Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Renae Virata is the daughter of immigrant parents who left the Philippines in the mid-1970s to pursue a better life for their family. Sandwiched between an older sister and younger brother, she and her siblings were surrounded by old-world stories told in Tagalog as well as Filipino meals that connected them to their heritage. A Gemini to a “T,” she has always pursued some form of communication and creative outlet, playing the piano, writing short stories and entering numerous drawing and design contests.
Renae attended Vanderbilt University from 1998 to 2002, where her Asian American heritage set her apart from a majority of the student body. It was during her time there that she became more active in learning about, helping to promote and participating directly in Asian American awareness and culture. She held numerous leadership roles across campus, including secretary then president of the Asian American Student Association, Vice President of the Alpha Delta Gamma National Fraternity chapter at Vanderbilt, a resident adviser and a freshman orientation leader.
After graduating with a degree in the Communication of Science, Engineering and Technology, she worked in a variety of fields and industries, first as an assistant buyer at Foley’s Department Stores in the young designer area, then as an award-winning sales consultant at CareerBuilder.com and finally, today, as the founder and president of her own marketing firm revXmktg. No matter what role she filled, Renae continued to find opportunities both in her jobs as well as outside the office to hone her writing and creative skills.
Renae previously served and made enormous contributions as ATG’s Director of Marketing/Public Relations and Vice President and is currently an Account Executive at Creative Circle and Co-Founder of UGauGrrl.
What does going Against The Grain mean to you? “Doing things differently from what you are expected to do or how you have always done them. That can be as simple as choosing a different entrée from your favorite restaurant or as complex as leaving a strong career to go out on your own. I have done both and every measure of going against the grain in between. Life is just more exciting when you expand your horizons and take a leap of faith to follow your heart, despite what others around you may say.”
Quote to live by: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Passionate about: traveling, writing, fashion, staying active, learning new things, helping bring out the best in people, going against the grain 🙂
Favorite food: Mangoes, ice cream, dark chocolate with almonds, mac ‘n’ cheese, my mom’s kare-kare and a Filipino dessert called turon (can you tell I have a sweet tooth?)
Can’t live without: God, my family, my husband and son, my friends, my dog, my journal, manicures and massages
Color Personality: Action Orange