2016 Most Influential Women Honoree: Ruby Martinez
Ruby Martinez is a global citizen who has injected energy into the Branson community and far beyond with her business acumen and focus on improving the lives of others.
Martinez, a native of Taiwan, is the vice president and co-owner of Branson-based health care product company Tuning Element LLC. She runs daily office operations for the business that has 30 employees and 150 dealers in the United States, Canada and Denmark.
Martinez handles product pricing and development, sales channels, customer service and technical strategies. She moved to the United States in 1997 after working for seven years with a company where she led a department staff of over 100 retail stores in China, employing its sales strategy.
Martinez, who taught herself English after her move to the states, says that initial business experience solidified a confidence in herself that continues today.
“Often, during that era in China, women were not viewed as equals or people who can achieve great things professionally. But my father instilled in me that I was equal to anyone else, and hard work is how you achieve your dreams,” she says.
Because of her background, she says she identifies with women and those wanting to prove their worth.
“If I see you’re willing to work hard and want more for your life – [that] you’re ready to make that change, then I will find the right place for you in my company,” she says.
Launched in 2009 with her husband Sean Martinez, Tuning Element utilizes a proprietary process to infuse energy into metal it uses in its products. That process is designed to give wearers of its bracelets and patches more energy and an enhanced ability to fight pain via what is dubbed “sympathetic resonance.”
“We’re starting our fourth resonance project now,” Sean Martinez says of the couple’s work with Missouri State University biology professor Paul Durham.
But for Ruby Martinez, innovation at Tuning Element is about more than improving the bottom line. The company’s growth has allowed her to support her true passion: ministry work.
“I’ve been working with Jesus Was Homeless’ Jobs for Life program to mentor women facing addiction, histories of abuse and self-esteem issues to build the skills and self-worth required to find meaningful employment,” she says. “By working with these women, not only are their lives being improved, but my home community is, too.”
Martinez also works on behalf of others who live far from the Ozarks. Last year, she began building an orphanage in the Philippines after seeing children raising children on a mission trip. She’s also bringing clean water to people in Tanzania.
“Our first well has been finished, and we are continuing with one a year,” Martinez says. “This project takes more leadership than anything else I’ve done. Finding the right people with the skills we need to bring water to a place that doesn’t have electricity was a challenge – a challenge we overcame.”
An ongoing motivation for Martinez is helping women realize their potential.
“I know what it’s like to have little and have to step up at a young age to support your family,” she says. “I also know how a willingness to work hard and a belief in one’s self can accomplish any dream.”