What is your occupation and academic background and how did you come to work in this field?
My name is Wanda Tima-Gilles and I am the Owner/CEO of L’union Creative LLC. CEO the culture, society and entertainment site Lunionsuite.com, Owner/Writer of The Haitian American Facebook Fan Page and as of September 24th, 2015 the owner of the new Haitian Business Directory LunionHaitianpro.com.
I’ve always been in love with pictures, , storytelling, digital media and the entertainment industry for as long as I can remember. I graduated from Bethune-Cookman University with a degree in Mass Communication. In undergrad I did everything I could to get as much experience as possible learning digital media and marketing. In college I worked for the school television station as a reporter, I created a weekly relationship radio show and worked with various entertainment companies like Daytona and Orlando’s WESH-Channel 2 in and interned with BET and their Spring Bling spring break event.
What is the biggest challenge of your work?
My biggest and most rewarding challenge is staying true to my visions pushing my projects whether people are on immediately on board on not. Four years ago when I launched Lunionsuite.com many people said it wouldn’t work, no one would pay attention and no one cared about Haiti. 4 years later we have over 100,000 followers and subscribers between the site and our social networks.
Identify one or two of your proudest achievements?
The last 4 years have been nothing but one notable achievement after another. My proudest achievement was being invited to cover Showtime’s recent Floyd Mayweather and Andre Berto boxing match. I started my site as a hobby before it turned into a business and sitting in a media room amongst ESPN, Washington Post, New York Times and other leading publications was a very proud and self-assuring moment for me. The week reminded me anything is possible and my 14 – 18 hour workdays in front of a computer is worth it.
What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?
There are so many incredible people who are doing inspiring work and I’m so happy to be apart of a generation of Haitians and Haitian-Americans doing great work for our country. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to continuously connect with Haitian leaders like Digital media maven Karen Civil, Fiat Chrysler head of design Ralph Gilles or Jean Paul-Laurent of Unspoken Smiles who are not just at the forefront of their career field but blazing a trail for others with their work.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In 10 years, I see L’union Creative being one of the leading Haitian digital media companies in the world. I want to create more new and innovative ways to connect Haitians all over the world. I want to start a non-profit and create computer resource centers located within recreation center to provide free digital learning resources for center members for in Cap-Haitien for the digital lovers of tomorrow.
What would be your advice to young people who want their careers and lives to have impact?
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. – Maya Angelou Pick a career you’re passionate about that doesn’t feel like work. Believe in your vision and stay true to yourself.
Did you have a mentor or do you mentor someone else? How has that experience changed you?
In college I had a few professors who were instrumental in guiding my goals and ideas. I wouldn’t say I have a mentor but being an entrepreneur I’ve learn to have a team or a people who serve different purposes in my life. I have a few experienced professionals in my field I call for professional advice, my husband and family are my support system; my mother is my spiritual advisor, and my best friends are always there to go over ideas, projects and help me when I need to make a decision.