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New Staff Member Profile: Amber Guevara

Executive assistant Amber Guevara has joined the American Botanical Council (ABC) to manage the affairs of ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal and Development Director Denise Meikel. Amber has eight years of experience in the banking industry; she formerly worked at a local branch of a national bank, where she supported two branch managers simultaneously as their executive assistant.

Amber moved to Austin, Texas, in 2012 after falling in love with the city. When her previous job in the Houston area offered her a position in the Texas capital, the decision to leave her hometown of Pasadena, Texas, felt like the right one. She joined ABC’s staff in late February. Eager to work at a nonprofit, Amber finds the natural beauty of ABC’s two-and-a-half acre Case Mill Homestead campus to be a refreshing change from her previous corporate environment. “It’s much more laid-back than I’m used to, coming from the corporate world,” she said. “The conversations sound completely different.”

In her role as executive assistant, Amber does more than sort mail, answer the phone, and take messages for Blumenthal. She also participates in the development of the organization, helps maintain social media presences, plans events, and manages a packed calendar and schedule. It takes a lot of flexibility and organization, but she’s up to the challenge. To her, the most important part of the job is staying on top of Blumenthal’s busy travel schedule and making sure he gets to his speaking engagements as smoothly as possible.

“All of us here are happy to welcome Amber to the ABC family,” said Blumenthal. “She’s really bright and a quick learner, and in just a few short weeks has shown a mastery of many of the intricacies of the complicated position that she’s undertaken. Both Denise and I are looking forward to working with her for a long time, as well as her helping to propel ABC’s nonprofit educational mission.”

Meikel agrees. “In just the short time she’s been with us, Amber already has made significant contributions to ABC’s efficiency and productivity. Because she picks up information and skills so quickly — and she’s always eager to do more — we’re happily adding new tasks to her job description. In addition to her willingness to pitch in, Amber’s also a pleasure to work with because of her quick mind, cheerful attitude, and ready wit. I’m looking forward to working with her for years to come!”

Amber’s hobbies are as diverse as her skill set. She describes herself as an avid tennis player in addition to training for triathlons, having completed her first triathlon in 2013. She also enjoys catching movies at one of Austin’s local Alamo Drafthouse cinemas (where moviegoers can order dinner and drinks while watching a movie), as well as both listening to and creating music. “I’m a sucker for live music,” she said. “I tend to gear more towards indie or folk.” A flute player in her youth, she has since picked up the instrument again and is intent on re-learning it. On top of that, she’s also working towards her bachelor’s degree in math and plans on taking classes part time at Austin Community College.

According to Amber, her mother instilled in her an awareness of herbal medicine from an early age by giving her herbal teas when she felt sick. The experience, she said, stuck with her through adulthood, and she tries to practice natural self-medication as much as possible. The opportunity to learn more about herbal medicine is yet another perk of her new job at ABC, just like the beautiful view out of her corner-office window. Though February weather meant that many of the plants in ABC’s herb gardens were covered when she arrived, Amber looks forward to seeing them in full bloom this spring and summer. She plans to take advantage of her new surroundings with an outdoor picnic lunch or two (or probably more). “It’s very beautiful. This is very different from where I used to work.”

—Hannah Bauman