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December 4, 2020

Moms to KNOW: Joanna Gutierrez Winters | Winters Global Solutions

  1. Tell us about your boutique firm, Winters Global Solutions and how you are able to partner with and serve local businesses.

I founded Winters Global Solutions after working for many years for the U.S. Government both at the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense. Our company’s work in task force development, leadership, strategic planning and building intelligence capabilities is something that I am proud of. I feel tremendous satisfaction working with leaders and organizations who are addressing complex social issues by helping them to engage effectively and creatively in positively impacting our world. I am particularly proud of the work we do overseas in these areas.

In Tampa Bay, we focus on supporting local organizations in leadership, team building and assisting in creating collaborative organizations. My husband, a Navy Seal for thirty- three years, is sought out to speak on these topics throughout our community. I am so very proud of him and all that he does for our community, our family and our nation. We are also very committed to anti-human trafficking efforts both internationally and locally. On a local level, we work with many sectors of society, including law enforcement in this space.

  1. In what ways did you pivot and where were you most successful with your clients and your family in the midst of the pandemic this year?

Professionally, work became so much easier as soon as our clients embraced the technology. While I miss traveling, my life has become more efficient doing less of it. For our clients overseas, we did not have much of a change, as we are always using technology to our advantage. In fact, we gained a few more clients as a result of it. On a personal level, we are now virtual schooling our daughter who is in 2nd grade. It is such a joy to have her at home. I was thinking about educating her through virtual school but was afraid to take the leap, since I am juggling several balls at any given time. The pandemic forced us into that situation.

It really is a blessing for all of us. As a mother, I consider myself responsible for raising “a conscious global citizen.”  To take it a step further, I believe that raising a conscious global citizen is one of the greatest gifts we can give to humanity. Having my daughter at home and watching her grow intellectually every day is truly a gift that I am cherishing every single moment.

  1. You are also very involved with FREE Network. Tell us a little bit about how this nonprofit organization impacts our Tampa Bay community, and how the readers here can support your efforts.

I am the President of The FREE Network and am so honored to have the opportunity to give back to my community in this capacity. Human trafficking is a horrible crime that exists everywhere including in Tampa Bay. Florida is the third highest state in our nation to receive calls from the National Human Trafficking Hotline. The FREE Network is a collaboration of organizations dedicated to ending human trafficking and supporting those who have been affected by this terrible crime. Our members work tirelessly every day to address this horrific violation of human rights.

To get involved and/or learn more, please visit our website www.freenetwork.us. Here you can join our network by signing up for our newsletter, requesting a speaker for your organization/group, becoming a volunteer, member or sponsor or making a donation.

Also, on the website, please take a look at our members and all the organizations that are dedicated to addressing human trafficking right here in Tampa Bay and consider reaching out to them directly to see how you can assist. We truly believe that freedom starts with each one of us, and together, we can all make a difference in addressing this global crime.

  1. What I also love about you is that even with all you do as a business owner, a public servant, and a mother – you are also committed to a very exciting passion project with Yummy Globe. Tell us more about this and why you launched this initiative.

I love to cook, and I love food! This is definitely one of my passions. When I was comfortable enough to take my daughter to day care, I was not yet ready to jump back into work. I wanted to do something structured but fun. I always asked myself, “If I had to choose a different career path, what would I have done instead?” My answer was always: “Become a chef!” So, I decided to go to culinary school during this time. It was a wonderful experience, and I have to give so much credit to my husband who supported me through it all! We both gained some weight during this time. He ate 20 eggs (no kidding) during egg week where I had to master flipping two eggs without breaking them. It took me 10 tries. We didn’t eat eggs for two months after that! As a result of my culinary adventure, I created www.yummyglobe.com , a place where I can continue to explore my passion for food and community and share that with others.

  1. What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay with your family?

We live on Clearwater Beach and love it! I have to say that going to the beach is definitely one of our favorite things to do. I have traveled to many places and Clearwater has one of the most beautiful beaches that I have ever seen. I am especially mesmerized with our gorgeous evenings. To me, our sunsets are proof that everyday can have a beautiful ending.

  1. When it comes to what this country needs most today, your PhD focus in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies proves to be the very thing we need to restore hope and unite divisions. What piece of insight or advice can you share with us that will help mothers and business owners to prepare for the new year?

This has been quite a journey for me. For several years, I thought about getting a PhD. When I read about the program on Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies, I knew I was ready. I think I could write a book, and someday I might, but for now I created www.solveforpeace.com. My reason for this? I am learning so much on this journey and wanted to find a way to share my experience with others. My hope is that some of the strategies and insights I’m learning on managing conflict and finding inner peace will help others. I think we all need a little bit of this.

Conflict is everywhere. It is part of life, and the way we decide to view conflict has a profound effect on how we each deal with it. I encourage everyone to take a moment and think about your metaphor or image for conflict. Is it a burning building, an airplane plunging to the earth? How do you view conflict? If it’s something along those lines, I challenge you to consider viewing conflict instead as a door or a window, as an opportunity for personal growth and growth in your relationships with others. If you change/adjust your metaphor or meaning of conflict and view it as an opportunity, your mind will find ways to turn conflicts into occasions for transformation and growth.

I consider myself a peacebuilder. The thread that holds all the passions we talked about here is the idea of creating a world where we respect each other and celebrate our differences. I realize that I am not going to end all the conflict in this world, but I believe I can create some change in the environment around me. If I can at least positively touch one soul in any of my work, I am, hopefully, creating a lasting impact that could ultimately bring a little more peace to our world.

Photography by: Jessica Fredericks Photography

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