Fireside with Yvonne Moreno

December 2, 2021 - After more than 15 years of enthusiastic service to HighGround and our client partners, HighGrounder Yvonne Moreno retires later this month. In her time at HighGround, she has not only provided excellent administrative support for our investment team, she has also committed herself to learning about the investment process and becoming an expert in InDesign. We sat down, fireside, with Yvonne to look back on her time here and to celebrate her many contributions.

What brought you to HighGround?  
In 2006, I called a friend of mine to let her know I was looking for a new job. She worked at the Baptist Foundation of Texas, now HighGround Advisors. I was excited to learn there was a job opening for an administrative assistant in the investments department at the Foundation. 

I applied and interviewed first with Joe Wright, Chief Investment Officer. I tried to appear calm on the outside, but I was nervous on the inside. Joe immediately put me at ease. I then interviewed with investment team members Carol Kilman, Kellie Morrison and Cheryl Tristan. After meeting with Joe and the team, I knew these were good people. I could tell they were professional and ethical businessmen and women of a high caliber, but above and beyond that, I could see how much they cared for others – for their team and for their client partners. 

What part have you played in advancing HighGround’s mission through the years?   
HighGround is advancing the missions of our client partners by protecting, strengthening, and growing the assets that fund their charitable work. Not only do we seek to grow the assets entrusted to us, we desire to do so with excellent client care and communication. I supported our investment team in this effort by preparing client and board presentations and material, maintaining client records, and updating reports. I have sought to implement efficient procedures and serve with a team spirit and passion for learning. 

What about your work at HighGround have you most enjoyed?  
In my role, my “clients” have been the members of the investment team, and I have most enjoyed serving and providing behind-the-scenes support to them. Through the years, I’ve grown with the team and with HighGround, and it has been my privilege to serve.  

Tell us about a favorite memory or story from your time at HighGround. 
It is a small world after all! I was hired to fill the position vacated by Cheryl Tristan when she moved into a new role at HighGround. Cheryl trained me when I first started, and one of my favorite memories is when I learned during training that Cheryl is the daughter of a friend I worked with for 14 years. All those years, I had heard lovely stories about my friend’s daughter but hadn’t met her. I was so thrilled to make the connection and knew I was in good company and good hands. 

What is one of your most rewarding achievements or moments while at HighGround? 
HighGround encourages all team members to discover and work from their strengths. One of my top strengths, according to the StrengthsFinder test, is that I’m a Learner. There were always new systems and software to learn as HighGround evolved, but one of my most rewarding achievements was learning and utilizing Adobe InDesign to assist with the creation of HighGround’s presentation books.  

Which of the HGA core values resonates most deeply with you and why? 
All of HighGround’s core values are important. Without discarding the others, “Servant Hearted” resonates most deeply with me. I believe in serving in a way that moves HighGround’s mission forward, for the good of others. Servant Hearted includes being dependable and productive, putting others first. In my role, I’m not one-on-one with our client partners; my clients are my team members. But when I do my best for our team, it is ultimately for the good of our client partners. It’s all connected. 

How do you like to spend your time? What are your hobbies or passions? 
Praying and spending time with family and friends are most important to me. My favorite hobby is cooking. I have a passion for cooking and exploring new and old recipes. It is satisfying to create healthy, colorful meals. Spending time in the kitchen with my grandson teaching him to cook is one of my favorite activities.  

What are your plans for retirement? What are you looking forward to most? 
I’m going to stay busy, I know that much. My children have plans for me to join them in their ventures, whether as an antique buyer or as a lakefront property owner. My children have been a joy to me, from the time they were little until now. I’ve told them they make motherhood easy for me. I look forward most to spending more time with my dear hubby and family. 

Any parting thoughts for the HighGround team and/or our client partners? 
Love God, stay true to yourself, and do your best in everything you do.