Years in Tampa Bay
Founder & CEO
What do you do?
President & CEO of MyArea Network
Why do you do it?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart, starting my own business when I was 11 years old. I was hard-working throughout high school and college where I often held 2+ jobs thanks to the influence of my military family. Prior to going into college, I took my first IT-related job in data entry and data management in the mortgage industry. With an eagerness to learn, I ended up in the design field, as a data analyst, and eventually a career with Revenue Management Solutions in data management. At RMS I climbed to a role as an IT Project Manager before deciding to follow my heart and passion as an entrepreneur, so I began MyArea Network as Co-Founder and President.
What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)
It started with a crab cake. I found myself in Maryland struggling to find the best place to get a crab cake, I started wishing there was a source that could tell me where the locals go. Since a platform of stories about local businesses written by local residents didn't exist - I built my own. I created the first MyArea Network site, 813area.com in my home city of sunny Tampa. I didn't stop there. I saw that other cities would also love a city guide like 813area.com. So I started launching platforms in other cities, and soon, there were MyArea Networks in 150 cities across the country.
What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?
Being an active part of the business eco-system is important to me, as I see so many entrepreneurs right where I was just a few years ago, and helping them find their footing is essential. As a company, we also do a lot of outreach with universities recruiting and hiring interns, providing mentorship to them. We love to work with the younger generation and provide a great working and learning environment to foster growth.
What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?
Managing people. Whether it's the employees on my team or external partners, it's important to understand the needs of others.
What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?
“Opportunities are not given, they are not earned. Opportunities are created!” This is the motto that I try to live by it every day, and instill it in every aspect of my business and personal life.