Uncovered

LEFT TO RIGHT: SHARON DIPIETRO, JACQUELINE JOURNEY, LISA LAZARUS, STEPHANIE KANTIS
PHOTOS BY CARLOS ARISTIZABAL

There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women. — KOFI ANNAN

SHARON DIPIETRO

HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE AND WHO YOU ARE TODAY? WERE THERE CHALLENGES? IF SO, HOW DIDYOU OVERCOME THEM?
WOW, this is a multi-level question that can’t beanswered in a brief statement. But I will try – I am who I am today because of the loving influences and guidance from my beloved grandmother. She literally and figuratively saved my child-life many times. Even today, I have so many “grandma-isms” that come to my mind and heart during difficult situations. Yes, there were many challenges, challenges young children should never have to face during their innocent years. My grandmother is how I overcame them; she still lives in my heart and continues to help me overcome obstacles to this very day.

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISIONS YOUHAVE MADE IN LIFE?
One of the most important decisions in my life, which guides and anchors me daily, is my commitment to my faith. This “anchor” makes each day a blessing, even during turmoil. This decision/ commitment propels everything. My next most important decision was to become Mrs. Jay DiPietro.

AS INFLUENCER, HOW DO YOU TEACH OTHERS?
I hope I influence others just by being me…by living and staying true to my values. The example one lives, leads the way they influence those around them, whether they be family, close friends or acquaintances. I have no room for self-betrayal.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU CAN SHARE THAT IS A MUST EVERY DAY FOR MOTIVATION?
Be grateful for everything you have and for the breath that you take.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU DAILY?
Making every day a new day. We write our daily life-pages with our thoughts and actions. I want all of my thoughts and actions to be with the purpose of helping others, especially the ones without a voice… our furry little ones and the children of challenging life situations. I relate to both!

WHAT IS ONE CHARACTERISTIC THAT YOU BELIEVE EVERY LEADER SHOULD POSSESS?
INTEGRITY because with integrity comes honesty and moral values.

WHAT IS THE ONE BEHAVIOR OR TRAIT THAT YOU THINK WOMEN SHOULD HAVE?
Directness without the feeling of intimidation.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE WOMEN?
Be your own best friend! Be a good listener… listen with your ears but hear with your heart. This does not mean be a soft-touch and let anyone take advantage of you. You can always hit with a “velvet-hammer.”

WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU? AND HOW WILL YOU GET THERE?
As the Chairman for Tri-County Animal Rescue, my foremost goal is our $10 Million Dollar Capital Campaign to build our Campus. It is called The Big Dig.


JACQUELINE JOURNEY

HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE AND WHO YOU ARE TODAY? WERE THERE CHALLENGES? IF SO, HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Hard work and perseverance have been two of my best allies. You can never give up. Like most people I have experienced personal, financial and emotional devastations. From major setbacks and layoffs to cancer, it has been incredibly challenging at times. Learning to accept difficult situations, making a plan and taking one step at a time towards a solution really works

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISIONS YOU HAVE MADE IN LIFE?
At a difficult time in my life I realized I was not fulfilling my own dreams and living my life to the fullest. I wasn’t happy and knew I needed a change. I decided to analyze and document the qualities and traits of some of the extraordinary celebrities and CEO’s (Oscar winners, Grammy winners, legends, trailblazers, billionaires and spectacular everyday people) Within a year I had started my own successful production company. Within three years I had fulfilled my lifelong dream of producing a feature film. (The award winning thriller, Hidden Assets, available summer 2017).

AS INFLUENCER, HOW DO YOU TEACH OTHERS?
I love working with students of all ages and try to lead by example. I have learned over the years that actions really do speak louder than words. I love to volunteer. One of the most important things I can impart is that everyone should pursue a career, a life’s work…not a job.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU CAN SHARE THAT IS A MUST EVERY DAY FOR MOTIVATION?
Believe. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? You absolutely have to believe that you can achieve what you desire. Define it. Visualize it. Be it. Don’t be discouraged by obstacles or detractors. Don’t listen to those who say you can’t. Believe you can and you will. Believe you can’t and you won’t.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU DAILY?
My friends and family inspire me to do better, be better. I try to surround myself with people who mirror my high self-expectations and believe in making the impossible possible.

WHAT IS ONE CHARACTERISTIC THAT YOU BELIEVE EVERY LEADER SHOULD POSSESS?
I believe every leader should inspire confidence. Even when you are in unchartered territory and are unsure, don’t let them know it. Have passion & a plan and stick to it. I’ve learned it is incredibly difficult to lead others when you allow them to see uncertainty in your resolve.

WHAT IS THE ONE BEHAVIOR OR TRAIT THAT YOU THINK WOMEN SHOULD HAVE?
Confidence. Too many women are unable to exude self-assurance. I’m not talking about faux bravado or being obnoxious. I’m talking about an inner strength that turns heads and ensures you are heard and respected. Real confidence radiates and allows you to feel great about yourself.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE WOMEN?
Every woman should define her standards and goals. If you don’t, you invite outsiders to do it for you. It is so important to clearly outline who you are and what you expect of yourself. What are your professional, personal, spiritual and romantic standards? Actually write it down. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to avoid unwanted situations when you commit to yourself in this way.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU? AND HOW WILL YOU GET THERE?
My book, “The Diva’s in the Details…The Celebrity & CEO inspired guide to Confidence, Courage & Style” will be out soon and I am absolutely thrilled! Releasing my first book and my first film in the same year is a little daunting (and crazy), but a thrill.


