Friday, April 18, 2014
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RTC Blog

11 Phenomenal Women, 11 Empowering Tips

What better way to celebrate Women's History Month than to honor the women behind the mission of Rising Tide Capital? We asked the ladies of RTC to share the most meaningful lessons they've learned along their respective paths, and were so inspired by what they had to say. Here's hoping their tips will keep you motivated on your own journey to personal success!

  Alfa Demmellash
Chief Executive Officer/Co-founder
Let's face it, in order to be successful in your career, it's going to take a lot more than your own hard work. You will need people to help you along the way – friends, colleagues and mentors. Every successful person out there can think of people – not just one – that helped them along the way. The problem is that we often don't like to ask people for help because we are afraid of offending them or having them say yes out of a sense of obligation. However, my one advice is to develop a boldness and take the risk to ask for something – be it advice or a connection to someone or help getting something. You would be surprised by how often the "yes" supersedes the "no" you are afraid to hear.
  Seedra Enver
Fundraising and Development Assistant
"Don’t put the keys to your happiness in someone else’s pocket. All too often we let  the people around us or society tell us that we won’t be happy until we’ve achieved a certain position or until we look a certain way or until we’ve amassed certain things/make a certain amount and we forget that happiness emanates from within. It is a conscious decision you have the ability to make at any time. It is a moment where you look around at the blessings you have and appreciate the love of those close to you and decide to be happy because there are those out there with far less. It’s not your status at work or the pay check that will make you happy…it’s YOU."

A Few Thoughts on International Women's Day

I’ve always been an idealist. It’s difficult for me to see what I think of as symptoms of deep-seated problems in our society, and feel powerless to make a difference. This is why when I worked as a teacher in my native Trinidad and Tobago, and in the Juvenile Justice System in the United States, I felt drained and depressed. It was as if I was putting the tiniest band aid over some of society’s most gaping wounds. And it was painful for me to be part of systems that seemed to leave many vulnerable people, most of them women, behind.

I AM My Mother's Daughter

I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for my mother, Priscilla Lane Odoms.

She moved from Vivian, West Virginia to build her life in Jersey City, New Jersey, and was an extraordinary woman with a heart full of gifts.  A hard worker who dedicated her life to her family, my mother held a job after graduating high school and provided not just for her eight children but for others as well. Without asking for anything in return, she kept our door open to those who needed a place to stay because she did not believe people should be homeless. She never complained, she never asked for anything in return, she just made sure everyone was comfortable.  She cared for others with open arms and an open heart.

Making my Heroes Proud

Being raised by a young, single mother in Brooklyn, NY definitely made a major impact on my life.

I often accompanied her to work when she didn’t have a baby sitter, and I was able to see exactly what it took to support us on a daily basis. During the day she worked in the financial districts in downtown New York City with major banks such as HSBC and CITI; in the evening she worked at a hair salon. I watched as she came home exhausted each night, but still managed to prepare a home cooked meal for me every night.

This is when I realized how love, passion and drive can impact someone’s life. She instilled those same principles into me. “Work hard to become something better than I am and love what you do.” Because she worked long hours most nights, I learned to become independent at a young age.

"I Am, Because He Was"


"Always look forward, and never look back.  Life is about taking chances; you're going to be faced with challenges until the day you leave this earth.  You just have to keep fighting.  It'll be okay, one way or the other."
Ronald Lavington

For Black History Month I was asked "Who is your hero?"  The answer to that question is quite easy. It’s my father.  I am who I am today personally and professionally, because of the many lessons he taught me.

“Hard work won’t kill you”
As a child I remember getting up early Saturday mornings so we could wash his car.  Back then they didn't have those humongous vacuums they have today to make the job quick and easy.  We basically used a miniature wisk broom, and I would be pouring with sweat while sweeping the car rug. I'd be sweeping, and dust would be all in my face, my little arms would be hurting, and the dirt seemed to never get over that upward arch in the car.

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