We have another inspiring story to tell you about one of our community members at Suite Spotte. This is the third edition of our Member Stories Series where we feature the lives and achievements of the talented people who make up Suite Spotte’s Go-To-Grow Community. Looking for inspiration? Read on and see how one member has built a superior work life.
Maria Onesto Moran, Queen Bee at Green Home Experts LLC
Maria Onesto Moran does not stop moving. Described as someone whose hand and heart are always full, Maria’s time is split among her family, volunteering, and operating Green Home Experts (GHE). And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
As a WBENC certified women’s business enterprise, Maria founded and serves as President of GHE, The business evolved from a products distributor to an energy efficiency solutions provider.
Taking notice of the company’s increasing fulfillment capabilities, Maria helped spearhead the creation of the subsidiary GHE Fulfillment, which provides third party order fulfillment and kitting for ecommerce and Amazon sellers.
Since GHE and GHE Fulfillment are designated as essential businesses, operation was permitted to continue amid the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. However, it required quick and decisive action from Maria and the team to comply with the CDC health and safety workplace requirements. That included difficult enforcement decisions to keep the staff and workplace safe.
Thanks to the continued services offered through GHE Fulfillment and their overall safety success, Maria was able to grow the business despite the pandemic.
Persevering, Recognizing Strengths & Getting S*** Done
Maria makes things happen. That’s obvious to anyone who meets her. She admits that she doesn’t have one specific skill or marketable trade, but she prides herself on being able to recognize the strengths in people. Once she identifies what people enjoy and naturally gravitate towards, she is able to empower them further at GHE.
She believes in autonomy for herself and her employees as long as the mission gets accomplished. This means more workplace and schedule flexibility, and less tedious, bureaucratic rules. Her priority on employee empowerment stems from her past experiences in the workforce.
In an early work experience, a 16 year old Maria was folding clothes at the local GAP store one morning before the store opened. Staring at the mountain of unfolded clothes in front of her, Maria decided to pull up a chair and lock in comfortably.
To her surprise, the manager was quick to inform her that folding while sitting was against the rules. Even when Maria presented the logic of conserving energy prior to opening the store, she was shut down.
This turned out to be a formative moment for a young Maria and her burgeoning journey as her own boss. “Stupid rules are just plain stupid…Things that don’t make the employee happy or impede on their productivity don’t make sense.” That’s a lesson that stayed with her as she built GHE’s work environment.
As a believer in employee autonomy, Maria understands each person works differently and does her best to accommodate these differences. In her perspective, the typical workday works for some, but not others. “When people feel that their time is valued and their employer respects their individual circumstances and needs, they are more committed to their job and the business.” Maria never wants to be the obstacle in her employees’ lives, forcing them to miss important life moments. The happiness of her employees remains her utmost professional priority.
Maria Onesto Moran is not only capable of juggling, but thriving while doing so. Playing sports, working, and volunteering while in school was the norm for her, especially coming from a family of self-starters. Her grandparents were successful business owners, and her father built his own legal practice. These role models were living examples of the rewards of entrepreneurial ventures, as well as the challenges.
As someone who gets things done, Maria couldn’t be better suited for the fulfillment sector. An entrepreneur herself, she is able to empathize with the business demands of her entrepreneurial customers. She knows the challenge of pouring everything into a business venture and reaching the point where help is needed. Maria and GHE Fulfillment feel privileged to join in at the latest stages of her customer’s production cycle. “Shipping the order is the most concrete representation of our customers’ success…of all the hard work they had to do to get to that point.”
The way people describe me is that my hands and my heart are full…between my three beautiful children, volunteering and my two businesses, there’s always something going on, but that’s how I like it.Maria Onesto Moran
Being the Queen Bee of GHE and her Family
Maria always knew she wanted to be a major part of her three boys’ lives, and this desire was another important factor in her decision to be her own boss. She enjoys the flexibility that allows her to take her kids to and from school, go on vacations, and cook with the family.
Crucial moments of challenge and doubt like mortgaging the house or not taking a paycheck for years are worthwhile sacrifices for her to be able to enjoy time with those closest to her. None of it was easy starting out, and Maria’s husband held her to the promise of sticking with it for at least 5 years. With the support of her family and colleagues, the business began to flourish in 2014.
What does a mother of three, business owner and life-aholic do for fun? When she can find a moment in her busy household, Maria loves gardening. She calls it her happy place and therapy. She also enjoys kickboxing. In her words, “I either like planting things or punching things.”
Quarantine allowed her family more moments to consciously enjoy each other’s time. Despite being good at it, Maria recognizes that being busy isn’t necessarily something to be happy about. This rare time in quarantine allowed for things to slow down a bit for the family.
Leveraging Flexibility and Wisdom Through the Suite Spotte GTG Coworking Community
Suite Spotte’s coworking community is especially important for someone in Maria’s position, as her leadership team is small. Seeking outside perspectives is often the best way to float ideas before bringing them to the table internally.
In one instance, GHE Fulfillment was competing for a sizable proposal that would’ve been a game changer. Maria was shocked to learn that they did not win the proposal. While struggling with crafting a message to attain feedback from the prospect, Maria reached out on her coworking community Slack channel.
Thanks to her coworking colleagues, Maria was able to get the advice and words needed to request honest feedback from the prospect. She received insightful feedback from the prospect and applied what she learned to be better prepared for future opportunities.
Maria Onesto Moran is the Queen Bee, a dedicated mother, a badass, and someone who sees and empowers others. Her ambition, perseverance and empathy are always welcome in the Suite Spotte coworking community.