Bush Foundation Board Chair Tony Heredia, vice president of compliance, ethics and corporate security at Target Corporation
Where did you grow up?
I’m from the Salinas Valley of California, born and raised in Watsonville. It’s on California’s central coast, about two hours south of San Francisco. Next time you buy strawberries, look at the bottom — they’re probably from Watsonville. We moved to Minnesota in 2005, and consider it home. We’ve acclimated to winters, but that doesn’t make them any easier!
How does board service differ from other roles you’ve held?
The big difference is that in career roles, you’re focused on daily activities and priorities. My job at Target involves a lot of reacting to situations and being the problem solver, which is very different than the role board members play at the Bush Foundation. Our job is really to stay focused on strategy, governance, stewarding the resources that were provided by Archibald and Edyth Bush, and being ambassadors for the purpose and mission of the Foundation and its role and impact in the community. We get the luxury of only thinking about those things all the time.
What will you focus on as board chair?
One of the things I’ll focus on is making sure we continue to have diverse perspectives and voices around the board table, so that we get the benefit of people’s experiences and expertise from all parts of the community. I also think that in the next few years we’ll have a big opportunity to increase the ways in which the Bush Foundation can quantify its impact. We’ll be able to look at the strategies we have been pursuing, ask ourselves whether they’re having the impact we envisioned and what we’d like to do next.
What are some of the challenges and lessons you’ve encountered in your career?
I’ve had to learn how to be resilient, realizing that not everything goes right the first time and not everything is meant to be in the way that you hope it will be. But in that I’ve learned the values of persistence and flexibility. I’ve also learned the importance of realizing the positive impact other people have on you as a professional and a person, and always remembering to take stock of the people that show up in your life at unanticipated times and have an impact on you.
What is one thing you feel particularly proud of in your career and life?
There’s the stereotypical success; for example, I’m the first one in my family to go to college. I transitioned from a career in law enforcement to management consulting to the corporate world. But I don’t think those really describe me as a person. The successes I am most proud of are being able to look back and say that I had a positive impact on every organization I was a part of, every team I had the privilege to work with and, today, the tremendous number of smart, dedicated people I get to work around at the Bush Foundation and other areas of my life. All while raising a family and having three terrific kids who are setting their own paths in the world, none of which would have been possible without my amazing wife of 25 years, Shelley.