Lisa Navarro-Gonzales is Vice President of Santana Group, which includes Oveana and Forma Automotive, the first Hispanic woman-owned direct Tier I supplier to Toyota.
Influenced by her trailblazing mother, Rosa Santana, Navarro-Gonzales began her career at the El Paso, Texas branch of a global staffing company in 1999. Within a year, the company relocated her to San Antonio where she excelled at connecting the right people with the right jobs.
Capitalizing on her experience in the staffing industry, in 2002, Navarro-Gonzales joined Santana to form Integrated Human Capital (IHC), a staffing agency specializing in serving companies on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, from the Fortune 500 to local businesses.
At IHC, Navarro-Gonzales was tasked with developing a strategic back office that supported company growth and profitability. Energetic and creative, Navarro-Gonzales established and implemented cutting edge tools to ensure optimum delivery of Human Resource services, building IHC’s reputation as a source for reliable, qualified personnel.
In 2014, Toyota selected Santana Group to fully assemble Tacoma truck beds through the Santana Group’s latest enterprise, Forma Automotive. A proven leader and innovator, Navarro-Gonzales was the obvious choice to steer Forma Automotive into production as Toyota’s first Hispanic woman-owned direct Tier I supplier.
Navarro-Gonzales underwent extensive technical training with Toyota to create Forma’s production environment, learning every aspect of manufacturing in mere months while simultaneously developing the company’s accounting, finance, and human resources departments. In August 2015, Forma Automotive launched full production.
Within six months, Toyota requested an increase in production, a goal easily met under Navarro-Gonzales’ guidance. She credits Forma Automotive’s phenomenal first year of production to the qualified team she assembled. Navarro-Gonzales believes, “If you empower your people, you’ll get the best out of them.”
Navarro-Gonzales studied education and accounting at San Antonio College and the University of Texas at El Paso. She was selected for and completed the competitive Minority Business Executive program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Navarro-Gonzales is also an active participant in her San Antonio community where she serves on several nonprofit boards.