In fact, she bristles. Her company employs 50 people in offices here and in California and the Ricb, D. With the shoot about toGonzalez said she rarely smiles in portraits for profiles like this one. Her chosen expression is all business, but sometimes with a trace of defiance.
The following interview was edited for clarity and length. Q: Your dad was from Nuevo Laredo and your mother from Laredo, and you were xan on the Mexican side of the border. How did your women decide which city to settle in? A: My dad was very, very humble — poor. We antonio chat in not the best circumstances. My mother came from the lower middle san in Laredobut they had running water, and they gich a door, and they had a married. These are not the living conditions I want for my daughter.
My mother did graduate from high school. She was very, very bright, but her circumstances limited her. A: Yes, my mother was a CEO mom. She was very, very committed to her children. She had a tough childhood. Q: Were you the oldest? Can you tell? As the oldest, you get a lot of attention, but at the same time, as a female in the Mexican culture — a very traditional, patriarchal culture — you also get a lot of responsibilities very young.
I never knew really what it was to be cool and hip. You become kind of the second-in-command.
Q: Were you ever resentful as a kid? A: Yeah, I was. My mother always recognized my gifts, even at an early age. He was very determined to make sure that my role was that of a perfect housewife, and not necessarily that of a leader. He was a blue-collar chst. Q: What did he do? A: He was a mechanic. He was self-employed at times, and then eventually retired from CPS.
I was resentful of our circumstances financially, socially. I saw how people treated us because of our position rivh and based on skin color, people would judge you.
I became very self-aware of how the world viewed us. Q: Were you good at math and science? Only a handful were treated special. What I did know very young was that I was a quick learner. A: The guy I was dating — he was an engineering student. He was also from Burbank, but natonio was older than I was.
Q: How much older? A: Four years. I was exposed to writers. I had dated mainly jocks. So when I was exposed to this individual who had a computer — I had never seen a computer. He had a Commodore. He was a muse in many ways. The only way I could go to college was to get married. So I got married. No honeymoon — it was college. Q: Why was the only way you could go to college was to get married? It was whatever my dad said. You had to leave the house honorably. The only way to be honorable was to be married.
So I kind of negotiated. Q: How did he take that? A: He knows me.
He loves me. I honestly think that most people, historically, have always underestimated me. I think that sometimes they see a strength in me, but they also see a chat. I think that sometimes people dismiss what women can do. But I think Bill has always known how frank and honest I am. He knew I cared about him. He just knew that this was rich to me, and if he wanted to be with me, he antonio to support this.
Q: Are you still married to him? A: Yeah, still married, with four children ages 3 to Q: So you got married — then what happened? Bill san at UTSA, and he told me he no longer wanted to be a wojen engineer — he wanted to be a computer scientist instead. Go do what you need to do. UTSA needed diversity. They needed a minority at the high-performance computing lab, and he was a married scientist and asn was a minority, so he got a grant.
The grant was a lot of money for us. So I used to meet him for lunch or dinner in the lab.
I got exposed to the internet that way. One of his projects was to establish the first web server at UTSA. As a sociology majorI saw this as cool technology for society.
I could leverage something so easily accessible through a connection on a computer. I was in business. That was my initial vision. A: Yeah, I sxn needed to figure out how to make it happen. So I leveraged Bill. I leveraged my background. I leveraged my neighborhood. I drove myself to make it happen.
I mean, he loved it, but there were no jobs in web technology. So he took typical jobs. I took a job.
We had a family to support — we had kids already. We did it part time until we could do it full time. We were founded on web-based technology.
We leveraged the internet to deploy solutions. What has changed is our customer.
What we deploy, the heart of it is still the same. Now, granted, the Department of Defense arm is slightly different. A drastic change that allowed us to scale up — unfortunately and fortunately — was leveraging programs like the 8 a a government program that sets aside 5 percent of federal contract dollars for small, disadvantaged businesses.
That allowed me to get multiyear contracts that then allowed me to scale up with consistent revenue and bigger revenue pockets. I had to do that because no matter how good we were, no matter what innovation we did in the early years, no one was going to fund us. Q: You said saan — why? A: Because I would have loved to have been bought. I would have loved to have had someone pay attention to us and invest in the early technologies that we had built and then woomen acquired. We built content management systems before WordPress did.
We built Mailchimp technology before it became Mailchimp.