Courtney Wise, the 30-year-old executive director of Take Care Advisor, doesn’t just focus on her own tasks, but as her position has continued to evolve, she has welcomed any additional responsibilities with a calm demeanor, a smile and a get-it-done attitude.
It’s almost 6 p.m. on a Friday and with her brunette curls perfectly in tact, Wise is hauling trash bags out the door before she escapes for a family rendezvous.
“How this part of the company does is on my shoulders in terms of business development,” Wise says. “I manage all accounts billing, accounts receivable, run day-to-day operations and I take out the trash. I used to be the cleaning lady.”
This year marks the second time Wise has been nominated as Young Professional of the Year. When asked who the ideal young professional of the year is, Wise says that it’s someone who is able to set an example to other young professionals and show what can be done here in Sarasota.
“In terms of what that person is involved in, what they are doing with their career, being a forward-thinker and being able to help others then connect with each other, it’s someone who embodies all of those really positive qualities and wants to see Sarasota move forward and succeed as a community,” Wise says.
She recalls attending a Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce luncheon for women and philanthropy, when Pam Truitt’s response to the question of how she got to where she is today hit close to home.
“She basically said that if you’re the right kind of leader, it’s not that you plan to do some of these things, but you have these certain qualities that people ask you to be part of these things and it happens organically,” Wise says. “I’ve always felt like I’ve had something to give back, and I knew I wanted something bigger. I think people saw that as I got involved in little things. I didn’t come here to say, ‘I’m going to be on the board of YPG’ — it really did happen on its own.”
AT A GLANCE
Profession: Executive director, Take Care Advisor
Business address: 3920 Bee Ridge Road, Building D, Suite 101, Sarasota
Start date: April 2008
Number of employees: Six
Biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your career: “Business-wise, it was moving back to start a new branch of this company. It was a fairly new concept compared to the home-health side. I was younger, and because I am related to the owner of company, I had to prove to the staff here that I have experience — I have gotten a degree that relates to what we do, and I, too, am an asset to this company. I also had to get this new arm of Take Care off the ground and make it profitable.”
Advice to other young professionals: “For me, one of my biggest concerns was how I was going to make my place as a young person here. I had to start fresh with all of my business contacts, and what jumpstarted my network was getting involved and joining a committee.”
Best place to power lunch: “I love Simon’s. I think it’s got kind of energy about it, especially at lunchtime.”
First day on the job: “In three weeks I made the decision while in Los Angeles to pack up everything and move back. The first day in the office, my nerves were big. A big part of it had to do with that we didn’t know what my role was really going to be. It wasn’t like somebody handed me a job description — I had to figure it out as I went along.”
If you could have any other job for the day, what would it be? “I’ve always been told, even when I was younger, that I should be a teacher. What I’ve noticed in the past couple years of working is that my favorite thing to do is train people. Looking back now, I can see where that comes from.”
Who is your business hero? “My mom (Susanne Wise). I think she’s incredible. I don’t know how she does everything that she does or remembers everything that she does. I am always impressed. I’m always interested to hear what she thinks about a certain situation and hear what her perspective is on it.”
Contact Loren Mayo at firstname.lastname@example.org.