Meet a Roadrunner: UTSA alumnus Mark Carmona is dedicated to helping others

Mark Carmona

UTSA alumnus Mark Carmona

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(Nov. 13, 2013) -- Meet Mark Carmona, E.M.B.A., '07. He has dedicated his professional career to helping others.

Taking on his biggest challenge yet, Carmona was named president and chief executive officer of Haven for Hope in January.

"This work is a calling for me," said Carmona. "I like to work at a grassroots level with people and see how they can transform with assistance. I get to go into work every day and help someone."

With more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit social services field, Carmona began exploring graduate programs to assist in his calling. After much research, he selected UTSA's Executive M.B.A. (E.M.B.A.) program.

"The program spoke to me," said Carmona. "The E.M.B.A. provided me with a toolkit in finance, accounting and economics, but the ideological focus was on leadership. I could take back what I was learning and immediately use it in the workplace."

And, the skills he learned in the E.M.B.A. are serving him well at Haven for Hope. Carmona's bookshelf is still lined with binders and textbooks from the graduate program, and he says he refers to them almost daily.

"We learned about alignment, adaptability and agility," he said. "We also studied shared decision making and reasoning. Aligning focus is critical to building strategic relationships with 38 different on-site agencies."

Haven for Hope provides residential housing, case management services and educational and vocational training for the homeless in Bexar County.

While Carmona admits this type of work is not for everyone, he relishes going to work every day and offering residents a hand up, not a hand out.

"At Haven, people can transform, regain their lives and become contributing members of society," he said.

Looking to the future, Carmona hopes to employ his business acumen to expand services for graduates off-site and to evaluate the effectiveness of this model.

"Founder Bill Greehey built the business model that serves as the engine for Haven. My goal is to continue building on that model and to expand services for our residents."

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