You pass them in the halls, see their faces on Teams calls, and exchange emails. You know their job title and department and might even know their extension by heart. But do you truly know who you’re working with? Get to know Luis Rivas, a Managing Director on our Professional Services team!
I live in Florida, but I’m originally from Venezuela. My family and I moved to the United States when I was 13 years old. As you can expect, Spanish was my first language, but learning English wasn’t too hard of a transition since I had the basics down by the time I started 8th grade. Plus almost everyone speaks some degree of Spanish in Florida. After I graduated from Florida State, my girlfriend (now wife) Adriana and I decided to move to New York City. I got a job at a staffing firm and worked there for a couple of years staffing architecture roles before I ended up at Tandym.
When opportunities at our company’s Florida office popped up, my wife and I jumped on the chance to move back home. We always knew we wanted to move back to Florida, so being able to relocate without changing jobs was the best situation we could have hoped for. We currently live in Boca Raton with our 3-year-old daughter, our dog Ziggy, and are expecting a baby boy any day now. A funny fact about Ziggy: we adopted him through a program in Miami while we were living in NYC. He had only been with us for a year before we decided to move back to Florida—so at least he’s used to the heat!
During my early teenage years, I went through a big skateboarding phase. I can still do all the basic tricks and go down ramps and all that. Then one by one, my friends lost interest in it. I never did, but skateboarding by yourself isn’t as fun. All that coincided with my goth / metalhead phase. I was big into metal music and had all the stereotypical accessories to go along with it. My nails were painted black, my hair was always in a mohawk and dyed a different color depending on my mood, and I even had huge JNCO jeans with spiked belts and chains that went from my hips to my feet. In all honestly, I still listen to the same music, but I upgraded the wardrobe!
It’s going to sound cliché, but definitely my parents. They left their home, their family and friends, and their whole life just to give me and my two brothers a better life with more opportunities. When we got here, they had to start from scratch, and they made it work. Their hard work, drive and family-first mentality has rubbed off on me for the better. I owe them a lot.
This is a tough question because I don’t eat fast food often at all, so I’m just going to give you two. The first is Chick-fil-A. They just opened one across from where I live and when you need something quick to feed a 3-year-old, they’re pretty clutch. I mean, it’s good food for fast food. The second, and let me be very clear when I say I haven’t had this in over a year, is Taco Bell. It’s just good junk food that you regret the next day. Like I said, I don’t do it often at all, but my daughter isn’t picky when it comes to Chick-fil-A.
I applied. I was doing recruitment at another company for about two and half years, and I was at a sort of crossroads with them and wanted a new opportunity. I didn’t search for very long when I found out that Tandym was hiring. I applied and someone called me within the next few days, and I have been here ever since.
I’m going to go with space because I feel like it would be way less scary than being underwater. I would feel way too claustrophobic underwater for an entire year. In space, you have the stars and the endless beyond. Plus, the whole no gravity thing would be so fun. It would be the closest thing to flying!
It was completely different than what I expected. I’ll be perfectly honest, I thought it was going to be easier than working in NYC. Let me be very clear, it is not. You know the old saying about New York, “if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere.” Well, that’s not true. Florida is way harder. In New York City, you have the luxuries of public transportation and thousands and thousands of businesses in a condensed area. Florida is way more spread out. Candidates are only able to get to certain territories. You can’t stack client visits if one is in Miami, another is in Fort Lauderdale, and another an hour north of both. Not to mention, we had an established footprint in NYC with legacy clients. It was just kind of a wake-up call that I needed to be more proactive. Luckily, we have a great office filled with an ambitious and eager group of great people.
The tv show is easy: Star Trek: The Next Generation. I’m a huge sci-fi geek and can watch any episode at any time. For movies, that’s tough but, don’t laugh, I’m going to go with Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift. It’s one of those “it’s so bad that it’s good” movies for me. It’s definitely my favorite from that franchise. I can watch it any time it’s on. Great soundtrack too!
It means a lot, and being a leader of HOLA was a no-brainer decision for me. I was one of the original members of our company’s DE&I committee and when the subcommittees began to form, I jumped at the opportunity. I’m a proud Venezuelan and this group is a great place for people of Latino descent or those interested in our community to gather and learn from shared experiences and curiosities. There’s always food involved when we get together but bringing people together to enjoy each other’s company over delicious snacks and meals is part of the history of our culture. And we have a lot of different Latin American countries represented in our group, so everyone brings a little bit of their own flavor to the mix.
Who wouldn’t want to control time? It’s the most precious thing in the world. I’d love to hop around and see famous people and events in the past and check up on things in the future. I wouldn’t mess around with it too much though but would definitely invest money in the stock market and other sure things.
I’m about to go on paternity leave, but my goal is the same as it’s always been: continue to grow and increase the revenue within our local market. Growing nationally is great and Tandym is doing fantastic with that, but I want our team to emerge as one of the best revenue-producing offices that Tandym has to offer. And to do that, we have to continue to establish our mark here in South Florida as the go-to company for staffing needs.
Pabellon criollo, the national dish of Venezuela. It’s white rice, black beans, fried plantains, and shredded beef in a tomato sauce. If you’ve heard of the Cuban ropa vieja dish, it’s quite similar except way less sauce. Every Venezuelan restaurant has it, and some even sell it with all the ingredients stuffed in an arepa. My mom and my wife both make great versions of it. And since this is being recorded and documented, I will not answer who makes it better.