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Erika Summers finds happiness and success in doing what she loves

Erika M. Summers (Photo credit: Nick F. Nelson)

Occupation: Vice president of corporate events at Ariel Investments LLC. She is responsible for the planning and execution of all corporate events, including the Black Corporate Directors Conference, an annual gathering of Black directors serving on Fortune 500 company boards. She also manages her own boutique private event planning company, ESP Event Architects.

As a Black woman, what do you consider your superpower to be? 

My superpower is perseverance. I always find a way to tap into the place of grace that gives me the mental strength to push past any perceived weaknesses.   

What key skills or qualities make you unique as an African American female leader?

An extraordinary event planner has extreme patience and the ability to think quickly and solve problems under extreme pressure. I put out fires for a living.

If you could thank any Black woman history maker for her contributions to society, who would it be and why?

I’d thank Shirley Chisolm for having the courage to be first during a time when we were considered second-class. She was the first Black woman elected to [the] U.S. Congress and the first Black major party candidate — man or woman — to run for president of the United States.

What are three success habits you implement into your daily routine to maintain your success and sanity? 

I recite scriptures and affirmations daily, I do visualization, and I check my credit score … every single day.

As a successful woman in business, what is your greatest or proudest achievement?  

I draw on my experiences and expertise to ensure the events that I am responsible for are successful and the attendees have meaningful and memorable experiences. I have found success in being able to do what I love every day.