OCTOBER 14, 2013 » INSIDE BUSINESS » S25
T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Rhonda A. Stewart, 35 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE VILLAGE AT WOODS EDGE At work I manage the operations of a senior living community that provides both independent and assisted living services. As the executive director, I get to be involved in every aspect of the business, focusing on strategic planning, customer service delivery, marketing strategy, budgeting and health care oversight. Home and family Suffolk; husband, Steve; and dogs, Asa and Lucy. Volunteer activities I serve on the boards of Bronco Federal Credit Union and the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce. I am a member of the Franklin Rotary Club and serve as the fundraising chair. Balancing time Planning is how I maintain balance. Of course, life is unpredictable, and being flexible is equally important. Choosing organizations I like to volunteer for organizations whose services directly impact the community where I live and work. I also want to know my work will make a difference for the organization. Advice for young people Be committed. Learn everything you can to become an invaluable member of your organization. Also, don’t feel entitled to receive something you haven’t earned.
Proudest accomplishment Developing the business plan to obtain funding for a memory-care addition at The Village. The Franklin/Southampton community does not have this level of care available today. When The Village’s addition is complete, families will no longer have to make the difficult decision to move a loved one outside of their local community because the service isn’t available. I’m proud my work will make a difference in the lives of those impacted by dementia. Professional goal in five years To have a positive impact on my organization by identifying the next growth opportunity in senior living for my community. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads Traffic. Dream dinner party Definitely my husband and close friends. Since it’s a dream, I would include Tina Fey, Oprah Winfrey, the late Nora Ephron and Tim Russert, Gov. Chris Christie, Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Cuban and Phil Jackson. Downtime Spend time with my husband and dogs, exercise, read and go to concerts. What really gets under my skin? Dishonesty.
Tamikia C. Vasquez, 34 VICE PRESIDENT, COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS, UNITED WAY OF SOUTH HAMPTON ROADS At work I act as a liaison between United Way and our network of partner agencies. I am primarily responsible for the oversight of UW’s grant-making process. We raise more than $18 million and support more than 100 programs. Home and family Virginia Beach; husband, Daniel; and a Maltese dog named Pebble. Volunteer activities My recent volunteer activities include involvement with several organizations including Wave City Care, fundraising auction volunteer, school makeovers and food distribution events; Hampton Roads Conference for Girls & Young Women, presented by ODU’s Community Development Corporation, Steering Committee member; Clear Channel Communications Local Advisory Board; City of Virginia Beach Community Organization Grants Committee; Wave Church, Host Team Leader; 2010 Graduate of LEAD Hampton Roads. Balancing time It’s important to set priorities and to understand that you can’t do it all. You must operate out of a place of strength and not weakness. There will be times that I have to say no to things or take a lesser role to do all things well. Choosing organizations My volunteer activities reflect the things that are important to me: my faith, inspiring young people and a commitment to building a better community.
Advice for young people Be willing to accept coaching from more-seasoned professionals and understand you won’t always have all the answers. It’s OK to ask for help. Proudest accomplishment I am proud of my educational achievements. I have a master’s degree from Regent University. I grew up in Mississippi, raised by a single mom. Unfortunately, many people with my background aren’t able to overcome these circumstances. Professional goal in five years I envision myself continuing to make a difference in the community. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads I would create one city known as Hampton Roads. I think we could accomplish so much more as a region if we were one city instead of many. Dream dinner party Serena and Venus Williams and Condoleezza Rice. Downtime I enjoy playing tennis, watching HGTV, traveling with my husband, attending the many festivals Hampton Roads has each year and staying active in my church. I also enjoy spending time with my twin sister and my baby niece. What really gets under my skin? Complaining. I generally try to make the best of all situations.