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Esmeralda Pineda, 34
Esmeralda Pineda, 34
Chicago, Ill.
Accountant, Serious Materials

I was with a glass-making business for six years working as the accounts receivable manager. Then one Tuesday afternoon last year, everyone was told their hard work had been appreciated, but there was no choice but to close the company down. I was in shock. When I told my husband, he thought I was joking. He owns a small construction company, which you can imagine has been slow. I thought we were going to have to take our kids out of private school.

Then I kept hearing about Serious Materials wanting to buy our company and rehire some of the employees. They wanted to make energy-saving doors and windows to use for making schools and government buildings more efficient. Then Serious announced they were buying it -- I was so excited. Now I'm working for a bigger company and learning new roles, like helping out in HR. I'm traveling, meeting different kinds of people in different time zones. There's no more promotion ceiling on my job. I even got to meet Vice President Biden when he toured our factory. It feels great to be part of something big.

Last updated June 16 2009: 9:17 AM ET
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