look forward to participating in more Wish heritage month celebrations in the future!


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