Rachel Ramirez was Agathon’s first hire outside of the current partners, and she’s now been with the team for more than 13 years. As the Business Manager, she’s responsible for everything from accounts payable and payroll to client billing. She also works as a Project Manager, helping track budgets and schedules and working closely with clients to keep projects moving forward.
Outside of work, Rachel enjoys gardening with her chickens, running (as long as it includes a stop at a coffee shop), watching her son on the soccer field, and helping her daughter with her latest musical. She also helps at church as a women’s ministry coordinator. She enjoys traveling with her amazing husband and kids to visit family in Chile and Mexico.
Because Rachel is someone everyone should know, we recently asked her some random questions so you can get to know her as well!
1. You’re known (both at Agathon and among your friends!) for how much you love your backyard chickens! How long have you had chickens? What do you enjoy about them?
I may have been known as the crazy chicken lady for the past six years, it’s true. But there is something so therapeutic about not just raising chickens (for eggs), but being out in the garden alongside them. I do my best thinking when I’m out weeding. Planting time makes me feel so optimistic. And when the hens start laying after the winter, there is an excitement in nature doing what it was designed to do.
2. How did you meet your husband, Hector? When did you know he was the one?
I saw Hector for the first time when I was 15, on the first Sunday we went to the new church where my parents were going to be working. He was up on stage playing the electric guitar for the worship team, and I was smitten! And though I am not one to react so suddenly without some over-analyzing, we met that day and I can honestly say that I thought he was the one. Every day that went by in our friendship confirmed it. That was 26 years ago and we couldn’t be happier!
Now that I have an almost-15-year-old (a baby!), I think about how Hector and I met and find it hard to believe.
3. Tell us about your role as women’s ministry coordinator.
I have been incredibly blessed to serve at West Valley Christian Church, leading our Women in Ministry group. I never thought I would work in women’s ministry (I don’t think anyone did!), but God had other plans. It can be overwhelming at times, but I find that it’s just about taking the next step towards small goals that are part of a bigger vision.
The next event we have coming up is to celebrate Christmas and raise funds for our Dressember team. (More info on this global effort at dressember.org).
4. As a teenager, you had the opportunity to live in Chile with your family. How has that time abroad impacted your life?
Living in Chile at a teen definitely changed the trajectory of my life! It allowed me to experience another culture in a way that would have been impossible otherwise. Not only did I learn another language (Spanish), but living there forced me out of my comfort zone in big ways. It gave me a new outlook on other people and helped me understand that different isn’t better or worse, it’s just…different.
While it was difficult to be plucked out of the only life I knew, the lessons and compassion learned were so worthwhile. From homeschooling (which was new for me) to meeting my husband…I wouldn’t change a thing!
5. Do you like podcasts? If so, what are you top three favorite podcasts?
I do like podcasts! My top three are: Stuff You Should Know, Truth For Life, and TED Radio Hour. Oh! And for traveling, Rick Steves Audio Tours can’t be beat! He’s goofy, but informational.
6. Peter is the CFO and one of the partners here at Agathon. He’s also your brother! What’s it like working with your brother on a day-to-day basis?
Yes! Peter is my older brother and I absolutely love that I get to see him do his thing everyday. He lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and I am in Los Angeles, so by working together, he doesn’t feel so far away.
One of my favorite memories is us driving around town in his enormous green Ford Falcon Ranchero. I love that we get to keep making memories, just more grown-up ones!
7. Which Agathon team retreat destination has been your favorite? Why?
This is a hard one because they’ve all been so wonderful in different ways. But I would have to say that France was right up there with the best trips. We had a cooking class, so that was really special. The caretaker of the house sent me home with dried lavender from the fields behind the home we were staying in. And most importantly, that’s where I got to meet so many of my teammates’ spouses. That was really fun!
8. Because no Q&A is complete without this question … If you could invite 6 people, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would you choose?
I love dinner parties! I think I would have to invite C.S. Lewis, my Grandma Cook, Corrie Ten Boom, Audrey Hepburn, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Samin Nosrat (maybe she would teach me to cook for the party).
I’m sure we would find something to talk about.
9. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Chocolate probably wouldn’t keep me alive for long, so I will have to say Thai food!
10. What is your favorite part about working for Agathon?
Working for Agathon for the past 14 years has been truly wonderful. It feels like a group of friends who get together everyday to make stuff happen. We’ve changed a lot over the years, but through it all, we’ve kept our culture of caring for those we serve. It’s nice to know that the work that we do makes it possible for someone else to reach their goals.