We had the good fortune of connecting with Candace L. Strother and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Candace L., how do you think about risk?
Taking risks has stretched me beyond my comfort zone and allowed the biggest opportunities for growth to take place in my life. I quit my corporate job in 2017 to pursue the growth and development of QueenLyfe Inc. I didn’t have all the answers but I know either way something major would come out of that risk. I was able to really see what I was made of, entrepreneurship can reveal all of your grit and insecurities at the same time. I sacrificed so much by taking this risk; job security, benefits, and my social life. But I knew the sacrifice would result in either our organization’s success or my development. It totally allowed me to understand how important it is to have structures and systems in place for your business to sustain. Taking the time and risk to focus on QueenLyfe Inc. allowed or organization to impact over 7000 women nationally and internationally. It also showed me areas in which we needed to be stronger. Risk can definitely be your best teacher.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In light of recent world events surrounding racial and social injustice, I have accepted the newly created position of Director of Diversity and Inclusion with Vortex Companies. In this role, I am leading Vortex’s efforts to promote diversity in the workplace through training and education, creating an inclusive environment, and promoting respect among peers. This career pivot was not an easy decision after being the full-time CEO of QueenLyfe Inc. for the past 3 years. However, this move was very purposeful as it will allow me to incorporate some of the core values of QueenLyfe Inc. into a corporate setting. During the Houston Business Journal’s 2019 40 Under 40 Awards, I met Michael Vellano, CEO of Vortex Companies. Both Michael and I were being honored with an award and were able to build a great rapport. Fast-forward to June of 2020, Amidst the global awakening of issues concerning racism, sexism, and discrimination, many companies were working to address these topics internally. After an open and honest discussion, Mike and I both agreed that Vortex can lead by example in our industry by implementing diversity and inclusion in our culture and habits. My passion for equitable treatment for humanity and the ability to implement initiatives that promote inclusion positioned me to lead Vortex in our diversity and inclusion journey. I’ve always been passionate about mental health advocacy, and building communities in which individuals can feel safe, respected, and valued for who they are. This role allows me to truly live out my passion.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Lucy’s Ethiopian Restuarant for their exquisit foods, then we would go to the Museum of Fine Arts for the “Soul of a Nation” Exibit, CoCo’s Crepes for dessert, if we are feeling bougie, we can hit M-Bar at The Post Oak Hotel.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Everyone who has supported QueenLyfe Inc. in some capacity from our board members, volunteers/ members, donors, partners such as The Boys and Girls Club of Brazoria County, The City of Houston CMC, Dulles Middle School and Vortex Companies. These individuals, organizations have collectively contributed to the sustainability of QueenLyfe Inc.’s program and impact.
Photography: Point and Click Photography http://www.pointandclick-photography.com