Employee Voices

“Conectando”: Together We Make a Difference

Meet four employees who are bringing together Hispanic and non-Hispanic employees to embrace their diverse backgrounds.

Read time: 6.5 minutes

As a company, it’s vital that we empower our teams so they can accomplish the needs of our business and tackle any challenges that might come their way. But it’s also important to create opportunities for employees to connect with others beyond their day-to-day jobs.

That’s where employee resource groups (ERGs) like the Professional Association of Latinos at McKesson – known as PALMa – are helping fill the gaps. PALMa is dedicated to not only celebrating Latino culture, but also uniting its members’ collective talents to inspire others in their career paths, promote diversity, and drive positive change in our company and in our communities.

Get to know four of our PALMa members who are making a big impact within the ERG and in the communities they serve.

Evelyn Valdez Capetillo

Evelyn Valdez  

What she does at McKesson:

Evelyn works as a director on the Strategy and Operations team, which supports The US Oncology Network by delivering on their most strategic initiatives focused on patient care, care team process improvement and technology innovation. She explains that by streamlining processes and helping practice leadership focus on priorities, her work can improve patients’ care experience by giving staff more time to focus on them.

What PALMa means to her:

Evelyn’s parents came to the U.S. from Mexico with a relentless vision to succeed, and since then, she’s been committed to emulating her parents’ hard work ethic in everything she does. It’s one of the reasons she joined PALMa in 2015 – the ability to collaborate with a group of employees who have similar values and life experiences is especially empowering.

“Not everybody has a chance to travel the world, so being in an ERG like PALMa gives employees a chance to develop an appreciation for different cultures and points of view.”

Not only has PALMa presented Evelyn the chance to gain new perspectives, but it’s also increased her exposure to senior leadership within the company and allowed her to develop her own leadership skills. Up until a couple of years ago, Evelyn served as the member engagement chair for The Woodlands chapter. The chance to go beyond being a member and acting as a decision maker for the ERG, she says, is one of the reasons PALMa is near and dear to her heart.

Alejandro Jimenez

Alejandro Jimenez  

What he does at McKesson:

Alejandro joined McKesson Medical-Surgical in 2014 as a category manager on the Product Strategy and Supplier Partnership (PSSP) team. Today, he works as director of category management and manages a team of category managers responsible for managing their supplier relationships for products that McKesson distributes to extended care facilities.

“I always think about purpose. My team’s job is to work with suppliers to make sure we have the products our customers need to help patients get their treatments on time.”

Why he joined PALMa:

In 2020, Alejandro officially became a U.S. citizen. It was a moment his colleagues and local leaders commemorated by throwing him and his family a surprise party. But for most of his time at McKesson, Alejandro explains that he actually didn’t feel a strong connection to other Latinos in the company – his focus had primarily been on the day-to-day work he was leading. Over the years, however, he found himself wanting to showcase the meaningful work of his team with others in the company while also sharing and celebrating his Colombian heritage. After joining a panel discussion during Hispanic Heritage Month last year, Alejandro was motivated to get more involved and launched a local Richmond, Va. chapter.

Ulises Vargas

Ulises Vargas  

What he does at McKesson:

Ulises joined McKesson in 2006 and currently works as the director of operations at one of our large, automated distribution centers (DCs) located in Richmond, Va. He leads nearly 200 DC employees who pick, pack and ship a variety of over-the-counter medications and controlled substances, while also ensuring the DC remains compliant and overseeing the health and wellbeing of his team.

What PALMa means to him:

Shortly after Alejandro learned about PALMa, he reached out to Ulises and invited him to assist in forming the Richmond chapter as a board member. Today, Ulises serves as the distribution center leader for the chapter, a role that entails working closely with his local board to share the national chapter’s vision to DC members, as well as helping organize networking opportunities and events within their community. His position also enables him to help bridge the gap between our corporate operations and the work our DC workers are leading.

Ulises believes that as a Latino, being a part of an ERG like PALMa is important not only because it allows Latino members to bring the best of their own cultures, but also presents the chance for Latino and non-Latino members alike to learn from other cultures and become collectively more diverse. But beyond the networking and growth opportunities, he’s especially inspired by the strong sense of community and loyalty to one another that the ERG fosters. Earlier this year, his DC faced a temporary staffing shortage, so he reached out to the local PALMa chapter for support. That night – on the busiest night in his DC – every single local member showed up at the DC and volunteered to help pick, pack and ship orders.

Silvia Kraemer

Silvia Kraemer

What she does at McKesson:

Silvia has dedicated her entire career to working with technologies that make people’s lives easier. When she joined McKesson five years ago as a senior eCommerce Product Manager, her job was to come up with an improved platform for the Control Substance Ordering System (CSOS) in McKesson Connect. With the new cloud-based platform she helped develop, pharmacists can now order medications from anywhere and on any device, freeing them to perform other tasks while accelerating the ordering process. Silvia also oversees all compliance and regulatory aspects of McKesson Connect.

Why she joined PALMa:

Silvia joined the Dallas chapter of PALMa earlier this year. One of the most motivational aspects for her thus far has been hearing from Hispanic employees within McKesson’s corporate leadership. As a member of the Dallas chapter’s leadership team, she’s sharing her own inspiration by representing the ERG at local schools and serving as a role model to children in the Hispanic community.

“Having someone with an education – who’s worked at big companies and who looks like these children – come into these schools and talk to them can really help play a foundational role in inspiring them to see what great opportunities await them.”

Beyond helping to shape future leaders, Silvia says that being in PALMa has allowed her to fully celebrate the power of diversity for the first time in her 26-year corporate career and embrace her own “Latina” heritage in the workplace. Being involved with PALMa, she adds, has provided her with a tremendous sense of cultural and company pride because she’s been able to see firsthand the incredible talent that lies within the Hispanic employees at McKesson.