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Sharon Parker, Maryland AMI President's speech

Interview with Sharon Parker, Maryland AMI President

May 30, 2024

Headshot of Sharon Parker, Maryland AMI President

This interview provided by Copa Style Magazine:

By Rodney Wayne Branche
Copa Style Magazine Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Copa: Sharon, where are you from?

Sharon:
I’m from Calvert County, Maryland. It’s about 15 minutes from Soloman’s Island, it’s 45 minutes from Washington, DC.

Copa: What schools have you attended? 

Sharon:
I attended and graduated from Calvert County High School, after graduation I started to work for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, afterwards I enrolled in the University of the District of Columbia.

Copa: Have you always been a great communicator and great with people? If so, where did it all begin?

Sharon: I’ve always been a free spirited person, so prior to getting into my professional career. I would say that that I loved to have fun with others and party. I come from a large family of 12 children, I’m the 3rd from the youngest. With that being said I have always been a happy go lucky person when being with my family because there were many of us to communicate with. I didn’t need too many friends because I had many sisters and brothers. Because of this experience I love to be out in the public to engage with people so yes, I’m a people person from the heart.When it comes to business I have to give extra because my platform builds synergy, it’s all about making great connections.

Copa: Please tell us about your platform message.

Sharon: First I have to go back into time. As I mentioned before, I’m from Calvert County, Maryland and there African Americans make up 64% of the population in 1982, now it’s only 13%. With that being said, there many challenges as it relates to power, growth and education in that area. The great thing about being ‘country’ is that my family grew their own food and raised animals to make things work. They were considered to be ‘Old School’ entrepreneurs. Self love started with me from my ancestors, it was about understanding the valued connection being with your family. It’s very important to understand how one could be able to overcome challenges so  the next generation would be able to benefit from their struggles and their labor more effectively. So I would say that I am definitely a product of these experiences.

You’ve heard of ’40 acres and a mule,’ my family had that and have still today. We were the first to have electricity in Calvert County. I wanted to go out int the world and love myself unconditionally and teach others to love themselves and make some connections. I started it with and organization called ROASA, which was started back in 2008 to connect with phenomenal women in the community and be a great example for the next generation. So I had to put the work in and get out there and create great effective African American roadmap programs. How do I go to the word and tell the story of how I was able to love myself unconditionally, and also teach the next generation to love themselves. The love was all about sharing my story with professionals and today’s leaders .

Sharon Parker, Maryland AMI President's speech

Copa: Let’s take a little time to talk about your interesting book “True Synergy Works-Leading From Within…Seven Defining Principles of Knowing Self to Birth Greatness”

Sharon: The”” book started when me talking about the last 10 years of my leadership skills in the DMV. It talks about the different people I’ve been blessed to have connected with. All of these individuals have served in the community over the years. I was important to write about my journey to share important information about my experience that I’ve shared with you earlier in the interview. After I found my gift of project management I was able to get out and connect much more effectively to bring people together and help share their stories. The book also has many African American quotes in it from several leaders from across the country. Now I’m happy that I can share this wonderful book with the world!

Copa: How would you describe yourself?

Sharon:
I’m going to start with the fact that I’m a mother, a grandmother, and a servant leader. I believe these make up the core of who I am. My professional journey is that I’m a public servant of the Department of Housing and Urban Development for 33 years. I’ve been working in the field of Project Management for the last 16 years. People like to place you into certain categories. I’m more than a speaker, more than an author or a president of an organization. I guess one could say that I’m all of these things wrapped up in one. My job is to make sure we can bring in a positive change. 

I’m the President of the Maryland Association which is called American Mothers Inc. Also, I serve a president of an organization named ROSA. For 10 years I’ve been with ROASA, since 2008. I’ve been with AM Inc., since 2012. With all of these collaborations I’m bringing all of my skills to make a difference. I’d like to fill these connections to impact change.

Copa: Please tell us about some events that you’ve been a part of.

​Sharon:
 The event was called A YearUp Program. This is where students from 18 to 25 years of age will be part of a career development platform. After the 6-week program they will have an opportunity to work in actual jobs. I’ve spoken at this event in Arlington, Virginia and there are others that I had a spoken to on my Leading Within platform to several leaders in the community. The 7th Annual Leading Within conference on December 13th and 14th in Washington, DC. in L’Enfant Plaza at the Washington Hilton Hotel. The purpose of this conference is to bring out leaders in the community to share their stories of struggle and how they overcame them to become successful leaders in today’s society. The goals were to have the youth at the table so they can hear these stories first hand so they will be able to follow in the footsteps of those who paved the road before them. Appearing a this annual conference will be Sylvia Traymore Morrison, the first African American Impressionist who came up with the name of the ROASA organization with other guest speakers. Commissioner Barbara Dunn and Gayle Prowder will be our Keynote speakers who will be sharing several topics, including her platform “One Sexy Wife”. We wish to keep our young adults and elders connected, and the Book “True Synergy-Works Leading Within.” True Synergy Works is building those true connections of those who wish to serve those in need. “Leading Within” is about those who work behind the scenes to build the right connections.

Copa: What does the future hold for Sharon Parker?

Sharon: That’s a good question. I thank God for helping me come out from being an introvert stage to get into an extroverted mindset so I could move forward to share my story by speaking in public, developing workshops and organizations. God has helped me develop a great coaching program, Leading Within Through Project Management. Since I received my certificate I’m now able to teach others with my vast experiences. So I turn their dreams into effective projects. Initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling their projects.