Name: Crystal Palomino
Role: Learning & Development Specialist II
- What brought you to Austin and how long have you been here?
My “how I got to Austin” story is not unique. Like so many of us, I moved here for school. I moved from El Paso, TX to Austin to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Psychology at St. Edward’s University, and I fell so in love with the city that I decided to stay. That was 15 years ago, and Austin has afforded me so much in that span of time. Friendships who have become more like family, a challenging career, growth and professional development opportunities along with a community that I am passionate about.
- How did you get connected to AYC?
I was introduced to AYC through my employer, UFCU and a few colleagues, who were already heavily involved members. UFCU and AYC have a strong relationship, and it’s no secret that both organizations are deeply committed to the growth and development of the young professional community. I only wish I had gotten involved sooner!
- What are you involved with in AYC AND what is your favorite part of AYC?
I am the immediate past chair of the Imagine Committee, which I chaired for two years. In that time, we developed new programming and established a new quarterly series called Sounds and Stories, which highlights a local Austin musician. The series not only allows the musician to share their music but to share the story behind each of their songs. Being a part of the Imagine Committee allowed me to be more engaged in the arts and the creative community, which I had been craving for a while. However, my all-time favorite part of AYC is the people and the connections I have made. AYC makes it so easy to meet new people with events like the Coffee Connection and Let’s Talk, where networking and connecting with other young professionals is facilitated by the AYC Ambassadors, staff, and leadership. Some of my favorite people are those that I met through AYC.
- Where can we find you brunching in Austin on any given Saturday?
Anywhere I can take my pup, Rocket! In all seriousness, though, I love Walton’s on W. 6th. I love the cozy atmosphere and the Belgian waffle is my go-to!
- If you could have any superpower, what would it be and what would you use it for?
That’s tough. If I could have any superpower, I think it would be the ability to heal people or to be like the Flash and travel at super speed. The healing people would be more about healing ailments without the need for other medical interventions that often have negative side effects. Being speedy like the Flash, s definitely more self-serving. I am always pressed for time, and I feel like having super speed, would allow me to get more done in the same amount of hours!
- If you could have any celebrity live next door to you, who would it be?
It would either have to be Neil Patrick Harris or Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I admire both immensely for completely different reasons, and I often joke that if I ever had a son, I would be tempted to name him Neil!
- If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them to show them a good time?
Probably the Moontower Saloon in South Austin. It’s in my neighborhood, and I love the laid-back feel. It reminds me of what Austin was like when I moved here 15 years ago, and I think it represents the city well.
- If you played hooky for a day, where would we find you and what would you be doing?
Anyone who knows me well knows I might say you would find me on a Disney property. However, that would require travel and more than one day, so you would likely find me playing hooky with my husband, going to the Salt Lick for lunch and then going to the movies.
- When people ask you what you do for a living, what do you tell them?
I help people grow and learn. I work as a Learning and Development Specialist, which allows me to facilitate a lot of discussion and self-discovery. I get to help others figure out where they are going in their career and the steps they need to take to get there. I also spend a lot of my time managing our budding internal communications function at the credit union. It’s a new space for us, and there has been lots of growth and learning for me personally as well as for us organizationally.
- What technology could you not live without?
Hands down: Google Maps. Everyone who knows me knows I am directionally challenged so I always try and make sure my phone has enough battery to get me where I am going!
- Who inspires you?
My mother and all of the powerful, brilliant, focused, dedicated women in my life. I am blessed beyond belief to be surrounded by women who are driven, intelligent, and have the biggest hearts. These women are professionals, mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends. I look up to all of the women in my life who are making an impact here at the credit union, in our community and especially my mother, who has had a lasting positive impact on the lives of her students for which she is so passionate about. All of these women inspire me every day.
- What is your proudest accomplishment?
To date, I would have to say my proudest accomplishment is being a part of the Leadership Austin Emerge Class of 2018. The fact that the selection committee looked at me and felt like I belonged in the same room with all of these other phenomenal human beings who are so passionate about our community is truly an honor.
- If you couldn’t live in Austin, where would you want to live?
Anywhere my family and friends are. The city doesn’t matter.
- I want to learn how to…?
Speak Spanish fluently! It’s going to happen. It’s eventually going to happen.
Soup or Salad? Salad
Indoors or Outdoors? Indoors
Winter or Summer? Winter
Tea or Coffee? Coffee
Mountains or Beach? Beach
- Favorite drink?