Wendy Karina Martinez was born in Managua, Nicaragua on January 7, 1983 to Juan Carlos and Cora Martinez. At the age of five, Wendy and her family relocated to West Palm Beach, Florida to escape Nicaragua’s political turmoil. And while she would become a proud Floridian who called West Palm Beach home, her Latina roots remained a point of pride and an important part of her identity throughout her life.
As a child and adolescent, Wendy excelled in school. She was a standout student, Student Council President and cheerleader at Lake Worth High School, an active member of her family’s local Christian church, and a loving big sister to her brother Juan Carlos Jr. Upon graduation, she took her commitment to academic excellence with her to the Honor College of the Florida Atlantic University (FAU), where she completed her Bachelor’s in International Studies. Her love of travel and curiosity about the world drove her to study abroad in Italy’s Instituto Lorenzo de Medici, an experience that reaffirmed her passion for international relations and diplomacy. While at FAU, Wendy cultivated a love for running that would remain a passion of hers for the rest of her life. She would go on to run five marathons and three half-marathons, all that while encouraging friends and family to pick up the sport and guiding them through their training and their early races.
At the age of 23, Wendy moved to Washington, DC to pursue a career in international public service. In her first four years in Washington, Wendy supported transparent and democratic elections around the world as a specialist at the Organization of American States (OAS). She went on to complete a Master’s in Latin American Studies at Georgetown University’s prestigious Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, during which she worked as a graduate intern at the United States Agency for International Development’s Human Rights Program. Upon graduation, Wendy’s passion for Latin America motivated her to accept a position with EDF Communications, one that would take her to Bogota, Colombia to promote US-Colombia business ties. This same passion landed her a position at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in 2013, where she worked for three years to foster strategic partnerships with governments, Fortune 500 companies, and other actors as a means of advancing development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Though Wendy was thriving in the industry she loved, she believed wholeheartedly that “life begins by stepping outside of your comfort zone.” It was with this mantra in mind that Wendy left the international relations sphere to pursue a career in the uncertain but exciting world of startups. Beginning as a client success specialist at FiscalNote, a quickly growing software, data, and media company, Wendy’s zest for hard work and personal growth quickly propelled her into a new position – that of the company’s first-ever Chief of Staff. In this role, Wendy fused her commitment to FiscalNote’s continued growth with her longstanding love of giving back, encouraging the company to give back, and helping leadership carve out a model of corporate citizenship that would later become a key part of her legacy.