One of RISE's champions, Jose, shares with us why he's so obsessed with this community and why he enjoys interacting with the wonderful people of this city through work and play.
We’d like to hear about you! What is your background?
My name is Jose De La Cruz. I am born and raised in the beautiful city of the 915. I’ve been a RISE Planning Committee member since January 2019 and serve as an Outreach Advisor for the GECU Young Professionals group.
I am a two-time graduate from The University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance & Accounting ’13 and a Master’s degree in Accounting ‘17.
I am a Commercial Business Lender at GECU. In this role, I am fortunate to work with a team that shares the same passion for numbers and problem solving to assist all kinds of businesses. I enjoy learning about different industries and having an impact with local business owners, their employees, and our community.
I enjoy being involved in organizations that give a platform for individuals to thrive in their professional growth. Being a member of RISE has provided me and others that platform to allow us to grow and to engage with the community.
What would you tell someone that’s thinking of joining RISE?
Allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone. In order to evolve into the professional you want to become, then I suggest you surround yourself with likeminded individuals who are interested in having a positive impact in their community. I challenge you to come out to one of our events and get to know us! I think young professionals would be surprised at the development opportunities that can come from getting involved in RISE.
Finish this sentence. My favorite RISE event I’ve attended was.
My favorite experience was at one of our “What’s on Tap” events. I really enjoyed the 3D Drink & Draw event hosted at Fab Lab El Paso. We had the opportunity to learn about the not-for-profit organization. We were able to “pick the brain” of the Lab Director, Cathy Chen and Lead Creative Technologist, Vincent Andreas. Not only did we receive a private tour of the shops, but they gave us the opportunity to learn hands-on the functioning of 3D printers and 3D pens. As a bonus, all the attendees took home their creative 3D ideas.
What are you happiest doing when you’re not working?
When I am not working, I enjoy mountain biking in the Franklin Mountains. I also enjoy cycling with my brother and friends to downtown El Paso, stopping at San Jacinto Plaza and Dead Beach, a local brewery. On the weekends my family and I enjoy brunch at Julio’s Café.
What is a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish this year?
A personal goal this year would be to compete in the 15 mile El Paso Puzzler mountain bike race.
What is your favorite thing about the El Paso community?
My favorite thing about the El Paso community is that we are not a small town but a bi-cultural city that embraces diversity between two countries. The people of El Paso come from all different walks of life. Some are homegrown, some have traveled from other countries and some come from different parts of the States while serving our country. This is what makes our community unique.