By Lorie Ham
In October of 2022, Mennonite Insurance Services added new employee Teresa Quijano to the team! She is a customer service representative for the company. This month we are taking a moment to introduce her to everyone. Teresa has a heart for ministry and a love for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers even though she isn’t from there—read on to find out how that happened and more.
Question: How did you end up working there?
Teresa: Well here is a funny story; I literally live across the street from our office and years ago told them if they ever needed anyone part-time to keep me in mind. Fast forward to late October 2022 and Michelle was going to be having surgery on her hand and they needed someone to cover for her while she was in recovery. Plus, Stephanie is leaving the company and off to her next adventure! With that, a part-time position became available. It’s wonderful. I have the ability to work and be home when my kids are off school, that is very important to me.
Question: How long have you lived in Reedley, CA?
Teresa: I have lived here for 22 years.
Question: Where are you from originally?
Teresa: I was born and raised in Victorville, CA. My father was in the military and was originally stationed in Victorville. Both my parents have family in the Central Valley so we would come to visit when I was younger.
Question: What do you like best about what you do?
Teresa: What I like best is getting to know our clients.
Question: What has been the hardest?
Teresa: The hardest part has been that I had no knowledge of the ins and outs of insurance and I had to learn my position in a short amount of time. And even now I learn something new every day.
Question: What are some of the jobs you have had in the past?
Teresa: I was blessed to be a stay-at-home mom for 12 years. Once my youngest daughter was in school full time, I started substituting for Kings Canyon Unified School District and working with CYM (Community Youth Ministries). I was looking for a part-time job and the Director of Teen Mom told me about the position.
Question: Please tell us more about your work with CYM?
Teresa: I have worked with CYM for two years. I work with their Teen Mom program. They meet for group once a week—my role is transportation and childcare. Most of our moms do not have a driver’s license, car, or someone that can give them a ride to group, so I pick up the moms and babies and take them to and from group, and while they are meeting, we watch their children in childcare. I have seen how this program has made a big impact on the moms. Each year this program serves more than 20 young mothers who come to group for guidance, support, and stability.
Question: And your family?
Teresa: My husband Raymond and I have four children: Ariana 14, Ayden 12, Alyssa 10, and Aliyah 8.
Question: Do you have any pets?
Teresa: Yes, we have pets; two dogs Kaylee and Miso; two birds James and Gandalf; and one cat Kitty.
Question: Do you have any hobbies?
Teresa: With how active my kids are in sports and extracurricular activities I wouldn’t say I have any hobbies but something I love to do and inspire to do more of is travel and eat delicious food.
Question: I understand that you are big Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans, can you tell us about that?
Teresa: Yes, we are Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans. My husband became a fan in 1999 (so I married into becoming a fan LOL!) Raymond gets dressed up for every game and is involved with the West Coast Buccaholics (this group has multiple chapters in every state) and with the Skeleton crew in Florida. Because he gets dressed up, he has been on TV, in newspapers, and online.
Throughout the years, we have met some of the players and the COO of the Buccaneers. We take the kids with us to the games and Raymond likes to get front-row tickets which allows us to walk through the tunnels that the players come through. The kids love the experience of seeing a game in person. We have been to multiple stadiums in California, as well as Florida, and Arizona. Since our children are older now our goal is to go to a game in a new state every year, however, with life, it doesn’t always happen.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Teresa. We would love to know more about you as well! Do you have a favorite sports team? Check out the Mennonite Insurance Facebook page and let us know what teams you route for and why!