By Melissa Delgadillo and Eleanora Morrison
Rarely is it, especially in our world today, that old souls with authentic spirits exude such genuine interest in serving others as well as discovering the decadence of the world around them. Alexandra Cavazos is one of those spirits.
Always curiously in search of the inspiration of daily life, whether at her office in San Antonio as a financial advisor, a philanthropic leader in the arts, attending an haute couture fashion show, or traveling to far away places when she has the opportunity, Alexandra’s soft spot for helping others has been the current that has carried her career journey to date.
Beginning with the intention of improving lives through caring for their health, to now improving lives through caring for their monetary livelihood, Alexandra has found fulfillment in the little things in life as well as the bigger things, and embodies the values that her mother and father taught her in order to lead in many capacities. She shares on her journey, her mentors, her inspirations, and the intersection of her eclectic passions that make her so unique.
MD: How has legacy impacted your career trajectory?
AC: I am the second generation of family at AC Financial, the investment and wealth management company my father began in 2002. Initially, I started working here while I considered alternative career paths. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Biology because I wanted to be a doctor. It wasn’t long before I realized that helping people with their finances can be just as rewarding and just as important as helping people with their health. In both cases, the goal is the same – to improve people’s quality of life.
Once I came to that realization, my career at AC Financial began. In the past five years, I have worked alongside my dad at every level in the business – first as his secretary, now as a financial advisor and his partner. With every role, my knowledge, gratitude, and ambition have grown. My dad is a fountain of knowledge and wisdom, and I am extremely blessed to have his influence in my life every day. Carrying on the legacy of the family business he built is both a privilege and a responsibility that I cherish. In my life, I strive to cultivate the legacy of strong foundational values that my parents instilled in my sister and me--values like service, integrity and community.
MD: As you make your mark at AC Financial, what drives you?
AC: Helping improve the lives of others, and being a credit to my profession provides me with purpose and drives me every day. I want to always keep our clients and our value to them at the forefront of what I do. In our day to day work, we do our best to provide trustworthy guidance to help families organize, plan and invest toward reaching their goals.
As a financial advisor, I have a tremendous opportunity to be a pillar of support and education for our clients throughout their lives, especially during the milestones. Graduating, getting married, getting divorced, having a baby, losing a loved one, getting a new job or being laid off – we are right there with them, cheering on their successes and encouraging them through the hard times. Our clients never have to face those times alone.
We recently lost a client, which is never easy, especially after building a relationship with them over several years. At the funeral, the client’s wife and adult children told me that their husband/father was very calm during his last days, and that he reiterated that he was not scared to leave this earth, knowing that my father and I will be protecting and looking out for his family in his absence. We all had tears in our eyes. That honor and responsibility to our clients drives me every day. It’s a very fulfilling and humbling position to be in.
MD: As women plan for their future, what is the most important piece of advice you can share?
AC: I want to encourage women to work on becoming more financially literate and assuming the responsibility of being the financial leaders in their household. Learning about tax-free and tax-deferred investment strategies, the benefits of financial planning, and long-term investing can be a huge benefit to their financial future. Visualizing, then organizing, planning, and acting for your future is of paramount importance.
Throughout life, we will encounter circumstances beyond our control, and we have to adapt accordingly and get back on track! My father and I spend much of our days educating our clients on these topics. In order to teach, I have to know, so I am always looking for new topics to learn about. That is also an important piece of advice I have to always be striving to grow and learn something new.
MD: How has your mother?s background and leadership impacted your life and passions?
AC: The most impactful influence in my life is my mother. Her guidance, constant support, and unwavering love has shaped the woman I am and encourages the woman I strive to be. My mother has a passion for strong family relationships, that I now share. Her daily devotion to me, my sister, and my father is a powerful characteristic that I look forward to carrying onto my own family someday.
Mom has always had an appreciation for style, fashion, and luxury. She grew up in a very fashion-forward home. She, her mother, and her sister all worked at Frost Brothers, which used to be the primary luxury department store of San Antonio. They dressed in couture at a very young age, and at one point, my mom managed the Gucci Salon at Frost Brothers. She has carried those fabulous experiences throughout her life, passing that influence onto me and my sister. She taught us to look our best, because it expresses who we are. Above all, she has always modeled the importance of modesty and elegance. I am eternally grateful to my Mom for the beautiful example she has set for me.
MD: Through your passion for the arts, how are you making an impact in the San Antonio community?
AC: At this point, I feel like I am just getting started. I am young and eager and I look forward to an ongoing journey towards making an impact. My passion for the arts has recently led me to leadership roles with two incredible organizations–Artpace and Mozart Festival Texas. Through these groups, I have been able to meet some fantastic people that do so much for San Antonio. I feel fortunate to know these people and I look forward to continuing to help their efforts.
Last year, I chaired Artpace’s Chalk It Up fundraiser. Over 20,000 people attended the event, and over 70 local schools participated in the chalk mural competition. We hoped to raise a lot of awareness for the importance of the arts among the youth of our community. That’s the main focus of Artpace’s education program, in addition to their internationally-known artist residency program.
Right now, I am serving on the board of Mozart Festival Texas, which takes residence at UIW. We bring world-class symphony musicians to perform in San Antonio for the community to enjoy.
My hope is that San Antonio becomes known for its focus on the arts in addition to our San Antonio Spurs. Like most cities, we are focused on our athletics, and we need a serious push to showcase our artistic talents. Many advancements in our society today are a result of creative influence. I love being a part of this artistic movement in San Antonio.
MD: As a lover of fashion and design, where do you find inspiration?
AC: It comes naturally to me to be observant and creative, and I feel like I am pretty good at recognizing style. Inspiration comes from everywhere. Fashion, art, architecture, interior design—while each has its unique focus, they all intertwine and were born from someone’s imagination.
Traveling and experiencing new places is probably the most exciting source of inspiration for me. I feel very fortunate to have already traveled to some exquisite places–Istanbul being my favorite place thus far, with all of the rich history, culture and extravagance. Day to day, I look at Instagram, blogs, and magazines (Vogue, Architectural Digest, and Conde Nast Traveler).
MD: What advice do you have for women who are working to interweave diverse passions into their lives, making their own unique mark on the world?
AC: Finding your passions and routinely implementing them into your life is so important. It keeps the day-to-day routine exciting and ever-changing. I recommend managing your time to allow for new activities. Be careful, however, to not let any new activity consume you. Whenever I start a new project, I tend to pour a lot of time, excitement, and energy into it, then I have to realign my priorities. Remind yourself as often as necessary to stay balanced, with your present (short-term) goals and future (long-term) goals in mind.
Allow influences in your life from people who inspire and empower you—allow those influences to shape you along your journey. My influences and passions have shaped me but they don’t define me; they contribute to the betterment of who I already am.
We don’t need to compartmentalize ourselves to any one aspect of who we are. The most interesting people are the people who are diverse and unique. Remember that you were made for a purpose. Don’t let the fear of rejection prevent you from achieving that purpose and sharing your beauty with the world.
Connect with Alexandra Cavazos on LinkedIn and on Instagram at @alexandracavazos. Edited from an interview by Melissa Delgadillo. This feature was (Em)Powered by AC Financial.