City you live in: Phoenix
A typical day in my life includes… Running two different businesses. To me, it’s an opportunity to stay sharp and mindful about my ability to lead. I look at every day as a journey comprised of balancing thought processes of being in multiple sectors
I was born… in Bronx, NY
My favorite thing about Arizona… Opportunity. I’ve been able to serve my community and grow as a woman because of the breadth of capabilities and opportunities in Arizona.
I’m listening to…. Ella Mae, an R&B artist
My family… There’s so much love – even in the midst of pain. We know how to support each other and lift each other up. Togetherness standing side by side still happens even during the most tumultuous times.
If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be… Shirzad Chamine the author of Positive Intelligence. This is an AMAZING book, and I love the layers of understanding the ten saboteurs.
One thing I cannot live without… Fabulous shoes
When I was younger, I wanted to be… a school teacher. I spent a lot of time lining up my dolls to be my students. I feel like I am a teacher now, just in a different line of work.
I’m inspired by… great leadership, black women, tenacity, grit, resiliency, people who always see the light even when they are surrounded by darkness.
The one person who motivates me is… My little sister Deja. With her being so young, she tells me some of the most interesting facts about things that motivate me. My sister is a quiet leader. I can ask her something and she always tells me the truth. She reminds me to be a force of nature.
If I could change anything in the world, it would be… If I can change anything, it would be people’s own personal self-awareness. I believe we can bring about profound transformations in the way we understand the world around us. Being self-aware is the cornerstone of personal growth and progress. As we become more self-aware, we start to bridge the gaps between diverse communities. By looking at our biases, assumptions, and preconceptions, we become better equipped to recognize the impact they have on our own perceptions and actions. This awareness enables us to approach others and the world with more empathy, open-mindedness, and a willingness to learn from diverse perspectives.
In thinking of my equity work, self-awareness is a first step towards dismantling systemic inequalities and fostering inclusivity. It allows us to confront our privilege, acknowledge our blind spots, and understand the power dynamics at play. By acknowledging the good, the bad, and the ugly, we begin to embrace the complexities of human experiences and recognize that all perspectives contribute to our shared existence.
The perfect day would be… laying by the beach, no computer, no phone – just the sound of the ocean. I can relax and my body can be present.
My first job was… a cashier at Publix Super Market
My favorite escape… travel – when I want to shut down, I have to get away. Recently it’s been trips I can go on a weekend and come back without it being an interruption. Right now that’s San Diego, because it’s easy and still gives me peace. I don’t have to be in the water, but by the water, with great walking and great food.
My life… is filled with lots of love… many types of love I feel from people. I feel supported, there’s a lot of grace and empathy, embellishing and laughter, and most importantly, it’s the ability to be human.
I’m currently working on… my first book. It’s about my leadership journey; the untold lessons no one tells you about that can make or break your career. I’ve watched other people fail.
Always… have purpose, have faith, serve others, be a beacon of light, be something. When you serve others, make sure you have served yourself as it’s important to have a self-care routine in place.
Never… regret anything
Favorite Quote… the only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude.
Biggest Dream… to be the person I was intended to be and that I used all of the gifts I have to their best ability
My Pet Peeve(s)… stupidity
Bio-on yourself/company: I founded VerveSimone Consulting in 2014 to expand my capacity and use my influence as a community leader to impact the issues and topics most dear to my heart. Today, VerveSimone continues to lead for change as displayed by my noted leadership in the nonprofit sector with nonprofit formation and building organizational capacity from zero to scale. Such work is evident in partnership with the State of Black Arizona, Alliance for Arizona Nonprofits; and in organizing and facilitating a variety of leadership workshops focused on equity readiness, coaching and assessments that result in organizational strategy recommendations.
I have garnered numerous awards for my contributions, the most recent being named a 2023 “Titan of Industry.” I have a master’s in educational administration and supervision, and certificates as a certified nonprofit accounting professional (CNAP), nonprofit leadership and management at Boston College and University of Arizona, and equity and inclusion.