By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
As originally published by Texas Border Business newsprint Edition
These days hiring and maintaining employees has become quite complex, especially with so many rules, regulations and new laws to take effect this year. Whether you like it or not, business people have the responsibility to stay on top of all of these changes and if not, then the best alternative is to turn to proven professionals in the business field.
For this reason, Texas Border Business met with Melinda Rodriguez, the Director of Operations at IBEX Business Solutions. IBEX is a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) and one of the few PEOs in the Valley. As a PEO, IBEX provides tailored, integrated administrative services to effectively manage critical human resources and employer risk. “We help businesses improve employment practices, compliance and risk management to reduce liabilities,” she said.
One of the important aspects of their services is that they specialize in helping businesses by assuming the burden of managing human resources so that businesspeople can focus on growing their business, which is what they do best.
IBEX is a young company founded in December 2008. However their knowledge in this field has given them the edge and they currently have nearly 600 employees they co-employ with businesses throughout South Texas.
IBEX has accomplished in a short time and in this business climate what is unheard of in this business field. Melinda attributes their success to the fact that business owners created IBEX in order to meet the challenge of managing administrative needs. “We possess first-hand experience, in growing a profitable business, which allows us to understand a business owner’s needs and to leverage a network of services and business partnerships due to our affiliation with clients such as Pronto Insurance,” she said.
She said that IBEX is currently undergoing a phase of growth, largely driven by the needs of business owners who are met by the growing challenge of managing their human resources. “We are frequently approached by business owners that are faced with the overwhelming task of managing payroll and health benefits, as well as other business needs,” Melinda stated.
In a recent column Melinda submitted to Texas Border Business she wrote, “With the re-election of President Barack Obama, comes the reality that employers must now prepare for the implementation of the ACA—the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care Education Reconciliation Act.”
She continued, “The renewed urgency to understand the law has left employers with many unanswered questions. Does my business have to pay a penalty? What changes does my business have to implement? and Can I get a tax credit?”
Melinda said that IBEX is ready to help customers understand the effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is commonly referred to as “Obama Care”, on their businesses.
Melinda said that one of the first requirements that employers with more than 250 employees must implement is the reporting of “the aggregate cost of applicable employer sponsored health coverage on 2012 Form W—2s issued in January 2013.
She pointed out that beginning on March 1, 2013, employers must provide employees written notice concerning (1) the existence of an exchange, including services and contact information;(2) the employee’s potential eligibility for premium credits and cost-sharing subsidies if the employer plan’s share of covered health care expenses is less than 60% and (3) the employee’s potential loss of any employer contribution if the employee purchases a plan through the exchange and is not eligible for a free choice voucher.
All businesspeople should learn more about what is coming in order to comply with the new laws. “Small Business Tax credits are also part of the Education Reconciliation Bill,” she said pointing out that small employers with no more than 25 full-time equivalent employees and with an average wage of no more than $50,000 that purchase health insurance for employees are eligible for a tax credit.
There is no question that Melinda through IBEX can provide a valuable service to the business community and people in business should use this formidable experience to avoid wasting time and to avoid being at odds with employment laws.
Melinda is quite a problem solver; she finds it rewarding work because she loves finding solutions to problems. “I thrive in situations where challenges seem daunting,” she said.
There are many important dates to remember in order to continue managing a business properly. Melinda said, “In 2014, the healthcare reform law will require each employer with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees to either provide at least a specified minimum level of health coverage or pay a penalty.”
It is important to mention that Melinda is a product of the University of Texas-Pan American with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and from St. Edward’s University as well with a master’s degree in Management and Business Administration.
Melinda recently relocated to Brownsville after living in Austin, Texas for 19 years. “I relocated to Brownsville to be closer to my family and my parents.”
She said that the greatest challenge she has encountered in her profession is helping organizations to inspire and motivate people towards a common purpose in a work environment. She feels that strong leadership skills are critical for driving business success.
“I’m excited when I see a project or vision come to fruition. To see a project or organization that I’m leading reach its goals and objectives, that’s very inspirational to me,” she told Texas Border Business.
When asked what is the most important thing to her in the whole world? She replied, “My family and my faith.” Among the important priorities as a professional, Melinda strives to understand the needs and challenges of business owners to provide the solutions they need to grow their businesses. She works to increase the knowledge and understanding of the business community and the value of a Professional Employer Organization and to provide the leadership that IBEX needs to support its growth and expansion.
Melinda is married to Eduardo Rodriguez of Kingsville, Texas and they have two children: Edward Joshua, age 19, studying Communication at UTPA; and Victoria Lauren age 7. Melinda is quickly becoming active in her community and has already been named as a member of the board of directors of the Children’s Museum of Brownsville.
Texas Border Business asked Melinda how she would want to be remembered when she leaves this earth. “I would like to be remembered in life for making a difference. I keep this quote attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Bessie A. Stanley as my inspiration towards that purpose.”
SUCCESS: To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.–Ralph Waldo Emerson – Bessie A. Stanley 1904, 1905
IBEX has the ability to serve businesses in the Rio Grande Valley and throughout Texas; for more information you can visit their website at https://www.ibexbusinesssolutions.com, or visit their office located at 805 Media Luna, Ste. 100, in Brownsville, Texas 78520. TBB
Written by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez the 2009 SBA Journalist of the Year Award Winner & The 2009 and 2012 Paul Harris Award recipient.
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