By: Bethel College
All hands were on deck during the week of Hacienda Mexican Restaurant’s 40th anniversary celebration, from members of the wait staff to CEO Tammy Boetsma, who attended and worked at many of the company’s daily celebrations.
It was during those events that Boetsma was reminded of how far she had come, and how much she enjoys the restaurant industry.
“It was just amazing to feel the energy,” Boetsma said. “Standing room only, but just smiles everywhere. It’s really a cool feeling, and it’s a great industry to work in. I feel like I’m back to my roots.”
After high school, she worked as a waitress for several years, before deciding to return to college in order to provide the life she wanted for her and her son. A local college gave her a call and offered her a chance to take a free accounting class. She jumped at the opportunity, and pretty soon she was working to finish a four-year bachelor’s degree (in management of finance). She completed it in just two-and-a-half years through Bethel College’s adult studies program. She walked across the stage at her commencement ceremony in May 1993.
“I pray for patience every day, but I haven’t received it yet,” she said. “I’m not really a very patient person, and once I set my mind on something, I tend to speed up the process to get results, and that’s what I feel Bethel was able to do for me in my situation.”
Additionally, the speed at which she completed her degree allowed her to sit for her CPA exam quickly, which is a testament to what Bethel helped her achieve in such a short time. It also allowed her to jump-start her career at a small CPA firm and eventually become the CEO she is today.
“All of this happened, and I feel like I couldn’t have done it without Bethel College,” she says. “I’m not saying it wasn’t a lot of hard work, but they gave me a challenge, and I accepted it and won.”
From a different perspective, Boetsma was also able to develop personally thanks to her time at Bethel, when it came to her faith. She grew up in the Catholic church, and Bethel revitalized many of the long-standing beliefs she held.
“Ultimately, it helped me to reach another goal of becoming confirmed in my faith,” she said. “I think that Bethel helped light that fire in me also. That was very satisfying. I feel like overall, I got to become a pretty regularly happy person.”