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Austin Business Journal Feature : Rebecca Contreras, CEO of AvantGarde LLC

Updated: Mar 25

Rebecca Contreras, CEO of AvantGarde, was recently featured in the Austin Business Journal this October 2021.

Rebecca Contreras has dedicated her entire career to the people business, serving in executive leadership roles driving large-scale people and organizational change initiatives. She spent twelve years serving under the leadership of Texas Governor – and then President – George W Bush. She also served under two iconic Texas women, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Governor Ann Richards. Rebecca lives in the Austin, TX area with David her husband of 31 years.

Humble Beginnings

Rebecca’s professional success is a result of her transformative journey in her personal life. Despite numerous hardships and finding herself poised to perpetuate generational curses, she found her footing and earned a spot serving at the Texas Treasury in a welfare-to-work program. From there her career path and ambitions led her all the way to the White House, serving under President Bush, and later to entrepreneurship when she founded AvantGarde. Rebecca tells her inspiring story in a forthcoming book, Lost Girl: From the Hood to the White House to Millionaire Entrepreneur.

People First, Client Always

As a longstanding consultant to the U.S. Government, AvantGarde understands the unique challenges faced by federal agencies. Over the years, the firm has helped address their critical needs by bringing knowledge and expertise in four key areas: People, Process, Strategy, and Technology. The motto “People first, client always” was coined by Rebecca and remains at the heart of the company. AvantGarde takes pride in developing and nurturing partnerships both with clients and its employees. What makes the firm unique is its ability to become a trusted advisor to mobilize the right team and talent to get things done, earning trust with clients from its depth of knowledge and ability to meet existing and emerging needs.

Transformative Success and Leadership

As the CEO of AvantGarde, Rebecca’s success and leadership has been recognized through several awards and accolades including “Women in Enterprise” (Women Enterprising Magazine, 2020), “Women 2 Watch for 2020” (Women President’s Organization), Texas “Women Profiles in Power” (Austin Business Journal, 2017), and the “Latina Entrepreneurial Excellence Award” (2017). In September 2021 Rebecca was appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott as a Commissioner on the Texas Racing Commission where she will serve a three-year term. She has used her success to give back to the community through her nonprofit LaunchPad, an Austin-based non-profit dedicated to equipping and enriching the lives of disadvantaged you and underserved families.

“I know Rebecca Contreras to be a most effective executive leader, entrepreneur, team builder, and change agent, based on the 20 years I have worked with and remained in close contact with her. She has been nationally recognized for her many professional accomplishments and appointed to a number of nationally prominent, non-profit boards. How she became so successful is a remarkable story: nothing about her youth and formal education would have predicted such success, but her wisdom, energy, faith, courage, and work ethic carried the day.” – Clay Johnson, former Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Personnel, and Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management.

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