Developing People and Sharing Life at Adelante Thrift


Co-Written by Elena Chan, Director of Community Development and Shannon Schafer, Operations Director

One of our core values at Adelante Thrift is developing people. We believe that developing individuals to reach their potential in the workplace is a critical part of community transformation. We also believe that sharing life with people on a personal level is a major part of that development. I would like to introduce you to two of the strong women leading Adelante Thrift: Elsa and Marleny. Both women have stepped up to the challenge of becoming assistant managers at Adelante Thrift and have propelled the store forward.

Elsa has worked for Adelante Thrift for almost two years. She came to us with previous retail sales and thrift experience, and we hired her as a Lead Sales Associate. It quickly became evident that Elsa is a natural leader and has a talent for merchandising, and she was promoted to Processing Supervisor. Elsa continued to shine in her leadership skills and in her ability to envision and execute improved ways to process and display our products. This past July, we promoted her to Assistant Manager, and in this new role, Elsa has made a huge impact at Adelante Thrift, and she works diligently to further develop her leadership and professional abilities.

Besides being intentional about her professional development, we deeply care about Elsa’s personal aspirations. Earlier this year, we discovered her desire to become an American citizen. With support from Mission Adelante, she was able to take the necessary steps to apply for naturalization and prepare for the civics test. On September 15th, after about a six-month process, we celebrated with Elsa as she became a U.S. citizen!


Marleny has worked for Adelante Thrift for about a year and a half. Prior to working with us, she had diverse work experience, including a recent supervisory position in the foodservice industry. We hired Marleny as a Lead Sales Associate to supervise our cashiers and oversee the clothing departments. She flourished in this position and was promoted to Sales Supervisor.  She gradually took on and excelled in greater responsibilities, including staff scheduling, payroll preparation, and the coordination of pickups and deliveries. This past July, Marleny was promoted to Assistant Manager, where she continues to grow in her leadership abilities, accepting new challenges and working closely with the management team. Marleny is a great asset to Adelante Thrift with her ability to gracefully handle customer concerns and provide mature guidance to the cashiers.  

We recently had the opportunity to share life with Marleny on a more personal level. She is expecting a baby girl this month, and some staff decided to throw a baby shower for her. On September 16th, together with her friends and family, we surprised Marleny with a baby shower! We had a great time of delicious food and fun activities as we showered Marleny’s family with love and support.


We are so thankful to be a part of the lives of these strong leaders in both their personal and professional lives. And we are grateful for their passion and commitment to the store’s mission and for their leadership.



  • Are you interested in combining your love of the arts and disciple-making? Mission Adelante is launching Adelante Arts Community in January 2018 and is looking for volunteers to help! Visit for more information.


  • You’re invited to the Mission Adelante Thanksgiving Open House November 11th from 2:30-6:30pm. Stop by and enjoy a relaxed afternoon at the Meeks’ home meeting members of the Mission Adelante staff and community, celebrating culture, and giving thanks for God’s faithfulness.