by Jackeline Mejias-FuertesMy name is Jackeline Mejias-Fuertes. I was once told that my name was too long and that I should shorten it if I wanted people to remember me. That made me stop and think, who am I, what have I become, and to my satisfaction I have become a woman that not only I am proud of, but my family and friends are as well. I am a person with the entrepreneurial mindset that believes “Don’t let good enough be good enough” and every day I strive to do my best no matter what the day may bring.
I am a firm believer that everyone should, at one time or another, own their own business in order to grow personally and see what one can achieve. That being said, I have been through three business ventures two that failed and one that was successful.
Like so many women my age, I have been through difficulties in life but I am grateful to say that I have learned in time that everything happens for a reason. Life’s challenges are only experiences that have allowed me to value life and enjoy every day to the fullest. All the people we meet along the way will help mold us one way or another. My experiences have allowed me to see who I truly am and how strong of a woman I am.
Although I wear many hats, most which I am extremely proud of, one that brings a great deal of joy to my life is being the regional director of the NJ Small Business Development Center at Brookdale Community College. If you ever have the chance to hear me speak – the one thing that I always state is that I love my job. As regional director, I have the honor of providing the small business community in Monmouth and Ocean Counties with assistance and a plethora of knowledge regarding the various aspects of small business development and management.
My 30 plus year career in marketing, includes being director of the circulation department for an international publishing company, assistant director of public relations for a theatre and the creation and development of my own direct marketing and list management company. Throughout my career, I have demonstrated an abiding interest in the people with whom I work with, sharing my knowledge, experience and entrepreneurial spirit. To top off my abilities, I can do it with equal facility in English and Spanish.
My passions are not limited to entrepreneurship but include youth leadership development. I currently serve as the committee chair for the Community YMCA (Teen) Young Achievers Club, where I volunteer and provide assistance as needed.
I have two strong convictions instilled in me as a child by my mother, Margarita Mejias my first mentor. First, education is the route to independence and second, as members of the community, it is our duty to give back in whichever way we can. These principles, which have help shape me into the person that I am today, have been bestowed onto the loves of my life my daughter and son.
In 2010, I was the recipient of the New Jersey Minority Achievers Award for my outstanding professional development and community involvement. I hold a BA from Hunter College, Entrepreneurship Certificate from Brookdale Community College and a MBA from Ashford University with a specialization in entrepreneurship.
When I look back at that day when the length of my name was in question, my response, if a person wants or needs to know me, they will make it a point to remember my name for it will always be worthwhile.
For more information about the New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) at Brookdale Community College visit www.mosbdc.com or call 732-842-8685.