Wendy Padilla


Wendy Padilla is a mother, gardener, outdoor explorer, and experienced office manager and executive assistant. With her passion for equity, Wendy has a long-term goal of opening more opportunities for women — especially women of Latinx background — in the North Carolina construction industry. Driven by her strong work ethic and ability to work independently, Wendy has been lauded by her supervisors and peers throughout her career for being organized, diligent, self-motivated, and thoughtful in her work.

Most recently, Wendy worked at Shapes Construction in Hillsborough, where she was a virtual assistant/office manager working directly with the company owner. Her responsibilities included managing billing and accounts payable, human resource functions (e.g., payroll, employee onboarding/offboarding), and interfacing with subcontractors on client job sites.

Prior to that, Wendy spent four years as the front office administrator at Central Park School for Children in Durham, where she reshaped and expanded the traditional front-office role by establishing compassionate and caring relationships and leadership among the CPSC community of educators and staff peers. During the height of the COVID pandemic, Wendy leveraged her bilingual background (Spanish) and empathetic leadership skills to work closely with students and families in the school’s Latinx community to share information, provide support, and act as a conduit to various resources inside and outside of the school.

Wendy’s passion for outreach and compassion for others guided her to found Sunflower Turning Nonprofit, Inc., which is a North Carolina-based not-for-profit organization focused on inspiring, educating, and empowering communities to grow their own food. She and her partners have made it their mission to fight food injustice and are a trusted Triangle-area resource working across socioeconomic lines for a more sustainable future for everyone.