Rebecca Contreras is currently the President & CEO of AvantGarde LLC (AG), an 8a certified and Women-Owned Small Business consulting firm she co-founded in May 2011. AG offers a “one stop shop” approach to addressing complex organizational, people and technology needs. AG core capabilities are in Human Capital (HR), Organizational Development (OD), Business Operations Planning and Information Technology. Since starting the business in 2011, AG has grown to over 100 team members and over $13 Million in annual gross revenue. AG’s growth stems from 80% repeat and referral business. Rebecca prides this growth to the AG moto “People First – Client Always.” She believes strongly in her AG team, works hard to hire and empower AG managers and team members that represent the AG core values, and supports them to thrive and succeed in their own personal career goals.
In 2017 & 2018, SBA recognized AG for National Small Business Week with a San Antonio District Award in the Category of “Women Small Business of the Year” and the UTSA sponsored award for “Federal Contractor Minority Business of the Year.” Also, in 2017, Rebecca received the Texas “Women Profiles in Power” award by the Austin Business Journal. In conjunction with the 2017 Texas Small Business Summit, Governor Greg Abbott honored Rebecca with the Texas “Latina Entrepreneurial Excellence Award.”
Rebecca also currently serves as an appointee on a three-year term 2019 – 2021 to the National Business Women’s Council (NBWC). NBWC is a non-partisan Council that has a statutory responsibility to advise Congress, the President and the SBA Administrator on women’s business issues in America. Rebecca has dedicated her entire career to the “people business,” serving in senior management and executive leadership roles driving large-scale people and organizational change initiatives. She has spent the last 14 years building and leading teams consulting primarily to her clients in the federal government market.
Prior to starting her career in consulting in 2005, Rebecca spent 15 years in State and Federal government. While in government, Rebecca served as a senior executive service member (SES) and Chief Advisor to the Secretary in the role of Deputy Assistant Secretary and Chief Human Capital Officer at the U.S. Department of Treasury from 2003 – 2005. She also served as a Member on the government-wide Chief Human Capital Officer’s Council advising Congress and the President on Workforce issues. Rebecca was also the Chair of Treasury’s Diversity Council. Prior to joining Treasury, she served from 2001 – 2003 as an appointed Commissioned Officer in the White House in the role of Special Assistant for the Office of Personnel to President. Her portfolio included managing the President’s appointments and recruiting process for over 1,200 board and commission positions in the Federal Government. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C. in January 2001, Rebecca served as a career civil servant for nearly 12 years in Texas State Government from 1989 – 2000, including serving as the Director of Human Resources for the Office of the Governor for six years. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, she served as HR Manager for Texas Treasurer and former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Texas icon Ann Richards. Rebecca also served a three-year Presidential term from 2003 – 2006 on the Board of WestPoint Military Academy and a seven-year term from 2011 – 2018 on the Board of the American Bible Society as Chair of the Governance Committee.
Rebecca and her husband co-founded LaunchPad, a non-profit foundation that financially supports programs for inner-city families, underprivileged youth and causes in the Austin, Texas area. Rebecca is married 29 years, has two adult children and a granddaughter. Her home base is in the Austin, Texas area and she commutes between her Texas and Metro D.C. offices.