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@Work: Denise Guadalupe

June 23, 2005 -About seven years ago Denise Guadalupe found just what she was looking for – a large solid company for which to work right on her home of St. Croix. She had found Cruzan Rum.
After graduating from Inter-American University with a bachelor's degree in business administration, she went to work in Puerto Rico. First she worked for an insurance company, then for Hewlett-Packard, one of the most successful companies of recent decades.
However, when she saw a prospective job at Cruzan Rum, she did not hesitate to move back to St. Croix. She had been saddened by the loss of her father while she was away in Puerto Rico. She said, "I wanted to be closer to my mother. I wanted to be of help." Her mother, Esther Phillip, lives in Mary's Fancy, and her sister, Trudy, also still lives on St. Croix.
Another thing drawing Guadalupe back to St. Croix was that she "wanted to get to know the company that helped me get through college."
She did her first two college years at the University of Virgin Islands and Cruzan Rum picked up the tab for two semesters during her sophomore year.
She was working part-time then at a real estate office in Christiansted. She said the help from Cruzan Rum allowed her not to seek a full-time job. "I was able then to focus more on my studies."
She was 25 when she came back to St. Croix to work for Cruzan Rum as an administrative assistant. Now her job title is Office Supervisor and she says she likes the position.
Explaining that she deals mostly with payables and receivables, Denise says, "I have always been a numbers person. I have always enjoyed math."
She doesn't see her future career including anything outside of Cruzan Rum. She said, "I noticed right away that most people tend to stay here. We have little turnover. Now, I feel like one of them. I am going to be here for a long time."
She feels she joined the company at an opportune time. When she started, the company was just moving its main offices into a new building and computerizing everything. This worked out nicely because Denise had a second major in college, computer information systems.
She also observed the company's focus on "moving forward." The company has recently been introducing new product lines and getting involved with international advertising.
Just like herself, she said, "This company is going to be around for a while."
She explained that though the company is set in traditional ways of doing things, she still feels that the company is open to suggestions and there is the opportunity to make changes, which she likes.
Her life, however, is not all work. She and her husband, Juan, have a three-year-old daughter, Lanaia. Juan works at Gold Coast Yachts.
When she wants to relax, she "enjoys some sewing." She also enjoys language and is fluent in Spanish and sign language. She says she is glad to be able to help when friends need translations or interpretations done.

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