Rebecca Contreras is currently the President & CEO of AvantGarde LLC (AG), an SBA certified 8a and Women Owned Small Business firm she co- founded as Majority Partner in May 2011. AG offers a “one stop shop” approach to addressing complex organizational, people and technology needs. Rebecca has dedicated her entire career to the people business, serving in executive leadership roles driving large scale people and organizational change initiatives.
AG has grown to more than 110 employees serving government clients in more than six different states. Prior to starting her consulting career, Rebecca spent 15 years in State and Federal government. While in government, Rebecca served as an executive and chief advisory to the Secretary in the role of Deputy Assistant Secretary and Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) at the U.S. Department of Treasury. 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 the Chair of the Diversity Council for the Department of Treasury, the Chair of the Hispanic and Asian Initiatives providing leadership to bureaus on key cross agency diversity initiatives. She also served as co-chair of Treasury’s HRIT initiative – co owning with the CIO the governance process for implementation of HRConnect.
Prior to her job at Treasury, she served as an Associate Director in the Executive Office of the President. Her portfolio included managing personnel and the recruitment process for over 1,200 board and commission positions in the Federal Government. While in the position, she also played a lead role in the Diversity Recruitment process and was part of the Personnel team working to increase inclusion and diversity efforts for thousands of federal government jobs. She also served as a National level expert on diversity and inclusion, taking part in key round table conferences with various minority groups and associations in the DC area.
Rebecca also served as a career civil servant for nearly twelve years in Texas State Government including serving as the Director of Human Resources for the Office of then Governor. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, she served as HR Senior Manager for then Texas Treasurer Kay Bailey Hutchison. She started her government career in 1989 serving under the leadership of the former Texas icon, Ann Richards. She prides herself and her work serving in government in a non-partisan way for leaders on both sides of the political spectrum. While working in state government she co-led efforts on a statewide initiative to reduce waste across numerous agencies. She also started and grew the Texas Governor’s Internship Program recruiting hundreds of Texas students to serve part-time in government.
In January 2020, Rebecca was nominated and awarded a global award “Women in Enterprise” by Women Enterprising Magazine. In December 2019, Rebecca was recognized by Women President’s Organization (WPO) from a global list of nominees and selected to the “Women 2 Watch for 2020”. 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. Governor Greg Abbott in conjunction with the 2017 Texas Small Business Summit, also honored Rebecca with the Texas “Latina Entrepreneurial Excellence Award”.
Rebecca currently serves under The Partnership as a Strategic Advisor to Executives in Government – SAGE and is a Member of the Women President’s Organization (WPO) *Austin Chapter. In 2018, Rebecca also served on the Council of the National Business Women’s Council that advises the President and Congress on women business issues – during her time at NBWC she served as the Chair of the Access to Capital Sub Committee. Rebecca also served a three-year term on the Board of WestPoint Military Academy and served for nine years on the Board of the American Bible Society as Chair of the Governance Committee.
Rebecca is the co-founder of LaunchPad, a non-profit foundation in TX that supports programs and initiatives for inner city families, under privileged youth in the Austin TX area. Rebecca’s home base is in the Austin Texas area with her husband of 31 years and family. She is located in the TX practice of AG along with a small TX team and commutes between her TX and DC offices monthly.