Former UHS Regent, UHD Alumna Named Among Most Admired CEOs
Houston Business Journal Honors Paula Mendoza
By Mark Kramer
Former University of Houston System (UHS) Regent and University of Houston-Downtown Alumna Paula Mendoza was named among the region’s Most Admired CEOs for 2020 by the Houston Business Journal.
Mendoza, who served as a UHS Regent from 2013 to 2019, is the Chief Executive Officer of Possible Missions, which specializes in procurement solutions throughout the United States. She earned her bachelor’s from UHD in Criminal Justice in 1995 and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 2017.
After receiving her undergraduate degree, Mendoza worked in several corporate positions before becoming an entrepreneur and founding Possible Missions in 2001.
“I took a leap of faith,” she said. “I thought that I could do this on my own and be a bigger help to small, minority-owned businesses if I had my own company.”
And succeed she has. Mendoza is well respected by her employees, who nominated her for the HBJ honor. She and 50 other recipients will be recognized in an HBJ special edition and at a virtual reception in August as part of the first-ever Business Impact Awards.
“I was honored and at the same time humbled,” Mendoza said. “It gives me a sense of worth within my company, knowing that they felt enough of me to submit my name. If your team members appreciate you, then you know you are doing the right things to move the company forward, but more importantly doing right by your team members.”
As a first-generation college graduate, Mendoza is a strong advocate for education and credits her UHD education for her success.
“It inspired me to further my career, it proved to me how important an education was, and provided me the discipline I needed in my professional life,” she emphasized. “As I completed my MBA in 2017, I can truly say that attending this program after having real-world experience made the program invaluable. It helped me understand some of the methodologies of how “Corporate America” works, it provided me with company/corporate best practices and how better to manage my workforce as well as clients.”
Since its beginnings, Possible Missions has achieved significant accolades under Mendoza’s leadership including: 2020 SBA Regional 8A Graduate of the Year, 2019 Greater Houston Procurement Forum’s Supplier of the Year, 2019 HUB/HUB Advocate of the Year Award, HMSDC’s 2019 Accountability Champion Award, HUB Supplier of the Year Alliance Award 2017, SBA’s 2014 Subcontractor of the Year, HMSDC Supplier of the Year 2012, to name a few.
Mendoza shared some words of advice for today’s UHD students as they work toward their college degrees.
“For some of our students, it may be their first time in college, some working full time (sometimes two jobs), have children, married, and student loans,” she said. “I’ve been there. Stick with it. It doesn't matter how long it takes, just get it done. An education is something that will benefit you in all aspects of your life and can never be taken from you.”
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.