Meet Celeste Partida

Meet Celeste Partida

Until Feb. 1, 2023, we were Group Health Foundation. This post was written under our former identity. To learn more about our new name, read our announcement here.

A collage of Celeste in three countries.

Celeste, a world traveler, visiting Chefchaouen, Morocco; the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland with her sister Karla; and Barcelona, Spain with her husband.

Celeste Partida’s last few years have been marked by big life milestones: In 2019, she graduated from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance; in 2020, she moved from Spokane to her hometown of Moses Lake amidst the COVID-19 pandemic; in 2021, she married her husband, Caleb; and now, she’s stepping into her new role at GHF as an accountant.

Despite the changes, Celeste says the thing she enjoys doing most is the same as it’s always been — spending time with her family. “I grew up with a very small, tight-knit family. It was just my parents, my little sister, and me. Then when I was 22, my mom got pregnant again, and now I have a three-year-old little brother, Christian. He’s our pride and joy.”

Celeste’s parents immigrated to the United States from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico in 1997 and brought their talents for entrepreneurship first to Monterey Park, California and then to Moses Lake, Washington. “My mom’s family owned a candy store in Mexico, and my dad’s family owned abarrotes and novelty stores. They’ve always been entrepreneurs. They love it,” shares Celeste. After owning a gift shop and a local chain of women’s clothing stores in Omak, Othello, and Moses Lake, Celeste’s parents now own a Mexican restaurant, which her mom operates.

Celeste says her interest in finance stems partly from a desire for job security, but also from watching her parents run their businesses. Despite taking her career in a different direction, Celeste says she’s learned many lessons from her parents that have shaped her view on work. Most importantly, she says they taught her the importance of balance: “Work hard, you know, and put everything you have into what you’re doing. But don’t be too uptight. Make sure you have a good time.”

While much of her college curriculum focused on the banking and accounting industries, Celeste volunteered with her sorority at the Ronald McDonald House and at her church in Pullman, and knew she was more interested in working for a nonprofit or mission-based organization that aligned with her values. Most recently, she’s served as a staff accountant for Columbia Basin Health Association, a nonprofit with a mission to provide equal access to quality health care for all people in Central Washington.

In her new role as staff accountant at GHF, Celeste’s responsibilities include managing accounts payable, assisting with month-end closing, and overseeing the vendor database. She says the detail-oriented nature of her work in accounting has also taught her lessons: “Accounting has taught me to slow down and make sure things make sense. Are vendors getting paid on time? Do our numbers balance? Do we have records of everything?”

Besides being with her family, traveling is Celeste’s next “most favorite thing.” She and her husband Caleb enjoyed a Mediterranean cruise for their honeymoon in March, and Celeste will take her first trip to the East Coast this fall to visit her best friend in New York City. Between trips and family hangouts, Celeste also loves reading and sampling her mom’s and husband’s cooking.