A business savvy woman who at a very young age spearheaded a company is our QUEEN SHEVA of this Wednesday. The brilliant woman by the name of Yara Argueta.

Yara Argueta, the youngest of 8 children, got her hunger for working and her knack for selling from her mother. When she was young, she was an average student but after a friend pushed her to apply to an advance studies scholarship in high school, she realized she wasn’t as “dumb” as she thought. She got the scholarship. And because she got into advance studies, now she really didn’t want to be “dumb” compared to her “smarter” classmates she pushed herself to focus and give all her effort towards her studies. Yara went on graduate Summa Cum Laude as an Industrial Engineer from Universidad Rafael Landivar and was named Valedictorian at her MBA in INCAE.

After college, Yara got a job as one of three secretaries for the President of Grupo Solid, widely known as Latin American Paint Corporation. After a short period, she became the main secretary and basically the president’s right hand. By 2000, she was promoted as a regional general manager of “La Paleta” stores. In 2004, the Executive President at the time decides to quit and names 3 vice president, Yara included. They were also given the task to submit a proposal of what needed to be done to grow the business in the next 3 years. The creator of the business plan that was chosen to be implemented would become Executive President.

So, at just 28 years old, Yara Argueta becomes the Executive President for Grupo Solid in Guatemala. Her task: double the sales in just 3 years and turn the company into the best place to work. With more than 82 paint stores and 1,200 employees, she outperformed her plan and did it with flying colors (pun intended). When Yara reached her goal, the former Executive President (who is now a chairman) gave her two more business to run.

Her secret was to go to every store and meet every employee and tell them personally what the plan was, she created a company culture that made everyone excited to do better and to sell more. Yara’s attitude made her an incredible leader and her work philosophy is that everyone does everything. It doesn’t matter who you are, if it’s needed and you are available, you can carry a bucket of paint.

Yara’s story is a prime example of how talent, effort and smarts can make you climb up the corporate ladder and make a positive impact. Which makes it perfect for her to be the Vice President and a mentor of the Guatemalan Chapter of Vital Voices.

At SHEVA, we had the pleasure of having her as a guest speaker at the Women Entrepreneurship Day event we hosted in 2015. Yara is genuinely an amazing speaker and story teller. Yara is a true leader and a QUEEN SHEVA we are proud to have in Guatemala.