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In Their Own Words

5 Successful South Dayton-Based Businesswomen Share Words of Wisdom and Optimism

Tracy Combs

Director of Nursing + National Church Residences, Legacy Village

What was the defining moment in your life that led you into the career you have today?

I remember being a junior at Wittenberg University and breaking down telling my parents I didn’t want to be a teacher; I wanted to do something in the medical field. The best part about nursing is that it combines my love and passion for the medical field with allowing me to continue to learn and educate others.

Describe a challenge that you’ve successfully overcome in your industry.

Our industry is constantly changing. As a newer nurse in a director’s role, it’s been challenging to learn all of the things they don’t teach you in nursing school; however, being flexible and on top of the ever-changing rules is why I love it.

What advice would you give to your 12-year-old self?

Say yes to the experiences, to the adventures, to the invitations. Believe in yourself! Even if it’s scary, say yes!

What excites you the most about where you’re at in your career?

Continuing to learn the long-term care industry and continuing to build relationships with my staff, residents, families and fellow colleagues excite me.

What song really gets you pumped up and motivated to seize the day?

“Shake It Off,” by Taylor Swift.

Vivian O’Connell

Development Director + United Rehabilitation Services of Greater Dayton (URS)

What was the defining moment in your life that led you into the career you have today?

My parents fostered many children throughout my childhood, and that had a profound impact on me. I always knew I wanted my career to have a positive impact on the world around me and help others.

Describe a challenge that you’ve successfully overcome in your industry.

Competition for donor dollars is a real challenge for any nonprofit organization; and finding a way to rise to the top by identifying donors’ passions is one way I’ve overcome it. I look for opportunities to engage these individuals with my mission. The impact we’re having every day on the children and adults with disabilities whom we serve fuels my commitment to making a difference.

What advice would you give to your 12-year-old self?

You only live once; make the most of this life!

What excites you the most about where you’re at in your career?

Fundraising comes in many forms, and the possibilities are endless. I hang my hat on the fact that 100% of the revenue I help raise for URS through special events, major gifts and grant writing stays in our community to benefit real people. I know we are changing lives every day, and that is what truly excites me!

What song really gets you pumped up and motivated to seize the day?

“A Sky Full of Stars,” by Coldplay.

Leah Moon

Marketing, Events and Trade Shows + Esko

Describe a challenge that you’ve successfully overcome in your industry.

Being in marketing, you learn very quickly that you need to adapt to just about anything and everything. One day you could be playing one role and the next day another. One of the biggest challenges for me was accepting that you don’t have to be everything and do everything. I’ve learned that it’s okay to delegate tasks and create a more collaborative environment.

What excites you the most about where you’re at in your career?

That this doesn’t have to be the final stage. There’s always an opportunity to learn and grow, so there’s no place to go but up!

What advice would you give to your 12-year-old self?

Be strong. Be smart. Be brave. Be you.

What song really gets you pumped up and motivated to seize the day?

“Lose Yourself,” by Eminem.

Karen Towery

Certified Emotional Polarity Technique (EPT) Practitioner + Inner Peace Connections
 

What was the defining moment in your life that led you into the career you have today?

When I was a teacher, I noticed that the students needed my emotional support before my teaching ability. Children are in an emotional crisis now; and more are taking mind-altering medication than ever, because that is the only option given to parents. EPT is an alternative to medication.

What advice would you give to your 12-year-old self?

You are absolutely beautiful. Honor your intelligence. Be true to yourself.

What excites you the most about where you’re at in your career?

Every day I am given the esteemed pleasure of healing children’s and adults’ emotional state. My clients love EPT and the freeing feeling they get from emotions that, in some cases, they never knew existed.

What song really gets you pumped up and motivated to seize the day?

“Thunderstruck,” by AC/DC.

Maureen Lunne

Realtor + Reign Realty LLC

What was the defining moment in your life that led you into the career you have today?

When I realized that “growth” and “comfort” do not coexist and that I had to step out of my comfort zone in order to achieve personal and career growth.

Describe a challenge that you’ve successfully overcome in your industry.

Defining myself differently in a saturated market helps me overcome the many challenges in real estate. Having an interior design background, I can help realize my clients’ visions and present them with the potential in a property, which can otherwise be challenging on their own. For my clients who are selling, I have an edge on helping them get their home ready to place successfully on the market.

What advice would you give to your 12-year-old self?

Don’t dwell on what could happen because of fear and self-doubt; take a chance before an opportunity passes you by.

What excites you the most about where you’re at in your career?

Being included in such a big moment in people’s lives and being part of a brokerage that donates a portion of my sales to the local charity of my choice is something different, exciting and important to me.

What song really gets you pumped up and motivated to seize the day?

Any song by Fleetwood Mac!

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