Life’s Challenges Can Lead to the Greatest Rewards

People are your most valuable resource both personally and professionally. Corporate life is challenging, but I’ve found that setting aside time to foster long-lasting relationships with those around you is essential to everyone’s long-term success and happiness. Showing people that you value their time, opinions, and ideas promotes a culture of trust, mutual respect, and value. More than anything, I hope to show gratitude for those who have helped me along my journey by “paying it forward” day in and day out.

Moving my family and my career from my home country of Brazil to the United States many years ago was a daunting task. There was much to learn and many challenges along the way, but thanks to the kindness and support of so many, I’m able to be where I am today. I met the Brazilian founders of Fogo de Chão while working at Marriott during the first portion of my career in hospitality. It was a chance encounter with two gentlemen who were guests at the hotel; they requested a Portuguese translator to be of assistance. As such, I was called to help, and the three of us hit it off instantly. While the meeting itself was serendipitous, the result was illustrative of my personal motto to always be kind and ready to help others. You never know how the simplest act can provide new opportunity, both personally and professionally. As a result of that meeting, I began the second portion of my hospitality career and became the first female General Manager in the history of Fogo, and am proud and humbled to be trusted as the company’s Chief People and Culture Officer today.

Too frequently in the workplace we celebrate the hard-driving, competitive nature of business. While ambition and passion are a must for success, we should never forget our humanity. It’s when we appreciate and acknowledge each other as human beings, and when we show compassion for one another, that our organizations can collectively succeed. Here’s to “paying it forward.”