So much can change in five years. For Maribel Lopez, Leave Coordinator II at Gentex, it meant a complete shift in her schedule, her work, and her career path, along with significant personal growth and learning.
Before starting at Gentex half a decade ago, Maribel was a certified nursing assistant. After working in the medical field for years, however, she realized she needed a change. Her schedule involved long, unpredictable hours that cut into time she could spend with her family, and she felt she might be able to find a better work-life balance in another field. While exploring new opportunities to meet her personal needs, Gentex came up as an option.
“When I decided to change fields, I was looking for a reliable company that offered full benefits and a reliable schedule. I spoke to a friend who had worked at Gentex for many years, and he mentioned how happy he was working for this company. I decided that Gentex was the company I wanted to be a part of.”
An application and an interview later, Maribel was on the production floor, learning and adapting to a new job—and finding new ways to grow. “Moving from the medical field to manufacturing production was a big change,” she said. “Dealing with customer demands instead of the health of others was new for me, but I found the job rewarding.”
Maribel quickly found that working first shift balanced well with her family life. Her kids were in school and active in sports, and she could be more present in their day-to-day. “I was able to be involved in my family’s life more than ever before,” she said.
Maribel found opportunities for growth at Gentex right away. She took on roles supporting audits and providing support as a back-up Team Member Support (TMS). When a regular TMS role opened up, Maribel applied and was offered the position—which she happily accepted.
Her journey didn’t stop there, thanks to the support of her colleagues. When an opening for the Leave Coordinator position was posted, Maribel wasn’t considering applying until a coworker suggested she’d be great for the job.
“My confidence grew as I went through the interview process for the Leave Coordinator position. It became apparent that I could do this job,” she said. “Since I have been in this position, my confidence has grown tremendously.”
Today, Maribel enjoys the challenge of staying on top of the latest policies and regulations in the Leave of Absence department and leans in on her medical background to help with processing documentation for the department. She’s also proud of her involvement with the Limited English Proficiency (LEP) program at Gentex.
“I was very excited when the LEP program started because it was coming to my lines,” she said. “I was going to be the TMS and responsible for helping people that had a language barrier there.”
“Now, our colleagues on the LEP line have someone that they can reach out to with questions they might have in their own language, without any doubts about the responses they get.”
In her current position, Maribel knows that her fluency in Spanish makes navigating company policies easier for her colleagues on the LEP line. “Now, they have someone that they can reach out to with questions they might have in their own language, without any doubts about the responses they get,” said Maribel.
“I hope to see the LEP program be successful in anything and everything that they do,” she added. “It’s a great program to be part of.”
Is Maribel done with learning new things and adapting to new changes? Far from it. “I have always been the type of person who loves to learn and to continue to grow,” she said.
“I might not be sure what the future brings for me, but I foresee myself growing here at Gentex.”
Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ: GNTX) is a supplier of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and electronics to the automotive industry, dimmable aircraft windows for aviation markets, and fire protection products to the fire protection market. Visit the company website at www.gentex.com.