Paola Meinzer is passionate about her family, dancing, food and her culture.
She has honed that zeal into her work at H&R Block, as the firm's Manager of Multicultural Initiatives. The international company is known for their tax preparations services and banking, payroll and financing services and operates in North America, Australia, Brazil and India.
For Meinzer, who came to the U.S. from Colombia, working at H&R Block is much more than numbers. She believes she can help other Latinos, both assimilated and immigrant Hispanics, by helping them reach their goals.
"My passion is to bringing those to achieve their American dream, like I have achieved mine," she says.
Six years ago, H&R Block hired the Chicago-based former real estate agent and member of several community organizations. In 2010 she was appointed to help the company develop and support multicultural communities through education and advocacy.
She began to build relationships with non-profit organizations and community leaders. In addition, Meinzer implemented brand strategies.
"The main goals of the program is to reach out to the immigrant community, to provide education and to provide resources. The company believes in the well-being of the community through education," she says.
The Colombian connection
Meinzer was bom and raised in Colombia, where she worked for an American public relations firm that served as a consultant for Colombian armed forces, including the Navy. She decided to pursue her career goals in the U.S., where she moved.
But like most immigrants, she had to overcome barriers like learning English, adjust to the culture. Meinzer faced many challenges. "I came here to the U.S. with a luggage...