BY Amanda Sotelo
From humble beginnings to a successful career, Edna Posada has made a name for herself, and she credits the education she received at Texas State Technical College as the beginning of her entrepreneurial success.
Posada grew up in rural Los Fresnos. She comes from a family of seven who lived in a two-bedroom home without indoor plumbing. Their home sat next to a canal bank where the family would shower and get their water.
“Sometimes people think I came from a well-to-do family, or married someone wealthy, but none of that’s true,” said Posada. “I come from a life where money was difficult to come by and I think that is what shaped me and gave me my drive. I didn’t want to live like that for the rest of my life.”
Posada graduated from Los Fresnos High School as Salutatorian in 1980. She said she knew school was the key factor in getting ahead.
“I really focused on school and graduated with honors,” she remembered. “But at the time my dad was very old-fashioned in his way of thinking, so even though I got accepted to college – Yale in fact – he didn’t feel that was what I needed to do. He told me to get married and let the man provide for me, but that’s not the way I wanted to live.”
Posada decided to get a college education locally. She first attended Southmost College in Brownsville, but because Posada needed to finish a program quickly to start working, she enrolled at Texas State Technical Institute, which is now TSTC.
Within two years, Posada earned an associate degree in Industrial Data Processing, or computer coding. She began working immediately with the city of Brownsville as a programmer, but her stint with the city was short lived.
“I was the only female in the department and I ended up feeling disappointed and discouraged. I was the one always asked to get the coffee and make the copies, so I left after six months. I knew I could do more,” said Posada.
Instead, Posada decided to pursue her dream of working for Hewlett-Packard. However, the technology company wanted someone with sales experience, which she did not have.
“TSTC prepared me for the technical aspect of the job. I was confident in my skills because of the hands-on training I had received,” said Posada. “But it was up to me to get the sales experience, so I ended up at Dillard’s with Estee Lauder, and the rest is history. I found that helping women feel beautiful and confident was my new passion.”
Fast forward 27 years and the 54-year-old owns three thriving Merle Norman Cosmetic Studios and two Spa La Posada locations across the Rio Grande Valley catering to women and men alike. Also included in her business portfolio is a barbershop and Boutique Leona.
“As a single mom raising two children, my journey was difficult, but I had found a new dream and I had to go for it,” said Posada. “Family though is so important to me, above any business, so I always made sure to include my children in what I was doing so they could understand what mommy was doing and why I was doing it.”
Years later, including her children in her businesses paid off, because now Posada and her daughter are a duo managing their locations together and franchise branding for Merle Norman as a team.
“I’m so thankful for the degree I received from TSTC,” said Posada. “It set me up with what I need to run my business. Technology has changed the business world and understanding the importance of it has helped me evolve.”
Posada said she is proud of being a TSTC alumnus and has recently become a member of the TSTC Scholarship Steering Committee supporting the “Make a Texas-Sized Difference” statewide scholarship campaign, as her way to give back to a college that gave her so much.
“TSTC is really a great, great school,” said Posada. “And this time in my life, I feel that my knowledge and contacts can help generate some funds to support the school and hopefully help more students get a college education.”
So what does the future hold for Posada?
“This year I want to get more TSTC alumni to give back to the college and get involved,” said Posada. “I also want to enjoy everything I’ve worked so hard to achieve and ultimately, brainstorm ideas for new business ventures.”