In our cover story on Island TV co-owner Tamara Rodriguez, one of the most remarked upon exchanges happened at the end of the article:
“How do you manage to wear so many hats and do it with such seeming ease and grace?,” SFBW editor-in-chief Drew Limsky had asked.
“I think I’m very driven,” was Tamara’s response. “The people around me are driven—my husband, my father, my family. I also think I’m very well surrounded. We have two teenage daughters, and my husband supports what I do; he helps me. So, in order to have this interview with you, he has to go pick up the kids, so choosing a partner who encourages and supports me is also really part of the strategy. I think it’s important to think about that. I tell young women that all the time: You have to think about somebody who you’re going to be with who supports what you want and supports your passion.”
Being “well surrounded”—quite an evocative phrase.
And choosing a life partner with care struck a chord with the audience at the Tower Club.
When Tamara’s husband Richard Rodriguez joined his wife onstage, it was clear that their relationship is a love match as well as a fruitful professional partnership. (Richard is the president and CEO at Centuric, a global leader in technology services; Tamara serves as CFO.) The two spoke of the importance of offering each other advice, of always having a mentor in the house, of having each other’s backs.
Tamara, who was born in Haiti to a family of entrepreneurs in shipping and hospitality, was candid about the racism she faced when she came to the U.S. as a teenager. She was equally unguarded about the slights she continues to experience as part of an interracial couple, sharing that, in public, strangers will sometimes assume that she is the babysitter—rather than the mother—of her biracial daughters. And Richard spoke movingly of wanting his daughters to emulate their mother’s determination and independence.
The evening demonstrated the best of SFBW: not just connecting, but connecting in an authentic way, by sharing—and really hearing—each other’s stories. Of course, the event wouldn’t be possible without the help of our generous sponsors: Transworld Business Advisors and Truist. Their unwavering support enables us to forge meaningful connections with the South Florida business community we proudly serve.