- Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Detroit but have lived in Miami since I was a toddler. Miami is my home.
- What was your dream job as a kid and why?
I considered following in my parents footsteps and pursuing a career in medicine as a way to help people, but that came to a quick end when I realized I couldn’t stand the sight of blood or needles. Seriously, I don’t think I ever was fixed on a dream job but I did know, however, that whatever I did had to involve the ability to help people.
- How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way?
Having been raised by a single mom who was a nurse-turned-entrepreneur, I credit her determination, hard work and sheer grit as having a strong influence in my life. She embodied one of my favorite quotes – “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. Additionally, throughout my career, I have been lucky to have many mentors that took an interest in my personal and professional growth;
I credit them with challenging and inspiring me.
- What you would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date?
I believe in the value of the journey as the teacher – and not the destination. So, I am proud of every step, and detour, that has brought me to this moment in time. However, if pressed, what I have found most rewarding has been the ability to make positive contributions to this community I so love.
- What’s your secret for success?
Tenacity, hard work and drive – all attributed to my mother’s influence. Support from my family and friends, good follow-up skills and a little bit of luck haven’t hurt either.
- Who are the mentors that stand out to you the most?
I have been fortunate to have strong mentors throughout my career – peers and executives that have taken an interest in my personal and professional development. In my first job straight out of college, a senior project manager, a peer and colleague, “took me under his wings” and showed me the ropes in what was still a male-dominated Bell system; it may not sound like much but as a 23-year old leading a team of tenured staff, his guidance was life-saving! Additionally, during my long career at Bank of America and its predecessors, I worked with many amazing leaders many of whom I learned from but two, in particular, will always have a special place in my heart going out of their way with advice, guidance and opportunities. They will forever be family.
- What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Over the years, I have come to understand that there is not one singular leadership style that is most effective. At the end of the day, I think authenticity is key as are leading by example and empowering your team to drive for results.
- What is one thing that not many people know about you that may be surprising?
Because of my long career at Bank of America prior to joining United Way, most people assume I come from a finance background which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Not having ever underwritten a loan or even opened a checking account, my work in financial services was always within the marketing and brand management arena. Moreover, I find that most people are surprised to learn that my undergraduate degree was in industrial engineering – skills I have been able to transfer to every role I have had during my career.
- How do you disconnect/what do you do for fun?
I love to travel and discover other places, near and far, and other cultures. On a more routine basis, I love escaping into a Zumba class enjoying great music, dance and friends.