Staff Spotlight – Zoe Otero-Martinez

By Lorena Schott | May 19, 2016

We are really enjoying our new blog series! Once a month, we are featuring either a WESST client or a WESST staff member. We hope you are enjoying learning more about WESST, our clients, and the great services we offer as much as we are! This month, we are featuring Financial Literacy Program Manager, Zoe Otero-Martinez.

What made you want to come to work for WESST?

The job I was doing before WESST was great, I also coordinated a financial literacy program but it was for students Kindergarten-12th grade.  I LOVED working with the teachers and volunteers but I really missed working with the actual client.  I enjoy teaching/training and the position I have now at WESST allows me to work directly with the client, I get to train and it is so rewarding.  I knew that if I was given the opportunity to coordinate the financial literacy program for WESST, I would feel so satisfied with the work because the client was going to be my main focus.

What was your very first job?

My parents were entrepreneurs and educators.  They owned the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos from 1977 until 1996.  Classes, workshops, bed and breakfast, they did it all!  I was employed by them and would work in the kitchen on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6:00 am – 1:00 pm.  I would make breakfast and lunch for the guests, clean up, mop, sweep and clean bedrooms for our guests. You can guess, I am now an early bird and I LOVE to cook!

What’s your favorite part of working here?

There is a tie on this one, I like being part of an organization, a team whose focus is making opportunity for others as well as improving our community and I love my IDA clients.  I take my job very seriously and my clients goals inspire me to learn new things everyday so I can provide the best support for them.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I am trying to keep up with two teenagers, I don’t know if it is harder to keep my 16 year old son in pants that are not too short or keeping up with all of the wonderful ideas that go through my 18 year old daughters mind.  I cook dinner most nights, and relish in the fact that I have an amazing husband and a beautiful home to relax in every night. I focus on the fact that every day we have to live is truly a gift.

What do you wish people knew about WESST?

We do so much here at WESST to help generate financial well-being for the small business community and I don’t think people know what is available to them here at WESST.  WESST is an anchor of the entrepreneurial landscape that continues to evolve in Albuquerque.  The strength that is evident in our model takes a lot of work because each client is so different.   I wish it was easier to share with the people of the state that we can help small businesses in so many ways, our training is exceptional, the business consultants are so passionate about what they do and crazy smart!  The WEC (WESST Enterprise Center) is changing every day allowing our current tenants to flourish and welcoming new businesses that are ready to take on the challenge.  The WESST Loan department is better than anyone at providing support in a way that will truly help a small business.  And all of this is supported by administration that shares in the mission of helping anyone who walks through our door.

About the Author


Lorena Schott

Lorena Schott is a native New Mexican that brings a wealth of experience to the WESST team. Before joining WESST in 2009, she worked for Intel where she was acknowledged for her establishment of Intel’s centralized on-line system, rewarding and recognizing employees worldwide.

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