Known for her expertise and extensive analysis and research skillset, Jolanta leads the publication of countless highly topical reports and local and national thought leadership white papers. She is also frequently featured in many news outlets for her market knowledge. For her industry success, her community work and other qualities, Jolanta has been recognized as a Women of Influence Award winner by the San Diego Daily Transcript and a Women of Influence Finalist with the San Diego Business Journal. Here we get a moment to talk with Jolanta to learn a little more about her, as we kickoff our celebration of Women’s History Month.
1) What does Women’s History Month mean to you why is it important that we celebrate?
I am writing this on March 3, 2020 - the Presidential Primary Election Day – and the first thing that comes to my mind is the right to vote. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote, a right known as women’s suffrage, and was ratified on August 18, 1920, ending almost a century of protest. And while it has been 100 years since then, we can’t forget for a second what women had to endure and how long they fought to be granted the right to vote—a right it seems we too often take for granted with some not caring enough to exercise. We must continue to celebrate and honor these critical historical achievements and the women (and men) who were brave enough to make them happen, and we must always take the opportunity to exercise all of our rights as equal citizens.
2) Political and or personal views aside, who is a public woman figure (past or present) that you model yourself after and or hold deep admiration for? And why?
Oprah Winfrey. I have spent countless hours watching Super Soul Sunday and expanding my mind – all thanks to Oprah. Thanks to Oprah, I have been exposed to so many outstanding books that have helped me to become a better version of myself. She encourages all of us to take personal responsibility for our lives and to improve the world. Her consistent message - everyone has a story to tell - is a daily reminder to write my own story, take responsibility and be myself. Everyone else is already taken.
3) What does it mean to you to empower women?
To me it means empowering women to express themselves, make decisions about their lives, exercise their choices, to make things happen, to dream, be happy and become the best versions of themselves along the way.
4) What are some of your favorite enjoyable hobbies outside the office? And which ones do you find help balance or propel you forward as a professional? How or why?
Running has been my hobby since 2004. I joined a running club when I moved to San Diego to meet people and learn more of this great and beautiful city. Twelve full marathons and 58 half marathons later as of today, I can’t imagine my life without those inspiring people I have met during my adventures in running.
Training for and successfully completing a full marathon will change anyone. You learn so much about yourself during the journey and the values and principles it takes to finish, including discipline, commitment, overcoming obstacles, endurance, mind over matter, teamwork, running alone for four hours and controlling your mind while at the same time pushing and helping one another during the course of a long race. All of these same values and principles I apply to my running are also applicable to any day at work, and have taught me to be a better leader as well as team member
5) What is something you have never done but would really like to do in your life?
It is on my bucket list to do a 100 day around-the-world-cruise once I have the luxury to take three months off to travel. Those who know me well, know I don’t like to waste time. I think it is the most efficient way to experience the world in such a short time, visit 100+ exceptional destinations in 40+ countries and make new friends along the way. We may feel more safe and secure in the bubble of our everyday habits and routines, but for me, after a while boredom also tends to set in until trying something new. As the famous quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes states: “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions”. I couldn’t agree more.
6) Jolanta, you have a daughter, what are some things (or advice) you do that you feel helps encourage her to be successful in whatever she does?
I let my actions speak louder than my words. I have learned the hard way that what I say is not nearly as important than what I do in front of her. She has been calling me out since she started to talk. I encourage her to try new things, explore before making any long-term decisions. I encourage her to read and learn and have fun in the process. If I can teach her to work harder on herself than on anything else (school, work etc.), my work is done. Ten percent of anyone’s annual income must be invested in self-development. When you know better, you do better.
Quick Word Play (choose one):
BEACH or Snow
BOOK or Movie
PLANE or Train or Automobile
DOG or Cat
CHESS or Checkers
CARTWHEEL or Somersault
Soup or SANDWICH
Singing or DANCING
Skydive or BUNGEE JUMP
DEEP INTO SPACE or Deep into the Ocean
CD or Vinyl Record