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Laval Entrepreneur Mentor Program

EMP Meets the Mayor

December 2, 2016
Written by William Van Heusen

“When you’re fighting for the right stuff, it’s easy to keep punching.” - Ashley Swearengin, Mayor of Fresno

Last Friday we met with Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin at City Hall. Mayor Swearengin shared her background and her experience as mayor with us. Mayor Swearengin shared her opinions and advice about developing ourselves as young professionals. She also spoke candidly about the resistance she has dealt with from certain political interest groups and offered strategies on how to deal with such resistance in our own careers and life. When asked how she handled situations where she could tell that her first approach wasn’t going to work, she advised that there is always a way to produce the results you need, especially when you really believe in the cause. In her words, “It’s all about the outcomes and the results, who cares if someone didn’t listen to me, I still ultimately beat them.”

She really drove home the point of how important it is to find something you can be passionate about; that is when we do our best work and at the end of the day can really be proud of what we are accomplishing. She reminded us that no matter what career path we choose or whether we decide to go into the private or public sector, an entrepreneurial mind and skillset will always be a valuable asset. Her work as mayor is an exemplary byproduct of her own unique entrepreneurial mindset using it to make great progress in improving the economic environment of Fresno by helping to enact policies that enable new businesses and jobs to be created. In her time as mayor she has helped pave a road for Fresno young entrepreneurs just like ourselves.