Employee Spotlight with
Gustavo Paredes

Cagwin & Dorward Job Title:

Human Resource Manager

How long have you been with Cagwin & Dorward?

About 8 weeks

How did you get into HR?

I started working for a company in payroll and as my responsibilities increased they began crossing over into HR compliance. That experience allowed me to sharpen my skills, training, and exposure as an HR Director for two previous organizations.

What do you love about HR?

I like that you deal with the person, the employees, and that human interaction keeps it exciting because there are no two employees alike. This also means there are never two issues that are exactly the same which is challenging and rewarding at the same time. It allows me the opportunity to make a difference in so many different situations.

And then the business side of it with HR laws and regulations that are always changing which keeps me on my toes. My challenge is to always stay up to date and do good research and continually learning and find new opportunities that can help our company.

When you joined the team at Cagwin & Dorward what was one of the things that appealed to you most about the company?

I would say it was their leadership and attention to developing a great company culture. Cagwin & Dorward don't just want to have an HR department that does compliance. They want an HR department that leads the way in culture development and refining and always improving the workplace atmosphere and teamwork. And the primary reason I wanted to be a part of this team is the opportunity and the confidence they have in me to help maintain their status as an employer of choice in the industry. When you have a company like Cagwin & Dorward which already has a great culture and they have that drive to continually improve and grow that is what excites me.

What is a good company culture to you?

Good company work culture is a place where people want to be. Most people work for companies where they dread going to work on Monday. Being at Cagwin & Dorward, when it's Sunday, I get excited about Monday seeing the people I enjoy working with and the opportunities I have to make a difference for our company. It's the human aspect of creating positive experiences for the people you work with and that leads to retaining and attracting talent. When people have a great experience at work it keeps morale high, creates positive client experiences, and it grows the bottom line.

What are the values you find most important in a company?

It's a company that shows loyalty and will stick with its employees. It's a company that is always working to improve the lives of its employees whether it's through company benefits or helping an employee catch a ballgame for one of the employees' kids.

What does a day in your life look like from morning to evening?

Greet my wife and kids. Help my wife get our kids ready for school. I then make my way to the office and I start with my to-do list or an issue that has arisen that needs attention. There is never a set routine about my job and why I love what I do.

What is a book you've recently read that you would recommend?

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People -- I've read this book several times and it's a great reminder for self-renewal and growth.

When you're not working what are you doing?

I like to spend time with my family and friends. I really like music and we have a piano, a drum set, and a guitar in our house so we'll play karaoke and have fun and just enjoy the kids.

Favorite Movie:

Star Wars! I particularly like episode three. I've watched it a million times!

What leader do you most admire?

Mike Lehman, a previous boss and CEO of a company that I worked for in the past. The thing I most admired about him was his humility and thoughtfulness. I learned a lot from him and he actually introduced me to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

If you could travel back in time, what one piece of advice would you give your younger self when you were just starting out?

  • Be more confident.

  • Put myself out there.

  • Take some risk.

Today, confidence is like my second nature but back in the day, I had a little bit more work to do in that area.


Santa Rosa, California

How long have you been involved in HR?

10 years


Married with 3 young children