Employer: Sparked Consulting
Job title: Founder and Chief Strategist
Family: Husband, Thomas; daughter, Hatton, 4; sons, TJ and Raynor, both 18 months old; and golden retriever Jasper
Education: Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University and Master of Business Administration from UNC Kenan-Flagler
What community and professional groups are you affiliated with? Inspiration Lab, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce (board member) and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Next Generation Committee and 100 Women
What are your guiding principles? At the core of every relationship is a human being – learn from and give back to his or her humanity. Money doesn’t go beyond the grave, so don’t live for it while on earth. Play hard. Play smart. Play together. (Go Heels)
How do you volunteer your time in the community? On the entrepreneurial front, I am energized by the commitment to small business shown by Genesis Block and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. I am proud to serve as a mentor to Genesis Block incubated businesses and as a board member supporting the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. As an avid Tar Heel, I volunteer my time with UNC Kenan-Flagler as a member of the 100 Women Initiative, developed to empower female leaders in the business community and increase representation within leadership of Fortune 500 companies. As the granddaughter of an orphan who gave all he had to “the hometown that raised him,” I was taught to invest in the organizations serving on a hyperlocal level in the areas of critical need. Wilmington has some incredible organizations doing phenomenal work. Specifically, I love cheering on Communities in Schools, GLOW Academy, Reformed University Fellowship at UNCW, and Health Possible.
Who has helped you achieve success in your life and career? Nothing I have and nothing I have done (or will do) happened in a silo. I am the product of the incredible people around me. I owe a great amount of progress in my personal and professional career to my Baylor University Professors Dr. Lorynn Divita, Dr. Judy Lusk, the late Dr. Rita Purdy, Dr. Randall O’Brien and Kenan-Flagler Professors Dr. Alison Fragale, Dr. Sridhar Balasubramanian, Dr. Valarie Zeithaml, and Dr. Doug Shackelford. On the personal front, any success I’ve had is thanks to the family and friends that cheered on the failures just as much as the wins. My grandfather was my first and very best teacher. Mimi McGriff, my lifelong cheerleader, made sure I put all lessons to practice. My parents, Michael and Lynda Swann, and my Aunt and Uncle, Jo and Eddie Smith, showed me the impact of hard work alongside an unwavering commitment to family first. My cousin, Chris Smith, empowered me to choose passion over burden. In my corner every step of every adventure have been my sister, Lanier Hodgson, and my brother-in-law, Scott Hodgson. My dearest friend, Brittany Liggitt, believes in what’s possible especially when I don’t. My children keep me humble – because the minute I think I have it all figured out, they remind me I never will. With the consistent filter of curiosity and energy they offer me, all creativity, drive and possibility are a result of their vibrancy. All I do is both because and for them. Most important, my husband, Thomas Wilson. Words fall short in describing his steadfast faith in me. He wants my success more than he wants his own and has made our marriage one of true partnership. He has walked boldly by my side with the same fervor in the valley as we had on the mountaintop before it. I am better because of him.
What goal would you like to accomplish before turning 40? Within our portfolio of direct to consumer clients, I have an opportunity to steer one of my first Wilmington based clients towards expanded sales channels and significant growth. Within the next 36 months, my goal is to advance the Company and secure Sparked’s first major exit. As a two-time entrepreneur and serial dreamer, a successful exit is my most prioritized goal.
What’s your favorite book? “The One Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
What are your hobbies? When time permits, and when circumstances feel “normal,” I’m on a plane or in a car chasing mountaintops. I find inspiration and solace in rugged mountains and unique environments. More often than not, with any available window of time … we’re on the water with our family. What a gift to live by the water.
What’s your most prized possession? My children’s footprints from their respective “birth days.”
If you had a theme song for your life, what would it be? Even split between “You Say” by Lauren Daigle and “Shake it Off” by Florence + The Machine
Read More: Parker Wilson of Sparked Consulting