Meet Martesha Brown, the Customer Experience Manager that oversees $1.5 million in food and beverage operations for multiple facilities throughout Rockford Park District. In addition to the significant role she plays with the Park District, Martesha serves on the Board of Directors for Harkins Community Memorial Foundation and Northwest Community Center. She also volunteers with Transform Rockford and the Rockford Park District’s Internship Steering Committee.
Soul News Network caught up with Martesha for a brief interview. Read on to learn more.
What do you believe is your role as an African American leader?
I believe as an African American leader it is my role to be a positive example for those in my community and break barriers caused by stereotypes with every interaction and relationship I develop. The definition of what is to be an African American female in society is constantly evolving. It is my role to have an impact on this organic and ever-changing definition. Additionally, it is my role to ensure that I am upholding and helping to develop others in their journey towards self-pride and confidence to become the shining light of uniqueness that God created them to be.
What is the most interesting experience you’ve had or lesson you’ve learned on your journey to be coming the leader you are today?
The most interesting lesson I have learned in my journey to becoming a leader is that the future leaders are always watching you. It requires leaders to ask themselves this question daily, “Are my actions and choices that of which I would deem acceptable for the next generation?’ I say this because everything I am is bits and pieces of leaders I have had the opportunity to interact with or watched from afar. Everything I do is looking towards the future possibilities.
As a role model or mentor, what is something you make an effort to do in your attempts to lead by example?
I make an effort to put God first and remain positive! Almost everyone has heard my favorite quote, “Attitudes are contagious, are yours worth catching”. As a mentor and role model it is important that even through struggles, I am able to see the blessings and celebrate even the smallest victories! There is always a reason to smile!
What is your dream for the local community?
My dream for the local community is a transformation of each resident and organization towards pride, partnership, unity, investment, and ownership in our community’s growth.
Outside of your own family, whom do you admire most and why?
Josh Peigh of Heartland Church. I admire him for his leadership qualities. He is such a selfless, giving, focused, and humble leader! The impact he makes through Heartland Church is phenomenal and spans amongst all races and genders.
What piece of advice would you give to a young adult in today’s society? Something you “wish you’d known when”?
The best piece of advice that I can give to a young adult is to find your passion, develop a plan, and be open to where life takes you. If you focus your efforts and talents on your passion (not just a title) you will see how the gifts you have been given will flourish; and even when your plan takes a new route, your passion will keep you going!