FWD Collective is excited to announce that Dannie Lynn Fountain has joined the speaker roster for our Chicago Summit on September 12th 2019!
We had the pleasure of connecting with Dannie to ask a few questions!
What does diversity, equity, and professional inclusion mean to you?
To me, DEI is the accessibility and enjoyment of all professional spaces for everyone. Oftentimes we think of diversity being a matter of color or national identity, but it includes age, (dis)ability, veteran status, sexual identity, and so much more as well. DEI, to me, is the productive and harmonious blend of persons of varying identities towards a common goal.How have you experienced and/or dealt with adversity in your professional and personal life?
I have faced a variety of adversities in my professional life, starting from a young age with my family's lack of acceptance of my sexual identity, through my traumatic adoption in high school, and even now as a multiple-minority human being navigating the corporate environment. However, I continue to see these adversities as opportunities to share more about the story of humanity. I am not a perfect person and I fail, often. My failures and my experiences with adversity serve as personal lessons for myself and opportunities for the encouragement of others.
What would be one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
Keep focused on the carrot and the stick won't hurt as bad. Sounds strange, but there are many carrots and many sticks in our lives, focusing on the carrots (the things that motivate us and keep us moving) makes the sticks (the things that want to drag us down) seem less terrible!
Name three things that you do everyday to help lead you to success.
I don't have a daily routine, primarily because my travel schedule and juggling a 9-5 and 5-9 make daily routines impossible. However, I plan my budget each month with pen and paper (and a digital spreadsheet to keep me honest), I try to read a book a week, and I prep any meals I'll be eating at home in a week on Sundays. These three things keep me sane and successful!
Who inspires your professional ambition? Why?
Cyndie Spiegel continues to be an inspiration to me throughout my professional life. She had a successful corporate career and now has a successful entrepreneurial career, all while navigating the depths and complexities of her identity. She does so with grace and power and I can't help admire the strength she brings to all situations.
What is your favorite book? Or the one you'd recommend most?
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue. Mbue is a first time author and this book tells the story of one couple’s pursuit of the American dream. The main characters move to America and the husband lands a job as chauffeur to Wall Street exec Clark Edwards in the months preceding the 2007 financial crisis. Then Lehman Brothers collapses. With Edwards’ job in jeopardy the Jonga family’s good fortune also hangs in the balance. The ensuing story offers well-rounded, realistic perspectives on the challenges they face in navigating a new country and culture. I couldn't put it down!
What are the top three things we should know about your business or company?
I have a 9-5 working at Google as an Account Representative for Search Ads 360. I also have a 5-9 as the Founder & Marketing Director of DNE MKTG. Having the two coexist is a delicate balance, but I've enjoyed getting to see them ebb and flow together, feeding off of one another. At Google, I'm focused on supporting advertisers using the Search Ads 360 platform and identifying the strongest digital advertising strategies for their business. At DNE MKTG, I'm focused on marketing through storytelling, inviting people in for conversation, versus shouting about sales and promotions at them. The two can't help but inform one another!