2023 Fierce Winners share advice they would give to their younger selves
By Jennifer Kennedy
Greater Gainesville’s Fierce winners are strong and successful women who have each learned valuable lessons on their journeys. Three of these powerful professionals share important advice they would give to their younger selves.
Minde Prince O’Sullivan
Rex and Brody Foundation, President
After the tragic loss of her sons, Minde Prince O’Sullivan knew she wanted to honor their memories by supporting other children. Within days of their passing, she established the Rex and Brody Foundation to keep their memory alive. O’Sullivan channels her intense grief and sorrow into helping others. She makes a conscious effort to enjoy each day.
“You never know what the future will entail. Life can change drastically in a second,” O’Sullivan said. “Nothing is promised. Live in the moment.”
Her goal is to face any obstacle by staying positive and motivated. She has ambitious goals for the foundation and manages them by focusing on one accomplishment at a time.
University of Florida’s Center for Online Innovation and Production, Instructional Designer
Tammy Dygert has always enjoyed helping others identify, develop and reach personal and professional goals. She had mentors do this for her during her years in leadership roles and likes paying it forward. She has seen many women fall into the trap of feeling like they need to do it all. When she was a young professional, Dygert often felt the need to prove she was smart enough. Today, she encourages other women who are developing their career paths to lean into their authentic selves.
“Be fierce enough to show your vulnerability and have more fun with not knowing it all,” Dygert said. “Feed your curiosity because lifelong learning is a gift that keeps on giving.”
Over the years, Dygert has learned mindfulness practices and yoga to help offset unhealthy mindsets. She has taught both practices to other female leaders so they can reap the benefits of connecting with their hearts.
GrayRobinson, Attorney and Shareholder
Stephanie Marchman represents businesses and government entities statewide in labor, employment, civil rights, business disputes and Sunshine Law. She also serves as general counsel to a number of nonprofit organizations. The mother of two stays motivated by doing rewarding work and spending time with people that make her happy.
“Don’t pass up opportunities just because they’re not on your list of goals – flexibility is key and will result in a great life,” Marchman said. “Take a break, slow it down. Take a year off and explore Paris.”
Marchman understands the challenges of being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and lawyer. Her secret to success with each role is acknowledging that no one can do it all alone. She and her husband have built a village of supportive family, friends and nannies. They choose to live in Gainesville because of the wonderful quality of life.