Monica Fernandes: From Portugal to the Savvy Women's Alliance Board

    [fa icon="user"] Janice Sina [fa icon="folder-open'] Featured Member

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    When I was in high school, I tripped up the auditorium steps to receive an award for gymnastics at Sports Awards Night. Since that time I’ve admittedly shied from center stage. So I have great admiration for anyone who comes up front-and-center not once, but twice in a single day. Meet Monica Fernandes, grace and bravery personified. On June 22, she was introduced as one of Savvy’s new board members. And earlier that afternoon, she was among 3,000 people becoming naturalized as U.S. citizens at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, the ceremony attended by 2,000 friends and family. A native of Lisbon, Portugal, Monica has lived in the U.S. for 24 years; she still travels to visit her family frequently.

    It is not just these singular moments where Monica shines, however. She’s been a leader in many circles for a long time.

    As Director of Organizational Development, Monica is Savvy’s newest voice of reason. Every company needs this steady presence that keeps the foundation strong and understands its inner workings. It takes compassion, business finesse, and a firm belief in the company’s mission. Monica gets this.

    Non-profits are tricky. There are guidelines to maintaining a non-profit status that many of us could trip over in our enthusiasm. “There’s a code of conduct for how Savvy’s name is used,” Monica says. “We want to be supportive [of personal endeavors] but not endorse specific products.” Monica leads us over these stumbling blocks tactfully and with integrity. Her goal is to grease the wheel of these policies so it runs smoothly into the future, even with ever-changing social media avenues. “It’s a big job.”

    If anyone can do this, she can. Monica has been a member of the Women’s Success Network since 2004, one of the oldest women’s networks in Massachusetts. She originally joined to learn how to grow her own jewelry business, and as a past Chairperson, she learned all about the workings of a non-profit, too. She has since launched a new business, Evolution Essentials, and is a doTerra Wellness Advocate. Mona trained Reiki professional. All of this has given her valuable experience. She’s happy to help Savvy’s mission.

    “I knew Kristi from way back,” she says. “Kristi has a way of honing in on people’s talents and she made me feel necessary.”

    And the fit is perfect. Nontoxic living is an essential part of her life. She says, “We can tackle our health in a non-invasive way and have control of the ingredients we’re exposed to. It’s a good feeling.” She’s always learning and finding more connections to the nontoxic network. She believes it will go global. “There’s no doubt in my mind.”

    Shine on, Monica!






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    Janice Sina

    Written by Janice Sina

    Janice Sina, former biology teacher turned veterinary assistant, observes and writes about nature, human and otherwise. She lives in East Haddam CT, where she strives to tread lightly on this Earth with her husband, her pets, and several thousand honeybees. She is currently putting the finishing touches on her first book, Songlines in the Key of B.

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