Today we’d like to introduce you to Simone D. Ross.
Simone, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up, I was indoctrinated with the idea that if I worked hard academically, went to college, and got a good job, all would be right in the world. So, upon graduating from Colorado State University, I simply sought gainful employment. I immediately went to work for a property and casualty insurance company, as an underwriter. I was making the most money I’d EVER made, so surely this career path would lead to instant happiness. WRONG! I quickly learned the importance of finding passion, and fulfillment in work. A friend introduced me to a role at a healthcare company that I might find more fulfilling. This is what began my 15+ year career in healthcare administration. Healthcare evoked passion about the disparities many communities face when navigating the complexities of the system. I fell in love with solutions building and fearlessly navigated a convoluted corporate climate. While working in healthcare administration, I successfully navigated the corporate labyrinth. Earning a seat and tables, I never thought were within reach. This rewarding, yet harsh journey opened my eyes to the rough and inequitable terrain women, especially women of color, must traverse to attain a fraction of the notoriety, respect, and compensatory earnings others receive. Inspired by my responsibility to serve as an equity catalyst, I’ve chosen to vacate the industry that raised me. In my new chapter, I’m building equitable workspaces through my work at The Riveter. I’ve also started my own firm, Simone D. Ross, LLC to bring a new voice to many of Denver’s events as an Emcee and Auctioneer. I find fulfillment in using my experience to bring voice to the importance of creating equity within corporate enterprises.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I never expected a smooth road, and my journey hasn’t been smooth. But who’s is?
I constantly remind myself that I am built for this, and possess all of the tools needed to ride the rough road, using my authenticity, passion, and love for the journey to make the ride beautiful.
My biggest struggle is buying into the false narratives I tell myself… about myself! I’m constantly working on allowing myself grace.
I’ve always felt as if I wasn’t enough. In many ways, my personal buy-in to this false narrative has driven me to achieve and has made me laser-focused on completing goals and competing with my best to be better. However, the downside is the pressure I place on myself to be everything to everyone. This is an ongoing struggle for me, because I don’t want to completely fall into the archetype of type A, highly competitive, results-driven leader… who’s lost herself along the way. But I’m proud of type A, highly competitive, results-driven leader that I AM.
As I grow and evolve as a leader, mother, friend, and all-encompassing badass woman, I’m making space for grace.
ALL women need to take time to appreciate how phenomenal they are, and focus on developing their genius; setting aside the debilitating comparisons and competition.
Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
In short, I creatively crystalize enterprise expansion through strategic development, relationship cultivation, and solutions innovation.
My genius lies in my ability to map enterprise growth and sustainability, to high yield business strategy and tactics. Startup and new business lines or product suites is my sweet spot. I love creating something out of a skeleton and positioning it to thrive.
As the District Manager for The Riveter, serving two of the newest markets, Denver and Minneapolis; I am excited to put my talent to the test. The Riveter is an extraordinary organization, we are a national membership network of community, content, resources and coworking spaces, built by women for everyone. We are built with intersectionality at our core – including but not limited to race, gender, sexuality, and age – and see a world in which equity of opportunity in work and business is not a promise, but is a reality. We are proud to center around women while being welcoming to all. We understand that equity in work won’t be realized without everyone having a seat at the table. The Riveter embodies all that I value and advocate for, and I’m blessed to be apart of this phenomenal community.
I’m also thoroughly enjoying building out my firm, Simone D. Ross, LLC. My company creates experiences that promote human thriving. I do this through emceeing events, auctioneering, and facilitating courageous workshops with corporations nationwide. Partnering with companies to uncover their operational definition of “human thriving,” has produced an awesome trend. Many companies are looking internally to better understand what equity looks like for their organization, and how they can cultivate equity on an individual and enterprise level. Consulting with companies to help them create environments that everyone can thrive in, is my personal definition of passion work, and I love it!
Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
Urie Bronfenbrenne said, “every child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her.” I had an incredible microsystem as a child, my microsystem overflowed with people who were crazy about me and I’m beyond grateful.
My grandfather was a tremendous influence on my life. He instilled in me that I could accomplish anything I set my sights on, and he also demonstrated the importance of hard work and grit. I’m one gritty, scrappy chick! I have my grandfather to thank for that.
My aunt was my long-distance super shero, she has always broken down barriers and advocated for the marginalized and voiceless. She served as the first Black Sergeant at Arms under the Regan administration, and then went on to influence ADA legislation on the Hill throughout her 40+ year career in Washington, D.C. Witnessing her relentless commitment to busting barriers serves as a constant reminder that education, tenacity, resilience, and grit goes a very long way. I’m fearless! I know my aunt’s example plays a huge role in that.
I’m an only child and was raised by my mother, this is surely a combination for success. Growing up in a single-parent home yields opportunities for creating trusting relationships with adults, navigating real-world challenges, and promotes independence and responsibility. My mother lovingly raised a headstrong, independent, street smart, creative, takes no crap – badass!
- Address: The Riveter Denver
2734 Walnut St.
Denver, CO 80205
- Email: Simone.Ross@TheRiveter.Co
- Instagram: @SimoneyD