News | Sept. 27, 2019

Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Nancy Rivera

By DLA Public Affairs DLA Public Affairs

Editor’s Note: The Defense Logistics Agency recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. In honor of Hispanics’ contributions to the agency’s global mission, DLA is highlighting Hispanic Americans who work daily to provide logistics support to America’s warfighters.

My name is: Nancy Rivera

I am: I am a disability program manager and equal employment opportunity specialist in the DLA EEO Office. Before DLA, I served 20 years in the Army as a human resources noncommissioned officer and an equal opportunity advisor.

Describe your job in a sentence: As the disability program manager and an EEO specialist, I get to review policy, identify barriers, and conduct recruitment and outreach efforts that impact enterprisewide diversity and inclusion for DLA employees with disabilities.

How long have you worked at DLA? I have worked at DLA for over three years and have 33 years of public, private and military service.

What is your favorite thing about working for DLA? Knowing that what I do impacts people. Working toward an environment where employees are valued and are able to perform their jobs to support the warfighters. Knowing the warfighters are well supported is very personal to me. As a former warfighter who has a son and daughter serving in the military, DLA feel like home. People truly are the “secret sauce” of DLA.

What are your best memories of working here? Not long after coming to work for DLA, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. It was one of the most difficult periods in my life and I would never have thought that from a chaotic event one of the most significant and memorable moments for me at DLA would surface. The camaraderie, acts of kindness, and total support from my DLA leadership and team members really touched me and my family in Puerto Rico. It solidified what inclusion means for me at DLA.

How do you make a difference? I bring my best self to work every day and choose to see obstacles and challenges as an invitation to improve and change. I am fortunate to work in a high-performing agency with employees who are dedicated and professional. I see things from a glass half full perspective, but I’m fully aware that one must work harder and smarter to get the glass full without losing traction. I see value in people and strive to be intentional in bringing out the best in everyone, including myself.

What is one thing you’d like others to know about your heritage? My parents migrated to the United States from Puerto Rico in the late 1950s to provide better opportunities for us. They didn’t speak any English but quickly learned through hard work and a resilient spirit. My siblings and I are first-generation mainland born. I was raised with deep rooted values from my Latino culture of family, loyalty and dedication to service. My parents’ resiliency has carried over to my generation and has left a lasting impression I aspire to pass on to future generations.

Hispanics are warm, intelligent, hardworking and resilient people. Despite difficult times throughout Puerto Rico’s history and recent political upheaval, the people remain constant in their resolve to improve the island, stay united and remain connected to the mainland.

Why is it important to you that we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? Understanding other people’s culture and upbringing is important to having an inclusive environment. Diversity without inclusion stunts innovation and growth. We are better together through the rich tapestries of culture and heritage that are part of the foundation of America.