This is the third blog of our VP Spotlight series. Learn about the people behind Genius Avenue who impact not just our products and services, but also our company’s culture and the Tucson community. The values and lessons each VP brings to our team make Genius Avenue what it is today.
VP Spotlight: Lucha Ocegeura, Senior Director of Business Operations, HR, & Compliance
How long have you been in Tucson?
I have actually been in Tucson for 35 years now.
What is your favorite thing about Tucson?
I love the weather. I love the summer heat. Yes, really! I would take the heat over being cold any day. I really love the monsoons here. I know that that’s a crazy thing to say, but I love them. I love that smell of rain. Somebody needs to bottle that smell because I would buy it. A Tucson monsoon is one of the most amazing things that you can experience, especially when there is lightning. You’ll never see a more beautiful light show.
When did you start working at Genius Avenue?
I started working for Genius Avenue in August 2013.
How has your role evolved since you started?
I started with the company as an executive assistant and paralegal. There were probably eight of us in the office at the time. Within my first six or seven months, there was a staff restructure in the Tucson office and I started taking over the accounting, executive duties, office duties, and HR. My role has continued to evolve since then. Currently, I also manage compliance and all paralegal duties, but I’ve always worn many hats. This has allowed me to learn incredibly valuable skills working at Genius Avenue. My role today barely resembles my starting role. I’m thankful for the growth opportunity, and I attribute my professional development to the hard work and dedication I’ve put in over the years.
What is your favorite thing about working at Genius Avenue?
100% my favorite part is working with all of my wonderful colleagues. Over the last eight years of working here, I have met many distinguished individuals. Everyone’s professional, friendly, and always willing to help each other out no matter the task. We are a united, strong team. I look forward to coming to work every single day.
What advice would you give a young professional just entering the workforce?
The same advice I give my kids:
- Be patient; it’s okay to start small.
- Learn from others and absorb as much information as you possibly can. Mistakes are always okay.
- Embrace failure; it’s part of being successful and learn from it to improve yourself.
- Be true to yourself and follow your passion.
- Bring your A-game every day to work and give your absolute best.
- Most of all, be confident in yourself.
Nobody starts at the top. Most of us start at the very bottom, and only hard work, dedication, giving it 100% every day can help you climb the ladder.
How do you ensure people and relationships come first at Genius Avenue?
I take the time to build relationships by listening to people. Not just hearing their words, but actually understanding what they’re saying. You can sit and talk to somebody, and it goes in one ear and out the other. But if you really listen, you will realize how important it is for the person talking to you to know that they are being heard. I always strive to be respectful and appreciative of others, treating everyone with kindness. I strongly believe in building people up in any situation. Being positive every day can greatly contribute to building strong relationships; positivity is contagious.
Tell us about an important mentor in your life that inspires the way you lead.
I’ve had a few amazing mentors in my life, but one, in particular, stands out in my mind. As a former superior who has now become a really, really good friend of mine, he has always been a positive influence for those around him. He’s one of those people that plays devil’s advocate and treats everyone equally. He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear; he tells you what you need to hear. I love people who are honest and tell you the way it is. I don’t want people to sugarcoat things for me. He doesn’t solve my problems for me, he’s taught me to think critically through my options and various solutions so I can solve my own problems. He leads by example as a strong, confident individual with an incredible work ethic and exceptional leadership. Having pride in who you are and what you do greatly affects the work you produce. He has inspired me to help others the way he has helped me. I strive to be a mentor like he was.
Is there a place in Tucson that is special or sentimental to you, and where is it and why?
I really don’t have a special spot, but a place that I visit quite a bit is Gates Pass. I don’t know if you’ve ever been out there, but if you haven’t, the sunsets are just drop-dead beautiful. I don’t live too far from there, so sometimes I’ll just go for a nice night drive there. The scenic views are beautiful in the darkness of night. I love to go hiking up there too. For me, it’s a place where I can just go unwind, relax, and get away from the chaos of everyday life. It’s my Zen place.
Prior to joining Genius Avenue in 2013, Lucha spent 14 years at Udall Law Firm LLP as a Paralegal and Legal Secretary which contributed to her extensive knowledge of business and operational procedures. When Lucha isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, especially watching her grandchildren grow up.