Norma Castenada, MBA, COO of Fidelis Health Group and founder of HR Advantage.
PHOTOGRAPH AND VIDEO BY ETHAN KAMINSKY PRODUCTIONS
As a daughter of a date and citrus farmer in La Quinta, Norma Castaneda has deep origins in our valley. So, it is no wonder that she has grown her entrepreneurial roots while expanding her businesses nationally and internationally. “My mother only spoke Spanish and as a little girl I translated for her,” she shares. “Doctors would not take the time to listen, and she did not have a voice to advocate for herself.” Memories like this have propelled her to develop the strategic initiatives to support Spanish speaking patients as COO for Fidelis Health Group.
Castaneda is an entrepreneur, real estate investor, business development and operations strategist, and healthcare executive recognized for her improvements of operational efficiencies, project planning and rapid revenue growth. She leverages a robust talent network, resolves mission critical issues, creates value across stakeholders and has led Fidelis to $50 million in annual revenues. She has doubled and developed the bilingual workforce to mirror the diversity of the company’s patients who are often left behind because English is not their first language.
Castaneda’s original background in HR led her to found HR Advantage, LLC, in 2011. From starting with a handful of clients to now leading a team of HR’s most innovative, bilingual consultants focused on new business start-ups, talent acquisition, full-service HR outsourcing, workforce planning and business development strategy. What started as an HR company has morphed into a management consulting firm.
“As entrepreneurs we know that starting or growing a business is an exciting journey,” adds Castaneda. “But all too often the fun is replaced by the intense set up of operations, hiring, and compliance. HR Advantage specializes in a one-stop shop of services, from HR and business operations including payroll and benefits administration to full-scope Marketing services.
Ever mindful to her roots, Castaneda serves on the Palm Springs Art Museum DEI Committee. And as an alumna of College of the Desert, she serves as a Board Member and DEI Committee Chair for the COD Foundation. Castaneda is also a mother of three wonderful children.
Castaneda’s ability to apply her charismatic leadership style by engaging industry leaders, developing teams to serve an untapped bilingual market niche and exceed revenue goals makes her a dynamic entrepreneur, one the Coachella Valley is proud to call a true native.
VIDEO: Norma Castaneda chats about her career path in the Coachella Valley.