We had the good fortune of connecting with Devonna Dionne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Devonna, what principle do you value most?
Reliability. Reliability is something I value on a personal and professional level and it plays a significant role in everything I do. Marketing and communications work comes with a lot of collaboration so being reliable is an integral part of establishing trust and it brings so much opportunity. It’s like that saying, “people may forget what you said, but will never forget how you made them feel”. People never forget who they were able to depend on in times of extreme stress! With it, comes great responsibility though. I’ve had to learn major lessons on balance and I am always working on boundary setting but reliability speaks to character and often times sets me apart.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
One of the biggest things that sets me apart from others is I’m very good at many things. I credit much of that to being a millennial. We were the first generation to grow up with technology changing at such a rapid pace. We didn’t have a choice but to possess soft, hard, and technical skills. I’m still able to jump in basically any scenario, working effectively and efficiently.
I’m fairly certain without those skills I would have never finished college. When my dad was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, I was ready to drop everything to help care for him but he wasn’t having it. So, I continued school and spent countless hours up with him (usually when my mom would fall asleep exhausted), helping care for my siblings, working and going to school. The semester after he passed, I enrolled in six classes to finish bachelor’s my degree. After a wild semester of balancing grief, the six courses, a job, double pneumonia, and bronchitis— I FINISHED! I didn’t realize how overwhelming all of that was until my graduation party next spring when I was sobbing thanking everyone for helping see me through it. Receiving my bachelor’s degree in Business Management is hands down one of my proudest accomplishments.
That time equipped me with a tremendous understanding of how important compassion and empathy can be. We so often get caught up in the idea of “professionalism” without much consideration for the humans involved. Professionals are still people with a story and we never know what someone is dealing with or the experiences they may have come from. So many people granted me tremendous amounts of grace and understanding. Without it, I’m not sure I would have found success with completing goals or even healing. I am so appreciative for the people who gave me the benefit of the doubt and kept me encouraged.
The best lesson I’ve learned is no one TRULY has it figured it out. It’s okay to make a few mistakes, take a breather, and regroup. Another great lesson I’ve learned is humans are ever evolving. Our perspectives, interests, and values may change and that too is okay. Embrace it. That’s been my key to finding joy in what I’m doing and keeps me going. I have come to learn so much about myself by way of uncovering my career path. I am someone who is a big thinker but doesn’t forget about the details. I genuinely enjoy helping people find solutions, share their stories, and discover or build their brand. More importantly, I’m someone who absolutely LOVES and prioritizes connecting people to resources that help elevate them.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many family, friends, and mentors have contributed to my growth and successes. My husband is constantly hyping me up and reminding me I deserve to step into greatness. My amazing group of friends—who are powerhouses in their own right—keep me encouraged and inspired on a regular basis. Audii White of Noble Gold Events has been a great force in my event/logistics development and State Rep. Q Phipps deserves so much credit for jump starting my campaign management and communications journey!
Cate Barry Photography, Rhymes With Sky Photography