Chief Operating Officer
Monica has been with the Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone since its inception. She has more than 25 years in financial and program management experience. While finance is her forte’ management saw she had a very methodical and precise set of skills and began to invest in her career. She became an asset to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer.
Ms. Duenes made suggestions to management to change processes and systems making the work more efficient and effective. Her astute understanding of the Community Youth Development program and measures are responsible for our programs outstanding performance measures and successes for the past several years.
Ms. Duenes was asked what motivates her to stay with the Corporation. “I have had opportunities to move on but I stay because I am at a place in my career where I can truly make an impact and affect people’s lives. There are times when lack of funding is overwhelming but somehow as a team we find the funds and continue to grow and expand the corporation. The people who work here know it is not about us but about the people we are mandated to serve. We are helping our clients find a voice.”
Ms. Duenes has a sense of ethics when it comes to grants and dollars. She shares the corporate thinking that dollars spent must be for the benefit of those we are mandated to serve and not just to spend dollars. Monica oversees the Corporations programs, grant expenditures and compliance.
The RGVEZC has enjoyed several years of very healthy and clean audits thanks to her and the Chief Financial Officer.
She and her husband Pablo and two pets (Nina and Richie Rich) reside in Weslaco, TX.