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50th Anniversary Alumni: Cheryl Garcia, ’85, EMBA ’99

Cheryl GarciaUtilizing her entrepreneurial mindset, Cheryl Garcia embarked on a journey with 17 other students as part of the college’s first Executive MBA cohort.

While an undergraduate at UTSA, Garcia had started a successful moving and storage company with her boyfriend (now husband) and had fulfilled her definitions of success. But she was looking for help to grow her business.

“It was a turning point in my life,” said Garcia, senior vice president at U.S. Bank. “I had recently lost my father. He was my mentor. I wasn’t sure where I could find advice to grow the business and find my center for the next chapter in life, but I thought this program was a good starting point.”

The Executive MBA program was the brainchild of Bob Lengel, a professor that Garcia remembered from her undergraduate program. She noted that Lengel was the North Star of the program, and his vision was centered around a quote from Marcel Proust—“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

“I had a transformational life experience,” said Garcia. “The greatest part was learning from my peers and the instructors. The focus was on experiential learning.”

By the time she had finished the program, Garcia had decided to sell her company and work in a corporate setting, so she could be part of a team.

“Going through the program it wasn’t always easy to move outside my comfort zone. But it truly was worth it to enter the learning zone,” said Garcia, who recently celebrated with her EMBA classmates their 20th reunion this fall.

Upon completing the program Garcia worked in consulting then joined U.S. Bank and was steadily promoted throughout the years. Today she leads their transportation public sector—a $6 billion business. Working with clients like the Department of Defense, the United States Postal Service and large commercial clients, she travels frequently and enjoys the flexibility of working from her home at Lake Amistad.

“I couldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for UTSA and the EMBA program,” said Garcia. “At every turn, the program gave me the skills, the knowledge and the courage to try new things.”

Wendy Frost

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