Success Story-Maria Colmenares

By Jenifer Lambert

Posted on July 3, 2012

by Jenifer Lambert, Vice President

The hardest part of telling Maria Colmenares’ success story is keeping it short. You see, an interesting thing happens when you ask people what they most respect and appreciate about Maria. They can’t stop talking. They use words like: unparalleled, initiative, accountable, productive, dependable, driven and dedicated. And when they run out of positive words, they make statements like this:

“Maria is the reason cloning should be legal.” 


That’s a direct quote from her client supervisor, Bill Anady, and perhaps the highest compliment I’ve ever heard.

Maria Colmenares with two members of her fan club: Bill Anady, Site Manager (Tacoma Recyling), Ann Medalia, Area Manager (TERRA)


Maria started in a sorting position and was trained to take on more responsibility and operate more equipment including the forklift and the baler. When Maria gave me a quick tour of the facility, it’s clear she take a lot of pride and ownership in her work.

“What I like the most about Maria is that, she is always looking for ways to improve plant productivity and personal growth. She is not afraid to ask questions, or call people out, regardless of position,” Bill says.

Shawnta agrees. “Maria cares about her work; she puts her best foot forward and she does not only want to be successful for just Maria but she always thinks about Tacoma Recycling and making the company successful. She cares about the work she is doing.”

Maria has been working as a TERRA employee at Tacoma Recycling since March 2011. It’s not her first time working with TERRA. She had worked with us for several years prior to beginning her assignment at Tacoma Recycling. She’s been successful everywhere we’ve assigned her, but at this particular site, she’s really excelled.

Maria operates a forklift just like this…

According to Shawnta Adams, TERRA’s On-Site Manager at Tacoma Recycling, “Maria has what I like to call ‘the three D-s’ -she’s dedicated, dependable and driven. Maria wants to make sure that whatever task that she is given she is successful and will ask questions until she has it right.”


…to move big bales of recycled materials just like this.

Maria is highly respected by her co-workers too. According to Bill Anady, “Maria is rare in the fact that she understands the difference between being friendly and being one’s friend. While at work Maria shows no favorites, holding a high expectation of herself and all others. She exemplifies accountability.”

He added that her initiative is unparalleled and her drive and commitment is contagious and her enthusiasm is contagious and motivated. “She’s simply fun to work with,” Bill says.

The feelings are very mutual. “I love working at Tacoma Recycling.  I feel like Shawnta and ‘Senor Bill’ and all the managers really care about us not just as workers but as people,” says Maria.

She had nice things to say about the team at TERRA, too. “Everyone in the office is so friendly and nice. They are very respectful.”

“You see this? This is money!”, Maria explains. She understand exactly how her work affects the company!


All of us at TERRA would like to thank Maria for her outstanding work. We are so glad she’s on our team and happy to have been a part of her success story!

Categories: Success Stories

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