All her life, Sunday Sotomayor has heard the recitation of “Sunday’s child is full of grace” when people hear her unusual name.
Though she listens patiently, she points out the irony of her life. She was actually born on a Friday, and she doesn’t know what inspired her late father to give her the unusual moniker. But the mystery usually gets a conversation going with the Adelphia Communications Inc. executive.
That is when you can track her down. The former regional vice president of human resources for the company’s Southeast Division is in the process of relocating herself, husband Enrique and son Enrique from her base in Florida to Denver, where she’s been appointed as a corporate vice president in her field.
Adelphia chief operating officer Ron Cooper says Sotomayor has succeeded because of her “great blend of field and corporate experience. She thinks of HR as a true partner with operations, and she has helped make HR a critical element in the way we manage our business.”
The Denver move is a homecoming for the 38-year-old executive, who grew up near the Rocky Mountains and earned a business degree at the University of Colorado.
At that time, “I really didn’t know what I wanted, other than to work for a big company,” she says. In the late 1980s, she snared a “low-level finance job” with then-GTE Wireless. After about a year, she saw a posting for higher position, in human resources, and she earned it.
“We handled benefits, administration, anything that came up, because we were a two-person department in a busy area,” she says.
She didn’t make the jump to cable until her employer did. GTE swapped its wireless business with U S West, which then split off into cable with the formation of MediaOne Group Inc. As the parent companies changed, Sotomayor continued her career path upward, moving from human resources representative, to director, to vice presidential positions as she saw opportunities appear.
Her inter- and intra-industry transition experience will help her through the next year, while she aids Adelphia employees in their transition into the operations of Adelphia’s buyers — Time Warner Cable and Comcast Corp.
She’s a person who can focus on the needs of the business while never losing site of the needs of individuals, says David Brunick, senior vice president of human resources, who lauded her great relationship skills.
“Her greatest strength is she is incredibly smart. She’s able to be both strategic and tactical in her thinking,” he says, noting her greatest challenge will be to handle that 14,000-employee transition.
Sotomayor believes she has blossomed in her career because she has always sought out mentors such as Burnick and Cooper, and always monitored, and tried to improve, her weak areas.
“Self-awareness is a powerful tool. It’s not just enough to work hard. That’s a big theme with me,” she says.
And she’s content to be home in Denver. She appreciated living elsewhere, but being back with old friends and family will add richness to her life.