LISA LAZARUS

HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE AND WHO YOU ARE TODAY? WERE THERE CHALLENGES? IF SO, HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I grew up as the oldest and independently. I was considered a latch key child- I think my upbringing forced me to be outgoing- we moved around a lot- I learned to make friends to survive and thrive. I was also financially independent from a young age- I worked for commission in college, which taught me how important a work ethic is very early on and which I still implement today.

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISIONS YOU HAVE MADE IN LIFE?
The most important decisions were getting married, starting my own business and having children- these decisions have shaped my life for the good, bad and the ugly. Life is not perfect. I realize that by working hard to be good in all areas of my life I can make a difference.

AS INFLUENCER, HOW DO YOU TEACH OTHERS?
I teach by example and communication. I believe that hard work brings results and success. If I can help someone I will and get great joy by doing so.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU CAN SHARE THAT IS A MUST EVERY DAY FOR MOTIVATION?
I love where I live and my private morning time. I try to think positive, take the actions necessary to stay healthy and secure.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU DAILY?
My staff, my friends, family and feeling grateful for all the beautiful Palm Beach nature that surrounds me. I love to be on the water, or anywhere outside, spending time with my loved ones.

WHAT IS ONE CHARACTERISTIC THAT YOU BELIEV EVERY LEADER SHOULD POSSESS?
Integrity

WHAT IS THE ONE BEHAVIOR OR TRAIT THAT YOU THINK WOMEN SHOULD HAVE?
Confidence is key. Women need to learn to be confident in their own skin. They need to be a first rate version of themselves rather than a second rate version of someone else.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE WOMEN?
Stop overthinking… mistakes have to be made to learn and grow… You have to show up, do the work this usually turns into something REALLY GOOD.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU? AND HOW WILL YOU GETTHERE?
I have landed… I just moved here and started this lifelong dream a few years ago… Being able to shop and buy furniture and home goods that make people happy, I am truly living out my dream. I am right where I always hoped and dreamed I would be. I am blessed.


STEPHANIE KANTIS

HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE AND WHO YOU ARE TODAY? WERE THERE CHALLENGES? IF SO, HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I come from modest means – my father and mother divorced when I was young and I remember it being very traumatic. I vowed to myself that I would never let this happen to me. I would set out to achieve each and every dream and be a very independent person who would not rely on anyone including a husband. I loved art and design from early and I knew that I wanted to be a designer. I had the words: “Where there is a will, there is a way,” in everything I would set out to do.

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISIONS YOU HAVE MADE IN LIFE?
I think the best decision (over and over again in my life,) has been to always take the high road – to feel good about what I do by working hard to achieve, and in the process, never stepping on anyone to get ahead.

AS INFLUENCER, HOW DO YOU TEACH OTHERS?
I influence people to be spontaneous and courageous and to just be themselves! We live in a pretty pretentious world – and now for me being in fashion, I really see how this industry is. I like to always say that the most beautiful part of ourselves is our “true inner beings” and being true to ourselves. Be honest, good and kind to people and have gratitude. That is pure beauty!

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU CAN SHARE THAT IS A MUST EVERY DAY FOR MOTIVATION?
The one thing that I can share that is a must every day for motivation is taking time for gratitude. Closing my eyes at little moments throughout the day and thinking how grateful I am for whatever comes to my mind – and believe you me there is so much we all have to be grateful for. And doing one thing for somebody else’s life to make it better that day.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU DAILY?
Because I have worked so hard at achieving and moving myself towards success and Independence, financial security – I have always found that looking “inward” for inspiration has been my living grace. I see so many people looking out for other things to
bring them balance. That does not work.

WHAT IS ONE CHARACTERISTIC THAT YOU BELIEVE EVERY LEADER SHOULD POSSESS?
If I were to name a characteristic that I believe every leader should possess – it would be compassion. If you can put yourself in another person shoes – he will understand them better possibly from their perspective, and not just from yours.

WHAT IS THE ONE BEHAVIOR OR TRAIT THAT YOUTHINK WOMEN SHOULD HAVE?
The one behavior or trait that I think women should have would probably be confidence to be who theyare and not what they think they should be. The confidence to be real and true to yourself.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE WOMEN?
Be soft while still being strong. A woman is the soft, gentle, nurturing side of our species. There’s a time and place for when a woman hones her strength and skills in business and leadership… But there is also a time for her to be gentle.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU? AND HOW WILL YOU GET THERE?
What is next for me is to be able to really find out about the laws of packaging and materials – I want to personally have an influence in this world for lessening the waste of packaging products. If I’m going to create beautiful things in the world, I want to also keep the world as beautiful as possible exactly as it is. I would like to take part in lessening the trash for an improved and cleaner environment.