Meet Marketplace Manager Hector Villegas
Written by Karen Sampson
Texas native Hector Villegas never imagined he’d someday be working with the very school district he attended himself as a child. As a Marketplace Manager at HopSkipDrive, he’s excited to have found his dream job and to have the opportunity to pay it forward by helping Irving Independent School District — along with many other education clients — solve their most pressing transportation challenges.
Where are you located and what exactly do you do for the company?
I am located in Irving, Texas, which is 15 minutes from Dallas. I grew up in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. January makes it officially a year I’ve been with HopSkipDrive!
My title is Marketplace Manager, and I work with the Phoenix, Tampa, and all of the Texas markets. I manage the markets by working with Sales, CareDriver Operations, Supply and other teams to operate in an efficient manner. I also work on promotion strategy, and conduct deep dives on market trends to identify best possible solutions.
How did you hear about HopSkipDrive, and what made you want to work here?
I was deep in the job hunt when Alicia Keysor, VP of People & Talent, reached out to me via LinkedIn. Several interviews later, I became a part of the team!
What attracted me to the role and the company is that I wanted to apply my technical skills to a company/cause that could provide a very tangible positive impact on the world. The better I am at my job, the higher the number of students who are assured a ride to and/or from school. It is the dream job I wanted but didn’t know existed before applying.
What is your favorite thing about working at HopSkipDrive?
While some companies talk about their culture, HopSkipDrive embodies the culture from all corners of the workforce. Everyone truly cares about the impact being made by the company and is willing to put in the work to accomplish goals.
Can you talk a bit about your educational and professional background?
I attended Texas A&M university, where I majored in Industrial and Systems Engineering. My background before HopSkipDrive was in supply chain for the HVAC industry. Through this, I learned to work with and facilitate meetings for cross-functional teams.
Have you had any personal experiences in your life that relate to the work we do?
For many years when I was a child, my parents would jump through hoops to find someone to take me to school, especially on rainy days. Sometimes I would have to walk in the rain, or call every friend I knew to see if one might be able to scoop me up. I always made my way to school but if HopSkipDrive was available back then, it would have made a world of difference.
Have you had any special experiences with employees, clients or CareDrivers you can share that speak to our mission?
In Dallas–Fort Worth, one of the biggest clients is Irving Independent School District, which was my school district growing up. If you had asked me a decade ago if I thought I would be working with my old school district in any capacity, I wouldn’t have believed it.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for the education I was provided as a child. This job allows me to pay it forward and help students achieve the same successes I was blessed with in my very own community.
What has your experience been like working with HopSkipDrive colleagues across the organization?
Nothing but wonderful. Everyone is nice, attentive and truly believes in the mission the company is trying to accomplish. Everyone also understands that collaboration and communication are key to the success of HopSkipDrive.
Have you learned anything surprising from working here?
How willing everyone is to adapt to new processes, ideas and necessary change. There is a receptiveness to constructive feedback, and everyone handles things like the professionals we all are.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
After sitting in front of my computer all day, I crave movement. I enjoy running, racquetball, weightlifting and hiking. I completed my first half marathon in November, and intend to sign up for more in the future. I recently started taking Krav Maga and martial arts classes as well.
What do you hope to see for the future of the company?
Continued growth, while maintaining the culture that developed when HopSkipDrive was still relatively small. I am excited to keep contributing!