Everything started for me with a simple yes. One simple yes propelled my career from an Assistant Director at Safe Schools South Florida, to City Commissioner and Vice-Mayor, to today, the Director of Talent Operations at Jackson Health System.
I first said yes when I started Miami Dade College. I benefited from affordable courses, flexible schedules and the ability to connect with the community. But MDC also trained me to think strategically and collectively – two skills needed for the next phase of my career.
In 2012, I was elected City Commissioner and Vice-Mayor for the city of Aventura. Growing up in the area since the age of 12, I witnessed the demographic slowly shift from retirement-aged residents to younger adults. When I was 21, I was determined to find a way for both groups to find value in Aventura. That’s when I decided to run for office. That’s also how I became the youngest, openly gay, elected woman in our country (at the time). Imagine, a young, openly gay woman walking into a conservative community saying she wanted to shake things up a bit? I did just that. And we were still able to maintain a low tax rate while attracting great new business that appealed to a younger crowd.
Today, I am still living off a simple yes. Saying yes has taken me on a journey of self-discovery. On that road, I found a sense of responsibility to help others succeed. It has become my life’s work and why I’ve dedicated my career to serving my community.
As told to and written by Janee’ Brown, MDC Alumni Relations Officer
SharkTalk by MDC Office of Alumni Relations showcases stories of MDC alumni and their accomplishments.
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