Employee Spotlight

Welcome to our employee spotlight page. At CL&A we realize that our success comes from the people that have joined our CL&A family. Without our hardworking and dedicated teams, we would not be where we are today. In an effort to recognize our employees for the exemplary work that they do, we’d like to take a moment and highlight one member, who we believe to be doing an outstanding job. The people who are featured here represent the best of us. They are an example to everyone around them of the excellence that can be achieved.

Employee Spotlight: Rebecca Pena
Congratulations to Rebecca Pena on being a valued CL&A employee. You are an outstanding member of our team, and we couldn’t do it without you! We are honored to highlight you in this month’s employee spotlight.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am 53 yrs. old. I retired from health-care after 25 years. I’ve been married for 33 years to Lee Peña. We have a 31-year-old son. We live in Mathis, Texas. Our 24-year-old daughter, lives in Vancouver, Washington and is a student of Washington State University. (Both kids are single, by the way.) I graduated Mathis High School in 1981, right after attended community college, returned again at the age of 42 and finally completed. My husband Lee, is a Marine, two of his brothers are retired military. My father was a Vietnam veteran.

What is your role at CL&A?
Quality Assurance Specialist

What would people never guess you do in your role?
Being a “good-ghost” in our veterans lives. I refer to myself as a “good-ghost” since I'm a QA, I'm kind of behind the scenes, the veterans aren't aware of how involved we QA's are in working for their well-being. Assuring that we are providing the best support we can offer.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the fulfillment I get when we succeed in what we do, housing our veterans, arranging their transportation, employment, etc.

How did you first learn about CL&A?
Actually, I stumbled into this blessing. I had been at home for approximately 6 months, after a lay-off in a Human Resource position from an oil field company here in South Texas. I decided to put myresume’ out to the different employment agencies, and one day, I get a call from Tracey Johnson. I still chuckle when I remember our “interviewing” stages. All the questions she asked me, (man o man) and my responses were geared from a health care background. She finally interrupted me and said, “this is NOT a health care” positon. We house veterans!

What do you like most about CL&A?
That we all work toward one goal; and that goal is the well-being of our veterans.

Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
Working as a “Patient Representative” in a Catholic owned hospital. We have “Winter-Texans” they are usually retired folks that come down here for a few months. The disadvantage for some of these folks, is that should they fall really ill, their immediate families are many states away and therefore end up in the hospitals alone. There is one case that will always be in my heart and till this day brings tears to my eyes. An elderly couple was traveling through Beeville, Texas; returning to Iowa after spending the winter in Texas. The wife became seriously ill, and the two came to our hospital through the ER. Despite the best efforts of our staff, she failed to respond to treatment and died within hours of being admitted. 
The husband was suddenly alone, with no family nearby. He was in shock from losing his wife and was at a loss for words. He was unsure what he should do next. Lonely and depressed, he sat in the room with his wife’s body. He desperately needed help. Our Chaplain was out of town, the hospital’s social worker and I offered assistance. When we went into the room, our hearts went out to the husband, and I asked him if he would like to pray with us at his wife’s bedside. We then offered to help make transportation arrangements for his wife’s body and contacted family members in Iowa. 

We soon discovered that this poor gentleman was going to have to wait 2 days before his son could arrive to help him. I vowed to be at his side throughout those 2 days, making sure that he had support until family members could arrive. We provided comfort, care, companionship, and meals to make his time here less lonely and confusing, and he began the healing process by sharing stories of his wife and their times together.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
Oh, I don’t have any hobbies. On my weekends, I help my husband with his construction company. And help as in actual, “hammer in hand.” Not paperwork.

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
My make-up, my headbands. No, in reality, the one thing I could not live without is “family.” My mother died when I was 10 years old, so I was raised by my grandparents. Neither was educated, but they handed me their greatest treasure. Taught me to be humble and kind, and no matter how poor, if one person ate, everyone ate.

What is your hidden talent?
That would be some carpentry. It’s been a talent in the making. This started after I met my husband.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

What is your favorite movie and book?
Favorite Movie-Forrest Gump
Favorite Book-Nicholas Sparks' Message in a Bottle