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Conversations with Tyniece Wingfield

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tyniece Wingfield, a.k.a. Tyniece J.

Hi Tyniece, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My journey is a bit threefold. I often consider myself an “employedpreneur”. I have been fortunate enough to work in the mental health industry collectively for about 15 years. I’ve been working as a freelance event planner since 1998 and in 2015 I decided to start my own business officially planning events, inclusive of marketing, and media. As for my occupation, I landed my current role as a case manager because a friend of mine recommended this position to me. At the time when I took on the position, it was never my intention to stay. My life basically had hit rock bottom due to some poor decisions I had made and some bad advice I had received when I bought some real estate.

I was familiar with some aspects of mental health but at that time I really had no interest in working in the field. I needed income to pick up the pieces of my life and start over. At least this is what I thought at that time. What I didn’t know then is that this position would ultimately be the catalyst that would help me identify some of my own mental health issues, obtain resources that were beneficial to my clients, and understand how to advocate as a caretaker for my parents.

I started working as an event planner because a lot of times my family and friends would often ask me to help them organize things that they were doing. I also had the privilege of being the wedding liaison at my church for a number of years. In both respective areas of mental health and event planning, I have been fortunate to land various jobs with little to no experience. However, I knew that to be successful I would have to do more. I attended Cuyahoga Community College’s corporate training program and became a certified event planner. In 2017 I went back to Cleveland State University to pursue my degree in social work. I graduated in May of 2020 with my bachelor’s in social work.

I’m going to hit you with a headline here… On April 14, 2020, I lost my mom. In November of 2019, she had been diagnosed with a stage four brain cancer. Prior to this diagnosis in the summer of 2019, my mom underwent triple bypass open-heart surgery. She had an arduous recovery, yet she remained resilient, determined, and steadfast. When we learned of my mom’s diagnosis we were beyond devastated. We couldn’t believe that we are now facing and incurable terminal disease especially since she was making great progress since having her open-heart surgery.

My journey today is a bit nuanced and complex as I navigate instances of grueling grief and graceful gratitude. My occupational and my entrepreneurial endeavors have afforded me the opportunity to curate a lifestyle that encompasses learning, growing, and implementation of skills that are applicable to everyday living. I get to use my services, education, and expertise to help others. I know now for certain, the path that I am on is so that I can help inspire others and leave a legacy that will empower those who encounter my story.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road has not been smooth, but I have had some smooth moments. I am confident there will be more. You need the hills and the valleys because they are the foundations that build your endurance.

The biggest struggle for me right now has been grief. Not only did I lose my mom in 2020 but on June 11th of 2021, I lost one of my sisters to a tragic car accident. February 2022 a dear friend of mine passed, March 2022 I lost one of my cousins and on Easter Sunday 2022 I lost an aunt. It’s hard to put into words the abyss of sorrow that I feel. There are also days when I feel immense joy because although I have experienced unprecedented loss, the cycle of life continues to teach me the importance of seizing every moment and not taking for granted the time that I have.

I am learning to find joy and peace even in the midst of my struggles.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Yes! Of course. For 20-plus years I have been working freelance as an event planner. I started out mostly doing weddings but eventually moved into doing more corporate event planning such expos, galas, concerts, conferences, and festivals, and I even planned a city-wide parade. I am known for planning. I am proud when I can bring my client’s vision to life. I am proud when I can help my clients reach their goals. I am proud when someone attends an event that I have planned or have been a part of the planning team and they can’t stop beaming with excitement because of their experience.

What sets me apart from others is my geniuses, my humor, my honesty, and my expertise.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I don’t believe in luck per se. I am blessed and fortunate to have had great people pour into me. Even when I have a negative review, or comment, or I don’t quite hit the target– I still win because I take the lesson with me. Some people believe in luck. I believe in divine intervention.

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Image Credits
Natasha Herbert

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